We all like to capture a great catch on camera to cherish the moment and document your fishing tales. With technology increasingly getting better it’s becoming easier to to capture the catch, here are some tips to help you get the most of your fishing photography.
Fishing Photography Tips
First, take a quick scan of your surroundings. Make sure you don’t have a branch sticking up that looks like antlers on your subject or any messy wrappers and rubbish laying about that could spoil your picture.
Before we get into the technicalities, composition is important. You want your frame to be a good composition, don’t cut off the top of your angler’s head for example. (Don’t get too caught up on filling the space perfectly with angler and fish, you can always crop your picture later and a 2/3 rule is a good one – the composition doesn’t mean your subject has to be perfectly in the middle of your frame, having some space on either side can make a creative shot).
I’m sure we don’t need to say it but ensure the fish is held tightly and over your matt. Before getting that National Geographic shot the fish’s welfare comes first.
Taking fishing photos during the day
Pay attention to the light direction and the quality of the light. Sunlight is a not a constant source and it does move every hour and this can affect the shapes, colours and tones of a scene. Similarly haze, clouds and wintery days will affect colour.
Direct sunlight is hard as it creates dark shadows. If you can manage to position yourself to have the sun on the photographer’s back is good advice but do be careful as this can create ‘front lighting’ which flattens your picture, it doesn’t help bring out detail and the perception of depth can be diminished.
Having the light coming from the side or at an angle to diffuse it a little, this will make sure the picture doesn’t appear too flat. Side lighting will help to showcase detail on your catch, see textures, scales that would otherwise not be noticeable.
If you’re positioned on the bank and the time of day means that the sun is in front of the camera (the subject is backlit), it can be effective if the sunlight is quite bright (also means you won’t be squinting). It might sound strange, but in this instance you should turn on the flash to avoid dark shadows and brighten up your subject…. otherwise you might end up with a silhouette.
With the camera looking into the sunlight, avoid having the sun rays direction on the lens by standing in the shade.
Taking fishing photos at night
Most digital cameras will have a good enough flash to capture a shot when it’s pitch black on the bank side. Do take a good flash light with you, if you can position that on to the main focus on your photo and lighten up the foreground if can make all the difference.
If you do have a tripod to hand and a digital camera where you can change the ISO settings to a lower setting you can get a great result. This will give a really high quality feels to your image but with the longer exposure you’ll want that tripod to avoid blur from shaky hands. (Tripods don’t have to be expensive, in fact we picked one up at Aldi for about £12! A great investment!)
Tips for photos on your phone
These days most of us have smart phones with iPhones being the most popular, they are easy to use and quick to get out. If you’re using an iPhone here are some tips to get the best shots of your catch.
There is a zoom feature on the camera but it does loose quality and sharpness. Use your feet to zoom and find the best composition for your shot.
The lower the light, the harder it is to get a quality image on an iPhone, you’ll definitely want the light behind you and your subject well lit.
Holding your phone can be a little shaky so lean against a tree and keep your hands still even a second after you click as the shutter may lag more so on a camera phone. On an iPhone, the camera shutter isn’t released until you take your thumb off the shutter button on the touch screen so bear that in mind for keeping still.
Tips for taking a photo of fish and angler
Without a doubt there are some angles that can make the fish’s best features more noticeable. When taking a photo of a fish, always try to have the fish’s head slightly pointing towards the camera, you want a crisp shot of the head.
Top tip : if the fish’s head is pointing away from the camera, the focus can be lost making it look a lot smaller.
Try not to have your camera pointing down at the fish, try to have it at a 90 degree angle to the fish’s side. You can even have a play with the camera angle coming form slightly below the fish which can create nice results. Get on your knees and have a play with the angles.
Other photography tips
Take a couple shots just in case you’ve got eyes closed or something, backing up is a good call. (With your digital camera or smart phone you can always delete the crappy ones later, look at them on your computer before deleting them rather than right there and then… you never know what looks bad on your small phone screen could be pretty decent).
Clean the lens! Whether your phone or your digital camera keeping the lens clean is simple but often forgotten.
Mind the temperature. On days when it is colder than usual and you take your phone/camera out of your pocket for example, it can mist up. Let the camera acclimatise to the temperature too.
Take other shots too. Shots of people fishing and release shots can be creative and tell a story too. While you’re waiting for your next run you can kill a bit of time taking creative shots of tackle, bait, nature, reflections and the sun set. It’s a great way to experiment and get to know your camera.
Smile and have some fun!
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