They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Good photographs are priceless and the best way to save our favorite memories. It seems that everyone enjoys seeing pictures of their fishing and other outdoor adventures, but truly good pictures that capture the fish and angler in a pleasing pose are rare.
NO TIME LIKE THE PRESENT
The best time to take a fish picture is immediately after landing the fish. Species like walleye look best when their dramatic dorsal fins are flexed and the fish looks as if it’s going to jump right out of your hands! Try to shoot in a spot where rods, tackle boxes and other gear don’t clutter the picture. Long fish like pike or musky need to be supported with two hands to avoid injuring the fish. Bass look good when lipped and walleye look best when the angler holds the fish between the thumb and forefinger placed just inside the gill flap facing the angler. If one hand is used to hold the fish, hold the fishing rod or net with the other hand to give the photo balance. Position your hands behind the fish as much as possible. The side of the fish should be pointed directly at the camera. Angle the fish so it’s head is slightly upward rather than holding it with the head and tail level.
Shoot a couple images with the camera held in both the horizontal and vertical positions to provide a different feel to the photos.
LIGHT MAKES THE DIFFERENCE
The word photography means to paint with light. The way light shines on your subject is one of the most important concerns when shooting photographs.
The worst light conditions occur during fog, rain or heavy overcast conditions. Everything looks gray and flat when photographed in these light conditions. To contrast against the flat light and gray skies, dress the angler in a bright yellow or red rain jacket. This will add color and life to the otherwise flat image.
Bright light during midday is harsh and also makes for less pleasing photos. Colors to avoid in bright light are white, yellow or tan, which bleach out in the sunshine. A rich blue, green, orange or red colored shirt or jacket pops the best when photographed in bright light.
The most pleasing light for photography occurs during the morning and evening hours when the sunlight has both a warm glow and flattering illumination.
Normally it’s best to keep bright light at the photographers back. As the subject to be photographed holds the fish, have him turn his body and the fish back and forth until the ambient light best illuminates the fish.
Flash can be used to add sparkle to outdoor photos in both bright and low light conditions. On a bright day, a flash will prevent harsh shadows from forming under the bill of the angler’s cap. Flash also makes colors snap and has the impact of making the subject seem to leap out of the background.
At sunrise and sunset, flash is a powerful tool for shooting images with the light directly behind the subject. The results are dramatic with the warm red, yellow and orange colors of the horizon contrasting against the subject illuminated in the foreground.
A FEW FINAL TIPS
The best print film for outdoor photography is ISO 100 or 200. A digital camera that features four or five mega pixel resolution is adequate for taking high resolution photos up to 8″X10″ in size. Set digital cameras to the fine setting with an ISO setting of 100 or 200. The best advice is to shoot more photos than you think you’ll need. In the end, everyone will be glad you took the time.