Be it to brag on Facebook or Instagram, to document the journey, or as a trophy for the pool room, here are five quick tips to help you improve your fishing photos.
1. “Get inspired”. What do they say? The more you read, the better writer you become, well the same goes for taking photos. Look at lots of photos. They are everywhere. And you soon get a sense of the styles that you like and the ones you don’t.
I keep a folder in my Dropbox called “Fishing photos – Inspiration”. In it I keep clippings of images, both fishing and otherwise that inspire me. I’ve kept this folder for the last 4 years now, and in the beginning it grew quickly, but over time, my tastes have refined, and only images that really capture me get to go in there.
It’s a pretty comprehensive collection, and I flick through it when I need some creative kick-start. It’s not a scrapbook to copy, but a scrapbook of visual references to help inspire me. The beauty about it being in my dropbox is that I can flick through those images wherever I am, even on my iPhone.
2. “The best camera is the one you have with you”. I can’t remember where I read it, but it really makes sense. I take my camera – well honestly I take my camera bag with all of my camera gear in it on every fishing trip I go on.
It fits in the the middle locker of my boat and is always quickly accessible. On foot, I take a more refined camera bag (what that really means is, I take the same bag with a little less gear in it) but I figure, if the camera isn’t with you, you can’t get that shot.
3. “Pick the eyes out of it”. What the heck are you talking about Greg?
All of my images that feature a fish have the fishes eye as a focus point. It’s one of the things that I do with all my fishy shots, and I think it adds a depth to the image that you don’t get if the eyes are not in focus.
4. “Less fingers please”! Makes sense right, we don’t really want a picture of your subject’s fat grubby fingers, we want to see the fish. But you’d be surprised how many people, in the heat of the moment who grip the fish with all 10 fingers and thumbs obscuring it.
Here’s some advice, remind the subject, before they even pick up the fish. Get them to hold the fish gently under the tail and the pectoral fins, pulling the fingers as far under the body of the fish as possible. Use the thumbs behind the body to cradle the fish and stop it falling back.
5. “What’s the story”? The trophy shot is the money shot right? But the images of the trip are what really tell the story.
Josh makes fun of me all the time because I often spend as much time with the camera in my hand as a fishing rod.
Experiment. Shoot lots – the gear, the trek, the boats, the candid moments, the journey.
It’s like fishing, the more you practice, the more images you shoot, the better you become at it and the better you become at telling the story.
Finally, remember that sometimes the fishing isn’t just about the “fishing” and the fish, it’s about journey, the places it takes you and the people you take it with.