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Taking Better Pictures of Your Fish

How To Take Better Pictures Of Your Fish
This post will be focusing on how to take better photos of your fish.  The trick to taking good photos of your fish is not always in the hands of the photographer or the camera.  The person holding the fish can usually control how the photo will turn out.  So lets start!

One of my good friends, Jim Mann, put it best one day.  He told me to “present” the fish to the camera.  In fact, that is exactly what you are doing.  Do not simply hold the fish and hope the guy with the camera gets a good picture.  Instead “present” the fish to him and the camera.  This means a couple of things.  First, get the fish close to the camera.  Extend the fish so it is flat the lens (meaning the fish is straight up and down).  Do not lay the fish in your hands, because it will look like you are holding a giant Mexican burrito if you do.  Always have the fish’s tail one end of the frame, head on the other and don’t cut off your buddies head!  When it is done right it will look like this below.

Now the next two pictures show you what you are NOT supposed to do.  You are not supposed to make love to the fish, but “present it to the camera and keep your thumb away from the lens!  In the second picture, Kyle was really trying to present the fish to the camera.  Unfortunately there was a Yeti using the camera and Yeti’s do not know how to use electronics.  He was lucky to get a picture at all.  Just remember to get close to the camera!

Now for the next lesson…LIGHT!  Light is very important.  Good light will illuminate the fish, bring out the colors and detail.  You know when you will have good lighting for you picture, because you will be looking into the sun.  Believe it or not, you do want the sun in your face.  The sun is what will light up your fish and face.  Before you snap the picture look for where the sun is positioned and look straight into it (maybe not straight into it, but you get the idea).  Below is what it should look like and the second is what it is not supposed to look like.

 

The next lesson is, what camera do you use?  Believe it or not most phones and point and shoot cameras are just fine these days.  Now, I say most.  Your 90’s flip phone will not do the trick and even a disposable camera is a stretch.  Get your self a decent digital camera.  It does not have to be fancy.  I prefer to use my Nikon P7000.  I like the P7000 because I can easily adjust the expose and the mode I am shooting with.  It also takes HD video and fits perfectly in my pack.  Just about any camera 5 megapixels and above will give you great results. Waterproof cameras are also a plus.  Olympus, Nikon and Pentax make some great waterproof cameras.

A couple points to end with.  Do not be afraid to take multiple pictures.  I usually take 2-3.  Just in case your subject blinks, had bitter beer face, needs to fart or is swearing at you to take the d@#m picture already!  If you take three, chances are one will be a winner, as long as you follow the simple guidelines.

***2013 Update:
Since I last wrote this post, I have retired the old Nikon P7000 and replaced it with a Sony RX-100.  This was a serious point and shoot upgrade.  The RX-100 boast a whopping 20.1 MP sensor and superior low light performance (something the P7000 lacked).  The Sony also has a beefy 1″ sensor.  Much larger than other point and shoot cameras on the market.  Overall, this has been a great investment and I am truly pleased with the images!  The RX-100 does it all for me.  Macro, Wide Angle and some decent Telephoto shots.  It does not come cheap, but it is well worth the extra dough!

Recent Image taken on the RX-100:
Point and Shoot Camera Fly Fishing Photography

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