We’ve run posts in the past with some tips on taking pictures of fish – but given what we see out there on the water, we’re considering this a ‘continuing education’ topic. We hate seeing fish handled poorly and then released.
Scott Baker-McGarva, our head guide at BC West, put together some instructions on how to take fish pictures – with the proper emphasis on treating the fish right. Please have a read, and please take it to heart.
Let’s Photograph That Fish – The Right Way
Let’s be honest, much has been said of this topic, so why does it still seem to confound so many?
You’ve come so far and looked so forward to the trip, and there, laying at your feet, is what makes it all worth it. Now, a quick picture and back it goes.
Let’s place the emphasis on ‘quick’ – since if I held your head under water as long as some hold fish out of water, you would understand why.
- Keep the fish in the water…this deserves a ‘duh’! But seriously, this is particularly helpful with a net or cradle so the fish doesn’t have other ideas before you get your moment.
- If you are the shooter…be ready! This means camera out of the case, turned on, set accordingly (ISO, function, etc), lens clean… The shooter, while yelling 20 instructions to the already nervous and generally uptight angler, should figure out where the best angle will be to shoot from. Generally a darker back ground is best, so I get out in the water and shoot back towards shore, avoiding the bright sky or water glare from ‘blowing out’ the image. Also…shoot LOTS…if the camera has a rapid frames per second setting…use it. Digital is great for this. There isn’t a limit – delete bad shots after.
- Once ready for the shot, (sunglasses off, hair nice) firmly hold the wrist of the tail and cradle the belly. Hold the fish up and point its nose slightly towards the shooter (but not in fully outstretched arms, that’s kinda over-done and silly). Make sure the fish is over the water try to avoid a direct reflection from the sun on the fish’s sides. Also smile, look at the fish, look at the shooter, be happy!
- Do not stand up with the fish! Please, please, please…bended knee is it. You wouldn’t like it I dropped you off a roof, so don’t do it to the fish.
- A nifty trick I’ll do is cover the fishes eye’s if the shooter didn’t read #2 and isn’t ready yet…it seems to calm them, most of the time anyway.
- Remember a fish resting in a net will be recovering fairly quickly and won’t like it when you start picking it up, so be firm and supporting in case it starts to wriggle all over.
- If the fish goes nuts and escapes your grasp, swimming madly about the beach…try to direct it the right direction and pass on more handling. You had your chance!