Taking Better Kayak Fishing Pictures E-mail
Thursday, 25 February 2010 21:34

Taking Better Kayak Fishing Photos

Spectacular fish photos which grace the cover of sporting magazines are no accident.  They are the result of careful pre-planning and coordination between the cameraman and angler combined with a detailed understanding of the camera equipment being used.

How about your photos?  Are they all that you would like them to be?  Let’s talk about some easy steps, which you can use to insure the photos of your next big fish will capture the excitement of the moment and the admiration of your friends!

Pre-planning

•   Take an afternoon to fully understand how to operate the various features of your camera.  Read the instruction manual from cover to cover!

•   Practice shooting digital photos and become familiar with your camera.  If you take the time to practice with your camera the quality of your photos will greatly improve.

•   This is no time to hand your camera to a fishing pal and ask him to be the “official” cameraman!  His first question will be, “Which button do I push?”.  If possible, plan an evening at your fishing pals house to discuss the importance of quality fish photos on your next trip and how you can work together to capture the best possible shots for each other.

•   Utilize a UV Haze filter to enhance the color of the sky. Use a polaroid filter on your camera as this will dramatically reduce shine and glare on the water.

•   For best results, the camera-guy should shoot a bunch of photos (6-12), not just “one and I’m done”.  If you have a digital camera, set it to automatically keep shooting as long as the button is pushed.  That’s a great option.  Take 4-5 very rapid shots in just a few seconds.  This will guarantee a shot with your eyes open and you can take your best pick and delete the rest to keep the SD card empty and ready for the next opportunity.

•   Have a 2nd camera battery fully charged and in your pocket as a back up to the one in your camera and another SD card incase you loose or damage one.

•   At the end of each day, review your photos on the camera’s hard drive and save them to your laptop computer so that your SD storage card always has room for an unexpected, important photo.

Coordination•   You should agree to fish in close proximity to your fishing friend so either of you can be ready and in a position to photograph the whole process of landing and holding your fish.

•   The sun should hit the camera-guys back or possibly from the side, but definitely not into the lens of the camera.  This assures the subject and fish will receive full illumination from direct rays of the sun and reduce dark, shadowy faces.

•   Even with the sun at your back, always use the camera’s “fill-in flash” even on bright sunny days.  The flash will brighten dark, shadow areas (especially the face) which may be shaded by the bill of their hat.  Also, any water dripping off the fish will glisten.  (Read your manual to determine how to turn on your fill-in flash.)

•   Make every effort to release fish in a healthy condition after the photo shoot!  While getting your camera out of it’s protective case and setting up the shot with your camera-guy in the other kayak, determine how you will control the fish.  Plan to keep the fish in the water as long as possible.  Let the fish rest quietly in a landing net or  carefully gaff the fish through the thin jaw tissue or use a lipper tool.

•   Don’t let the fish flop and bang around the kayak.  If the fish is well hooked and you are not concerned with it breaking the line, just keep him on the line in the water.  Use the 60 sec. rule and plan not to have the fish out of the water any longer than you can hold your breath!

•   With the fish resting in the water, slow yourself down and think about the elements of a good photo.  (Everything was prepped and ready to go BEFORE you made your first cast.)   The fish has had a chance to revive a bit (which is good).  Now take the fish out of the water just before your camera-guy is ready to focus and shoot and quickly return it to the water.  Plan to spend some time to make sure the fish is “good to go”.

•   What are some of the items not seen in great magazine cover shots?  Sun glasses;  people smoking, beer cans, food, pop cans, garbage, anything distractive in the background!

•   Very large fish are relatively weightless in the water when swimming.  However, when you remove large fish from the water, gravity kicks-in big time!  Don’t lift fish by the jaw and let it hang down vertically as its internal organs may be damaged due to the pull of gravity.  On larger fish, this vertical position could easily hurt the fish and it would be a shame to kill a fish you planned on releasing but handling it improperly.  Use both hands, hold large fish in a natural, horizontal position.

•   SMILE and look at the fish, NOT at the camera.  The world has seen enough grip & grin photos that it won’t miss yours!

•   When you are looking through the camera’s view finder, the photographer should stop and look at the background behind the subject.  It’s easy to miss a tree, light pole or another boat in the background which when lined up just right, will appear to be sticking out of a persons head!

Wow!  I’ve covered a lot of things to think about, but professional photographers are on top of each and every element in a great photo.  Follow these suggestions to avoid potential trouble spots and take action before they become part of your big fish photos.  You’ll amaze your friends with your photographic talents and the size of your trophy!

The Author: Bill Rakozy is an FFF Certified Fly Casting Instructor and owner of 4x4KAYAK Fishing Adventures.  www.4x4kayakfishing.com

 

 

 

 

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