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Creating Better Fishing Photos

By Bill Rivers

A picture is worth a thousand words, so why not capture the fishing trip of a lifetime or that trophy catch on film? Here’s how to assure that your “fish tales” are fully documented and fishing memories always close at hand.

  1. Be prepared. Have camera, film, flash and batteries with you at all times.
  2. Make sure that your fishing buddy knows how to use the camera, too. Practice on shore before you land the big one!
  3. Always use a flash to eliminate shadows and intensify colour and contrast. Some cameras have a fill flash setting, find out if that includes your camera.
  4. Shoot with the sun at your back, turning the boat if necessary.
  5. Zoom in as close as possible, eliminating most background.
  6. Take photos with both horizontal and vertical orientations. This makes for better choice in how you use the pictures including scrapbooks.
  7. Remove / exclude distracting items – e.g. beverage cans, sunglasses, etc.
  8. Keep the “horizon” level and include some background other than water.
  9. Photograph special catches and the fishing action as it plays out.
  10. Take the photos immediately. Do not keep fish in a livewell or on a stringer.
  11. Avoid stringer shots and photos where the angler is holding the fish closer to the camera (distorting its actual size).
  12. Avoid bloody fish photos. Give the fish a quick rinse just before shooting. This will improve colour and add some shimmer to the fish.
  13. Leave the lure in the fish’s mouth (but not live bait).
  14. Take “live release” photos at boatside.
  15. Consider getting an inexpensive digital camera, just in case it ends up in the water.
  16. Using a digital camera? Make sure it is 3 megapixels or better.
  17. If you are going on a multi-day trip remember to take extra batteries. If you are using a digital camera it is a good idea to have two or more memory cards.
  18. Swap memory cards at the end of each day so that at least one card is on dry land at all times. This ensures you always have some pictures of your trip regardless of what happens to the camera out on the water.
  19. Record the length / weight / date / lake on the back of the photo. Some digital cameras have a video or audio option. You can use this to record this information and transcribe it later.
  20. Kids fishing or doing shore lunch? Take lots of photos.

Photos will help you tell the story of your fishing trip. With that in mind remember to take pictures before and after you start fishing. These pictures can be used to bookend your awesome action shots.

Online since 1998 by long-time OFM field editor, Bill Rivers, the Ontario Fisherman is now taking on a new look, but remains committed to showcasing "the best of Ontario sportfishing". Some of the most popular features are reviews of Fly-in Fishing Lodges.

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