A good photograph of you and your catch is almost as gratifying as a mount. In some cases it's better, as you can release the fish if you want, and you can record the water, the day, your expression and your fellow anglers as well. Photos taken immediately after the catch are much better than those taken at home in a driveway or kitchen with a misshapen, washed-out fish and/or angler.
But a good fish picture isn't easy to take. The following tips will help you get one worth framing:
Don't just take a snapshot. Compose the photo first: Make sure that the angler and his fish will be prominent in the picture. No objects such as bait buckets, coolers, or someone's foot should be in the foreground.
Prepare the angler. No cigars or cigarettes in the mouth. Remove sunglasses to better capture expression. If wearing a visored hat, remove it or tilt it up so no shadow will fall on his or her face.
Use the sun. Make sure sunlight shines directly on the angler and fish, but be careful not to let shadows from the photographer or nearby objects show in the picture. If it's a cloudy day, use the flash.
Keep the fish wet until you're ready to shoot. The fish will shine and look natural, and its colors will be vibrant.
Hold the fish properly. The angler should hold the fish so its side is presented to the camera. Large fish should be held with two hands to better display their size. In most cases, the fish should be held high and a bit to the side of the angler, without blocking his face. Try some shots with the angler looking at the fish instead of at the camera.
Don't skimp on film. Bracket your shots if possible (shoot a number of photos at different exposure times and apertures) and have the angler stand in different poses in different areas. Try using your flash for a couple of shots, even if your camera meter says you don't need it. Such fill flash, especially on sunny days, can eliminate all shadows and make the difference between a good shot and a great one.
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