It was this big! We've all heard stories about the one that got away, but without photos you've no proof. When you finally land that fish of a lifetime, don't make the same mistake. Have a camera available at every outing and you'll have the evidence you need for those bragging rights. Luckily, a high priced camera isn't necessary for a good photograph. A carefully thought out shot brings out the best in any camera. Having worked with professionals in the field, I offer these simple tips on getting the shot:
1: Remove those sunglasses. We want to see your eyes, they draw one into the photograph.
2: Have the subject look somewhere other than at the camera, like down at the fish.
3: To compose a more visually interesting photo, try using the Rule of Thirds. Looking through the camera, divide the view into three boxes, both horizontally and vertically and try to put something other than the person in the middle box. The rod, or a fly it was caught on can make it more interesting.
4. Watch your background for distracting scenery. Remember the focus is on the fish, not the bathing beauty in the background. ;0)
5: If you're practicing catch-and-release, handle the fish as little as possible to avoid rubbing off the fish's protective coating. Wet hands or a Boga Grip are best.Take the picture quickly and don't hide the fish with your hands. A good rule of thumb is take a breath of air when you lift a fish from the water. When you are unable to hold your breath.. get the fish back in the water (and take another breath!). Always support a fish under the belly and by the tail area. Never hold a large fish vertically; you'll damage it's internal organs. When you place the fish back in the water, hold it by the tail and work the fish slowly until it swims away on it's own.
6:Taking shots of the fish in the water can be disappointing for those without a polarizing lens on the camera. If your camera doesn't accept a filter on the lens, try removing your sunglasses (remember they're polarized) and place them in front of the camera lens. They'll cut the glare and get a good shot of you releasing the fish in the water.
7: Don't forget the fill flash. Aside from the obvious (don't shoot into the sun) utilizing the flash removes the dark shadow under that visor so we can see the angler's face.
8. With prices of digital cameras at an all time low, why not invest in a water-proof one if your activities have you in or near the H2O on a regular basis.. You can get a few really nice shots from them as well!
9: Extra batteries.. with most of my clients stepping aboard with a digital camera, I have had several miss an opportunity because of all the sunset shots they took the night before. Keep backups handy!
One last thing.. you might ask your guide if leaving the camera out on deck is bad luck for fishing.... Like fishing nets and bananas (what you didn't know about bananas & bad luck?) if you're guide is superstitious, might want to store it in the case... ;0)