A GUIDE TO MAKING BETTER FISHING PHOTOS

We all love to see great fishing photos. Whether you're casually interested in photography for the purpose of capturing your fishing memories with a mobile phone, or a serious snapper who's invested in serious equipment, the fundamentals of making good fishing photos are uncomplicated and easy to master.

 

Take a few minutes to read these 8 tips by a retired professional photographer and you'll be on your way to making better photos.

#1 FRESH IS BEST

The time to photograph your fish is now: when it's alive and looking good; when it's wet, bright-eyed and bristling with fins erect...not later.

Mark Middendorf with a gorge country Murray cod

#3 KEEP IT SIMPLE, SAM!

The KISS principle works well in many fields. Photography is no exception. This is a fact...good composition is the most important key to good photography.

"Composition is the strongest way of seeing"

EDWARD WESTON

Much has been written about photographic composition, but you don't need to read the volumes! For the average fisher, the most important thing to bear in mind is this..."Keep as much clutter and irrelevant material outside the frame of your photograph as you can".

Avoid...

  • distracting bright objects in the background of otherwise subdued or shaded scenes, such as: overexposed patches of sky; eskies in the boat.

  • photo-bombers such as bits of other people behind the angler holding the fish.

  • things that don't contribute to the story

Mackeral Tuna caught on a trolled Predatek Viper

*Predatek-friendly photos

As manufacturers of fishing lures, we at Predatak are always on the lookout for good photographs from fans who've enjoyed success with our lures. We're prepared to reward great photographs and brief stories that we can use in our blog or social media posts. Unfortunately, many meritorious captures are ruined by average quality photographs that don't tell the Predatek story as well as they could...if only the photographer had taken a little more care.

For obvious reasons, we're interested in photographs that showcase our lures in action. Product-placement is the marketing term for it.

From time to time, we'll run fishing photography competitions for the purpose of getting anglers to show us the success they've had with our products. Photographs that show our products to advantage will naturally fare better in those competitions.

Predatek will not reward or publish photographs that show disrespect for fish or the ideals of ethical recreational fishing.

#2 SHUN THE SUN

Despite what you may have read about having the sun behind you when photographing, it's generally not the best approach for fishing photos. Bright sunshine causes problems such as these: deep shadows on your mate's face in the shade of his hat; harsh reflections and, worse, blown out (overexposed) areas on fish that have reflective scales (e.g. barramundi, bream); squinting anglers. 

If you can manage it, the best light in which to make your trophy photos of mates and their fish is in the shade. Your mates won't be squinting in the glare and the fish will look better. It's easier to manage good exposure in the shade and the colours will usually be richer. You can more easily enhance the colour and contrast of the photograph later—with your phone or computer software.—if it's evenly lit rather than very contrasty with harsh bright areas and deep shadows.

Of course, if you're fishing in the golden hours (just before sunrise or after sunset) or it's an overcast or rainy day, the light is ideal for your evenly lit trophy photographs.

Murray cod caught on prototype Jabberwok

#4 GET DOWN, DON!

The majority of amateur photographs are taken from a standing position. Boring! Predictable. 

Try this simple technique: shoot from an unusual angle. It can be much lower than normal eye level, or above normal eye level. Both methods help you to reduce the amount of distracting clutter in the background. Shoot from a low angle and your background could be sky, a rock face, or the foliage of riverside trees. Shoot from above the subject and your background could be the surface of the river or lake, or beach sand.

Matt Smith trolled this trophy barramundi at Lake Awoonga on a Predatek Viper
Ben Smith caught a golden perch at Lake Copeton on a Predatek B65D Boomerang fishing lure

#5 EASY DOES IT

Respect the fish. Handle it with care and dignity. If it's catch-and-release, photograph quickly and send the fish on its way.

Lachlan River below Wyangala Dam 1973

  • SUPPORT the fish. Hold it horizontally, gripped by the mouth and supported underneath with a hand or arm. Please don't hang it from its jaw; it looks disrespectful and can hurt the fish.
     

  • PROTECT the fish in the water or on a clean surface (mat, wet sand, wet river gravel). Please don't allow it to be covered in leaves and soil.

Good memory, terrible photo!

My first trout, caught below Wyangala Dam, with my best mate, a month after my father died.

#7 TELL THE STORY

Yes, it's a cliché but true; "A picture paints a thousand words". A photograph of a fisher with a fish tells us that the fisher caught the fish. Well, der!

 

People who view the photograph are interested in other aspects of the story. Lure fishers, in particular, want to know..."What did they catch it on?"

If your mate takes a cod on a surface lure near a snag, see if you can have the snag in the background when you photograph him holding his catch for the camera in the boat. This is pretty easy stuff, but mostly overlooked by the average fisher-photographer.

Barramundi caught by Matt Smith at Lake Awoonga on a home-made fishing lure
A Murray cod that attacked an early model Predatek Boomerang after eating a Dusky Moorhen

#6 GET SOME CLOSE-UPS

The trophy shot of fisher and fish is the standard approach. All good. But don't forget other shots that can celebrate that particular first-of-a-species fish, on that special night, that your son caught on his favourite lure.

Lake Awoonga barramundi and Predatek Sandviper
Kevin Clark & Matt Smith with Matt's first barramundi

#8 BE READY

Sometimes amazing stuff happens. Yep, you have to be there in the moment to enjoy it. But how good is it to have a camera ready to share the memory?

A slightly larger Murray cod tries to steal a fishing lure from another.

PREDATEK SPONSORED PHOTO COMPETITIONS

From time to time, Predatek will sponsor fishing photography competitions. There may or may not be a requirement for photographs submitted in competitions to feature Predatek products, depending on the particular competition objectives. In all cases, however, the general Terms & Conditions below will apply and it is a condition of entry that entrants accept the Ts&Cs. 

 

Terms & Conditions

  1. Employees and family members of Downunder Lures Pty Ltd are ineligible to enter.

  2. By entering a competition, the owner of the photograph gives Downunder Lures Pty Ltd permission to use the photograph on the Predatek website or social media pages. Downunder Lures Pty Ltd will credit the copyright owner of the photograph as follows: © John Citizen

  3. Copyright in the photograph(s) remains with the photographer.

  4. The photographer is responsible for obtaining permission from persons depicted in the photograph to have their image displayed on the Predatek website or social media pages, if the image is selected for publication.

  5. Photographs will be judged on the following criteria: composition; story-telling; technical quality; creativity; observance of legal and ethical standards.

  6. Photographs will be judged by an accredited photography judge and their decision will be final. No correspondence will be entered into.

  7. If, for particular competitions sponsored by Predatek, it is a requirement that the photographs depict fish caught on Predatek lures, the entrant, by entering the image, vouches that the capture of the fish on a Predatek product is genuine. 

 

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