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MitchCalcutt
08-03-2008, 08:12 PM
Hi everyone;
This post is for those folk out there that are having trouble taking a clear photo of there prise catches. Since Iíve become a member of ozfish, Iíve seen dozens of photos that could have been great photos with just a little more knowledge on the subject. Photos donít just show off a nice fish, they also tell a part of the story that the angler has experienced.

Some of the most common problems are fuzzy not so clear pics. These are camera movement and pics that are out of focus. Camera movement is when the button is pushed quickly, which moves the entire camera in relation to the subject your shooting. You may also be experiencing heavy shadows on you pics, these are easy to remedy problems, so easy you wonít believe it.

I use a Fuji finepix A700 instamatic digital camera which is a 7.3 mega pixel model. Almost all modern digital cams these days come in 6+ mega pixels. The amount of mega pixels make little difference to your pics if you get them printed for your photo album or posted on the net. Perhaps someone else can do a follow up post on the best ways through that step.

First and foremost is the memory card, I use a 512 MB card in my camera and get 135 photos with the quality set on the highest setting. This setting determines the overall quality by using the maximum performance of the camera. You may get a reduced number of photos but there all good.

The two common causes of fuzzy photos come from the same action, jabbing the button. All of the smaller compact cameras have auto focus, this is accomplished by gently pushing down the button until it reaches its desired point to auto focus, this takes about a second then your ready to continue pushing the button down until the cam takes the picture. In that same jabbing action usually undertaken by most people causes camera movement, once again your picture is not clear. Breaking the habit of button banging is a hard habit to break. Follow the first step in pre focusing before you shoot, and use a smooth action in pressing the button and both errors will go away.

Lets face it Australia is a harsh place and we have a lot of sunlight, even on a cloudy day thereís good light. Having bright sunlight to work with can create shadowing in the photo. Make things easy for your self and before taking the pic turn the boat so the angler is facing the sun. Take at least 4 photos then put your camera onto forced flash, this means the cam will use the flash even in bright light. This will fill in the shadows without looking like youíve used a flash. Take at least 4 more photos before you do whatever with your catch.

Practise makes perfect and the beauty of digital cameras is you can delete as you go along. Try taking a few photos of you fence, shooting along it at 20 degree angle. Jab the button as you may be doing then try the gently approach and compare the difference. This will give you an idea of where your cam focuses to, the focus point may not always be the centre of the viewfinder but to one side of it. Learn your camera at home, become proficient where it doesnít matter then go and take some great fishing photos.

I take lots of photos as they are my lifeís journey, for my boy to look over when he gets a bit older and stops trying to eat them. Thank god for external hard drives. By the way my camera only cost me around $200 and takes great photos.

Mitch

Dr_Dan
08-03-2008, 08:21 PM
Good thread. I know it's been done before, but it's always great to see other peoples piccies. And any hints to better your photos can only be a good thing

Pistol_P
08-03-2008, 08:56 PM
Great thread.

Another common mistake peolpe make when taking pictures is not taking the pictures straight away when the fish is lit up and has great colour.

Pictures beside the kitchen sink or in the driveway dont look to crash hot.

It means a bit of extra work but its worth it when you look back at your trophy fish.

Pete

steve99
08-03-2008, 09:20 PM
Hi mitch,

Your gallery is looking very sad.

Do be embarressed. How about posting a few of those quality pics you've been taking at Hinze

Steve99

MitchCalcutt
08-03-2008, 10:29 PM
Hi mitch,

Your gallery is looking very sad.

Do be embarressed. How about posting a few of those quality pics you've been taking at Hinze

Steve9922647How about this one Steve.
You know why I don't post many Pics.
Mitch

bdowdy
09-03-2008, 06:21 AM
i see jen is catching a few mitch, good stuff mate, does she still outfish you....lol..lol cheers bdowdy..brett

MitchCalcutt
09-03-2008, 07:40 AM
i see jen is catching a few mitch, good stuff mate, does she still outfish you....lol..lol cheers bdowdy..brett
Hi brett, That photo was taken when Jen was prego with will. Were due to have a fish together as soon as Will will take food from someone else.
Talk soon
Mitch

PinHead
09-03-2008, 08:24 AM
most photos taken by amateurs are just that..amateur pics..myself included and I use a digital SLR...the pros reel off mulititudes of pics of the one item then select and doctor the pick of those. What we may think of as good pics, are, in reality run of the mill very average pics..but..if they have value for us as being of fish, family or special occassions then they are valued. The quality means nothing.
For printing in magazines and books etc then no amateur can match hthe pros purely based on the quality of the equipment they use, programmes they have to edit the pic and the dollars they get paid to do it. Some of the fishing mags have some good amateur pics and also some appalling ones but that is what they are given so I guess that is all they have to work with.

As an example, take Poodroo's pic..not necessarily picking on yours Poo but a pro would not have had your young bloke in a yellow PFD..I know he has to have it on but the pro would have removed it..the bright colour detracts from the main object of the pic ..the fish.

Poodroo
09-03-2008, 08:32 AM
I use a compact Olympus MJ-U750 camera which is a 7.1 mp water resistent camera packed with a lot of features, however regardless of technology I have found that some basic knowledge for taking a good shot is a must. I have seen photos taken with an expensive SLR digital that are no better than what I take and some much better. So what makes the difference? It's simple. Knowledge to take a good shot and knowledge to improve the shot using a photo editing program like Paintshop or Photoshop to name a couple. Just as an example I have taken some potentially great shots when out in my boat of sunrises and fish that I have caught but the flaws in those photos become apparent when downloaded onto the computer. The hardest thing to acheive when taking photos from in a boat is getting a straight horizon because the boat is rocking so almost always the horizon will end up at an angle. With editing programs like the ones mentioned you can rotate and crop the photo so that the horizon is much straighter. Also if the photo turns out underexposed but is otherwise a great photo these programs can be used to highlight and brighten the photo. Other features include removing red eyes as well. Here is a couple of examples of photos that I have taken that have had crooked horizons that I straightened up. No other editing was needed on these shots at all and the end result is what I think is almost as good as something from a much higher quality camera.

http://i163.photobucket.com/albums/t315/Poodroo/Peel090208-3.jpg

http://i163.photobucket.com/albums/t315/Poodroo/MudIslandSunrise.jpg

http://i163.photobucket.com/albums/t315/Poodroo/P7290016.jpg



Well this is true Pinhead. I put that photo in as an example of a photo that once had a very crooked horizon rather than a good shot. It was an average photo initially that was only taken to capture the moment rather than be a pro shot. But you are right, the pros would have taken the PFD off but as a dad I left it on. ;) If I was keen enough and patient enough I could painstakingly remove the PFD with Paintshop Pro but I am not that patient. ;D

Poodroo

P.S. Another helpful tip is when buying a digital camera to spend that little bit extra if it means getting one with an "optical zoom" because digital zoom cameras tend to give pixelated images (regardless of how many megapixels they have) when in full zoom and it is hard to notice it when viewing the photo using the camera's lcd screen.

steve99
09-03-2008, 11:01 AM
most photos taken by amateurs are just that..amateur pics..myself included and I use a digital SLR...the pros reel off mulititudes of pics of the one item then select and doctor the pick of those. What we may think of as good pics, are, in reality run of the mill very average pics..but..if they have value for us as being of fish, family or special occassions then they are valued. The quality means nothing.
For printing in magazines and books etc then no amateur can match hthe pros purely based on the quality of the equipment they use, programmes they have to edit the pic and the dollars they get paid to do it. Some of the fishing mags have some good amateur pics and also some appalling ones but that is what they are given so I guess that is all they have to work with.

As an example, take Poodroo's pic..not necessarily picking on yours Poo but a pro would not have had your young bloke in a yellow PFD..I know he has to have it on but the pro would have removed it..the bright colour detracts from the main object of the pic ..the fish.


Lets face it,most freelance writers are only amateur photographers. Even well known contributers like Steve Starling or Rod Harrison are technically amateur,despite years of photographic and writing experience.

The ability to take good photos only comes with years of experience. Forget about how good or expensive the camera is - thats irrelevant.

An experienced person with a cheap camera will always take better photos than someone with very expensive camera and no experience.

The quality of a photo ultimately determines if its gets printed in a magazine. Editors can always correct poor writing ,but photos need to be clear and in focus first up,because despite what many think, very few, if any, fishing or boating magazine use the services of professional photographers.

Steve99

reelemin1974
09-03-2008, 12:23 PM
I read a basic book on the subject of pic taking once. it was really helpfull.

another few tips. unless it is the desired effect, fill the frame with the subject, leave all the clutter out.

also, before you take the pic, quickly look around and remove any unnecessary objects, bucket in background etc. it's amazing what you don't see 'through' the camera so to speak.

use different angles, shoot from low, high 45deg etc.

reelemin1974
09-03-2008, 12:26 PM
If you want some background for effect, put the subject to one side for a little variety.

reelemin1974
09-03-2008, 12:36 PM
http://www.kodak.com/global/en/corp/top10tips/index.jhtml

PinHead
09-03-2008, 12:49 PM
Lets face it,most freelance writers are only amateur photographers. Even well known contributers like Steve Starling or Rod Harrison are technically amateur,despite years of photographic and writing experience.

The ability to take good photos only comes with years of experience. Forget about how good or expensive the camera is - thats irrelevant.

An experienced person with a cheap camera will always take better photos than someone with very expensive camera and no experience.

The quality of a photo ultimately determines if its gets printed in a magazine. Editors can always correct poor writing ,but photos need to be clear and in focus first up,because despite what many think, very few, if any, fishing or boating magazine use the services of professional photographers.

Steve99
ain't that the truth and it sure is obvious..not many Steve Parish's amongst them.

Pistol_P
09-03-2008, 12:58 PM
Dont agree 100%

Amateurs are still able to take 'Magazine quality' shots....

I have a mate who writes for Mags who uses a 10 megapixel camera which many people have these days.

Its just about paying attention to certain aspects like

1.Not having blood coming out of the fish from a gaff shot etc...
2.positioning yourself so the sun is on the fish showing its colours...
3.No shadows over you..

Sure there are many more but amatuers are still able to take fantastic shots that magazines will happily accept.
Sure professionials with the best gear will always do better.

Pete

MitchCalcutt
09-03-2008, 03:36 PM
If you want pics that can be published you will still need a sharp photo. Dad was highly regarded as a photographer but still followed the same simple rule when shooting. Press don't jab. Most jerno's will take heaps of photos and only get one good one, thatís why I recommend at least 4 pics of the same subject. 0ne of the earlier replies said to fill the shot with just the subject. I like to have quite a bit of background to work with. This way when it comes time to edit you can choose then what you want. You can always crop and edit but adding is imposable. Once again thatís why I have my cam set on the highest quality setting.

22679
22682
in these photos i was able to crop the unwanted crap from it to have a larger image of my boy trying to destroy my rods.
Mitch

steve99
09-03-2008, 04:04 PM
Dont agree 100%

Amateurs are still able to take 'Magazine quality' shots....

I have a mate who writes for Mags who uses a 10 megapixel camera which many people have these days.

Its just about paying attention to certain aspects like

1.Not having blood coming out of the fish from a gaff shot etc...
2.positioning yourself so the sun is on the fish showing its colours...
3.No shadows over you..

Sure there are many more but amatuers are still able to take fantastic shots that magazines will happily accept.
Sure professionials with the best gear will always do better.

Pete

That exactly what I'm saying. Amateurs make up the bulk of fishing writers. However, the best photos are always taken by those with experience,regardless of the equipment they use.
Today,there is only a small percentage of fishing writers that take truly good photos.
Not surprisingly, its thier photos that are used most frequently for covershots or feature articles.

Steve99

bdowdy
09-03-2008, 04:58 PM
holy sh8-8-t mate the boy has grown up, in no time he will be fishing with you mate,cheers bdowdy..brett

imnotoriginal
09-03-2008, 05:06 PM
This has been brought up recently, but it's still a good point. I love catch and release, so all my fish photos are of the fish as they're lit up and I love getting that quality shot that captures the moment.

Steve99, if you would like to see a magazine with plenty of quality photos by good photographers try Fishing Wild. It only comes out twice a year but it's high quality and the articles are fantastic.

The last time this was brought up another member put this site up, which I found to be quite a good read. http://www.midcurrent.com/articles/gear/matthews_phototips.aspx
Joel

Little grey men
10-03-2008, 10:13 AM
I think It's important to mix it up a little. not just, hold the fish up.smile. click. got it. Use a little imagination and take some close up shots of the fishes head. Take a picture of the fish in the water.
Think about the background to make the whole thing a pleasant looking picture.
Actually read the camera manual, to see what it can do. Include the lure in the shot..they're usually pretty looking things.
One last thing would be to get a hold of a program to edit your pic's. Most cameras now have software with basic editing functions.
I work with and also have friends who are very keen pic takers. every shot they submit for competitions are touched up with photoshop.

Malcolm1976
10-03-2008, 08:25 PM
I think is so important to get good pictures of quality captures. I have been involved in photography for quite a while now, and anyone who catches a quality fish on my boat gets a good pic to remember it by. Take these for example. This was this kids first ever Fingermark. And he has some pics to take away and remember the event by. I have given a couple of talks at various fishing clubs on taking good fishing pics, I migh have to add something to my blog at some stage.

Mal

Volvo
10-03-2008, 08:39 PM
Typed a reply to this post a wee bit earlier but when tried to post it dissapeared in dataheaven somewhere!!??...
Anyhows here goes again:) ..
I presume most would be using Compact Digital cameras and will suggest a coupla tips / pointers which may help some..
If your camera has the Histogram feature it pays to learn how to read it and what its trying to tell you..
"Exposure Compensation" along with your histogram will help with under/over exposure and save blowing highlights or shadows...
Using flash to help with not only a sharper Pic but also a cleaner shot, especially shooting under your canopy with the light / daylight in the background...
Shutter lag with compacts is common though only slight with some of the newer models so a good auto focus system helps heaps in this department save losing some of those action shots.If your camera has the abillity to manual focus this may save the day for the above...
learn and experiment with your metering system eg; If you want to get the subject clear but they are standing under the canopy for instance and you also want to add some of the background into the Pic..Meter on the subject(spot metering if your camera has it may help here) Hold your shutter halfeway down without fully depressing it, focus and meter off your subject whilst holding that button halfeway down and then move your camera to include whatever else of the scene you wish and then fully depress the shutter..
By no means am i a professional here lol, just an amatuer who loves his photography so thought coupla pointers may be of interest...
And for those who's camera have the abillity to shoot in Raw Mode, learn what it means , obtain a raw converter and shoot in raw mode ..
So much more detail can be captured though the files can end up being on the "BIG" side ..
Anyhows nuff said ..
Hope ive helped??:-/ .....

Apollo
04-05-2009, 07:47 AM
This is one (of many) areas that I really sux at. I, on occasion, have managed to fluke some decent fish, however when we take the photos, it really doesn't do the fish justice.

What are the secrets of taking a quality photo of a fish?

Cheers
Steve

BaitThrower
04-05-2009, 08:21 AM
Have the sun over your shoulder (that's the photographers shoulder) and if possible, get everyone under a bimini or shade to reduce direct sunlight hit and even out the light spectrum.

NAGG
04-05-2009, 09:00 AM
I'm still only learning ...... but aside from having a decent camera.
The single best piece of advice I was given was ....... use a fill in flash.

Chris

PS ..... Good topic

the gecko
04-05-2009, 09:11 AM
heres my basic rules

If taking a photo of someone else
1- have the sun behind you
2- try and fill the frame
3- get some artistic balance, like have the horizon set in the middle

If taking a photo of yourself
1- learn how to set the timer to say 10 secs
2- get a cheap tripod with legs about 10cm long for $5 at a camera store
3- use red eye reduction

onerabbit
04-05-2009, 03:40 PM
My pet hate is people who hold a fish out at arms length to make it look bigger,

if the fish is worth photographing in the begining, dont hold it out.....hold it close to the body or to a reference point to show size
because no-one will believe you if you cheated on the original shot.

Muzz

dogsbody
04-05-2009, 03:52 PM
Always use flash, even in sunlight.


Dave

groverwa
04-05-2009, 05:22 PM
malcom 1976 left hand pic has the horizon line at approx 1/3 of the pic height which follows the "arty" requirements of landscape painting, the fish can be seen properly and the fisherman is looking at his fish adoringly and not looking at the camera. The other pic does not show the whole fish and with the fisherman looking at the camera may indicate that "come on - this is getting heavy"

If the sky is very bright then the viewers eyes can be drawn to that instead of the subject

As stated by others a decent program like photoshop can help make a pic look better. There are very good discounts available for "educational" use of the like of Photoshop if you have a child doing computer courses at school. And there are versions around with a very bad dose of gravel rash - fallen from the back of a truck

Mike

Nic
04-05-2009, 05:48 PM
These two fish photography links are quite helpful:

http://www.tackletour.com/reviewtakinggoodpicspg2.html
http://www.midcurrent.com/articles/gear/matthews_phototips.aspx

setthehook
05-05-2009, 09:11 PM
Some more tips some have prob already been mentioned though...

Dont hold your hand under the belly when getting a photo with a fish, it sags up and looks crap!!

Hold you fish so that 100% of the side is visable, in other words dont let it roll back so you can mainly see its date..

Blood is the worse pic wrecker...

Watch out for hat shade!

Also if the sun is behind you either move around or spin the boat.

And look happy!! smile!

Having a decent camera helps too. I use a Canon dslr and love it! However i even had a photo printed ont he front page of Fishing world that i took with my old cheap 6 mp Fuji!!