Take Better Pictures When Out Fishing

The guest presentation by video conference was by Johan Kok of WILDIMAGES.COM.  Johan's presentation, that was received very well by all who attended, was about all the points to consider to take better pictures when out there fishing.



1:  This presentation explains how to use available light, the rule of thirds and other principals of composition to get the best photos possible with any camera.

2:  This first thing to do before you take a photo is think about the light. Ask yourself where is the sun in relation to my subject?


3:  Having the sun behind your subject (backlighting) is not a good idea.  No camera can handle the bright and dark parts well enough to give you a good photo. Your subject will end up dark and your background bright plus you may get some bad artifacts and lens flare.


4: With the sun coming from either side of your subject, you will get a little bit more pleasing image, but the shadows can be a bit harsh.

5: With the sun behind you at around 45 degrees you will have pleasing shadows on the subject and is not too bright for them to look at. This is the ideal position. The sun directly behind the photographer can be very unpleasant for your subject to look into and creates very flat lighting with no shadows.

6:  The midday sun can cause problems when wearing a hat.  Take it off before the photo if you can.

7:  Cloudy days can help. With a generally diffuse light all round it can be much easier to get well-lit photos. Still watch out for the bright background.8:  Be careful of putting your subject in the shade when the background is bright. You will get the same problem as with the sun behind you.

9:  If you are careful you can create nice images with a shaded background by moving your subject into a sunny spot.

10:  This is what can be achieved in the shade. Your camera is more likely to expose your subject correctly in this scenario.

11:  Lifting the net so the fish caught just enough sunlight against the shaded boat floor gave a pleasing image.


12:  The key points: Keep the sun behind you and to one side so there is no backlight or brighter background.

13:  The rule of thirds is a camera composition term and if followed generally gives an image that is naturally pleasing to our eyes. Most cameras have a feature where you can turn on GRID or GUIDELINES that are set up for this rule.  Turn this feature on if you have it.

14:  A nice sunrise. Only take sunrise photos when you are able to look at the sun. If you can't your camera certainly can't.


15:  The same sunrise with the rule of thirds applies. See how the clouds, sky and ocean each form roughly a third.  The sun would have been better placed on the top left intersection with its reflection on the bottom intersection.

16:  A nice  fish photo.


17:  Now see the rule of thirds applied. The fish's head is on the intersection of the lines and the subject on the other intersections. The grass, rocks and water each take up a third of the image.  There is even space at the top and bottom and no body parts are cut off.  The lighting is even. Note the sun position by looking at the shadows.


18:  A portrait fish photo


19:  Again the trees, water and land all take up a third. Even spacing around subject, nothing cut off.


20:  Using perspective lines is another technique to add depth to your imagine. It gives a sense of space and a 3D feel to the image.


21:  Notice how this photo feels like it is a bit more 3D


22:  First - the rule of thirds - notice how the river, land and sky is divided into thirds and the fish's head is on the intersection again


23:  Now look at all the perspective lines. These converging lines give a sense of depth and also draws you into the photo.  It helps to align these lines with your subject as well.  Holding fish at a slight angle is better than flat. Don't do the outstretched arms, we all know what you are trying to do. Just hold the fish's head out a little to give a nice 3D effect and it still gives your fish a bit larger look.


24:  A cloudy day allowed an otherwise difficult photo which would have had too many shadows


25:  The rule of thirds applied again. River and land divided in thirds, even on the diagonal.


26:  See how the river provides depth and draws your eyes towards the slightly hidden angler stalking a trout. This photo tells a story and makes you wonder what the outcome was.


27:  A nicely lit photo with the early morning sun behind the photographer on a slightly cloudy day.


28:  Subjects on those intersections again, sky bush and river roughly around thirds again, no parts cut off and a bit of landscape to be seen to give context.


29:  Again the river and landscape is used to provide depth and draw in the viewer. 


30:  Putting it all together. It would be ideal if those lines converged right on that intersection.


31:  Key takeaways - Be aware of how the light is going to hit your subject. Frame your subject well, don't cut off parts, keep a bit of head and nose room, use the rule of thirds and try to give your photo some depth.


32:  The most important part is for your photo to tell a story.  It still holds true - a picture says a thousand words.