While most snapshots do a fine job of documenting a trip, why not up the ante and take better photographs? Creatively composed shots are not as complicated as one might think.
#1 – Make sure your camera is working properly BEFORE you get out on the water.
Are the batteries charged? Is the memory card erased? Make sure the settings are adjusted for the type of photos you’ll be taking. Nothing worse than taking a bunch of photos on a night time setting.
#2 -Pay Attention!
Often times, I’m so busy looking for signs of fish and bait that I forget to notice simple things like a sunset or sunrise, how the waters glassy surface reflects the opposite shoreline, etc. Then the camera doesn’t always make it out of the case. Pay attention and look for the unique things while immersed in your surroundings.
#3 – Get close to the fish.
Look at most of your photos of fish or fishing friends or the boat. I’ll bet most of them are taken from about 10 feet back. Don’t be scared, that fish isn’t going to bite… too hard. Fill the frame with angler and fish. Here’s a good rule of thumb. Whenever you take your next image of friend, fish, camp, whatever, get twice as close as you normally would and take a couple of shots.
#4 – Do something different.
Ninety percent of pictures I see are taken at eye level. Stop being lazy; Get on your knees or your stomach. If you can, get above the situation, like on the roof of your car or the bed of your truck, and shoot down. Take a picture of that fish at the level of the water – with just its eye above the water line. I especially like photos of gear. Not in a gear selling sort of way….but in an artsy form. Where you can see a background, beach, seawall, dock. So next time you’re out, try taking a few shots of your gear, flies, etc.
#5 – Take more than one shot.
Take three times as many photos as you normally would. Many cameras have a setting to take more than one shot at a time. If your card is filling up and you’re afraid of running out of room, scroll through your shots and delete the ones you don’t like. I don’t like to do this though because I sometimes can’t tell if the shot is totally in focus, eyes half closed, etc.
I’m not some world class outdoors photographer, but I think I can compose a few decent photos. It’s not hard if you can picture the type of photo that you want to see in your head…..then go shoot it!
Fit your budget
There are unlimited options and choices in the world of digital photography. A basic digital camera with good options will normally cost you $100.00 and up with the necessary memory card. All you need to do is figure out how much you’re willing to spend on a camera, figure out what options and features you’re looking for, and start shopping and researching BEFORE you go to the store to buy one.
Now let me warn you; I don’t have some top notch, ultra expensive, super model camera. Mine is an Olympus FE-220. A Wally World Special with a 2 GB XD memory card. $120.00 out the door. It’s a point and shoot model with 3x optical zoom, 5x digital zoom and around a dozen settings. It’s fairly idiot proof which is way I like it. It’s of 8.1 mp quality and was accompanied by an idiot proof editing program. Perfect for me! The only thing that I wish I had done is spend a little more money on a camera that is water proof and shock proof because I’m constantly checking to see if the camera is getting wet while I’m In the kayak.
Editing photos with reverse negatives, color smearing and use of effects isn’t photography…..it’s some sort of graphic design or whatever you want to call it. Getting the shot is the important part. I try different things like sepia or black and white options on a lot of photos but I’m often surprised by how good a bad shot comes out with a little bit of tinkering.
So….in a nutshell, you don’t need to be an art school graduate and have thousands of dollars worth of camera gear to take some nice photos. I’ve seen folks with top notch camera gear and never take it off of the auto setting, therefore getting less than desired results.
Have fun with it. That’s the whole point.
Read more of Rob's Inane Musings HERE