fishing and camera gear

FISHING ACTION PHOTOGRAPHY TIPS

Explosive strikes, acrobatic leaps and buckled rods are among the most exciting images to emerge from a fishing battle. Not surprisingly, photographs that capture these intense moments of action are usually engaging and emotive images.

Freezing spectacular moments into a digital form requires skill, commitment, patience and some technical know how. Here are a few tips on how to nail perfect action shots on the water.

TAKE ONE FOR THE TEAM

Action photography takes commitment. As much as it hurts, that often means putting down your rod and focusing on shooting. Hauling out camera equipment, especially SLR cameras, is a time-consuming process and you are virtually guaranteed to miss most of the action if you’re not ready to fire.

The only other option is to have the camera set up and stashed in a very accessible location that is safe from wayward feet and salt spray.

SHUTTER SPEED

Zipping boats, casting anglers and leaping fish involve fast and sudden movements. A standard camera shutter speed won’t be fast enough to freeze sharp action images and you’ll end up with disappointing blurry shots.

Increase your shutter speed to 1/1000 of a second or more and you’ll start to get crisp action shots. This is the most critical step for action photography. Remember that the faster a subject is moving, the faster the shutter speed required.

RAPID FIRE

Purchase a fast frame rate camera and ensure that the rapid-fire function is enabled. The beauty of digital photography is that you can shoot first and ask questions later. Have your camera set to snap multiple images in fast bursts and you’ll get multiple image options to choose from. A burst of shots increases the chance of successfully nailing an image that is sharp and well composed.

TAKE A CHANCE

Sometimes stunning action shots require a bit of educated guesswork. For jumping shots, closely observe the movement of the taut fishing line and estimate where the fish is likely to launch skyward. It’s a make or break situation but you’ll get a head start on capturing the action by taking a chance.

Most aerobatic inclined species exert their energy in the early stages of the fight. As the fight progresses, the leaps tend to turn to less dramatic breaches and more predictable flops. The most spectacular leaps happen early, so you must be prepared to take a risk and shoot.

LENS MATTERS

It’s very important to choose the right lens for the right job. There’s not much point shooting a Marlin leaping in the distance with a wide angle lens if you’re after a detailed close-up shot. Keep in mind that longer lenses are less stable and are harder to frame around a rapidly moving object.

A clever trick is to shoot with a slightly wider frame than necessary. A slightly wider frame is more likely to capture the fish without cropping out its fins or head. Modern digital cameras possess such high resolution that images can easily be cropped without losing too much usability.

Action shots provide some of the most engaging fishing imagery and are guaranteed to stir exciting memories of incredible fishing moments. Turn up your shutter speed and dedicate your efforts towards catching the action.

 


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Peter Hollingsworth
peterh@dinga.com.au

Peter has been fishing all around Australia since he was a boy. He loves camping, fishing and kayak fishing.