Better fishing pictures: Nature
Published Mar 24th 2010
Don't forget that fishing is many other things than anglers, fish and casting. The animals we see, the landscapes, the flowers and all the little details that help make a day by the water a great day - even without catching fish!
But don't forget that fishing is many other things than anglers, fish and casting. The animals we see, the landscapes, the flowers and all the little details that help make a day by the water a great day - even without catching fish!
This article aims to inspire you to shoot pictures of nature and the environment around your fishing spots and on the way to and from.
Such pictures will supply you with great illustrations and might even be more fun to look at for people who aren't as much into fishing as the rest of us. Pictures of beautiful nature can be a great supplement to that nerdy selection of fishing pictures, which we fly fishermen like, but which can also be somewhat a drag to the non-fishing audience.
And we do meet a lot of nature when we fish. Thanks to just getting out there we tend to see early morning landscapes and sunsets over beautiful hills, deer gathering near the woods, hares, pheasants, otters, beavers and even bears, eagles, moose and many other creatures, which many people can go through a lifetime without seeing.
I usually use our local small whale - the porpoise - as an example. I usually see them monthly and I fish a few locations where it's rare not to see them. Most people I talk to are envious and have never these lovely little marine mammals.
Unfortunately they are not easy to take pictures of. You see the fins when the animals surface to breathe, but only rarely see the rest of the animal, except on bright days in very clear water. And you mostly see them on a fair distance, so shooting good porpoise images require luck, skill and some good equipment.
I usually divide pictures of nature into three categories: landscapes (and waterscapes, which I will return to in their own article), detail shots and creatures.
Landscapes are of course the larger vistas and impressions of the area where you fish.
Such pictures can give people an impression of the places we spend our fishing time.
Whether you fish lakes, streams of the ocean, there is almost always nice views to photograph. Common rules regarding landscape photography apply when shooting such pictures. A good rule of thumb is to make sure that you have a good foreground in the picture. The background is usually always there. That's what we see when we admire views, but having something near the camera will enhance the impression of perspective and give some depth to the picture. And you can always use anglers to create perspective - both in the foreground and in the scene itself.
Landscapes lend themselves very well to wideangle lenses. Most compacts have lenses, which are not quite wide enough. In 35mm (old fashioned film) terms you want a lens in the 20-24mm range. 35Mm will do, but the wider the lens the more you get the perspective you want. Normal and telephoto lenses can do landscapes, but it takes a little more thought and work to capture.
Details can be anything, which is caught closer: rocks, plants, small parts of any landscape. Don't think of details as just really small things, but more like parts of the whole.
I like to shoot plants, flowers, rocks, and all kinds of odd and interesting things I meet when fishing. Plants account for the majority of these pictures. We have a whole category called botany in our image archive, and it contains a lot of great pictures.
Details have produced some great imagery over the years, some of plain rocks, lots of twigs, moss, lichens, grass patches and numerous other things that might not catch the eye when seen as a part of a large landscape or scene, but very beautiful when seen isolated and studied up close.
Details can be shot with almost any camera and lens. The most bland P&S-camera can capture details in... eh, great detail. No need for expensive gear here.
The creatures are all the animals we meet, which are not the fish we catch - or try to catch at least. The fish will have their own chapter in this series.
Here I'm talking everything from the smallest insects to something like deer, elk, moose or even bear or wolves.
Since we anglers like to be out in dawn and dusk, we tend to move around in nature at the same time as the wildlife, and our chances of bumping into something interesting are a fair amount better than the average person just walking an afternoon trip in nature.
I usually don't recommend gearing up for the whole big wildlife safari with regards to photo equipment. Toting a large 500mm for bird photography might land you some nice bird images, but it will most likely keep you from landing any fish.
Personally my bird shots are few, while larger wildlife as well as smaller critters often find their way in front of my lens. But it's fun to try to get nice wildlife pictures when you bump into some rarely seen animal on a misty morning.
A seriesThese are all the articles in our series about better fly fishing photography. Read this series and you will learn a lot ebout getting better pictures while fishing. General outdoors pohotographers may also pick up a thing or two...
Better fly-fishing pictures
- Go close in Gallery. Published March 16th 2006
- Go low in Gallery. Published March 20th 2006
- Use a fill flash in Gallery. Published March 24th 2006
- Perfect Camera in Gallery. Published April 9th 2006
- Bring it! in Gallery. Published April 26th 2006
- Fishy pictures in Gallery. Published May 4th 2006
- Glorious light in Gallery. Published May 24th 2006
- Use a tripod in Gallery. Published June 1st 2006
- Jump! in Gallery. Published June 21st 2006
- Macro in Gallery. Published August 30th 2006
- Underexpose in Gallery. Published October 16th 2006
- Casting pictures in Gallery. Published January 29th 2007
- Clear Water in Gallery. Published February 15th 2009
- Bent Rods in Gallery. Published May 2nd 2009
- Gear pictures in Gallery. Published June 16th 2009
- Shoot the weather in Gallery. Published March 15th 2010
- Waterscapes in Gallery. Published January 9th 2011
- Close to the surface in Gallery. Published July 29th 2011
- Fly pictures in Gallery. Published March 25th 2012
- Compose in Gallery. Published November 30th 2012
- Shadows in Gallery. Published December 21st 2012
- Reflections in Gallery. Published March 3rd 2013
- Better pictures: shooting the sun in Gallery. Published August 10th 2013
- Histograms in Gallery not scheduled for publishing yet.