Better fishing pictures: Glorious light
Published May 24th 2006
Remember taking pictures in the magic hour when the light is there
Minutes or not, the phenomenon usually occurs just around sunset and sunrise. This is particularly the case if you take pictures close to the equator where the sun rises and sets more vertically. Further north and south, like in Scandinavia, Iceland, Canada, Alaska, South America and many more places we have a sun that moves in a lower path across the sky much of the year, so we often have more chances for some non-vertical light. And we see more clouds than around equator. And clouds create dynamic skies and often great landscape images.
Be it sunrise or sunset, the sun passing behind a cloud, a sudden outburst of rain or snow—the moment arises and passes in an instant, and you have to be ready when it's there.
Rockwell is sure that most photographers sleep through these magic moments, which may be true for the average photographer, but we anglers know better than to sleep through sunup and leave before the sun disappears under the horizon!
That is because we know that fishing is also best in the magic hour just around sunrise and sunset. Fish seem to prefer Glorious light too.
Be particularly aware of clouds. If you have clouds forming on the horizon or over your head while in these magic minutes, there's a highly increased chance of seeing and photographing something spectacular.
Use the water to get reflections of the sky. The symmetry can be stunning. You can even consider mainly having the sky reflected in the surface of the water and not having the sky itself in the viewfinder. Isolating silhouettes of anglers in this way can create some beautiful effects. You may want to disobey the general rule of a low stance, and find somewhere high to get the anglers profile clear against the water behind him or her.
As always you should take plenty pictures. In these digital days there is no reason not to shoot dozens and do a lot of experimentation with exposure.
These images below demonstrate why pressing the shutter release again and again is important. Get as many views of the situation as you can and sort when you get home. The six images below are selected from about 30 shots fired between 5:28 and 5:33pm into a November sunset. Notice the difference between top row and bottom row. There is less than a minute between the two rows.
You can also visit 500th.net, which has much more on photography.
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
- 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
- Pictures of nature in Gallery. Published March 24th 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.