Published Dec 17. 2012

Fishy photos: Michael Jensen

Michael Jensen is a Danish writer and photographer whose images are widely used in fishing books and magazines

The silky stream -
Kayak sunset -
Saltwater fishing in the dim sunlight -

I have known Michael for many years. We have been working together on the staff of a large Danish fishing magazine, and Michael is an excellent fishing writer and photographer.

Michael is a very creative person who has also written children's books and short stories and not least he's an avid rock musician who is very active in his band Wildflowers.

But this is about fishing photography, and Michael agreed to answer my usual row of Fishy Photographer questions.

a) How did you start photographing - and what made you choose fishing related photos in particular?

My interest in photography started out of need. I already was an outdoor writer and a fly fisherman when I bought my first real camera. For some of my first books I relied on help from my photographing friends, and I did some illustrations in pen and watercolor. I soon realized though, that I had to take up photography myself. After a short flirt with a simple pocket camera I bought my first Nikon and was truly fascinated by the many possibilities I got moving from a point-and-shot camera to SLR.

A searun brown trout -
Rainbow and Booby -
A rainbow trout -
The streamer and the trout -
Trout in the current -
A spent mayfly -
An Arctic char close up -
Releasing a grayling -
Scandinavian fishing

b) Do you have a particular subject, region or a style of pictures that you mainly shoot or are you more all-round?

Guess I'm alround. I certainly am as a fly fisherman. That being said… I love trout and grayling fishing in cold and clear streams: Especially small streams. I like the close, lush environment surrounding a mountain stream in Norway, Sweden, Finland or even in Denmark - even though the phrase mountain is a bit overkill regarding Danish streams. In these streams the order of the day typically is dry fly and nymph fishing and some flies that look a lot like real bugs - but neither the fish nor I get completely anal about it. It's satisfying and makes for a lot of wonderful images.

But…I'm a streamer fishing nerd too, and that is quite another game. To me dry fly and nymph fishing is the poetry - both as a fly fisher and photographer. The streamer side of things is… well… action, monsters, brutality, tension, hunger, misty mornings, dark nights - it's turning to the dark side:0) And I really love that too.
Being a fly fishing writer I guess my photography is very project orientated. I can use weeks hunting insects with a macro lens and after that I turn to underwater photography trying to get pictures of fish and their prey below the surface. Some years ago I traveled with nearly 20 pound of photo equipment - and felt naked, if I had to leave anything out. Mostly these days I work less structured and travel light - just bringing a single camera house and one or two lenses for a daytrip.

Black Ghost -
Golden Comets -
Chartreuse Comets -
A Sculpin Bastard -
The tube fly box -

c) Where are your photos used? Books, magazines, brochures, ads, web sites, prints, gallery exhibits or other places?

In my own books, on my websites, in articles for magazines and adds and product catalogs for the tackle industry.

d) Is photography your main source of income - if at all a source of income - and do you do other jobs as a supplement?

Photography is not a major part of my income, nor is writing fly fishing books. It's just the fun part. My day job is being a freelance journalist and media consultant, mostly dealing with subjects far from fly fishing. A few of my clients though, are in the tackle business.

e) Can people buy your pictures and if so, then in which form and where?

Sure, I do sell pictures. But I don't have my archive online. Typically I'm contacted by mail or phone - and have a dialog with the customer. You can find samples of my work on my website:

Saltwater fishing on a beautiful calm day -
Choosing a fly -
Saltwater fishing for garfish -
Saltwater Scandinavian style
Michael with a carp -
Michael and a carp

f) Where do you currently live and work?

I live in the northern part of Jutland, Denmark - the troutiest region of this little corner of Scandinavia.

g) What's in your bag? Preferred cameras, bodies, lenses and other gear?

It depends on the assignment. But naturally it is digital SLR gear. I have used Nikon for most of my life, but most of my new equipment is actually Canon. Have a shelf full of old and outdated cameras. My favorite vintage piece is my Nikon F3 which is retired - but carries a lot of great memories.

Facts about Michael

Michael Jensen online.
Find Michael's Danish web site here.
Michael has written a pike fishing book, which has been translated to English "Fly-fishing for Pike" and is still available at a very decent price.

Pike fishing from a pontoon boat -
In the cabin -
Mayfly -
Streamside at dusk -
Fishing impressions
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