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Fish selfie pictures- getting it right

Taking a good picture of that dream catch is something that we’re all keen to do. Modern technology built in to the phones that a lot of you are likely reading this on means that the majority of us have access to a pretty swanky camera. But if you’re alone, just how do you capture that moment in a way that truly brings it to life? Simon Lancastle teaches us how to master the fish based selfie in today’s blog entry…

Capturing a dream- the humble selfie. We have all been there, out fishing alone and catch something special. Now what do you do? Taking a picture of your fish on the ground is one option, but for me, it’s the selfie every time. Once you’ve practised a bit, this really is something anyone can do with a modern camera phone.  Here, I shall run through how I take mine, and what little is needed to get a pleasing end result. The first thing I’ll say is that there is nothing complicated about this and you don’t need any fancy or expensive equipment. In fact, I’ve not owned a proper camera for years, instead all of my pictures are taken with a smart phone and not a new one at that. I always buy something a couple of years old to keep costs down. The pictures you see here have all been taken on a phone when I’ve been fishing by myself. 

A stunning catch perfectly captured

Fishing alone in the dark? No problem

The one thing you will need to purchase is a small tripod to hold your phone that you should be able to pick up relatively inexpensively. This will hold the camera steady (camera shake can ruin photos) which is essential for crisp, clear photos, especially in low light conditions or at night. Next, access your phone’s camera settings and make sure that the picture resolution is set as high as possible. When it comes to taking the picture itself, you have three options. 

  1. Activate voice control, if your phone has this feature. This is what I use and I can tell the camera when to take the picture.
  2. Use the self timer on the camera. Ten seconds should give you enough time get in to that predetermined position.
  3. There are various Bluetooth remotes that you can use to take the picture once paired with your smartphone.

A typical smartphone camera tripod. A worthwhile investment!

Being set up and ahead of the game means that it’s just so much easier and you’re not rushing. So, consider what you’re trying to achieve as the end result. Framing yourself and the fish without cutting your head or the fish’s tail off is what you should have in mind. 

Secure the camera to your tripod and take a couple of dummy shots so you know where to stand/kneel in relation to the camera.

All set to go- say cheese!

When taking your picture, you should be facing in the general direction of the sun. This will keep things simple. Later on, you can experiment with a setting sun behind you, which often makes for an attractive shot. Consider also if you might be giving away your location, if this is something that concerns you. 

Once you’re happy with the dummy run, you’ll know that if and when you catch that special fish, everything is ready to go. Not only does this mean you’ll have a great chance of capturing a good picture, but also that your fish can spend as little time out of the water as possible.

A rare cushion carp ready to go back in the pond

It really is that simple and a quick practise at home to sort out any potential issues with the voice commands and where to stand relative to the phone etc will speed all of this up.

It’s then a matter of trying the different auto modes available on your phone to see what gives the best picture. At night things can be a bit more tricky, and sometimes I find it best to use a spare flood headlight to light up the fish, rather than use the flash.

I take a shot and look at the result, and work from there as quickly as possible.

If you’re fishing on mud or sand, it’s well worth giving the fish a quick rinse in the shallows before hand to clean it. Shiny, clean fish are so much more appealing in a photo. 

Once you have a few shots, hopefully one or two will show promise and the fish can go back. The main thing to remember is to get the fish back as soon as possible and not spend too long with it out the water. Unless you’re keeping your fish, its welfare should be your main concern. Unhooking mats/slings  provide somewhere to place your catch prior to snapping away.

All modern phones have a basic photo editing app and it’s worth getting familiar with it. Once you’re back home after your session, you can apply some basic edits that are really easy to learn, such as straightening the horizon or brightening up a dark picture.

This is all pretty simple stuff and with a little practice you’ll be taking some great shots.

If up until now your pictures consist of your prize catch sat on the lid of your seat box, hopefully this advise will give you the confidence to take a nice clear shot of you actually holding that fish. All that remains to do is catch something to take a picture of!