The quality of your images, of course, has a lot to do with the camera that you use. First of all I will cover how to use your phone and then later on in the blog show you the best ways on how to use a DSLR camera to get higher resolution fishing captures.

Phone Self Takes

Timer/Whistle App

On newer iPhones there is a timer mode to take photos but I like the free app called whistle camera. This is an app where you can just whistle or make a noise that sets off a timer that takes the photo automatically.

Selfie Fish

If I’m on a short session and want to pack light I will take a product with me called Selfie Fish, this is an attachment that clips onto your phone but also allows you to attach to a normal bank stick, this enables you to grab your bank stick which then acts as a tripod, I’ve found that this works really well.

Angles

The angle of your photo depends on where the sun is, you don’t want to take a picture where the sun is behind you as this will leave the fish and your face under exposed and the rest of the background really bright. If in doubt make sure you have the sun facing behind the camera. On a cloudy day, you won’t need to worry about this.

 

Lighting

I like to find an area of pure sun or pure shade rather than a dappled area, I tend to find dappled areas tend to make your catch pictures a little bit all over the place and not so clean.

Practice!

If in doubt set up your camera and take a few practice shots and pretend to be holding the fish, you will then be able to tell if your camera is positioned correctly and the lighting is good.

 

Once you’ve got the fish on the mat you then need to make sure everything is within the shot, for example, the tail, head and fins of the fish are all within the picture as well as your head and body isn’t cropped out of the shot.

 

Night time

You should pic these tips up pretty quickly however taking a picture at night can be more complicated, this is where we like to use a panel LED to brighten up the shot.

DSLR Self Takes

Different cameras

Lens choice

There is plenty of different brands out there for DSLR or mirrorless cameras but the main focus we feel that makes a huge difference is what lens you use.

 

24mm fishing picture

For a smaller fish, we like to use a lens such as a 24mm or 35mm lens which is on a camera with a full frame sensor.

 

Focal distance

The big difference with lenses is the focal distance can adjust how big or small your fish looks and can also change how much the background gets defocused.

 

Focal Legnths

Here are 3 different pictures taken at difference focal lengths, as you can see some of the photos the fish looks smaller and some look bigger. This information is important as if you’re taking pictures of relatively small fish like roach, bream and perch you will want to shoot those photos on something like a 35mm lens, the reason being if you use something like an 80mm lens this fish will look super small and won’t fill your frame nicely.

Setting camera at head height

Set up the shot

Once you’ve chosen the camera and lens next is to place this onto your tripod and set it up so your camera is about head height whilst you’re kneeling.

 

Setting aperture

Aperture

Set your aperture or F number, imagine this as your pupil in your eye, if your pupil is wide open it lets more light in and if you close your eyes it lets less light in. If you’re shooting a low F number like F2 you won’t have much in focus. If you make your F number higher the amount that’s in focus increases. I like to shoot my catch pictures at around the F4 mark, this keeps the entire fish in focus with most of the person behind reasonably in the shot to.

 

Setting shutter speed

Shutter Speed

Once you have your F number sorted next is setting your shutter speed. Shutter speed is how long the sensor is exposed to light. If the shutter opens and stays open for a while and then closes loads of light comes in which also means your shot might blur. If it opens and closes very quickly then your images will be crisp.

 

Encountering blur

Slow Shutter

If your shutter speed is over around 100th of a second (1/100) your images will be pretty crisp. If your shutter speed is beneath that such as 50th of a second (1/50) then you will start to encounter blur on objects that blur slightly.

 

Quicker shutter speed

Fast Shutter

I suggest sticking to 1/100 or 1/200 and above to get those crisp catch photos.

 

Setting ISO

ISO

Finally, there is ISO, this is the sensitivity of the sensor inside the camera. This decides how bright or dark your image will be. You want to have the ISO as low as you can get away with because if your ISO is high the image becomes noisy/grainy.

 

Placing a bank stick for fishing captures

Focus

Take a bank stick and place it next to the middle of the unhooking mat. This enables me to manually focus the camera on that bank stick, I can then line up the fish next to the bank stick to make sure my fish is crisp.

 

Interval Shooting

Intervalometer

The camera I use is a Sony A7 S3 which has the option to set interval shooting, this is a timer and enables me to set when the camera starts taking the photos. This is really helpful for self-take photography. If your camera doesn’t have this function you can buy a cheap intervalometer.

 

Crop in post

Shoot a bit wider

Having a camera that has a flip screen enables me to check that myself and the fish is within the shot whilst taking the photos. I also take the photos a little wider than what I want as this enables me to crop in post.

 

LED for lighting fish captures

LED OR FLASH?

At night, catch photos become slightly more tricky and you will probably want to attach an LED light to the camera. However, for the lowest ISO and the clearest shots a flashgun is much better. Be sure to charge the batteries for it or bring spares!

 

Check out my simple fishing guide book below!

A 100-page guidebook, full of colour illustrations and helpful fishing information.