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Taking fish pictures one guides perspective


kwkfsh

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I read the post in the photo sharing forum and was amazed at the number of comments stating that you should not hold a fish out to make it look big in the photo.

I can not tell you how many times I have taken pictures of very nice fish only to be disappointed in how they look in the finished photo. I now try to make sure the fish looks at least as big as it really was in all the photos that I take.

I did a little digging and found a piece by a big bass guide in TX that explains his reasoning for making sure the fish looks big in his photos and the critisicm that he has received for it.

The following makes some good points and I think it a good read for anyone who is looking to preserve the memories of a trophy in the age of catch and release.

Quote

I often get a lot of criticism on how I take pictures. I have my clients hold the fish out away from them and I try to fit only the fish and my clients' face in the picture. The result is a picture of a fish that looks at least as big (and usually much bigger) than it really is.

I wish I could say that I don't care what people think and say, but the truth is that I do care what people say. I have had people tell me that they would never hire me as a guide just because of my "deceptive" picture taking. I have read posts from guys on the fishing forums criticizing my picture taking and several others have nodded in agreement.

Well, here is my defense:

There are several reasons why I think it is better to take close ups than to take pictures from afar. First of all, the fish look bigger. If you have a person holding a 10 pound bass at the back of the boat and take a picture from the front of the boat, you will be lucky to convince your fishing buddies who weren't there that the fish was much more than 5 pounds. A 10 pound fish is a huge fish and you never know if it will be your last. Why not make it look like a 10 pounder?

Another reason to take them close is because it is the fish you are taking the picture of, isn't it? Why does it matter what shoes a person is wearing when he catches it? Chances are he didn't even take a bath, much less wear his picture taking clothes. Isn't it more important to catch the beauty of the fish and the distinctive markings of each of God's creatures?

Along the same lines, if you take the picture from afar, you can't really tell one bass from another. I'm sure I would probably be accused of taking pictures of the same fish with multiple clients if that were the case. The way I take them, you can tell that no two bass are identical.

Another reason I like close-ups is so that the public doesn't see more than I want them to. I don't want to give away my spots and I don't want people to see how bad I am about cleaning my boat.

Another main reason is that my clients (who actually do pay) like them that way. I often take 2 Polaroids of a fish (one for me and one for the client). Guess which one always gets picked? That's right! The client always gets the close-up that looks big and I am left with the picture that looks smaller.

In the past, the thing to do with your trophy fish was to take a picture from afar, then kill the fish and mount it on the wall. You didn't need the picture to prove your catch. You had the actual fish. Nowadays, catch and release is the norm and replicas are becoming more and more popular. If you take the picture of the fish far away, the taxidermist won't be able to see the detail in the fish to make your replica look like the fish you caught. However, if you have a good close up photo, he can see the details.

My plea to you is that rather than criticize my picture taking, you will see the good in taking close ups and see the value of doing it for yourself.

I would like to note that my digital camera does not have a "what you see is what you get" window. I often take the pictures much closer or farther away than I would like. When I have a monster bass in the boat, the biggest thing on my mind is her safe release. It is very rare that I am totally satisfied with any pictures I take. It would be nice if I could leisurely take a dozen shots of each trophy bass. But it is not worth taking a chance of killing a fish.

I hope you will think on this.

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There are a lot of opinions out there. I prefer the pic to be close up of the fish with the fish almost taking up the complete pic. This doesn't mean that my hand is huge compared to me head! As this dude admits, viewers can easily tell if something on the pic is "out of focus".

KFAN had an interesting conversation yesterday about people getting their pic taken in front of places like the Eiffel Tower. Why do people do it? To brag where they have been...? That was Common Man's take.

Too each their own. A pic is worth a thousand words, or something like that. We all enjoy looking at fish pics, so keep'em coming.

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Qulity pictures make for great memories. Good post kw.

dockehr

Dr. Roland E. Kehr, Jr.

Lindy Tackle Company

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I agree. It seems like some people on here would prefer us to take picutres of our fish on scales and rulers. Sure, it is nice to catch a big one, but is the size really all that big of deal. And what does it matter if I claim to have a 8 pound bass, but you think it is really only 5?

I like to take my photos so it shows the beauty of the fish and the grin on my face. Who cares what everyone else thinks?

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The bigger the fish looks, the better...in my eyes. Hold them out closer to the camera and smile big.

If I every caught fish that were truly big enough where I didn't have to do that, maybe I wouldn't. My time will come. But for the time being... go ahead.. subtract 20% total weight from the way my fish look in photographs. I won't care. I know the truth and I post the truth. I don't see a need to publicly criticize a person for CPRing a fish that they deem worthy.

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Nick1.jpg

Long Arm Technique

Nick2.jpg

Short Arm Technique

Nick3.jpg

Short Arm Technique with coaching. (Hide that back hand more, tilt her up a little, turn her a tad towards the sun)

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Size to me is not really what matters as is catching the memory of that special moment of that special fish. I can forget about a fish I caught 5 years ago but if I see a photo - I am right back at the spot where I caught that fish and the excitement at that time comes rushing back. And some people wonder why people stop posting pics - theres always a critic. confused.gif

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Thanks for posting this story. It comes at a very good time...as there was just a dispute in the photo sharing forum over a possible state record bass.

I agree to a point on holding the fish out a bit so it looks good. But, I also have to agree that some people just get a little to carried away with the idea.

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I guess I will ad my 2 cents... Who really cares... I think this issue along with many others (ramp etiquette, boat preference, line choice, etc...) has really brought down what fishing is all about, getting out doors and having fun... Personally I am out there fishing for myself and any pictures I take are just so that I can remember what I caught... I say take the picture any way you want, you caught the fish… Just make sure you enjoy the memories...

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Holding fish out front for pictures should be reserved for fish that are going to be released. That way who cares if a 5 pounder looks like 6 pounds; By the time you show the picture, he may have growen that extra pound smile.gif

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If I want to hire a guide I want one with the pictures to prove their skill. I've been long arming my photos for years. Shooting upwards makes a big difference as well. Keep shooting I think that most of your will customers appreciate your work.

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Who cares how the picture was taken, Pictures are taken to preserve memories and to take a person back to a special day or time in their life, be it a fish caught and released or keep, how they want to take the picture is their own business, period.

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Well I like my photos in perspective with the fish held close to body and not held way out for the camera. To each his own I guess?

I caught a Pike so big this past spring the picture alone

weighed 5 pounds!

Fisky

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