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Self Take Photography

May 20, 2013

Self-take Photography

20 may barbel

As anglers we always want a shot of our best fish. However if like me you have to fish alone most of the time, then the taking of a decent “Trophy shot” can be quite awkward.
Whichever camera you use, a compact or a DSLR, you’ll need a tripod. It needs to be light, and small as you really aren’t going to be demanding much of it except to hold your camera about two feet from the ground while you pose with your prize.

I recently got a small MANFROTTO MKC3-P01 which is excellent, small ; light and compact & cheap…LOL!!dslr-self-take-kit-5008-p
Now you can use the self timer or some cameras have infra-red shutter releases…. But neither are very satisfactory. The first means you have to be ready when it fires, and a fish isn’t very often. Also to get several shots you need to put the fish down, run round and press the shutter button again…. A very awkward option.

The infra-red remote is ok, but it is hard to hold the fish and aim the remote to get a shot where you can’t see the remote too much. I recently got a system by SRB Photographic, which includes a bracket for the camera, and a 20 foot air release.
http://www.srb-griturn.com/dslr-self-take-kit-5008-p.asp

I simply aim the camera at the unhooking mat, and place the air release under my foot so I can press it with my boot when I’m suitably posed and the fish suitably calm. It really is that easy. Modern autofocus cameras mean that your shots are always sharp, as long as you have sufficient depth of field, even with a moderate telephoto.  I use an EOS 30D for my fishing shots and the above set up works fine. They do offer a version for smaller cameras too.

I’ve found it fairly easy to get the framing right. With practice you know what angle your camera needs to be at and I find the distance of my landing net pole from the camera to the unhooking mat is perfect.
Personally I like to use a focal length between 50mm to 70mm so I can frame it tightly and lose the background. If you frame closer with a 35mm say, you get a greater depth of field and you subject stands out less. and there is a tendancy to include too much of the background.
I find 50mm to 70mm gives sufficient depth of field for you and you fish to be sharp.

I set the camera to auto and the ISO setting depending on the ambient light.
Here is a video by my friend Shaun Harrison on the subject and is the technique I tend to use.

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One comment

  1. […] first piece of equipment was the SRB Griturn air release. (See my previous blog post). The item was shown to me by Shaun Harrison and had loads of advantages over simple self timer […]



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