The tro­phy shot

How to take great pic­tures with min­i­mal stress to the fish

Trout & Salmon (UK) - - CONTENTS -

Want the per­fect re­minder of your prize? Don Staz­icker ex­plains how to take bet­ter pic­tures

DUR­ING THE 50 YEARS THAT I’VE been read­ing Trout & Salmon the im­ages of trout in the mag­a­zine have changed sig­nif­i­cantly. Where pic­tures of dead fish and limit bags were once the norm, now there are al­most no im­ages of dead trout (stocked rain­bow trout are the ex­cep­tion). This re­flects the in­creas­ing prac­tice of catch-and-re­lease. Few of us kill wild trout and so we don’t want to see pic­tures of dead trout. How­ever, there is some­thing miss­ing when we re­lease our fish. We no longer pos­sess a phys­i­cal tro­phy. In­stead, we record our catch with cam­eras. The stuffed trout in a glass case on the wall has been re­placed by the dig­i­tal im­age. Some say that pho­tograph­ing your catch is just an ex­er­cise in van­ity and as such is not jus­ti­fi­able. I think it is no more an ex­er­cise in van­ity than want­ing to catch the fish in the first place and ful­fils a fun­da­men­tal as­pect of why we fish: to cap­ture our prey. As many of us now choose to re­lease our catch, the tak­ing of a pho­to­graph to record the event is a nat­u­ral al­ter­na­tive to har­vest­ing the fish. An­gling im­ages can also have value be­yond the mere record­ing of an­gling suc­cess: they are part of the cul­tural, his­toric and sci­en­tific record of our so­ci­ety. Ac­cept­ing that many of us do want a pho­to­graphic record of our catch, how can we pro­duce a stylish, qual­ity im­age while re­spect­ing our quarry and sub­ject­ing it to min­i­mal stress?

“How can we pro­duce a stylish, qual­ity im­age while re­spect­ing our quarry and sub­ject­ing it to min­i­mal stress?”

This fish is prop­erly sup­ported above the net and lifted out of the wa­ter at the last mo­ment.

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