NINE TIPS FOR LOW-STRESS SHOTS

Trout & Salmon (UK) - - KNOW HOW -

1 Use a net and land the fish as quickly as pos­si­ble.

2 Al­ways han­dle fish with wet hands, make sure they have re­gained their equi­lib­rium and don’t re­lease them un­til they want to swim away.

3 Keep the fish in the net and in the wa­ter, al­low­ing it to re­cover while you and the pho­tog­ra­pher (if there is one) po­si­tion yourselves for the shot and pre­pare the cam­era.

4 Let the pho­tog­ra­pher di­rect the ac­tion and tell you when to lift the fish, when to put it back in the net and when to re­lease it. Often my fish­ing part­ners have un­hooked a fish and re­leased it with the words, “Did you get that?” only to be less than im­pressed that the cam­era hadn't even started up, far less taken the pic­ture.

5 If the fish isn't in the wa­ter or drip­ping wa­ter, it's too dry. Shots with drops of wa­ter look great; they add mo­tion and au­then­tic­ity to the pic­ture.

6 Set the cam­era to con­tin­u­ous shoot­ing. The sin­gle-shot set­ting will al­ways catch you when you blink.

7 It's been suggested that the best way to take pic­tures of fish is with them un­der­wa­ter. That's fine on a crys­tal-clear river with good light lev­els, not so good in coloured wa­ter or when light lev­els are low. Great shots can be taken with the fish par­tially in the wa­ter, able to breath and well sup­ported, but clearly vis­i­ble.

8 Hand po­si­tion is crit­i­cal to a good shot and the fish’s wel­fare. One hand cradling just be­hind the pec­toral fins and one hand with fin­ger and thumb gen­tly cir­cling the tail gives a se­cure grip, sup­port­ing the fish with­out squeez­ing it or im­ped­ing its breath­ing. Hold­ing the fish ver­ti­cally stresses its ver­te­brae and doesn’t make a good pic­ture.

9 Keep the fish over the net. Don’t lift it high out of the wa­ter. Don't put the fish on grass, gravel or the bot­tom of a boat as these sur­faces can dam­age the mu­cus layer and the skin.

10 If fish­ing on your own, pho­to­graph the fish in the net and in the wa­ter. Us­ing your cam­era with one hand while re­leas­ing the fish with the other makes a great shot.

Keep fish in a clear rub­ber­mesh net.

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