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EricD

Photographing fish

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A short time ago, I caught a very nice bass. I didn't think to measure it or weight it but I snapped a picture and released it. A number of days later, my wife caught a bass which was clearly smaller than mine. We took a picture of it and tossed the little guy back. But now, when I look at the two pictures, her bass appears to be larger than mine. What I'm wondering is, how do you take pictures of your fish? Is there a standard way of holding the fish for a photograph so you get a realistic, yet attractive, representation of the animal? Why does my wife's fish look bigger than mine?

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She was probably holding it further from her body and closer to the camera than yours. Doing that you can practically make a minnow look like a salmon.

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I can not pass this one up!

Are you sure hers was smaller or are you getting some ribbing on your catch? You now I'm only kidding.

johnK hit it on the nail, Its the distance the fish is from the camera and backround. Make them the same and you will get accurate comparison photo's

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Heres two pics of the same bass I caught tonight. I was fishing alone and had to use the timer function on my camera. the first is me up close and the second one I moved back a few feet. wanna Guess the length?? I think that the close one makes it look bigger, but neither does the fish justice. I will wait a while before I reveal the length. The fish was released.

DSCF1131.jpg

DSCF1132.jpg

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18 1/2" + or - an inch?

Once you figure out the pose and distance the only thing that will give it away is the size of your fingers. It is an artform!

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Double what Jer said. I was thinking 18.5 +/-. Certainly a nice fish.

Another thing that will make a fish look smaller is if it is turned 1/8 to 3/8 of a turn. That will generally make a fish look skinny, even if it does have some girth. It is best to make sure the fish'es lat line is pointed right at the lens for your typical fish photos. You can have some fun and get creative with some of the shots too.

~edit~ By the way, why does everyone think they have to long arm a fish to exagerate the size? I don't know why, but when I see shots like that it bothers me. Not like get me mad, but more along the lines of just asking why? Unless it is a super dinky fish and it is supposed to be funny.

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I measured it at hair over 20"

The finger thing is correct. I find that if you can keep your hand/hands behind the fish it will make it look bigger. however it can be hard to do with muskies or large pike. My first muskie was 38" and I held it under the belly, I regret this cause I think my fingers look huge. A lot if it is however a persons personal perspective.

mikemusky.jpg

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I usually try not to do the long arm thing because it bothers me to. But for some reason I find myself doing it with bass, I dont know if its habit or what. Maybe I just watch to many fishing shows. grin

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Why do most people photograph fish? It's either to remember the moment, or for some bragging rights.

If remembering the moment is your goal, try to get three things in the picture. IE, fish, you, and something that will give a good reference for size. Boat seat, interesting background, fishing pole, etc.

For bragging rights many people will do the long arm. Myself, I'm not a fan of the long arm shot.

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Very nice looking bass! I think the first fish looks bigger because you are crouching down lower and it makes your torso look shorter. The three or four inches you loose in torso length gets added to your fish.

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The view from your dock is amazing I am totally jealous. Any day you can enjoy water like that and a fish of that size should be a something to remember no matter how the picture is taken.

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Ya I love it .

Fishing note: Last night was gang busters, both out in the boat throwing variouse lures for pike and fishing minnows and bobbers off the dock for bass.

Total tally yesterday evening was= 10 pike;biggest was 28"; 4 largemouth,17"-20", and 2 smallmouth 17" and 18". I just talked to one of my neighbors who has been fishing all morning and they have got squat. So I think I hit that baby at the right time. All the bass appeared to be done with the spawn as they were slightly skinny. CPR is the key for sure.

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There are a number of really great articles out on the internet, I can think of a really good one and the keys for that they mentioned were lighting, take off your sun glasses, and to hold the fish flat.

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I do quite a bit of pict work for different promo stuff. Believe it or not.. and this sounds really stupid.. practice in a mirror a decent smile... It should come naturally while holding a big fish... Sunglasses are usually a no-no.. It feels more personal with the glasses off and you can see your eyes.. try a few different poses.. Also, think about the background... Long arm if in a natual pose is fine, just dont over do it... here are a few.

IMG_0076.jpg

dcrap.jpg

isnddrop.jpg

agape2.jpg

agape3.jpg

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~edit~ By the way, why does everyone think they have to long arm a fish to exagerate the size?

Less shadow? Its a fine line, If its overdone it is obvious!

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Nice fish Deitz and good pointers. One question, is that really the smile you practiced? laugh Sorry, I just went for the easy shot. They are great pics and nice fish.

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Too me, long arm is never o.k. and is obvious.

Like my old man always says "If the fingers are too big to pick your nose, the person is telling a fish story".

This year, my wife and I caught fish about the same size (mine was actually a little smaller). I long armed mine and it looked WAY bigger. And, it does fool a lot of people, which is said. Nevermind that my fist is bigger than my head in the picture...but the fish looks big.

If you caught a nice fish, why not show it "properly". If I see a nice fish with big fingers, I automatically think it is smaller no matter what the size.

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I agree as well, that when people long-arm and then try to say the fish was big, it pretty obvious and sometimes annoying. I do like fish held nice and square to the camera and held out away from the body. When I look at fish pics, I don't want to really see the person holding it, I just want to see the fish and the nice color and markings on it. The only way to really get that is to hold it out nice and zoom in.

In my opinion, the best fishing pics are the ones in the boat where the fish is obviously alive and will be released, they always look better that way than dead on the table.

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The correct way to long arm a fish....

2325138173_8283ce2ef8.jpg

And here are a couple good shots I snapped a couple weeks ago.

Good lighting and a great fish to boot.

2550370992_1c88c3ec39.jpg

Boat sponsor love.

2550370394_f9c92318bc.jpg

I am not coming in the boat quite yet.

2497662682_edfbc30950.jpg

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i love that last pic with the splashing fish, polar, great timing on that shot!

back on the topic: How you take a picture of a fish can dramatically affect how big it looks.

Recently I've been fishing by myself and have to just take headshots with my camera, holding it out away from my body and facing myself, holding my catch near my head, like so:

copyofdscf0847js3.th.jpg

Yesterday I was lucky enough to have someone interested in seeing me catch a fish stop by and watch/talk, and I asked them to snap a quick picture of me. Here, I have my fingers in front of the fish and you can get a very accurate idea of how big it actually was:

copyofdscf0853ow0.th.jpg

These length difference between these two fish was probably no more than an inch, but these head shot pics I have make fish look larger(to me) than they really were. I never try to take pics that lie about fish size, but I'm not that great at taking self pictures while holding a fish in the other hand and trying to frame everything up nice and centered.

Also, the above picture kind of cuts out the hand, so you don't get a good finger-to-fish size relation. For all you can tell, I could fit my whole hand in that fish's mouth.

Don't worry if your wife's picture makes her fish look bigger. On your next catch, you could try playing around(especially if you have a digital camera where you can instantly see how your pictures look) with some perspectives to see just how big of a difference picture angle/perspective/how you hold a fish affects perceived size.

Anyone else here have pictures that make small fish seem huge? I ran across one about a month ago while google-ing around where someone was long-arming a decent sized largemouth(though certainly not trophy) but very good picture taking and made the fish look bigger than any I've ever seen a picture of.

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Here's one from a few years ago caught in Deitz's spot. The fish only measured 16".

picture100oe9.jpg

I like to have the view/orientation of the picture follow the shape of the fish. If the fish is held horizontal the picture should be wider than it is tall. Always try to have the fish cover up fingers...not the other way around. The best tip of all is to only catch big fish.

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