For the working guides, this is the time of endless work and little sleep; for the recreational angler it's late night sessions after the work days ends. As a professional outdoor journalist and photographer with my first real "desk job" (luckily, still within the industry), time is of the essence and every minute on the water, camera (or rod, for that matter) in hand has to count.
They say there's no rest for the wicked, and only so many hours of the day. Perhaps that's some kind of weird explanation for the reason I tend to collapse after each marathon work day-come photography-come writing day. But, hey, wouldn't have it any other way.
Whether you are a guide looking to boost your on-the-water photography, or a recreational angler with a penchant for the artistic side of things, here are five things you need to remember.
2) Consider Positioning. Okay, so you've made it outside. Congratulations. But don't just stand there and shoot from eye-level. If you're wade fishing, kneel. Climb something. Change the perspective. If you're in a boat, lean over the side (avoid dunking the camera, it's a bad deal), or stand up. Something. The eye gets tired of seeing the same thing from the same angle. You'll be amazed at what a little positing can do to spice up an image.
3) Think Happy Hour. Nope, not the boozy one—I recommend leaving the camera at home if you're heading there. Think about timing when you are trying to capture strong images. The best photographers spend most of their working time on the water between pre-dawn and 10AM or so, and then are back out from several hours prior to sunset until dark. Midday light is harsh… get out and shoot early and late. Your images will thank you for it.
4) Polarizing Filters. Some pros swear by them, others loathe them. What's an angler to do?
A neutral density (ND) filter works well in bright light, modifying the intensity of all light wavelengths and colors equally, while giving no changes in hue of color rendition. If I'm on the run all day in conditions not conducive to changing filters (working with the military, for example), I'll still leave on simply a protective UV filter as protection and rely on proper image capture for good shots. But if the light is nice and I'm looking for some enhancement, an ND filter or even a circular polarizer offers an instant boost. Just be sure to pay attention to circular polarizers in bright, midday light—they can overly enhance contrast and work against you.
5) Keep the Camera Accessible. The most important of the five. You can be in the most incredible setting, seeing the most amazing things, but if your camera is tucked in the bottom of your bag and not in your hand, it might as well be on the counter at home.
About the Author: Jessica McGlothlin, the owner of Fire Girl Photography, is a freelance photojournalist and writer. While she calls Montana home, she's lived across the West and worked on the Ponoi River in Russia. Her most recent adventure has involved taking on the position of outdoor copywriter with The Orvis Company and relocating to Vermont. She's enjoying her first taste of saltwater fishing and looks forward to exploring all the East Coast has to offer.