I’d heard about the huge rainbow trout the guy had caught a couple of days before I ran into him at a local coffee shop.
As soon as we both had been served I introduced myself. “I hear you caught that huge trout out of Elk Lake,” I said. “I didn’t think there were any fish that size left in there as much pressure as it gets these days.”
I went on to tell him I was doing a magazine piece about the lake and that I’d love to run a picture of his new lake record along with my story.
“Did you get any good pictures of it?” I asked.
“Yeah,” he said, “I got a few. “As a matter of fact I’ve got a couple right here in my briefcase.”
He opened a compartment of his briefcase and pulled out a manila envelope. “Here’s what it looked like,” he said as he handed me a half dozen prints.
I wish I could tell you the guy’s prints did credit to his catch. I can’t. In fact, he couldn’t have done a lousier job of getting his pictures if he had spent six months learning how to screw up taking fish photos.
Now I don’t consider myself a leading authority on fish photos or any other kind photography. But I darn sure do know some of the essential basics. I went to work for a daily newspaper as a general assignment reporter way back in 1946. They handed me a Speed Graphic---the camera once used by just about everybody in news photography---at about the same time I was given a typewriter.
If somebody would give me a couple of bucks for every mistake I’ve made since with one camera or another, I’d fly south of the border and buy a condo close to the bass fishing paradise they call El Salto Lake.
When a bassin' man boats a beauty like the one I'm holding here you can believe it's a memory maker. And it's great to have that memory recorded as was done here.
But a guy can learn from his mistakes. When coming up with pictures to support your stories is part of your job as a daily newspaper reporter, you’d darn well better learn from your mistakes or seek other employment.
My newspaper’s city editor made that abundantly clear the first time I returned from the county fair with less than satisfactory photos. I hadn’t been chewed out like that since I’d smarted off once to my first sergeant during my army infantry basic training in World War 11.
That same city editor later also became the country coroner. I must have learned something about picture taking because he eventually had me accompany him whenever there was a new corpse that required his presence. “Fagerstrom” he’d bark as soon as he had that kind of call, “grab a camera. Some guy just got shot down on 8th Avenue.” I wound up taking pictures for his records as well as for the newspaper.
There were times during some of those coroner’s calls that I caught myself wishing I’d never learned how to use a camera in the first place. It was not a fun part of my days as a reporter.
Photography has changed so much, and in recent years so fast, it’s hard to believe. Today there’s just no excuse for not getting reasonably good photos of the fish you catch. If you’re not getting those good photos now, chances are it’s not the camera’s fault. It might well be the spot you’ve selected for the pictures to be taken.
|You can believe both this little gal and her father will one day treasure this picture. The father is Scott Wolfe, a veteran Oregon fishing guide. The successful angler is his daughter Erika.
Your fishing adventures are memory makers. You’ll find you treasure many of them ever more deeply as the years go by. It’s great to have quality pictures to refresh and maintain those memories.
I’m going to devote the next couple of columns here at Mack’s Lure to the best way to make certain you get fish photos you can be proud of. The first column in this how-to series begins June 15.
-To Be Continued-