'Fishin Photography'

<< Back to Blog list


Cosgrove Caster's – ‘Fishin Photography’  

I remember writing a blog on photography as one of my very first blogs when I started Cosgrove Caster's back in 2012 but now I would like to bring my tips on the subject right up to date.

As a few of you will know I am a keen angling photographer and particularly on getting really good images of your catches. On the park, we receive lots of images and photos from anglers with some lovely fish, but to be quite honest the quality of some of the pictures really doesn’t do the fish or the angler justice. By following a few simple guidelines, you can transform the picture from being a simple out of focus snapshot into an image that could grace the pages of the Angling Times. The tips and tricks that I am going to talk about deal not only with a camera but it equally applies to mobile phones that now have very high-quality cameras on and with the correct use can take some great quality pictures and even videos.


A stunning Island View winter mirror carp. The photo is self taken using the tips mentioned about below


First thing really must be the safety and welfare of the fish. While you are getting your camera or mobile phone sorted out and who’s taking the picture please have a decent padded unhooking mat, and make sure the fish is wet and covered. If someone else is taking the shot for you, make sure they have at least some idea how to use the camera or the mobile phone camera, and in particular to make sure it is in focus and properly exposed. Modern computer software that accompanies most cameras and mobile phones can edit, enhance and manipulate images in all sorts of ways and can make up for a lot of errors that the photographer makes during the taking of the shot, but one thing they can’t do is focus an image that is out of focus to start with. To take a really good trophy shot the first thing to do is look behind you and consider the background. Don’t be afraid to move to avoid trees (that will seem to grow out of your head) cars, caravans, white buckets or whatever that will definitely spoil the final shot. I will often choose a hedge or bed of rushes (see above) that can enhance the image and not detract from 'that' fish. I suggest the photographer gets down to the anglers level. Ask them to get close enough to completely fill the viewfinder, not only will this frame the shot perfectly but will better expose the image as the camera's processor will not get fooled into under exposing the image by a very bright watery background. With the camera set on auto get them to half depress the shutter button to let the camera focus and set the exposure, then and only then fully depress the shutter to take the shot. With a mobile phone camera make sure you tap the screen to focus on the image properly. If I’m using my phone camera that I use a lot these days for snapshots I particular like using the HDR (High Dynamic Range) feature that my iPhone has. Basically, this takes 3 images simultaneously and then processes them differently than normal in order to capture greater detail from brighter and darker areas of the image. For me this creates much better contrast and I love the results. I also love the portrait facility on the latest iPhone 7. This creates a lovely blurred known as Boca background. Don’t be afraid to use the fill-in flash (or turn on the flash manually) feature even in bright sunshine. Having the flash on even in daylight really lights up the fish and will also get rid of any shadows, especially those made by peaked caps that a lot of angler’s wear.


Not a massive carp from Grebe Lake last week - but as a selfie an image like this takes a lttle setting up. Using my iPhone on a tripod on HDR setting and using a timer App at 20 seconds a nice shot is the result.


Learning to hold the fish nicely does take practice but using an unhooking mat and holding the fish low does ease the fear of dropping it.

If I am not sure of the photographer skills I prefer to self-take the shot. I have developed a nice little routine of taking trophy shot’s even if I am fishing alone. After I un-hook the fish I either leave it in the landing net in the edge if I can or leave it on my unhooking mat covered by a wet weigh sling. I weigh my fish before taking the picture as they usually have calmed down by then, making it easier to handle for the picture. You can use a tripod, but to save weight in my kit I often use a Gardner Tackle camera/ bankstick adaptor that cost’s less than a fiver. It is a small brass adaptor with a camera mount thread on one end and a bankstick thread on the other. I mount the camera on a bankstick or tripod and I set it in the ground about 2m in front on my unhooking mat, this ensures that the fish and I are all in the picture (I can always crop the image later). I also fix my iphone in the same way by using a cheap mount that I bought off Ebay for just a few pounds.  I set the self-timer which with my Olympus camera and my iPhone is 10 seconds. For me this is long enough time to get myself set for all but my biggest fish. I half depress the shutter button to set the exposure then fully depress to start the timer. I quickly get into position and lift the fish into the pose. With modern mobile phones having both front and rear cameras ‘selfies’ have become all the rage. This does make things easier on a phone camera but the lens quality isn’t so good so you may find the final image not so good. I have recently bought a new SLR that has a screen that folds around to the front, together with a remote-control shutter release so for real top quality images I am well set up!


This shot of a 3am Swan Lake mirror carp was self-taken using my camera set on 'night mode' to capture the amazing moon in the background but the flash set to 'On' to illuminate me and the fish. Very pleased with the result.


I do have a giggle at some anglers poses, either the arms are thrust forward to try and make it look bigger or their hands are covering most of the fish or the angler looks like he’s just had a heart attack. Just relax and don’t forget to smile, if the catch is worth photographing you must be happy about catching it.


Its not all about big fish. This extreme close up was taken as it was my first 'Zig Rig' caught fish from Willow View


I took this sunset shot (again with the camera set on night mode) during an evening roach fishing session on Swan Lake


Hopefully this blog will help you take a better trophy shot and enjoy your capture for years to come and don’t forget to share it with us so we can publish it on the website or Facebook

You can also comment below, we'd love to hear from you!



Register for updates

Sign up to our newsletter

Facilities map

View Online

Our brochure

View Online
Venetian Marina Whilton Caravan Storage Whilton Marina
Cosgrove Park. Main Street, Cosgrove, Milton Keynes, MK19 7JP.
Phone: 01908 563360 Fax: 01908 263615