How do I take fish pictures like these?

A.A.

Active Member
#1
Just wondering if you experts have any good advice on lenses, filters, settings, light direction etc. to get great fish pics like these. I have a crop sensor canon (80D) and am loving it so far. I'm looking forward to taking it on fishing trips and getting some cool photos...
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These are all from http://fisheyeguyphotography.com

I'm sure there is some post processing and a lot of talent involved, but just wanting to get in the ballpark.

I'm looking at the canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM pancake lens for my next addition. Can focus as close as 6" with good background blur. I really like pics with the fish's head underwater with the distortion and reflections of the ripples of water. Like this one by Michael Stack of FishTales Outfitting in Montana. This type of photo is exactly what interests me...

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#2
no offense to fish eye guy photography, they are great images, but they are also very simple. sure, talent is part of it, but its more about the process in these, and going out and putting in time and being ready when the moments align. thats the hard part, not what camera or lens was used.. there is no fancy lighting, no crazy post processing.

id say it has increased saturation, contrast, and clarity (microcontrast).

i think most of the close ups were shot with 100mm macro most likely.
 
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Josh

dead in the water
#6
What about uv filters? I've heard you get deeper colors in bright light settings. I've also heard they're unnecessary for digital cameras.
Opinions on this differ. But photographically I find them useless.

Some will argue that they do have value as protection for the front element of their lens. Even a $50 high-end UV filter is cheaper to replace than most all front lens elements. That said, I've never used them for that.

Also, is there an advantage to a fixed/prime lens? Or is it outweighed by the versatility of a zoom lens?
Prime lenses tend to be smaller, faster and cheaper than zoom lenses. Zoom lenses are far more flexible. Image quality mostly comes down to what you pay for. Comparing a nice prime lens to a cheap zoom will have a significant image quality difference. Comparing a prime lens to a pro-level zoom will have far less.
 

A.A.

Active Member
#7
Opinions on this differ. But photographically I find them useless.

Some will argue that they do have value as protection for the front element of their lens. Even a $50 high-end UV filter is cheaper to replace than most all front lens elements. That said, I've never used them for that.



Prime lenses tend to be smaller, faster and cheaper than zoom lenses. Zoom lenses are far more flexible. Image quality mostly comes down to what you pay for. Comparing a nice prime lens to a cheap zoom will have a significant image quality difference. Comparing a prime lens to a pro-level zoom will have far less.
I think I'll go with the fixed lens I mentioned. Will be good for modest macro and good wide angle for scenery.

I definitely need a polarizing filter. Any advice on a solid mid priced filter?
 

KerryS

Ignored Member
#8
Seems someone learned a technique of keeping his subject a wash with water. Polarizing filter. Post processing of increased saturation and clarity. Some sharpness, edge tweaking and noise reduction. My question would be how much handling of the fish was done to get the water smoothly washing over it while most likely shooting high speed?
 

A.A.

Active Member
#9
Seems someone learned a technique of keeping his subject a wash with water. Polarizing filter. Post processing of increased saturation and clarity. Some sharpness, edge tweaking and noise reduction. My question would be how much handling of the fish was done to get the water smoothly washing over it while most likely shooting high speed?
I've thought about the handling issue quite a bit. Keeping the head underwater, facing upstream, and a quick couple pics with minimal handling will be my rule. It is easy to get carried away getting pictures to the point you can forget what's most important.
 
#10
Opinions on this differ. But photographically I find them useless.

Some will argue that they do have value as protection for the front element of their lens. Even a $50 high-end UV filter is cheaper to replace than most all front lens elements. That said, I've never used them for that.
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if your gonna run a UV filter on a good lense it is worth it to buy the best you can afford.

if the lens is cheap or the filter is to protect from abuse (like when i throw paint in the studio) then ill use a lesser quality filter. the one that camps on my do it all lens (24-105) costs a bit more then 50.

i didnt consider that a circular polorizer is in play here, but it is extremely likely esp on the last photo.
 

A.A.

Active Member
#11
if your gonna run a UV filter on a good lense it is worth it to buy the best you can afford.

if the lens is cheap or the filter is to protect from abuse (like when i throw paint in the studio) then ill use a lesser quality filter. the one that camps on my do it all lens (24-105) costs a bit more then 50.

i didnt consider that a circular polorizer is in play here, but it is extremely likely esp on the last photo.
What would be a good quality circular polarizer that fits canon (this lens is 54mm diameter) in the $40-80 range?
 
#13
What would be a good quality circular polarizer that fits canon (this lens is 54mm diameter) in the $40-80 range?
this https://www.adorama.com/cka164.html
+ the proper threaded ring and holder is what i would recommend (i dont have the time to look it all up but its simple to figure out), then you can use it on other lens in the future, most of my lens have pretty big front elements compared to that. is there a reason your going with such a wide angle lens?

while your at it grab a conkin 2 stop graduated neutral denisty filter (for sunrise and sunset landscapes as well as spots where the river is in shade and the hills behind and horizon/sky is bright) and an 8 stop neutral denisty filter for doing long expousers in the daytime.


lastly, dont expect a polarizer to be the end all fix. they have a bit of a learning curve and it will due you well to try to understand the light science of what they do and how they do it. ive been using polarized sheet filters combined with a circular polarizer on my lens to really experiment and learn about the crazy things polarized light can do.

look for good light, pay attention to where highlights are falling on the fish (wet fish are a highly reflective subject so you can get glare which will also reduce the color saturation and in severe cases maybe even some lens flare.

disclaimer. i love photography but have very little experience in dedicated fish photography. id say ive only ever taken one decent fish picture.
 
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A.A.

Active Member
#14
I like the Hoya digital filters -- http://www.hoyafilter.com/hoya/products/pro1digitalfilterseries/pro1dcircularpl/

Amazon seems to offer the best prices (around $60 depending on size, while B&H is around $100)
Picked up a couple Hoya filters and that 24mm pancake lens.
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Headed to ID in a month for Browns and cutthroat on the S Fork of the snake. I'll report back.
How dramatic or obvious is the polarizing effect while you're setting up a shot? Is it easy to tell where you should leave it as you rotate it? Or is it subtle?
 
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