Trout Talk

Fishing photos don't have to be fish photos

Many “point-and-shoot” cameras have underwater capability. Try and capture the release in pixels beneath the surface. All photos by Tim Romano.

Celebrating #NoFishDryJuly with submersible cameras

We’ve all seen the hero shots of fish. By now most of us are familiar with the cliche photos of fish hoisted well above the water sometimes closer to the camera to make them look as big as the fish stories your friends may have told you.

Now, along with our friends at Keep Fish Wet and Ten And Two Co., we are asking you to ditch the hero shot for something different in the month of July.

By now, it’s no secret. Water temperatures are steadily rising and with those extreme temperatures comes consequences for wild and native trout species. It’s time for all anglers to step up and be a part of the solution.

Fishing excursions without actual fish photos might be as hard to imagine as a baseball game without a bat or a ball, but it doesn’t have to be.

Look around. Last I checked trout happen to reside in beautiful places. It only takes a quiet minute alone or with friends to recognize the beauty of a landscape. Document it, study the light and share it with friends. Often, we fish our way through what photographers call the golden hour or magic hour. The early dawn hour and the late dusk hour is often when the best images can and will be made while on the water. It doesn’t take a master’s degree in fine art to see the shadows dancing off the canyon walls onto the water’s surface or the way the sun highlights a specific portion of the river in golden light.

If you are fishing when the temperatures are appropriate, I’d encourage you to join us in helping to promote #NoFishDryJuly over on the @keep.fish.wet Instagram page.

Here are a few tips that might help you think outside the box.

Focus on the light and take photographs late into the evening or early in the morning.


Study the bug life and try to focus on the details


Create portraits of friends that will last a lifetime.


Don’t be afraid to be abstract. Use different settings on your camera that might present a unique view into a familiar situation. I’m thinking slow shutter speeds and moving water for this one.


Practice light painting. Set a camera up on a tripod in the pitch dark, open the shutter and paint the scene in with a headlamp or other high-powered light.


Practice the astrophotography you’ve always seen in magazines on online.


Grab an old or new Polaroid camera and create an instant collage. This also forces you to slow down and focus on every corner of the photograph.


Buy a cheap underwater disposable camera. Sometimes the quality isn’t so great but every now and then you’ll get lucky. Plus, most film developing shops will send you digital files these days.


Find your very own “moment of chill” and keep your video rolling for 30 seconds or more.


I’d encourage everyone to have fun with this rather than think of all the fish you aren’t photographing. The fish, with your help, will be there for years to come and by practicing your photography now, you’ll be better prepared for the shot you’ve always wanted when the time is right.

Don’t forget to tag your non-fish pics on Instagram with #NoFishDryJuly and follow @keep.fish.wet to be entered to win some amazing prizes from their sponsors — Ten And Two Co., Patagonia Fly Fish, Bajio Sunglasses and Fulling Mill.

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