Photography and fishing have a lot in common but for me, the biggest is being able to share those good memories I’ve made over the years with the people that mean the most to me. Both areas make it tough to find people that you enjoy either shooting or fishing with because everyone has distinct styles of craft. That’s when you find those people, you hang on to them. March is a great time to go Steelhead fishing out in Washington because the Steelhead are moving from the ocean into the rivers and upstream for the spring spawn. I’ve been fortunate multiple times now to be out their casting for these giants with my friends. On a photographic note, if you’re planning to shoot in rainy Washington in March bring two things: a flash, and a towel. You are going to get wet and it’s going to be dark.
The more I fish the more I use flash. This has become a mainstay with my work now because it adds so much more drama and character to my images. Over the past couple of years I have had the great fortune to be able to go fishing with my friends on the Olympic Peninsula for Steelhead. Not only is it a ton of fun but a totally different experience being in that region. Each time has been different but each time one element remained the same, the need for light. I get a lot of weird looks when I pull the flash out especially when it’s raining but man does it work well. It doesn’t just add light but it also brings out color and as you can see that’s important. Here’s the thing though, like everything else you have to practice.
Lessons can only be learned through practice. With dark skies like these you’re naturally going to have a slower shutter speed. The natural response is to dial in exposure compensation or raise the ISO. However, thanks to E4 in Nikon camera bodies which makes the exposure compensation in the camera body separate from the flash compensation, you don’t have to worry about the affects of the two combined. Whereas if you dial in a higher ISO while using flash you can have shutter speed issues at certain f stops. You see this by looking through the viewfinder and seeing the shutter speed blinking at you. That’s not good.
Experimenting with different lighting scenarios and solving these problems that come up is how you become better. Most importantly it helps you not miss important moments with friends and family. With Easter coming up it might be worthwhile to go out and practice.
Image Captured with the Nikon D5, 24-70 AF-S, SB-5000, on Lexar UDMA Digital Film