They say a picture paints a thousand words, and that is indeed very true. Taking photos is a way of immortalizing the present and taking our memories into the future with us, either for ourselves to reminisce about our past sometime in the future or to share our memories of certain events with others. In general these memories can make us happy, can make us laugh or they can just be special to look at.
But it goes the other way as well. Badly taken photos can interpret a memory in a negative way. What might have been an amazing moment in your life at the time of taking the photo could now look mediocre and just because of how the photograph portrays the memory. Now this might sound like a lot of mumbo jumbo, but I’m getting to something here…
Imagine that you are going on a Safari to the dark continent (if you have not done so already). You save your hard earned cash and book a hunt with a reputable outfitter. Depending on the target species an duration of the Safari it will probably not be a cheap exercise, but worth every cent.
To cut a long story short, you get to Africa and you have an amazing time, you get to hunt all your intended species (if you are lucky) and after the whole shebang you go back home, wherever that might be…
Then it is time for one of my favourite things to do after a hunting trip and that is looking at all the photos! There is however nothing as disappointing as going through the photos and coming across bad quality or badly taken photos. Even worse is if the blotched photos are the ones taken of your 60” Kudu bull that you worked so hard for. Thanks Murphy…
Now you can only edit a photo that much before it starts to look even worse than its original state, and some photos unfortunately cannot be edited to look better.
Now please note that I am as close to being a professional photographer as I am from being a Ballet dancer, but here are some tips for taking good quality trophy photos.
1. When you are photographing a trophy animal, get down on your gut. Get the hunter to sit down directly behind the animal and get in nice and close, but on your stomach.
2. Make sure that you don’t cut out the hunter’s head or any part of the animal for that matter. Leave an even space around the object that you are taking a photo off.
3. Focus on the animal. Taking a photo of an animal is in a way also paying respect toward it. The focus should always be on the animal and not on the hunter.
4. Check the light. Bad light or too much of it can ruin a photo. Check the position of the sun as well and use the camera’s flash if needs be in low light conditions.
5. Clean any blood off the animal. Most professional hunters will have a bottle of water for this cause; alternatively you can use sand or dirt to clean as much blood off the animal as possible. And remember to treat the animal with respect, even if it is deceased.
6. Don’t just take one or two photos, take many. Rather take too many photos that too little. You might take 10 photos and only one of them will look good, so rather be safe than sorry.
7. If you hunted an animal with horns, try to get the horns in front of some blue sky or a neutral background. This will accentuate the horns and it will create a nice contrast against the background.
8. Remove any grass or objects in front of the animal’s body before taking the photo.
9. Make sure your camera’s lens is clean. Even if you make use of a lens cap there could be some dust on your lens that could blur your photos. Use a lens pen or camera cloth to clean the lens before taking photos in the bush.
10. Position the animal in a neat and respectful manner. Don’t take photos in front of an animal that looks like it feel out of the sky. Prop it up in a natural manner and use a stick to position the head vertically if needs be.
So there you have it, if you were not familiar with all of these techniques then I hope they will work for you. As you could see, these tips are more relevant to the person taking the photos (the PH mostly) but if you see that the person taking your trophy photos is struggling then at least you will be able to assist him/her then in making your trophy photos more memorable.
© 2014 Guns and Fly Fishing. All Rights Reserved.