How to take great carp trophy photos

Great photo of Paul Cooper with a Molyneux mirror

A really useful article from Andrew at Molyneux;

After all the time and effort we anglers put in to catching carp I do find the quality of some of the trophy shots surprising, after all it’s all we have to remember the capture of a personal best. Taking a photo with a modern digital camera isn’t difficult even at night as long as you follow a few simple rules.

1. Get everything ready before you catch, it stops you having to rush around in a blind panic to find things. Have the mat on a nice flat surface along with a bucket of water to hand to keep the fish damp. I tend to have another empty bucket in which I keep my clinic, scales and forceps, that way I know where everything is.

2. Chose a nice background. A bad background can ruin an otherwise good trophy shot and a good background can make a shot even more special. You’ll need to pay particular attention to the background at night, a solid background allows the flash to rebound providing more light for the camera.

3. Learn the settings on the camera. There are lots of settings on modern cameras and it’s worth playing around with them in different light conditions to see which gives the best results. The auto setting is the most useful but sometimes night mode will give a better picture in low light conditions. Having the flash on even during the day can enhance the colours of the fish and make the shot better, I tend to take pictures with the flash and without, I see which is better and delete the ones I don’t want.

4. Probably the best tip, fill the photo with the fish and angler. A photo which is all background with the angler and carp somewhere in the middle doesn’t make a good trophy shot and equally a photo in which the anglers head is missing or the carp’s tail has been cut off isn’t a good trophy shot either. I don’t tend to use the view finder anymore, I tend to view the picture via the display on the back of the camera.

5. Allow the camera to focus. On most modern digital auto focus cameras to get the best results half push the shutter button, this allows the camera to focus on the shot. Once the camera has focused push the button all the way down and the camera will take the shot.

6. Position of the camera. Have the person holding the camera straight on to the carp with the camera roughly at the same height as the middle of the carp – this will give good pictures time after time. You can make the fish appear longer and deeper by positioning the camera slightly off centre and lower towards the ground, although be careful as if you position the camera too low or too far off centre it will ruin the photo.

All the best, Andrew @ Molyneux

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