Fishing is my time… It’s my time to switch off from work, day to day life and just be outside day and night with no other focus than trying to catch fish and sitting back and watch what is going on around me. I always take my camera fishing, not only to capture records of any fish I may catch (not many!), or more likely take photos of what my mates catch! But to also try and document what I see and experience around me.
Being outside for long periods of time by a lake or river gives an insight into the natural world that most people just don’t see, either because they are inside a building busy working, in their bed asleep or maybe even just sat on a sofa watching TV. Don’t get me wrong that is me most of the week, but that one (or maybe two if I’m lucky) nights a week that I get to go out and fish I get to see some amazing things. Sunrises, Sunsets, Rainbows, Thunderstorms, Howling Winds, Animals, Birds and thats just from the top of my head, things you just can’t appreciate from being inside. I think thats why I love fishing, not only the chance of catching an amazing fish, the buzz you get from outfoxing a wiley old carp but also from all the time in between those moments when you just sit and watch, take it all in.
Four years ago I was lucky enough to get a ticket on the Westhorpe Syndicate near Marlow, Buckinghamshire. Westy is a decent sized lake on the back of a working farm that previously was used for Jet Skiing, it holds roughly 120 carp that range from around 10lb up to around 38lb. All the carp in there are stunning, armour plated fully scaled, commons, sparsely scaled mirrors and they are all immaculate. There are only 32 members on the syndicate and everyone is really friendly, gets along and all hold the same passion for fishing. It is a real good vibe on the lake and the place is just perfect for getting away from it all. I tend to focus most of my fishing through the spring and into early summer and Westy at this time of year is just thriving with wildlife, from the great crested grebe doing their courtship dance to the resident pair of swans that build their big nest in the same corner of the lake as every year previous, its a truly magical place to be and provides me with many fantastic photo opportunties.
The great thing about having time at fishing, means it gives me time to think about my photography, time to plan and compose, time to experiment. There are a lot of very good angling photographers around now and some people even make a full time living from documenting angling through photos and film and it is from these that I take a lot of inspiration for my angling photography. I look at their photos and try to understand how they achieved it, understand the science behind it. Is it a long exposure? Is it a time lapse with layered images? Have they used filters? What is the main focus of the image? By looking and trying to understand it gives me ideas and inspiration to try new techniques, hence how shots like this come about on a cold February night when most people would be tucked up in bed;
I think for me something that is just as special is sharing those moments too, being happy for a mate when they catch a fish or both seeing a large fish crash out of the water on a still morning, thats why I love photographing fish for friends too, giving them something back that captures that moment, that buzz, that laughter and sometimes even that celebratory beer at 3 in the morning!
So for now that’s it, another blog – another page of rambling on interspersed with a few of my images, two nights out fishing this weekend…Maybe I’ll have something new to share on next weeks blog…. A few of these would be nice!