Fly Fishing Photography Tips and Techniques

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Fly fishing is a challenging sport enjoyed by thousands of skilled anglers. But what about fly fishing photography? In this video, outdoor photographer, Adam Barker, shows you the skills and knowledge it takes to excel at fly fishing photography in a magnificent Utah river valley.

Adam arrives at Middle Provo River at sunrise and sets up his gear. The Provo River offers a premier location for fly fishing brown and rainbow trout. He positions himself down river from a lone fisherman, and art directs his subject’s movements, explaining, “When you’re shooting in the low light of dawn, it’s important to have your subject stationary.” He positions the fisherman in the lower third of the frame and uses a 4 Stop Soft Grad filter to contrast the rising mist. He beautifully captures the entire scene, fisherman, river, trees, and the white-capped mountains in the distance.

At dawn, the light changes quickly, but it’s still dark enough for long exposures, the fisherman having to hold steady for sharpness. Adam switches camera positions to add a growth of frost-covered reeds as foreground. “Framing the composition through the reeds is a good way to take the focus to the fisherman,” he says. To hold back the brightening sky, he adds a Reverse ND Grad filter and shoots at a reduced shutter speed. The goal in these wide angle shots is to create depth, contrast, and luminous colors caused by the dawn light.

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