Capturing outdoor memories

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I had a chance to look at some old family pictures recently. Most of them were of family events or school graduations but in the middle of the album I came across a series of fishing pictures. They were of a fishing trip my late father-in-law and a group of friends made to Northern Cape Breton in the early 1950's. They were all miners, and made the trip during miner’s vacation. They hauled a boat, and their gear, in with a horse and drag, lived in a canvas tent and actually canned their catch during the week they were in there. I can remember looking at the photos with my father-in-law and he described the trip as if it had happened yesterday. Remembering your outdoor trips is easy, if you include a camera with the rest of your camping or fishing gear. A few shots of the trip will provide memories which will last a lifetime.

These days you don’t have to spend a lot of money for a camera that will take good pictures. Almost everyone has a phone which takes adequate pictures and there are a variety of video cameras which you can attach to you cap, canoe or fishing rod. While cameras are like any other piece of equipment and you can pay as much as you want, the quality of cameras has increased so much in recent years that you can purchase a very good camera for a reasonable amount. One time use cameras also take excellent pictures. Some of them are water resistant as well and are probably a good choice if your fishing trip involves wading or a chance of taking a dunking.

While I am certainly no professional when it comes to taking pictures there are a few things that I have learned in taking fishing pictures over the years. The main tip I would offer is to get close to your subject. Many times we take pictures from too far away and lose a lot of detail. Try turning the camera on its side and take some vertical, as well as horizontal shots, to add some variety to your pictures. An old trick that many outdoor photographers use when taking fishing shots is to have the angler hold the fish away from their body and towards the camera. The fish will appear larger in relation to the person holding it. Although I know you won’t have to resort to doing that for the fish you catch. Don’t limit your pictures to dead fish, include some pictures of your companions preparing the shore lunch, setting up camp, putting the boats in the water, wild flowers and wildlife, the possibilities are endless.

When you get your pictures printed put then in an album reserved for your outdoor pictures and, when the snow is drifting outside in the middle of February, you can relive your outdoor adventures for years to come.

Don MacLean is an outdoor writer and biologist who lives in Pictou County.

Geographic location: Northern Cape Breton, Pictou County

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