Sometimes the most obvious ends up looking the best......

You can't beat this first taste of summer weather after what has been one long and cold winter - seeing the sun for long periods and feeling a bit of warmth just makes me feel a whole lot more alive again. But on the flipside, flat calm seas, east winds and gin-clear, very cold water are hardly the best ingredients for having a crack at the bass. But that didn't stop a few of us on Sunday evening........

Sunday was just about the most perfect day in my mind. If you ask me, it's the simple things in life that are always the best (except for high-tech bass fishing gear that is !!). Picnic lunch on the beach with my family and some mates, a few hours' fishing until dusk, and then back home to watch the final few hours of The Masters golf. Gutted that Lee Westwood did not win, but that aside, a Sunday does not get much better in my book. It continues to amaze me how much having kids changes one's outlook and perspective on life...........

The fishing to be completely honest was more of an excuse to get out and play around with some new stuff - ok, so if a few ravenous fish had jumped on the end I would have been jumping for joy, but personally I reckon we need to get some proper life back in the water to stand a decent chance. Plus a really cold winter has to have had some effect on regular fish movements. But from a photographic point of view, the light was going off in a major way.............and sometimes I just reckon that it's the most "obvious" photos that jump out the most. Check out the one above. Nice and easy, an "obvious" composition to put the angler against that magnificent sky, get down low, and make sure to control the exposure to silhouette him. Nothing difficult, no special effects or off the wall angles, just a fisherman in a wild environment, surrounded by perfect natural light. The rocks act as a natural "lead in". It just appeals to me because it's so simple and "obvious". What you see is what you get kind of thing. Does it do it for you, or would you be looking for a more "off the wall" shot in that kind of situation ?

Part of the reason that I so love photography is that there is never really a "right way" or a "wrong way" to commit to your camera what is spread out in front of you. There are many ways to create more of an impact on the viewer or the client, but in the end it is personal interpretation that produces the end product - the photograph. I am a complete sucker for stunning early morning or last light skies, and especially when you can place an angler in the frame and use those angles of the human body and the fishing rod to work with a sky like the one above. Silhouetting the main subject matter (the angler in this case) is the most "obvious" way to shoot this, but I just like it when the light lets you do this. After all, photography is so much about the quality of the light, and when you have light like we had on Sunday evening, there is not much you need to do to let it shine. But somebody else would have taken completely different (and quite possibly far better) shots I am sure. That is the wonder of photography is it not ?

It tends to be the case on an evening like we had on Sunday that the most awesome looking skies are just afer the sun actually dips below your horizon. Those blacks, dark blues, reds, pinks and oranges are just what it's all about to me. My job means I shoot in all kinds of light, and often in some weird and wonderful part of the world where the fish are big, plentiful and very hungry, but nothing gives me as much satisfaction as when "my" part of the world lights up and shows off. It's all about the overall experience to me, and that is why I guess that fishing as a hobby or sport never ceases to grab a hold of all of us and keep us within it's grasp. No one day is ever the same. If lots of big fish want to jump on the end, great, but it is so much more than that. I draw constant parallels between fishing and photography in fact, and perhaps that is part of the reason why they are so inextricably linked for me...........

Anyway, on to my other major passion/obession in life - extreme metal. I would be surprised if there is a long-term "proper" metal fan out there who does own a minumim of three albums by the mighty Celtic Frost - and if you don't, go out and buy "To Mega Therion", "Into the Pandemonium" and "Vanity/Nemesis" right now !! It is the only way. This highly influential metal band even got back together a few years ago to record the immense "Monotheist" - and then they spilt. But the main man behind all this music that has helped to shape so much of the metal landscape is back under a different guise - the band is now called "Triptykon", but to all intents and purposes they are still the mighty and peerless Celtic Frost. I can not tell you how awesome their new album "Eparistera Daimones" is. It's a monster that just grows and grows. Multiple listens help peel back layer after layer of metal heaven. Check out a few tracks here. I must admit that I still like buying my music as CDs rather than downloads, because it gives me the ultimate control over quality of sound, and for the most part I end up buying a lot of my metal from Amazon of all places. Here's the link to this new Triptykon album. One of the essential releases of 2010. If you thought that I might have a weakness for all things bass lures, then let me assure you that my thing for music has always been even worse........