Black and white and read all over

It fascinates me how we all see the world and what is in front of us in very different ways. I must hope that most anglers are at times reduced to an almost breathless state by how beautiful and dramatic the world can look when we are out there doing what we so love to do, but on the other hand I can't help but be a little surprised at how relatively few anglers are obsessed with trying to record what they see via still or moving images. We are all different of course, but so much of my love for fishing is about being out there in this big wide, stunning world when and where most other people aren't - and I want to do what I can to record all this good stuff via my limited photographic skills. I want to try and show fishing in the way that I see it, and I want other people to see this and perhaps at times think wow, fishing can actually be pretty damn awesome.............

I "see" the world in colour, and it really interests me how say one of the world's finest ever landscape photographers (Ansel Adams) must have "seen" the world in black and white in order to have been able to shoot the masterful images he did. And then a photographer (Galen Rowell) whose work I think is so inspiring it kinda leaves me breathless, well he must have "seen" the world around him colour when he looked through his viewfinder. Different times and different technologies of course, but aside from this is how differently we all see what is around us.

How do you "see" fishing? I must admit to me that it's about colour. I love the different moods and ever changing light, and I know that when I visualise a photograph in my head, I am "seeing" it in colour, and I feel that I am playing to my strengths by going through a colour workflow if that makes sense. Buf if there is one thing that this digital age of photography has given us, it's a license to play without incurring a load of extra cost. A few clicks of a mouse and you can take a colour photograph and convert it to whatever shade of black and white you deem worthwhile messing around with - and from time to time I love doing this. It usually revolves around an early morning start with bouncing brain syndrome, when I think about photographs that might or might not work in black and white, and then I simply start having a bit of a play.


Fly fishing in black and white by Henry Gilbey on Exposure

And this in part is what makes me so admire the great black and white photographers. I am more naturally drawn to colour myself, but I find it so interesting how in a colourful world there are so obviously some people who have the skill to be able to "see" this world of colour in different shades to you and I. I know that I don't have these skills myself because sometimes I think yes, this photo is really going to work in black and white - and then it doesn't at all!! But from time to time I do like messing around with it. My favourite forms of fishing photography are shore based lure fishing and fly fishing in saltwater and on rivers, and for a bit of fun I have put together a display of some of the fly fishing images I have converted to black and white that I happen to think work ok in this format. I hope you enjoy it, and please feel free to tell me what you think - do these particular photographs work in black and white for starters?

I hope to see some of you this coming weekend at the always excellent Ireland Angling Show over in Dublin. It tickles me pink that the organisers saw fit to ask me back, so please come and say hi if you see me there this Saturday and Sunday, 21st and 22nd February - but I would kindly ask that you don't then tell me about some killer bass fishing lure that I have never heard which then starts to mess with my head because I haven't got one but might now need one thanks to you catching a heap of big fish on it!! Please do feel free though to mess with my head by telling me all about those many fabulous parts of Ireland that I haven't been to yet but know that one day I am going to have to. The show is always awesome and I can't wait to head over to Dublin on Friday.........

A friend of mine who runs awesome fishing trips in the Florida Keys has just had a cancellation during prime tarpon season - the dates are 27th April - 5th May, and I understand that there is a bit of money off the usual prices which are more than good value already. Contact Rodney via email here, or via his website here. Believe me, if I wasn't already committed to guiding over in Ireland I would have snapped these dates up myself. I have fished with Rodney on numerous occasions and he is just awesome at what he does. Tarpon time for sure, but also perfect for permit and about a million other species you can catch in the Keys.