I started work yesterday on a new series of casting features with Nick Hart - these will come out in Trout Fisherman in due course. Nick is working on putting the technical aspects of fly casting into regular fishing scenes, so that the fisherman can take the various casts and learn more about when to actually use them to catch more fish. Casting is obviously a hugely important part of fly fishing, we all know that, but the aim in my mind is always to learn how to smash a few more fish in a given situation. The same could be said of sea fishing could it not ?
To start the process off, we needed to try and find a "look at this" opening photo to run across a couple of pages (DPS), and by pure luck the weather was with us from the off. There are lots of different ways to shoot casting, and a lot of them are set by the weather and background you have, but the moment I saw the light and situation I could "see" these photos in my head as strong opening shots- the photos above and below are a couple of examples. I made a really contrasty black and white version to see what it looked like, and I really like it, but it is up to the designers at Trout Fisherman as to what they use from yesterday's shoot. Nick is a complete pro at what he does and he is an incredibly easy guy to photograph.
The photo above is a more "regular" casting shot of Nick roll-casting a line along the margins, but even then these things take a lot of thought and pre-planning. I am always on the lookout for different angles and views, and I thought this photo worked pretty well with the orange line coming down through the frame. The aim is to provide a photo that can say a lot in regards to the words that Nick writes, and this kind of thing does that.
With a more technical shoot like this, it is vital that my creative attempts marry up properly with what Nick knows is technically right and wrong in a cast. This is the beauty of digital photography. On a shoot like this we can photograph a load of stuff and then check everything on my laptop to make sure any glaringly wrong stuff is deleted. Not that Nick would ever make a bad cast !! Imagine me doing the fly casting ?!!
As I have said before, working in fishing is never what it seems. This job of mine really gives me a huge kick, and I love almost every part of it (except for paying taxes especially), but my own fishing time now compared to pre-kids and pre-fishing work is somewhat of a scary reduction. In all honesty though I have never loved fishing more than I do now, and just getting to be around it all the time does me just fine. The world's a fascinating place. I am off to Belize at the end of next week on a photo job and I can't wait.......more details in due course.