Monthly Archives: April 2016

Fly Fishing


The Rod

In fly  fishing  a fly fisherman’s tackle will comprise of a rod, reel, line, leader and a variety of artificial flies to tempt that illusive fish. The purpose of this tackle is to gently yet accurately place the artificial fly or lure on the water with minimum disturbance. To achieve this result, fly  fishing  tackle utilizes a uniquely manufacture tapered line with an engineered light weight rod. Traditionally trout  fishing  and salmon  fishing  fly rods were manufactured out of bamboo cane with the hexagonal split cane rod being the mostly widely used from 1900 to the 1950’s. From 1950 onwards the glass fiber rod started to dominate due to the lower manufacturing costs. In the late 1970’s carbon fiber was invented and the weight of fly rod’s plummeted, this made line weight a critical factor in the performance of the rod.

Throughout the world the trout fly rods vary quite a bit although they will usually comprise of two or three sections which can be dismantled and stored safely in a rod tube. Trout and Salmon Fly rods are said to have a tip action or a through action. Tip Action – This refers to the tip of the fly  fishing  rod being worked to about halfway through its length with the lower end closest to the reel doing minimal work.

Through Action – In contrast to the tip action fly  fishing  rod, the through action fly  fishing  rod will work through its entire length. The best way to find out which fly  fishing  rod suits you best is to go to your local retailers or trout  fishing  retail event where you can try the different fly  fishing  rods with line and leaders to determine which best suits your style of casting. The type of trout  fishing  water together with the species of fish being sought impacts on the required length of a rod. For example, a fisherman trying to tempt a wily Salmon will usually use a rod of between 12 and 14 feet. A lake fisherman looking for a crafty trout will usually use a rod of some 9 feet in length. The same angler if  fishing  a small stream could use a rod as small as 6 feet in length. Obviously the length of a rod impacts greatly on the weight of the rod. Long length Salmon rods will tend to be close to 1 lb in weight while the smaller stream rods may only way a couple of ounces. The average weight of a lake rod will be in the region of 4-5 ounces or perhaps as low as 1 ¾ ounces for the higher end of the market rods.

When using a Salmon  fishing  rod they are fished with both hands and the longer length allows for much greater control of the line. If you were attempt to use this kind of rod on a lake after a couple of hours you would begin to feel tired therefore, lake rods are generally much lighter allowing for longer  fishing  sessions.

Shorter rods are usually used on small streams for trout  fishing  where the cover of foliage restricts the cast somewhat. In addition to this, over shorter distances a small rod is a great deal more accurate. In summary then, choosing the correct fly rod is essential and what suits one person does not suit another’s style. A fast action rod is harder for someone just starting out in fly  fishing  to use as the time between the forward cast and the back cast is much shorter. The longer salmon  fishing  rods weigh much more than the trout fly  fishing  rods. There are of course variations in the types of rods and the best way to find out which suits your style is to try casting.


Source by Mark Inglis

How to Cast a Fishing Rod


Before you can learn how to cast a  fishing  rod it is important for you to understand the separate parts of a  fishing  rod and reel. A  fishing  rod and reel are actually two separate units that are interchangeable. The  fishing  rod is the long bendable shaft that has loops called “eyes” in it where the  fishing  line runs out and into the reel. The  fishing  reel is the mechanism that actually reels in the line. It is a mechanical piece that is made of the following parts.

The Bail Arm is a hinged metal rod that is used to either release of retract the  fishing  line. Once opened it allows the  fishing  line to come off of the  fishing  spool. Once closed its function in conjunction with the roller will guide the  fishing  line back onto the reel spool.

The Spool mentioned above is a round metal shaft that is used to collect the  fishing  line that has been reeled into the  fishing  reel. It also allows the  fishing  line to flow freely off when a  fishing  cast has been made.

The Drag Adjustment is used to adjust how much force is required to have the  fishing  line come off of the reel when the bail arm is in the closed position. This is an important adjustment as it will control how much tension is placed between you and the fish that you will have on the line. If this tension is too much is may cause your  fishing  line to break. If this tension is too less it may not keep the  fishing  hook securely in place when reeling in a fighting fish that is on the line.

The  Fishing  Reel Handle is what is used to crank in the line. When rotated in a counter clockwise motion it rotated the closed  fishing  bail and in turn pulls in the  fishing  line. On some  fishing  reels their is a reverse setting on the back of the reel which allows you to also rotate the handle in a clockwise fashion which allows the  fishing  line to come off of the  fishing  line. It is generally a good idea to have this setting set to the proper counter clockwise direction as what generally happens with a novice fisherman is that they end up rotating the  fishing  handle in the wrong direction which causes what is referred too as a “Bees Nest” or a large tangle of  fishing  line at base of the  fishing  rod.

Now that we have discussed briefly what the different parts of the  fishing  reel and rod are we can discuss how to cast a  fishing  lure or in this instance a  fishing  weight. You may want to set up a small area in your backyard to practice before you actually head to the lake or pond. When I was younger I set up a hula-hoop in my backyard to practice my casting techniques. You may want to try this yourself.

Before you can perform your first cast you first need to attach a small weight to the end of your  fishing  line. You can use a standard Clinch Knot to attach a weight to the end of your line. Once the weight is in place follow the steps listed below.

  1. Take your pointer finger of your right hand and pinch the  fishing  line between your finger and  fishing  rod. This is what will hold the  fishing  line in place when you open the bail.
  2. Open the bail of the  fishing  reel with your left hand. When you do this the weight should not hit the floor rather it should be held in place with the tension you are putting on the line with your right pointer finger and  fishing  rod.
  3. At this point you are almost ready to cast. With your left hand grab the base of the  fishing  rod.
  4. Raise the  fishing  rod by lifting and rotating it over your right shoulder such that the reel is facing up in the air. You should look something similar to the woman on the right.
  5. Now with a thrust with your two arms rotate the tip of the  fishing  rod forward by rotating both your wrists and forearms. When the  fishing  rod is directly strait up and down let go of the  fishing  line with your pointer finger releasing the tension within the  fishing  line.

If done properly you should see the  fishing  weight fly through the air and land a few yards ahead of you. This takes some practice so be patient and practice a number of times. Try to get the  fishing  weight in the center of the hula-hoop that you placed on the ground. Once you have mastered getting the  fishing  weight in the center of the hula-hoop try a few different size weights to get the feel of casting with different weights attached.

There are a few different types of  fishing  reels. The one described above is probably the most popular  fishing  reel. It is referred to is a Spinning Reel. Almost as popular is the SpinCasting Reel which is similar and almost as popular, but it has an enclosed casing and a casting button in the rear. You generally see a SpinCasting Reel on younger  fishing  rods as they can be easier to cast. A BaitCasting real has a limited casting capability, but it often used for heavier game  fishing . It is commonly used when trolling or other deep sea  fishing . There is also the Fly  Fishing  Reel which is similar in mechanics to the BaitCasting reel, but allows the fly  fishing  line to freely come of the reel when needed.


Source by Adam J Fisher

Sunset Photography – How to Take Amazing Sunsets


It seems like everybody loves looking at beautiful sunsets, which is probably why sunset photography is such a competitive niche. Let’s look at some simple techniques that will help you to photograph truly stunning sunset images, the kind that stand out from the crowd.

Sunset Photography Rule #1: Protect your Eyes and Camera

It is dangerous to your eyes and to your camera’s image sensor to point your camera directly at a bright yellow sun. Using a long lens or optical zoom will magnify the damaging effects. Play it safe and get the better picture by waiting until the sun it is sinking below the horizon or is a dark red.

Sunset Photography Rule #2: Capture the Color

Ever run out the door to photograph a brilliant sunset but then after uploading to your computer wonder what happened to those saturated, bright hues? Usually the culprit is the camera’s automatic white balance. While your human eyes appreciate those brilliant sunset yellows, oranges, magentas and blues, the camera’s automatic white balance tries to correct them, to dull them down so that they appear “normal.” The solutions are simple…

  • If you have manual settings, turn off the auto white balance, and then set the white balance to the warm side.
  • If your camera has a color lens setting or you are shooting with an SLR or DSLR, try some shots with the red filter selected or attached.
  • Using a compact that doesn’t offer these manual settings? Really simple solution here: set it to sunset mode. This works for sunrises too. Sunset mode automatically sets the white balance to keep the warm shift in its color balance. Sunset mode also helps the camera to automatically use the best focus and exposure (no flash) for this type of picture.
  • None of the above? Use Landscape mode or automatic, and then use a photo editor to adjust the white balance to reflect the brilliant colors you know were there.

You may also want to experiment with different exposure settings or use your photo editor to darken or lighten. Be sure to make changes on copies, not the original!

Often a slower shutter speed will better capture the sunset; in this case, a tripod may be needed to steady your camera.

Sunset Photography Rule #3: Capture the Best Compositions

  • Use basic landscape photography techniques and patience to create stunning sunset pictures.
  • Not all sunsets are created equal…well actually many are, but to get a remarkable sunset photo, you need a remarkable sunset. Clouds almost always make for more dramatic sunsets. These are often found with sunsets over large bodies of water.
  • Allow yourself time to watch the sunset and wait for the really beautiful shots.
  • Take your sunset photos from vantage points that give you a composition free of clutter, such as power lines and buildings (unless the building is serving as a focal point for your photo).
  • Provide context and scale by composing your shots with something in the foreground such as silhouetted palms, a lone pine, a boat, a person…The sunset will almost always create the silhouettes, thus adding more drama to your sunset photography.
  • If the sky is the most dramatic part of the sunset, compose your picture so that two thirds of it is filled with sky. If the reflection on water and silhouettes is the most captivating part of the pictures give this two thirds of your image’s real estate.
  • Head to a beach where you’ll find some of the best sunset pictures. Here you can see the sun setting over the horizon, and your pictures will also get the benefits of the colorful reflections off the water. Other good places include the desert and prairie where you also often can see the horizon and where the additional dust in the air adds to the color.

This is all you need for succeeding at sunset photography so start using these tips and you’ll be happily surprised at the beautiful sunset pictures you’ll capture.


Source by Autumn Lockwood

Outdoor Portraiture Photography Tips


It’s not unusual for domestic portraiture photographers to shoot outside on a pleasant day and take pictures of their model. As a photographer I believe that the photographic studio can make people a tad nervous. The big lights and camera lens can make for a nervous experience. For shy people wanting their photograph taken, a photographic studio may not be the best.

External sources of light such as direct flash is so vital even in outdoor portraiture. You must have your speelite with you to fill up any shadowed areas that become visible. A reflector is a practical tool as well. You can slot the reflector under the persons face to photograph a very abstract shot, or, to simply get rid of shadowed areas beneath the nose and jaw.

Recently I did a series of photos outside in a park. It was of a young lady who sought shots for her collection. She was hoping to break into modelling. After some ideas back and forth we made the mututal decision that going to the recreational area was an ideal way to do the shoot.

Lenses for Portrait Photography

Firstly, one of the most vital aspects of winning outside portrait photography is the photographic lens you employ. Using the correct aperture, focal length and depth of field are essential components to an outdoor portraiture shoot. A rapid photographic lens is the ideal lens by skilled portrait photographers. What is a fast lens? A fast lens is a lens that has a very big maximum aperture. This will be anywhere between 1.8 and 2.8. This will mean that you can let a lot lighting in and use a quick shutter.

Imaginative portrait photography ideas

You can cultivate a large amount of creative portrait photography ideas simply by working at it.. Working at it gives you with something so extremely precious: experience. Once you begin to acquire added experience in outside portraits you will understand how outdoor lighting and flash fill work, in what way shadows work together on peoples facial features and most notably how you can do it better next time.

A lot of my most innovative ideas come to me from not only getting official training in photography, but also, from watching the way light interacts with it’s environment. Light can give you some good ideas about where to position a person, the best way to angle yourself to get the most ideal portrait shots.

Outdoor Portrait Photography Poses

Posing relies upon on the gender of your model. There are various stances that a gentleman will hold to appear more manly. There are very different poses a female will take so she seems to be more feminine. Female models look great when the angles of her body are softened as opposed to accentuated. This requires turning on an angle, leaning the face and using the clear, sharp focus on the eyes. You can employ a foot position modification to emphasize a posture change.

High Key Portrait Photography

What does “high key” actually represent? Well, if you examine the technical meaning it is all about reducing the lighting ratio present in the image. What this means, in English, is that the lighting is overexposed with just the main details in focus. This is wonderful fun and a great way to create appealing portaits. Can you create high key photography outdoors? Most definitely. As long as you have a strong lighting source on one part of the persons head for instance, you can utilise the flash on the other side. Ensure that you lock clear, sharp focus on the eyes to begin with so finer details is kept on the eyes.

Remember that taking photos of outdoor portrait photography is a huge opportunity to have an appealing background. A recreational area, seaside or city street scene can improve the story of your photo considerably.


Source by Amy Renfrey

Outdoor Photography – The Magic Hour


 Nature photographers and portrait photographers know there is an ideal time to take most  outdoor  photos. That time is what photographers often refer to as “sweet light” or the “magic hour.”  The magical period is the hour or so right after sunrise and right before  sunset .

If you will look around you the next time you are  outdoors  during the magic hours, you will see that the world is often transformed with beautiful colors, long shadows, and very soft light.  When the sun is low to the horizon, its rays have to pass through much more atmosphere. than during the middle of the day  The result is a softer, warmer (i.e. more yellow) light.  This can make otherwise mundane subjects come alive.  It is also a great time to shoot portraits.

For photographing people during this time, you will typically want to position them so that the soft light is falling on their face(s) at a slight angle.  In other words, have them look toward the sun and then turn 30-45 degrees to one side.  Because the sun is low, it is usually possible for your subject to do this without squinting.  Typically the background will have nice, saturated colors in it.  Because the light level is relatively low, it is easy to use a large aperture (a small number, like f/2.8 or f/5).  If your camera is on automatic you will probably get this result, but to be sure, use aperture priority if your camera has that function.  Set your aperture to a low number (preferably less than f/8).  If this produces too slow of a shutter speed to handhold your camera (and you don’t have a tripod available), then you can increase the ISO setting on your camera to get a usable shutter speed.

A side benefit of shooting people during this time is that the wind is usually minimal.  Also, if it’s in the summer, you’ll be shooting during the cooler part of the day, which is nice for your subjects.  Most people don’t photograph very well – and don’t want to be photographed – when they are hot and sweaty and squinting and miserable.

Here’s a side tip:  Do you know how slow of a shutter speed you can use while handholding your camera and not get camera shake?  It’s simple – just use 1 over the focal length of your lens (35mm equivalent).  For example, if you have a 100mm lens, most digital cameras (unless they are higher-end, full-frame versions) will effectively multiply that length by about 1.5 or 1.6.  100mm times 1.5 equals 150mm, so you should be able to handhold that lens at 1/150th of a second or faster and not get camera shake.  A little experimentation will show you “how slow you can go.”

Of course if you can use a tripod or otherwise stabilize your camera (by resting it on something solid or using a camera with stabilization built in), then you can use an even slower shutter speed than the above rule.  Just remember that the slower the shutter speed, the more your subject will need to hold still.  Again, the great thing about digital is that you can experiment and check your results right away.  Just be sure to zoom into your preview image on the camera to be sure your subject is sharp.  The eyes are the most critical in a portrait.

Another advantage to shooting in the relatively low light during the magical hour is that you can also use (with a tripod) a small aperture (i.e. a high number, like f/16) and a slow shutter speed (like 1/2 second) to blur moving water.  This can be difficult to do during bright sunlight unless you have a neutral density filter.

If the sky is overcast, the magic hour loses a lot of its magic.  You still have a very diffused light and a low light level, but you lose the great colors and the long shadows.  A smattering of clouds, though, may make the sweet light even sweeter.  You may just have to find your subject and be patient while the light changes as the clouds move.  That’s when you wait and shoot, then wait and shoot some more. 

Of course the magic hour is when you’ll be able to shoot sunrises and  sunsets .  Just don’t forget to look around you AWAY from the sun to see what the light is doing to other subjects.  You may find that this is your favorite time to shoot  outdoors .


Source by Jay Bitzer