Angler Showing Off Large Rainbow Trout
September, 2009—Kamchatka Peninsula, Russia
|Shot with Nikon D3X and Sigma 15mm fisheye lens, in a Subal ND3
Housing, no strobes. ISO 100, 1/100 second @ f6.3.
One of my great passions in life—other than underwater photography—is fly fishing, especially for large trout. I have wanted for many years now to go to Russia's Kamchatka Peninsula (across the Bering Sea from Alaska), where stories of rainbow trout up to and over 30 inches long are common. So, this summer, I finally made the long trek, and decided to schlep my cameras, lenses, and housing, just in case. This posed the first problem I had to figure out. My housing normally travels in my checked baggage, in a large hard sided case, along with all of the lens ports, strobes, and accessories. I wasn't going to use any of these, so it made little sense to bring that large case, but I still needed to protect the housing and camera gear. There were also weight restrictions I had to comply with once in Russia to get to the river where we ultimately began our seven-day float. I finally settled on a thick briefcase-sized pelican carry-on case for my camera and lenses, and wrapped my housing in hand towels before putting it in my carry-on backpack. Not the ideal situation, but at least I could have both in my possession at all times, and hopefully keep them protected. This solution turned out to be effective enough.
The shooting was trickier than I expected, partially because I was spending way more time trying to catch fish than pictures! When a friend did land a large trout I wanted to shoot, we had to maneuver around each other so that they would be in the sunlight, but my shadow wouldn't be cast onto the image. Also, we had to be very careful about the current in the spot we chose, because if it were swift enough, it would create very visible bubbles where it ran into the fish, my camera, etc. Lastly, we had to stay VERY still, so that our feet did not kick up any sediment, which would ruin the shot. Most importantly, we needed to make sure we did all of this relatively quickly, so as not to create too much stress for the fish. All Rainbows caught had to be released in healthy condition, which we were happily able to accomplish. All told, during about ten hours of dedicated shooting on this trip, I walked away with about twenty images that I feel are worthy of display, including the above.