Enter The Fishtec Fishing Photography Competition

Many anglers spend time on the bank taking photographs while they’re waiting for action. We want to see your pictures! Landscapes, birds, insects or other animals – or even brilliant shots of your mates while they’re waiting with you.

We love catch photography, but this isn’t a ‘grip and grin’ competition; we’re interested in what you snap before you land your catch!

Submit your best pictures taken from the waterside to be in with a chance of winning a TF Gear Hardcore all-rounder bag – the ideal bag for holding your camera gear as well as your fishing tackle! The picture with the best rating by February 8th will win.

tfg hc allrounder

The TFG HC Allrounder bag – ideal for tackle and cameras!

The competition is now closed!

You can see the shortlisted entries in the competition gallery

Terms and conditions

By entering into this competition, all entrants agree to be bound by these Terms and Conditions.

In the event that any entrant does not, or is unable to, comply with and meet these Terms and Conditions and the competition information, Fishtec shall be entitled at its sole discretion to disqualify such entrant, without any further liability to such entrant.

To enter this competition you must be: (a) a UK resident; and (b) 18 years old or over at the time of entry.

This competition is free to enter and no purchase is necessary.

Fishtec reserves the right to cancel or amend the contest or the terms at any time without prior notice. Any changes will be posted on blog.fishtec.co.uk.

Entry requirements
1. Submitted images should be no larger than 5mb in file size.

2. Submitted images should be no larger than 1,000 x 1,000 pixels.

3. Do not submit any photographs that are obscene, vulgar, pornographic, hateful, threatening, racist, sexist, discriminatory, or which otherwise violate any local or international laws.

4. Entrants must be 18 or over to enter.

5. You must be the copyright owner of any works submitted and you also confirm you have the necessary permission from people who may appear in the photo.

Copyright
6. The photographer must be the sole author and owner of the copyright of photos entered in to the competition. Fishtec respects photographers rights and does not claim copyright for images you submit to this competition, you will retain full copyright in each entry. Whenever your image is published by Fishtec you will be credited. Failure to publish a credit due to error or oversight shall not be deemed a breach of this condition.

Image Usage
7. By entering this competition you agree that any winning image or shortlisted images you submit may be used by Fishtec for purposes related to the Classic Catch Competition.

8. You hereby grant Fishtec a non-exclusive, irrevocable licence in each entry for the uses described in 7. above for 1 year following the date of announcement of the winner, thereafter the image may be used for archival purposes by Fishtec.

9. You acknowledge your responsibility for protecting your entry against image misuse by third parties, by for example, but not limited to, the insertion of a watermark, retaining exif data. Fishtec can assume no responsibility and are not liable for any image misuse.

10. Should any image uses beyond those needed for the competition arise we will endeavour to contact you.

Judging
11. Images will be voted on by the public. The image with the higheset votes by the closing date, will be the winner. Only the winner will receive a prize unless otherwise stated, the shortlisted entries will gain free exposure on blog.fishtec.com.

12. Once voting has closed the winners will be notified within 30 days.

13. The judges decision is final and they do not enter in to communication relating to entries.

Voting
14. Only one vote per person per image is permitted.

15. Any votes registered after the voting close time, which will be stated online, will not be included in final count.

16. Fishtec reserves the right to disqualify votes or entries, or suspend voting if it has reasonable grounds to suspect that fraudulent voting has occurred, or if it considers there has been any attempt to unfairly influence the voting. Fishtec has the right to substitute an alternative selection method at its absolute discretion.

17. If, for any reason, the online voting system fails, the vote may be suspended or a contingency plan may be actioned.

18. Fishtec reserves the right to change, cancel or suspend this event at any time.

19. Fishtec does accept any responsibility whatsoever for any technical failure or malfunction or any other problem with any on-line system, server, provider or otherwise which may result in any vote being lost or not properly registered or recorded.

20. In the event of a large amount of entries (as determined by the judges), a shortlist will be produced, to include highest voted entries and (in the event of multiple entries from a single person) the best (as determined by the judges) of an individual’s entries.

Prizes
21. The prize for this competition is a TFG HC Allrounder bag as shown at the page here

22. No alternative products, credit or cash equivalents will be offered.

23. Prize details will be sent to the winner via email within 30 days of the winner being announced.

How to win the Classic Catch competition

Have you sent in your picture for the Fishtec Classic Catch competition yet? If you’re still biding your time, we’ve got some hints for you!

We did share some slightly more technical tips a while ago, but here are some ideas based on submissions readers have made.

We’ve noticed that some entries are better than others, so let’s look at what works and what doesn’t for entrants after our monthly grand prize (it’s £150 worth of Fishtec tackle, so it’s not to be sniffed at…). No-one expects Magnum quality pictures, but there are some tried and tested techniques.

1 – Have a great catch to display

August’s winner Ryan Jones sent in a fantastic vote-hooking picture. His fish is beautiful, and the picture is framed well. Ryan’s obviously delighted with the catch (and he’s claimed his prize of a TF Gear soundwave alarm set already!)

Ryan Jones river wye pike

PB 26lb River Wye pike. First time out on the river last year.

2 – Good lighting is vital

John Lewis also has a fine catch. His picture is well-lit, and the fish, like Ryan’s, is in full view – you can clearly see the size of the catch, and again, John’s face is a picture of happy angling:

John Lewis Smooth hound

A 9lb smooth-hound caught on a pulley rig loaded up with squid as bait, Morfa Beach, S. Wales.

3 – Use the scenery around you

Fiona Guest’s picture is not only of a beautiful catch, held by a delighted angler, it’s also set in some stunning scenery. Classic catch pictures are all about the fish, but framing it with some lush countryside is never going to hurt:

Fiona salmon The River Tay

Fiona’s first salmon on The River Tay. 10lb caught on Vision 110.

4 – Show us the whole fish

Lee Ashton’s 15lb rainbow is a beauty for sure – but the picture loses a little in composition. The tail’s chopped off, and we can’t revel in the full glory of the catch. Give us just a little bit more, Lee!

15lb rainbow

Lee Ashcroft 15lbs rainbow, CDs black daddy

5 – Show us the whole angler!

Richard James is proud of his catch – and rightly so. If only we could see all of the fisherman as well as the fish. Watch out for chopped off heads, and make sure you’re not scalped in your photo!

richard james 10 and a half pound sturgeon at Kingsnordley Farm Quatt, Bridgnorth Shropshire

richard james 10 and a half pound sturgeon at Kingsnordley Farm Quatt, Bridgnorth Shropshire

6 – Having a good angle is helpful

This picture from Stan Tear shows him happily displaying a catch from his local fishery – but we can’t really see the fish very clearly. Display your fish side-on to the camera, and we’ll be able to appreciate your efforts much more easily.

Stan Tear - I caught this at my local fishery, literally 50 yards from my house. It's not a whopper but fishing for me is about relaxing and not all about monster fish.

Stan Tear – I caught this at my local fishery, 50 yards from my house. Not a whopper but fishing for me is about relaxing, not all about monster fish.

7 – A fresh catch always makes a better picture!

Ian Swindlehurst may have had a fine waterside duel with this fish, but by the time it makes it to the kitchen door, your haul isn’t going to be looking its best. Freshly caught live fish will always make for a better picture – and if you snap it as soon as it’s caught, you’ll capture the excitement of fishing as it’s happening.

This is my Uncle Ian Swindlehurst with his catch!

This is my Uncle Ian Swindlehurst with his catch!

You should now have all the knowledge you need to take the ideal catch photo. Remember to think about your composition, lighting and how you display your catch – but if you have any other tips to share, just let us know.

Submit your catch here: https://blog.fishtec.co.uk/fishtec-competitions/classic-catch-competition

To find out more about how to get the best pictures out of your own photography while you’re by the water, check out our fishing photography guide. It’ll give you all you need to get started or learn more about the art of snapping!

Top tips for snapping your catch

What’s the best way to photograph your trophy catch? Our step-by-step guide to fish photography draws on advice from some of the best fishing bloggers online.

Here we give you the benefit of their combined wisdom to bring you some baseline tools to help you capture a great picture for posterity.

With a little practice, who knows? Perhaps one day we’ll see your snaps published in print or online!

First steps

The results you get are down to skill just as much as your camera kit

Image source: North Country Angler
This one’s looking a bit out of plaice we reckon

Using a phone camera or the latest digital SLR? Fancy toys will only get you so far. The quality of your photography is as much about getting the basics right as it is the kit you use. Hone your skills using the equipment you already own before investing in the latest camera technology.

But before you do anything else, writes Sean McSeveny in his blog Fishing Tails, invest in a soft camera cloth; use it to ensure your camera lens is free of smears every time you use it.

Think of the fish

Tickling your subjects can in fact improve your photos

Image source: Northwest Fisherman
Tickling your subjects can in fact improve your photos

Always put the welfare of your catch first. Scope out where you intend to pose for your photo and, if you’re using one, assemble your tripod so it’s ready should you make a catch. The aim here is for the fish to spend as little time out of the water as possible. Will you be self-shooting? If so, set your camera’s timer and take some practice shots, adjusting your position until you know exactly where they should stand or crouch and where you need to be in relation to them.

Writing in his excellent fishing blog, Dr Paul Garner advises that a slick photographing and weighing process should see your fish spend a maximum of two minutes out of the water.

Framing

Who's the prettiest fish in the river?

Image source: Fishing for memories
Who’s the prettiest fish in the river?

Get in close, or zoom right in on your subject, advises ace angler and photographer Dave Lumb. In his blog, Lumbland, he advises allocating the maximum number of pixels to your subject. But be careful, he says, not to get so close that you cut the head or tail off your catch. It’s best to leave room around your subject, so you can crop it later.

If you’re taking the photograph, make sure you position yourself at the same level as the fish. This usually means kneeling down.

Take care with the background too, says Dave. Choose a sympathetic backdrop that complements your catch, like the water itself or a grassy bank. Brick walls, roads and rubbish will only clutter the shot and look messy. Do also check before you shoot that your subject doesn’t look like it has a tree growing out of its head, Dave writes.

The rule of thirds

Fishing on hook

Image source: JevgenijsB
Stick to one third of your view

Looking through the viewfinder of your camera, divide your image horizontally and vertically into three equal parts, creating six imaginary lines. The eye is naturally drawn to both the intersections of those lines, and the lines themselves. Put the main point of interest at one of the points where the lines cross to create a visually interesting photograph.

The angler

Are you the proud co-subject of the snap? If so, remember to look proud or pleased! Engage with the camera by looking into the lens and smiling. Photographing at night? Unless it has a built in light to help it, getting your camera to focus in the dark can be tricky, writes Dr Paul Gardner, but your head torch should provide a point for it to hone in on. Angle your head torch so that it shines over the fish’s flank, adds Dave Lumb, and remember not to wear clothes that are so dark you photograph as a disembodied head.

The standard trophy shot has you holding your catch close to your body, square on to the camera. Why not mix things up a little? Turn your body so your shoulder points to the camera for a head shot of your fish. For smaller species, Sean McSeveny suggests holding the fish closer to the lens so it takes up more of the frame and you avoid it looking like a giant.

Focus

I'm ready for my close up now

Image source: North Country Angler
“I’m ready for my close up now”

The striking image above was taken by Matthew Eastham, who shared with us his top tip for snapping an image like his:
“To get a striking portrait of an impressive capture, select a wide aperture to obtain a shallow depth of field with a rapid drop-off of focus. Ask the captor to turn the fish slightly towards the camera and make sure you focus on the eye – this helps to isolate the fish as the primary subject within the frame ahead of a blurred background of ‘bokeh’ (the out of focus portions of an image).”

Unless you’re really into your photography, your camera’s autofocus mode will probably be sufficient for your needs. Prefer manual mode? In his blog, Dr Paul Garner recommends the following camera settings: ISO 200, Shutter speed 125, F-stop F8 – F20.

Perhaps your shot is in focus but the pictures still come out looking blurry? Paul advises checking your camera’s F-stop setting. F-stop, he tells us, refers to the aperture. Set it too low and the camera’s field of focus is too narrow.

Lighting

Haddock about enough of these tips yet?

Image source: Rocksweeper
This angler uses the sunset lighting to his advantage

Where is the sun? If it’s right behind you, there’s a danger you and your fish will end up silhouetted. If it’s in front, you’ll screw your face up to squint into the lens. Ideally, have the sun behind and to one side of you, Dave Lumb writes.

Take care too with the way you position your fish, he advises. Flat-flanked species like pike tend to reflect the sun like a mirror, ruining your shot if you’re not careful. Round-bodied fish are arguably easier to photograph because they reflect light over a smaller portion of their bodies. Play around with the angle at which you hold your subject.

Using a flash? Dave Lumb, Paul Garner and Steve McSeveny all write in favour of using it even in daylight conditions. The extra lighting is useful, not just for dull days and evening shots, but for photographing in bright, sunlit conditions too, where it helps counter shadows. Red eye is always a risk with use of the flash, but modern cameras and photo editing software should be able to deal with the issue. If not, another top tip, courtesy of Sean McSeveny, is to cover the flash with a small square of tissue paper to diffuse the light.

Self Shooting

Just Fishing

Image source: Just Fish
Don’t leave selfie photos floundering in the shallows

Your camera, a bank stick with a tripod attachment, and a remote control are all you need to self shoot, writes Andrew Kennedy in his Angling Adventures blog. Just experiment until you work out exactly where you need to stand or kneel in relation to the camera. That way when you make a catch, simply unhook, pose and click. His concise guide to self photography will soon have you producing consistently high quality selfies for your scrapbook.

Mark Erdwin of Fishing for Memories (complete with YouTube channel!) told us his top tip:

“I use the remote with a 20 second timer and set it to take 10 pictures with a 6 second interval between each; this minimises the total time the fish is out of the water to only a couple of minutes and invariably you are left with at least a couple of good photos from the set of ten you have taken.”

Storytelling

Do remember to be imaginative with your angling photography, advises Dave Lumb. Make your picture tell a story. Complement your trophy shots with wide angle views, action shots and still lifes. Create a narrative record of your fishing tackle adventures with your camera, but most of all, have fun!

Finally, if you want to learn more about how to get the best pictures out of your own fishing photography, check out our fishing photography guide, which has all you’ll need to get started or learn more about the art of snapping!