Words and photos by Chris Funk
With the market explosion of small point-of-view action cameras, it is no wonder anglers are using them more and more to capture their adventures. It adds a little extra work to your trip but when you catch that perfect sequence it is worth it. Even diehard still photographers like me are trying to video more of our trips to share with friends.
I’ve learned a few general rules in my short time shooting video. Give ’em a look and see if you agree:
1: Large fish usually bite best in the first 10 seconds after you shut the camera down or the battery dies.
2: When something outstanding happens, it will happen outside of camera view 99.995 percent of the time.
3: If a large fish hits or something outstanding happens in camera view there is 100 percent chance the camera will be blinded by the sun.
This just seems to be the way it works in my boat, but thankfully others have much more success at it. I have watched my good friend Drew Gregory's videos for a long while and am always amazed at the results. After watching him meticulously rig his GoPro cameras on several trips I know he has it down to a science. He even has his blue heeler Lu running cameras for him. I spoke with him about some tips to help others in their video efforts. He had some great info to share.
Before your trip:
*Make sure your lens is clean and clear of any scratches or water spots at all times. The footage is useless if it isn't clear.
*Use anti-fog spray or strips in your camera’s housing to prevent fogging up. (As a camera nut I know acclimating your gear to the outside temps helps as well. Cameras coming from cold air conditioning fog up badly when exposed to warm, humid air.)
*Check all of your camera settings before you start and make sure your batteries are charged. Also be sure to start with empty memory cards to maximize your video time.
Once you are on the water:
*Get multiple angles of your trip; nobody wants to see the same angle for the whole trip.
*Shoot plenty of ‘B-roll’ footage; this really makes a video shine. Film the flowers, a beautiful rapid or a turtle on a log. Think about the stuff that folks at home don't get to see every day.
*A super wide shot of your fishing location will help put the whole video in perspective for your viewing audience.
*Keep your video short; you don't have to show every fish! Pick some favorites or particularly exciting ones. An exciting fight or crushing topwater hit will keep your audience captive.
*Lastly, don't forget to have a shot or two of you smiling and enjoying the trip. That is what it is all about!
Drew Gregory really enjoys his craft and it shows in his work. Another valuable tip he taught me helps later in the editing. After catching a fish or something else exciting happening on video, stop the camera and restart it. Doing this will give you a ‘marker’ in your footage so you don't have to hunt through a 45-minute segment to find a 20-second clip. Also in editing, experimenting with slow motion or speeding up the footage can make for very interesting and professional looking results. I hope you put some of these tips into practice for your next filming session. May your batteries last and I hope the fish bites before you turn your camera off!
Jackson Kayak pro staffer Chris Funk is a proud self-proclaimed redneck outdoorsman. He swings a mean camera, particularly when any of his beloved critters are around. Funk is a Kayak Fish Magazine contributing editor.