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6th Annual "Take Quality Pictures...Ones to be PROUD of!"

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6th Annual "Take Quality Pictures...Ones to be PROUD of!"

Old 08-19-2005, 03:28 PM
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Giant Nontypical
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Default 6th Annual "Take Quality Pictures...Ones to be PROUD of!"


6th annual “Take Pictures to be Proud of!” thread. 2005-2006 edition

The next installment of our “Classic” yearly threads in anticipation of another terrific and successful season! I thought this would be especially relevant for 2005/2006 given that wehave established the Huntingnet Bowhunting Deer Contest as a yearly tradition, and the need for “Photographic Evidence” in that contest.

You have that animal you worked so hard for, dreamed of all offseason..….it may very well be an animal of a lifetime in your hands!


What you do next will decide how well that memory will be replayed and preserved for years to come.

You’ve all seen them………and if you don’t hate them I’d be shocked. You know what I’m talking about: Tongue hanging out, laying lifeless in the back of a pick-up truck……..or the absolute most horrible of them all,(insert Psycho shower scene music here) hanging by its neck from the garage rafters!!! AHHHHHHHHHHHhhhhhhhh!!
What are you doing!
A little fore thought, a small amount of time and some creativity will help you to take pictures that you will be proud to show anyone, ones that will do the moment justice and ABOVE ALL ELSE honor the spirit of the animal you just harvested.

I won’t call these the “Be all End All” guidelines for how to take pictures (I’m NOT a professional photographer by any means) but you can rest assured that if you eliminate most of the things you SHOULDN’T do ,chances are you will be much happier when you get that film back from 1hr photo (cause’ ya know none of us can wait days for developing!)

1. Ok, I know we’re not all John D. Rockafeller……..cameras are expensive plain and simple. You can get as crazy as you want with expensive super telephoto/digital high resolution etc. etc., or you can get by with some simple and inexpensive disposable options. The main thing to remember is this……The best pictures are those taken on the spot, in the woods and fields where the animal lived and died. They not only add needed scenery to a picture but they also help to tell the story as well.
Several factors will determine if this in the field photography can or will happen…….if you have a buddy to help take the pictures you can at minimum keep a decent disposable camera in your day pack. Very little added weight or space taken.
Obviously if you are by yourself you’ll need a “REAL” camera with an automatic shutter feature. There is a company (Savage I think?) that makes a great little cameral tri-pod that uses arrows for the legs by fitting your nocks into slots on the tri-pod. Works GREAT!
In any event do your best to have a camera (with a flash) handy. You can’t take a picture without SOMETHING!

2. Don’t be afraid to take a BUNCH of pictures…….usually you’ll know if you’ve
taken enough when your hunting buddy starts to complain or starts calling you “Miss America” . Whatever you do, absolutely positively DON’T stop after one or 2 pictures…….blow an entire roll if you have to . I have seen too many instances where 24 pictures are taken and maybe 1 or 2 come out truly good.

3. Posing the animal is sort of an art form in itself…….you want the animal to look tasteful, and quite frankly, alive. Try to avoid the “Overhead” airplane shots. Have your buddy get down eye level, get close get far , straight on, quartering, hunter sitting, hold it this way, that way………basically be creative. Check out the poses in the hunting magazines. Find one you really like, remember it and try to duplicate it with your own animal.

4. Compose the picture…..think about what is behind the shot and how it will play into the picture. If there is a nice bit of early morning sun hitting the forest floor only a few feet away, by all means get the animal into it. If there is a particularly nice tree etc get it in the picture. Remove all foreign debris like twigs, weeds etc from sticking up in front of the shot. Nothing worse than getting the pictures back and the camera focused on and flashed out a big fat weed a foot from the lens!

5. Take the pictures BEFORE the animal is dressed! It will look fuller, and more alive. Speaking of alive, sounds extreme, but you might want to invest in a set of taxidermist eyes. It doesn’t take long for a dead deer (or whatever) to get a “Dead” eye. You can easily slip these fake eyes into place and not only will you have nice lifelike eyes, but no “Eye Shine” from the flash.

6. Wipe off all blood, stick the tongue back in and for God’s Sake if the arrow is still in the animal REMOVE IT. I know some of you are thinking……” I’m not going to worry about what other people think” Well frankly you should. Being able to proudly show a non-hunter a tastefully done picture showing how proud you are of that animal…….honoring the animal will go a lot farther than a bloody deer hanging from its neck I can guarantee you that! A little Windex or water sprayed around the mouth and wiped clean will make a much better and professional looking picture.

7. SMILE!!!!! Guess what? You are having a good time, you’re not getting your picture taken for “Soldier of Fortune” magazine.

8. Get the Hat out of your eyes……yeah we want to see you too.(Some of you anyway[:'(])

9. Make sure that you get the bow in the picture. Again helps to tell the story (Also a requirement for the Contest)

10. Put something solid under the deer’s chest cavity to prop it up a bit…….will give a much fuller looking animal. When an animal is lying down you don’t realize it but it is on a very near parallel angle to the ground. Bringing the chest up and out a bit will do wonders. Also try tucking the legs into a “Bedded” position under the animal. Looks very lifelike.

11. Smooth back any funky hair…….slick it back with your hand...DETAILS!.

12. Use your flash to fill shadows. Even if you think its light enough.

13. Get close…….many many many times I’ve seen people THINK that they are going to get what they see in that viewfinder and they wind up with a picture that looks much farther away. Don’t be afraid to take some shots from what you think is “Too Close”

14. Digital Cameras are GREAT…….and as technology gets better and better you are starting to see prices on very good ones come down considerably. Nothing like the instant gratification and feedback of a digital. You don’t like a shot, simply erase it and try again. If you go this route, remember to save the pictures to a DISC! You lose your computer, you lose your memories. (I want to ammend this entry as last year someone mentioned a good point........unless it's a blatant bad shot like you accidentally took a picture of your foot or the skydon't delete the picture.....sometimes those candid unplanned shots are the best ! In any event Digital cameras give you that OPTION.)

15. The animal is NOT a carnival ride so don’t even dream of sitting on it’s back! This even looks tacky for the truly big animals like Elk and Moose.

16. Don’t pull a “Bill Dance” and stretch your arms out to the camera to make your 13” 8pt look like the “Jordan Buck”! Nobody is buying it and we want to see the true animal! Be proud of what it is.

17. Pick-up beds are a big pet peeve of mine……..especially since most of the time it involves just the animal looking VERY dead, or since there is no room you wind up with “Joe Hunter” riding bareback. YUCK!!!! I find no excuse for this one except a lack of really caring or laziness. If you can’t get the animal’s picture taken in the woods for whatever reason, that’s understandable. If that's the case, drive to a Park or a friend’s house with some trees…... Just make it somewhere in a natural setting, remember the above tips and do your best to make it look lifelike! ( NO the garage floor next to the can of Kerosene and your spare tire doesn’t count as a natural setting!)

18. Get your hunting partner in the picture! He’s your buddy……..(your now jealous buddy!), but your buddy nonetheless, and when the 2 of you relive the hunt though the pictures they will mean much more to you

19. Pass it down……..sorry to remind everyone, but we are all going to pass onto the big hunting ground in the sky someday. Leave something behind for your kids to show your love of the sport in a way they will be proud of! Is there anything better than to imagine your grandkids sitting around a fireplace paging thru “Grandpas” old hunting album and remembering the hunts and the man behind them. Everybody now……….Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

That should do it, if anyone is still awake!
I know this isn’t the “Bible” of how hunting pics should be taken…..it’s not meant to be. I don’t know many of the technical aspects of photography, so what I have listed here I have figured out through trial and error, common sense and personal aesthetics, but I GUARANTEE that if you follow even a few of them your pictures and memories of a cherished moment in your life will improve for the better.
I CHALLENGE everyone to take the best pictures that they are capable of. Pictures to be proud of, to look at again and again with a smile………And above all else to HONOR THE ANIMAL.
And when you take that “Perfect Picture” , the one you can’t stop staring at…….I might even help you figure out how to post it here!
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Old 08-19-2005, 03:42 PM
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Giant Nontypical
 
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Default RE: 6th Annual "Take Quality Pictures...Ones to be PROUD of!"

Matt, once again a very good post.

I challenge everyone to do there best when taking pictures. There is quite a bit of effort to taking some great pictures, but the results will make it all worth while.

(I want to ammend this entry as last year someone mentioned a good point........unless it's a blatant bad shot like you accidentally took a picture of your foot or the sky don't delete the picture.....sometimes those candid unplanned shots are the best !
Dude, that was my comment from last year. Makes a man feel good to know that he contributed.
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Old 08-19-2005, 04:25 PM
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Default RE: 6th Annual "Take Quality Pictures...Ones to be PROUD of!"

Great post...I am a picture fanatic. I love seeing pics of everybodies deer. The things I hate are trucks, garages and tongues. Great post once again
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Old 08-19-2005, 04:56 PM
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Default RE: 6th Annual "Take Quality Pictures...Ones to be PROUD of!"

Good post Matt, thank you again. I know that these posts have given me some great tips to getting better pics after the harvest. For instance, here is a pic I took last year of my best-friends archery buck. We took nearly 50 pics with the digital camera trying to get that one pic that stood out. The buck died in a patch of crab apples and we wanted to get the picture where the buck fell, but the pictures in the crab apples were not nearly as nice as the ones in the golden rod field. You should have seen us two scrawny PA boys dragging this buck around the woods trying to get a good spot for the pic. Heck, this buck nearly weighed as much as the two of us put together (thats no joke either,I weigh about 140 and my friend weighs about 135)



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Old 08-19-2005, 06:15 PM
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Default RE: 6th Annual "Take Quality Pictures...Ones to be PROUD of!"

Great post as always Matt, which means that it is time for.....

...and pin it to the top for me would ya? I don't have that type of power anymore.

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Old 08-20-2005, 06:58 AM
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Default RE: 6th Annual "Take Quality Pictures...Ones to be PROUD of!"

Fantastic Thread once again Matt, full of excellent advice and well placed humor.

I hope everyone who reads this heeds his advice. It only takes moments to make a otherwise dead animal photo look like a Quality Photo, one you could enlarge for a frame, etc...a keepsake. Get them out of the truck, off the chains, ropes, rafters, trees, hanging post or whatnot and take a quality photo......I'm sure you can tell the difference and what a difference it does make.

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Old 08-20-2005, 07:14 AM
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Default RE: 6th Annual "Take Quality Pictures...Ones to be PROUD of!"

Great post Matt--the humor really kept it going!

It really does help explain to a non-hunter the story of bowhunting, when you can show a picture of a harvested deer that isn't all bloody with the tongue hanging out--I've seen a bunch of people freaked out by that.
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Old 08-21-2005, 12:59 AM
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Default RE: 6th Annual "Take Quality Pictures...Ones to be PROUD of!"

GREAT POST!

For the last 4-5 years, I have been packing the disposable cameras in all of my hunting packs. That way, I always have a camera with me.

Here are my last three season's photos, and all were taken with a disposable camera.

Sometimes the shot turns out good,


Some turn out pretty good,


and other times, it turns out darn near perfect. (IMHO)



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Old 08-21-2005, 10:10 AM
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Default RE: 6th Annual "Take Quality Pictures...Ones to be PROUD of!"

and i thought the hunting was the hard part
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Old 08-21-2005, 07:48 PM
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Default RE: 6th Annual "Take Quality Pictures...Ones to be PROUD of!"

ORIGINAL: Dampland

GREAT POST!

For the last 4-5 years, I have been packing the disposable cameras in all of my hunting packs. That way, I always have a camera with me.

Here are my last three season's photos, and all were taken with a disposable camera.

Sometimes the shot turns out good,


Some turn out pretty good,


and other times, it turns out darn near perfect. (IMHO)



Fixed. IMG must be in lowercase for the photos to show up.
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