Black marlin — my favorite species for shooting leaping billfish.
(iso800, 24mm, f8, 1-3200)
For point-and-shoot digital cameras
THERE ARE MANY good waterproof point-and-shoot cameras on the market
today, which are excellent choices for boaters. Any point-and-shoot camera
over six megapixels will make a fine 8x10 print. Here’s how to make your
n Set your camera to the highest resolution/quality JPEG. Set the image to
the largest size. You’ll get fewer photos, but you’ll be able to enlarge them
later to any size you like.
n Set the ISO (which governs the camera’s sensitivity to light) to auto, or
400. No need to go below 400.
n Avoid using the “digital zoom” feature, which decreases picture quality. You
can always zoom and crop on your computer later.
n The fill-in flash makes a big difference in lighting up the boater’s face. The
hats we wear aboard make dark face shadows. For shots of people or grip-and-grin photos of your catch, go to the “portrait” mode on the scene
selector and then set the flash to “on.”
n Tell your friends to stay put till they see the flash go off. There’s a delay
between pressing the shutter release and the shutter actually taking the
photo — this is the major drawback to point-and-shoot cameras and makes
action shots more difficult to capture.
n Bracket your shots. Take one without a flash, the same one with a flash, and
yet another from a different angle (higher, lower, or from one side), to make
sure one of them gives you what you want.
n Shaking up the expected angle makes for more interesting shots. Instead of
the straight-on shot, go up to the bridge and take the photo, with your subjects looking up and smiling.
n Many waterproof point-and-shoot cameras can take excellent shots in shallow water. Water clarity is the most important element. Hold the camera just
below the surface while a friend tries to lead the fish in front of it. Take a lot
of photos; hopefully a few will be properly framed. (The underwater bonefish
photo on the contents page was taken with a $250 Canon D10.)
n Don’t erase photos from the camera while you’re on the scene. You just
can’t accurately judge the quality of the exposure and focus from the small
LCD on the back. Download them into your computer and only then dump
the bad ones.
the dark sky makes
the net visible, adding
to the drama of this
shot. (iso 400, 70mm,
60 | BoatU.s. magazine