Thursday, June 11, 2015

Photographing The Elusive Jumping Tarpon

I rarely post jumping tarpon photos because most of the ones I take are terrible, and here's another example.  The secret to getting an excellent shot of these fish in the air is to have the camera in your hands and ready before they jump.  As a guide, I nearly always have a push pole in my hands and my Nikons in their case down on the skiff's floor.  When I finally do manage to grab a camera after the first minute of chaos the tarpon usually throws the hook and the fight is over.  That's what happened in the photo above, but at least I got 90% of the fish in this barely focused frame.

Fishing and photographing tarpon on the flats is basically a three person job.  One guide, one angler, and one dedicated photographer.  The latest DSLRs have remarkable auto-focus settings but they're worthless if you're trying to yank one out of its case while the fish is airborne.  Have someone with the camera powered on and ready and you won't get blurry tarpon shots like this one.