PODCAST: Fishing With a Camera — S9, Ep8

by | Dec 10, 2023 | 16 comments

 The Troutbitten Podcast is available everywhere that you listen to your podcasts.

** Note **  The Podcast Player, along with links to your favorite players is below.

This one is about taking photos and videos on the water, about camera gear, about keeping that gear safe but available, and even a few tips on taking a good fish selfie.

Photography is something that we see most anglers get into, at least a little bit. I’ve often described the fish selfie as the grand compromise of catch and release fishing. We don’t kill the trout and take it home to show it off to friends anymore. But we do want to share some of the best trout and our most memorable situations on the river. So we take photos and videos.

We plan for these trips, we look forward to them, we tie flies, we think about leaders, buy gear and read books about the region and the tactics. And when we finally get our boots in the water, we want to document these experiences — especially when the stars align and something remarkable happens.

Fishing with a camera . . . here we go.


READ: Troutbitten | Fishing With a Camera
READ: Troutbitten | All the Things
PODCAST: Troutbitten | How to Handle a Trout, S1 Ep2
READ: Troutbitten | Their Heart in Your Hands

Here’s the podcast . . .

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Season Nine of the Troutbitten Podcast continues next week with episode nine. So look for it in your Troutbitten podcast feed.

Fish hard, friends.


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Enjoy the day.
Domenick Swentosky


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Domenick Swentosky

Central Pennsylvania

Hi. I’m a father of two young boys, a husband, author, fly fishing guide and a musician. I fish for wild brown trout in the cool limestone waters of Central Pennsylvania year round. This is my home, and I love it. Friends. Family. And the river.

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  1. I don’t know what the hell just happened. Everything made sense up to the exposure triangle then I got hopelessly lost. I am just going to buy a Polaroid and call it good. My wife would castrate me if I bought 4K worth of gear to take pictures of fish.

    Thanks for the cast! I am sure there are listeners much better outfitted, and informed in all of this that will find it helpful. I am much too dumb for this one.

    • Ha ha. That’s not true, buddy. You got it. Don’t need to spend a ton of money get a camera with manual functions either. Also, this podcast got more technical as it went on . . . That was on purpose. But don’t rely on us to get you up to speed on this stuff. It was just a primer.

  2. If I ever get decent at fishing, I might get into photography. Is there a relatively cheap set up that would be good to learn on? Say under 500. At that price point is a new iPhone going to give you everything a starter camera would?

    This whole topic seems like black magic to me.

  3. This method might be useful for Austin with his D7000. It’s been a game changer for myself (also a Nikon user). If your camera has an interval timer mode, or intervalometer, you can set that up to take a designated number of photos with a short delay in between each shot. The camera will refocus for each photo it takes, so you don’t have to set the focus in advance like you would with the self timer. It takes some trial and error to get the settings dialed in, but has worked really well for me. I have my Z6 setup to take 15 photos with a 1 second delay between each shot. The initial photos will be throwaways while getting the fish out of the net and into position, but then since the camera refocuses for every shot, you can adjust your distance and positioning throughout the session and get a variety of compositions to pick from. This is an effective workaround if you don’t have a remote shutter release. Hope it helps!!

    Also, a question for the crew. Any tips on getting an uncooperative fish to play along? So many times I’ve let a good fish go without snapping a photo, because they still wanted to fight for freedom after being landed quickly and I don’t want to stress them any more than necessary.

    • The intervalometer sound like a good one. I hope it help Austin get some decent photos haha kidding.

      Getting fish the setting down seems to start with myself settling down and that is sometimes hard ,after the excitement of a nice fish. Try to get the fish in at least 1 ft of water that is slow. This will give the bag of the net room to expand and give the fish room to swim around and calm down.

      When you are ready to take the photo grab the fish by the tail and lift the fish out and do not squeeze the fish the more you squeeze the more the fish will freak out . Try and cradle the fish and support the head and tail. If you are looking for hand placement check some of the photos any of us take. Some fish just do not settle down and I just give in and put the camera on a high shutter speed and snap a few release shots.

      • Hey thanks for tips Bill! Settling down is good advice. I usually try to find a small flat rock to place in the bottom of my net to anchor it to the stream bed. That works pretty well in the right water depth. And yeah the current can’t be too fast or the hoop will sink. Lost a fish or two that way. I think my biggest problem has been lifting the fish from the net too quickly, to get it in front of the camera, but I’ll work on correcting that. Sometimes the fish just know when to give a well timed kick to set themselves free.

        We bumped into each other back in the summer and after that conversation I did some research on wireless remotes for my camera. It seems Nikons require a transmitter plugged in to pair with the handheld remote. Just something else to get snagged, lost, or damaged. So, then I learned about the built-in intervalometer. It’s main purpose is for time lapses, but it also works great for taking fish selfies!

  4. I enjoyed this one and I will try Josh’s method of taking frames from a short video. Here are a few key factors I considered when choosing my camera:

    1. Weight of Camera and Lens: It’s important to weigh the pros and cons of full-frame versus cropped sensor cameras. Opting for a cropped sensor can save you a significant amount of weight, which is crucial when you’re on the move. The number of lenses you choose to bring along is also important which takes me to…
    2. Lens Selection and Purpose: Choosing the right lenses is a critical decision. While zoom lenses offer versatility, particularly for those interested in wildlife photography, they may compromise on optical quality and performance in low light. Consideration should also be given to macro lenses for detailed shots of trout food. It would be interesting to know what lenses each Troutbitten team member carries and why.
    3. Multipurpose Hiking Sticks: Some of those hiking sticks you recommended as wading sticks can also be transformed into monopods. This is particularly handy for supporting a mirrorless camera for those impressive fish selfies.
    4. Timing for Photography: Understanding why the ‘golden hour’ is essential for the best fishing and photography experiences. This time of day offers the ideal lighting for capturing stunning images.
    5. Use of Polarizing Filters: Incorporating polarizing filters is a game-changer for photographing fish in water from the bank. They help reduce glare and improve the clarity of underwater shots.
    6. Composition of The Shot: Bill and Josh touched on this but it would be interesting to hear which composition ‘styles’ each of the team likes and why.

    While I have considered all of the above, it doesn’t mean that I take good shots. That only comes with practise and learning.

    • Thanks. Now I’m camera shopping. My wife won’t be happy.

      Do ya’ll carry insurance on your camera gear. I’m sure the pro does, but how bout Dom and Bill?

  5. Well… now I am camera shopping. I had no idea full fame gear had dropped into the 1k range. Though it isn’t quite cheap, it is impressive! The RF24-105mm F4-7.1 kit lens that is offered with the RP seems pretty nice. Any thoughts on this glass and whether or not it alone could be versatile enough to capture a wide range of photos on the water? I am thinking ranging from the “fish selfie” to more macro photos..

    Thanks for this great podcast!

    • I think Dom has that lens. The 24-105 is a nice zoom length and it will work for fish selfie , but macro I would not count on. The Minimum Focus Distance for that lens is 5.16 inches. That means the lens has to be at least 5.16 inches away from anything you are taking a photo of. The challenge with the f4-7 is the higher aperture numbers will not perform as well in low light. If you fish in the east we have a lot of streams with shade or canopy this could impact your image quality a little. If you fish in the west, this will not impact you as much because of the bigger rivers and more sunny days.

      If you want a variable length lens I think this is a good start , it is light and packable for fishing. I would suggest going on Youtube and search for reviews of the 24-105 f4-7. They will give you image samples a lot of time and also tell you the pros and cons for it.

      I prefer the RF 24mm f1.8 or the RF 35mm F1.8 glass. They will work much better in low light condition and the quality of the lens build is much better , but you loose the ability to zoom. These lens also have Image Stabilization as well. The images will be sharper with these two as well.

      If you looking for deals check out the canon refurbished site . You can save some money and Canon will warranty the lens or glass for a year. I have bought a few from



      • Thanks for a really thoughtful reply here, Bill. I am on the easy coast and low light is common. Thinking about these conditions more yesterday I realized that, on the water, fixed focal length seems like an advantage rather than an issue. When I dabbled in photography in the past, mostly shooting birds, the tele style lens seemed like a great advantage. I realize just how different this style of photography is and appreciate the lens recommendations and the links! Thanks for sharing your photos on IG… it gives me both fish and photo quality to strive for.

  6. As a part-time photographer, I love the mix of fishing and photography talk. Great episode. My backup camera is a Canon R8 which I would say is the evolution of the RP you mentioned. It is a fantastic entry-level Full Frame camera with outstanding low-light image quality and autofocus. I use my R8 as my second camera with my wide-angle lenses for indoor sports and in those low-light situations, I have been super impressed with the high ISO performance. Same sensor as the R6MKII.

    I have a few of the L lenses as well as a handful of primes. But, my favorite lens to take fishing is the RF28mm pancake which is so light and small you barely notice it on the camera, packs nicely into my sling bag. If I want more versatility I go with the 24-105 F4L which is a sharp zoom that doesn’t weigh a ton (lighter than the 24-70 F2.8). Comes with great weather sealing too if it might be a rainy day. You can get great subject isolation at 105mm F4, just back up to fit the fish in the frame.

    I know I am a bit late with the comment but only recently listened to the podcast. Thank you for the remote trigger suggestion picked one up this week and am excited to try it out. I got a Gorrila pod tripod that is more than enough for the R8/RF28mm combo and ran some trial runs using my dogs fish-shaped chew toy and it worked out great.

    Also as mentioned before the Circular Polarizing Filter (CPL) is a great tool to cut glare and improve image quality for fish photos. Highly recomend. I understand that the ND filter is really important for video/hybrid stuff but for straight photos, the CPL is great for fish because the water can cause glare depending on how sunny it is. For the non-photographers, it is like putting on a nice pair of Smith Polarized glasses for your camera.

    Another point I would add especially for the non-photography people out there don’t be afraid to buy used cameras/lenses. KEH.com and MPB.com are two used camera gear retailers that inspect all gear they sell and provide warranties. I have bought and sold tons of gear through both of them with nothing but positive experiences. They give you a rating of the gear they sell.

    Thanks for the podcast keep up the great work!


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Domenick Swentosky

Central Pennsylvania

Hi. I’m a father of two young boys, a husband, author, fly fishing guide and a musician. I fish for wild brown trout in the cool limestone waters of Central Pennsylvania year round. This is my home, and I love it. Friends. Family. And the river.

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