Grand JunctionGrand Junction — It’s the moment you’ve dreamt of for years — You’ve just taken the shot of a lifetime and the trophy of a lifetime is on the ground. — It’s the moment you’ve dreamt of for years — You’ve just taken the shot of a lifetime and the trophy of a lifetime is on the ground.
Grand Junction — It’s the moment you’ve dreamt of for years — You’ve just taken the shot of a lifetime and the trophy of a lifetime is on the ground.
Now, you’re faced with the second most-important shot of your life.
This time, however, it’s with your camera. The saying “Without a photo, it didn’t happen” never rings more true than when you are recording that all-important trophy.
Umm, you are carrying a camera this hunting season, aren’t you?
With the fall big-game and upland bird seasons approaching quickly, it’s probably time to pay a bit more attention to your in-the-field photography.
The easiest part is that most of us already carry a camera every day. It’s also known as your cell phone.
That “Let me tell you the story” moment only comes once and with the advances in phone software and apps, there is no reason why every hunter can’t be ready and able to take a memorable photo that will rekindle memories for years.
Think of it as the ultimate hunting selfie, only this time you somehow have to fit into the photo a game animal weighing upwards of half-a-ton.
The Internet offers an abundance of hunting-centric photography lessons, whether you’re chasing high-country bighorn sheep or elk or stalking elusive mule deer in the canyon country of western Colorado.
Along with whatever tips you delve out of the Internet, here are a few pointers to make it easier for you to capture that special hunt and hold on to it through the years.
Many cell-phone cameras take better and higher-resolution images than most inexpensive digital cameras, and there are several free or inexpensive apps that allow you to edit and improve the final picture.
Plus, and this is key, a cell phone is easy to carry because it fits in your shirt pocket or cargo pants.
That keeps it handy for those quick shots that tell the story about your hunt in addition to the final dramatic photo.
You won’t make professional-quality images with a phone camera but just having it handy meets the No. 1 criteria, which is making sure your camera is there when you need it.
Learn how the camera functions before you need it. Does it have zoom or wide-angle capabilities and how about a fill flash for those too-often back-lit situations?
And where does the camera focus? Most phone cameras allow you to point it at the subject, lightly touch the button and then move the camera to compose the shot you want.
A drawback to auto-focus cameras is it’s too easy to overlook nearer distractions (a branch, antler point, rifle barrel, anything that captures the camera’s electronic eye) between you and the subject.
More than one great shot has been spoiled when the focus is off.
Some phone cameras offer a “Rule of Thirds” grid, which can help you compose and balance your photos.
Taking every shot with the subject dead center not only is boring but loses the sense of creativity found in great photography.
A few more hints:
Keep your camera accessible, that “to die for” (literally) shot may turn up at any time;
Take more photos than you think you’ll ever need. The ones you don’t like can easily be erased;
Slow down and take the time to look around because the best photo may not be in front of you;
And be respectful of the animal and your audience, especially if you want to see the photo published. Take time to clean off the blood, replace the tongue and position the animal to show its magnificent nature.