Words and pictures by Elie Godsi:
I take my photography very seriously, not just when it comes to my fishing but more generally. At the end of the day, memories of a special catch are enhanced by good photographs and in these days of magazines, blogs and catch reports, being able to submit high quality photographic images are vital.
On many of the places I fish these days I may be on my own or far from other anglers and getting someone else to take pictures is often difficult or impossible. I have always taken my own pictures and over the years I have tried all manner of self-take set ups which have worked to a greater or lesser extent, though some have been very unreliable; for example, shutter release cables slipping or air bulbs breaking.
For over twenty five years I have been a loyal fan of Canon cameras. Having used these for so long they make sense to me and upgrading has always been relatively simple. I have always used ‘proper’ cameras for my serious photography and for me that means SLR’s. But one limitation of these has always been the absence of a reversible screen, so you can see what you are taking a picture of when you are doing self takes. Such reversible screens are found on lots of digital cameras but rarely on an SLR. Then a couple of years ago Canon released the EOS 60D which not only has a reversible extending screen, but this can be switched to ‘real time’ view so you can see exactly what you are doing, just like on many compact cameras. With a whopping 18 MP this was perfect for what I needed and it has been a fantastic purchase. It also takes really good quality digital videos.
More recently I have been using wireless remote systems that trigger off the camera without the need for any cables. The first of these I bought were very cheap plastic ones that worked but were basic and tended to fall apart quickly. You still needed to trigger them off manually though. Then I found the perfect answer: the Hahnel Giga T Pro II. Wow, where has this been all my life!
With this amazing little transmitter and receiver I can set off any manner of sequences of picture taking with one push of the transmitter button. So for example, I can programme it to a set delay of seconds before it starts taking pictures, I can set the number of pictures I want taken and the number of seconds between pictures. So a typical example for me is that I press the transmitter and then put it away knowing the sequence will start in 30 seconds. This gives me time to get the fish ready and to pick it up. I can see from a warning light on the receiver when the pictures are about to start being taken and each time a picture has been taken. I set mine to 10 pictures at 3 second intervals.
If that were not enough, this amazing little device allows me to set up a second interval delay – for me this is typically another 30 seconds. So after the first ten pictures are taken I have time to turn the fish round to the other side and get ready for the next 10 pictures at 3 second intervals. Any manner of delays, intervals, number of pictures taken and pattern sequences can be set to exactly what suits you. Just amazing!
I got mine off Ebay for about £60. Allied to my 60D and upgraded high quality zoom lens and I have finally arrived at the perfect self take set up. None of this is cheap, but in this case you really do get what you pay for.