Capturing What Matters Most
I bought the spinning rod/reel combo pictured above for my son’s recent birthday. I knew I’d be taking him fishing at the beach and wanted him to have something he could handle, yet something stout enough to handle the creatures one may catch in the surf of the Gulf of Mexico. My oldest son caught a 40″ redfish (yep, 40″) on a rig just like this when he was 10 or 11 years old.
I’m amazed again and again how young children are able to learn and accomplish much more than we give them credit for. [In fact, I think that some part of society’s problems these days are related to expecting too little out of our young people from age 2 all the way to 25…but that’s a discussion to have in person over lunch or something] There were some lousy casts at first as my son learned how to use the spinning reel, but within 30 minutes he was practically a pro. He put on his own bait, cast it, reeled it in to check it here and there, and landed some fish completely on his own. I still removed them from the hook…we’ll work in that next trip maybe.
I didn’t have my camera out much on the beach b/c I (1) the trip was about father/son time and (2) I wanted to keep the sand out of the camera. But, I did take a little time to record some shots of him fishing. I took many that included a wider scene — the entire rod, more background, etc. but this is really my favorite. This photo wasn’t posed at all and he looks like a little man “working the fish”.
There were several cropping options considered but in the end I didn’t crop it at all. I really like a square crop because of the focus it put on my son, but I wanted the dunes and sky to give a more complete sense of location. Having the fishing rod disappear out of the frame actually bugs me somewhat. Post-processing was minimal and consisted of simple tone/contrast adjustments…I believe I did everything in Lightroom.
If I were a photographer on assignment I suppose what I would’ve done is gotten out in the water further — almost straight in front of my son. This might have allowed me to capture the whole rod with the dunes and sky while keeping my son relatively prominent in the frame. I was on a father/son assignment though and I got what I was really after and what mattered most — shots that capture the memory of the trip.