Documenting the Hunt with Photos

Photo opportunities are all around you

a

Photo © Edward Price

By Bill Konway

Just as every hunt is an adventure, so is every moment spent hunting a small treasure, brimming with opportunities for amazing photography. If you have the camera, why not put it to use?

Even though the most popular photo taken of "the hunt" is the hero shot at the end of the day, with your harvest in hand, there are still so many other moments from the time you wake up until them time you arrive back home, that scream out for a shot. You've made the effort to bring the camera along. Let's put it to use throughout the hunt now.

I'm going to assume that everyone has a DSLR with some sort of flash and most likely a wide to mild telephoto lens. That's great, that's all you need. Remember that there are a lot of places between full wide and full telephoto that you can and should be using.

View Photos from DU Members

Moving on I'm just going to throw out possible ideas for photos and you can decide which ones you like. When the hunt begins, this might be different for each of us, but my hunt begins when I get that first cup of morning coffee. It could begin sooner I guess, but I am absolutely worthless before that first cup.

Photo opportunities

  • Let's start with that morning coffee. A wide or tight shot of your buddy sipping his coffee with the steam rolling off from the chill in the air is great first shot. The possibility of the boat or truck in the background is always there as well.

  • Everyone has the pile of decoys thrown in the back of the truck. Probably a tight shot that becomes more lifelike as it gets tighter.

  • A wide shot of your buddies setting decoys illuminated by the headlights of the truck. A shot of a single decoy either floating high on the water or nestled down in the mud.

  • Your buddies milling about in the pre-dawn light setting out the dekes. The bonus to this idea is it gets you out of the chore of setting the decoys.

  • How about the small wisp of smoke coming out of the end of the gun barrel after a flock passes through.

  • A shot of a few spent shells floating in the water. (I know you'll pick these up before you head home).



  • Your dog sleeping at the other end of the blind or on the bow of the boat.

  • The dog making a retrieve or a tight shot of the dog holding a bird. (Actually dog photography is an entire story all its own).

  • A tight shot of a buddy doing his best chuckle or come back call.

  • The sun peaking over the trees or glistening off the water as dawn breaks. A tight shot with nothing but glistening water can be a really nice addition.

  • A flock high overhead or a shot of the birds locked up and committed to your spread. (Yeah, you may have to give up a shot opportunity to get this one). As long as you grabbed the camera instead of a gun for this flock, how about a shot of your buddies firing. You can always tell them later that they missed most of their shots.

  • A shot of either a bit of snow or ice perched on the head of a decoy.

  • Your buddy snoozing/snoring in the corner of the blind.

  • Bands on the leg of a bird or those on a call lanyard.

  • A gloved hand trying to load or reload.

  • Your dog looking up watching as birds pass above.

  • A shot of the pattern or colors of a bird's feathers that was harvested.

And by all means, don't forget to take a shot of the entire crew with their harvest for the day. Don't forget to get the dog in there as well. Most digital and DSLRs have a self timer feature and using a tailgate to rest the camera on so you can get yourself in the shot too.

These are just a handful of ideas. If you take a moment to think about it, the possibilities are endless. Put a little thought into it and one idea will lead to another, and then another. Keep shooting and have extra memory cards available.

Once you get the motivation, and the accolades of your hunting buddies, this picture taking thing can become addictive.