Lift-Off: How to Shoot Mid-Air Fish Photos

We sat down with photographer Kiyoshi Nakagawa to talk about how he manages to seemingly capture perfect images of fish launching themselves skyward. Here are his top 5 tips for capturing those moments:

1. Set your shutter speed at least 1/1000 to 1/5000

2. Make sure your ISO is set as low as possible. 400-2000 maximum

3. Wait for the fish to Jump and start shooting. The fish will be moving fast making them almost impossible to track and focus on at the same time. Wait for the jump, quickly dial in your focus and shoot 1 or 2 shots.

4. A 70-200mm zoom lens will work much better than a prime lens for these types of shots

5. Be patient and pay attention to where the fly line and tippet go. This is where you want to be focused on, to nail your jump shot.

My preferred setup is a Canon 1DX Mark 2 with a 70-200mm f2.8 lens. I also use my 300mm f2.8, 24-70mm, and 100mm Prime depending on how small the stream is that I am shooting on.

Nakagawa Kiyoshi is a fly fishing guide and photographer fishing primarily in New Zealand! Be sure to check out more of his stellar photography @nzyoshi on Instagram!

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