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Shooting Fish with Robert Smith (by Brian Collier)

Shooting Fish with Robert Smith (by Brian Collier)

It's 6.30 am on a coolish early November morning. I should still be in bed, but Simon Burfoot and I are already deep in the wild countryside of Loughborough. We're looking for a gate off a main road, that gains access to another gate (!), off which is a private carp fishing lake. Finally we make our way through the dreaded gate, where we find Robert Smith already carting gear up a track. He's got with him about 5 Elinchrom Quadra Packs (note: the Quadra has now been updated to the new ELB400 system) with heads and loads of accessories, some bigger Ranger kit, massive Manfrotto 083NW stands and some home made reflectors that weigh a ton each. He uses these as they don't move and are ace in high winds!

We give Robert a hand sorting out kit and say hello to the guys from Trakker. Gerry, one of the consultants, has been fishing overnight and has a near 25lb carp in a sling in the water already! This is our 'stunt' carp, and it's going to be used in the shots you see below, heavily backlit coming out of the water. This shot is achieved by taking a massive stand into about 5ft of water, and attaching a Ranger pack with head on, shooting at pretty much full power with a high performance Elinchrom 40cm Maxi Silver Reflector on. The shot looks ace! It's going to grace the front of Trakkers website. Robert then does various shots with the fish on the bank showing fish care items etc, then it's finally released none the worse for wear, back into the lovely lake. Back to shooting, where Si and I attempt to get video footage and stills. The weather’s on our side, allowing for some sunlight blasting through the trees etc, it's all looking good!

Robert loves using the higher powered Ranger for shots where he needs dramatic backlighting. It's advantage is we are working with Elinchrom Skyport transmitters, so can control the power remotely with ease. When you're in cold water in waders you need to move fast.

Back to bankside where we set up to do some low level stuff showing the underside of some new beds Trakker are releasing. These shots are done by using the Elinchrom Quadra heads, clamped to trees, bushes, anything and everything is used to get them into position (the Manfrotto Super Clamps and Variable Friction Arms come in handy here) . Robert says, “I can only do this with Quadra. The lightweight heads are perfect for getting into impossible positions. I couldn't do this with heads that were any heavier!”. We're using three packs at various power settings to light a bed, underneath the bed, and an angler. Awesome stuff! I'm darting round trying to get some good angles for the video stuff, wish I'd bought some waders! Would have been great to get into the water. Maybe next time. We move on as the light is fading fast.

There’s still some shots to be done from the water of a shelter quite far away, again Skyport triggers come into their own. We just about have time to do some shots of clothing before it's time to wrap up. After swapping out batteries and getting some more shots of the lake for filler pics, it's time to head back to the hotel to download, charge batteries up and get ready for more on day two. More product stuff, accessories and clothing were all captured using the Ranger and Quadra. After shooting up to mid afternoon we bid our goodbyes.

Lets hope we get to shoot again with Robert and the Trakker boys. Many thanks to them for the hospitality, and many thanks to Robert Smith for allowing us to come and see how he works. Elinchrom Ranger and Quadra extreme- it's the only way!

You can see more of Robert's work here: and the results of the shoot here:

All images Copyright Robert Smith


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