Portrait photography is an art in which the photographer is able to capture every detail, every nuance of his subject with nothing more than a shutter-click. A precise diffused-type-light flash helps as well. Afterward, there’s some post-production on computers. Getting everything just right using just the camera requires either luck or years of experience working with lighting and cameras and people. A portrait of you will live on in your home, or at your mother’s house, in a bright hallway or on a shelf, maybe even on a mantel above a fireplace. That’s why it’s so important the photographer get things right the first time.
A fisherman also knows about getting things right the first time. A dry fly fisherman, for instance, wont catch fish if he’s done something incorrectly on the first cast. This is especially true on slow-water stretches on rivers like the Bighorn, Missouri, or Idaho’s Henry’s Fork, where fish feed in lanes, hovering just beneath the slick-surface, picking insects from the film as they pass.
The fisherman then first considers his fly. Is it the right size and color? Is it tied with sparse material that leave little to provoke any unnecessary attention from the fish to which the fish may simply spook. Or does the fish casually slip back to the bottom of the river, until it seems the coast is clear. Also, when the fly is chosen, he considers his cast, and, not just the physical act of casting. Where should he stand in relation to the feeding fish.
He’s careful to not show the fish the thicker core of fly line which, when it settles onto the water with a slightly heavier splash then the thin clear leader ahead of it the fish wont take notice. The fishermen then either succeeds in catching the fish, or he succeeds in not spooking the fish—a situation in which both outcomes feel like success.
Fishing isn’t like portrait photography. In fact, portrait photography eliminates much of the unpredictable, because even if a fisherman does everything just right, he recalls every single-bit of experience on the river that might help him to catch the rising fish, he still might never catch the fish he’s after.