How to get on the cover of Carp-Talk

It's a great feeling getting a photo of one of your catches on the cover of a carp magazine, and it's pretty well known that with 51 issues a year, you stand a better chance of getting your photo on the cover of Carp-Talk than on any other UK carp mag. But how can you improve your chances even further?

Hardware

First you need to take your photos on a decent digital camera and, secondly, the image needs to be taken at a resolution of around 2500 pixels width. That effectively means you really need a minimum four megapixel camera; it doesn't have to be a digital SLR, but the cameras built into phones rarely produce images of sufficient quality.

Obviously, you should not try to squeeze more images on to your camera's memory card by reducing the image resolution. Your PC is the place to store your images, not your memory card – and if you're using a digital camera without owning or having access to a PC, you’re probably better off going back to film.

Posing

This is a really crucial bit, as you need to pose with your catch in such a way that has visual 'impact' when framed on a Carp-Talk cover. How do you do that? Well, it really helps if the person operating the camera has the gumption to give you directions. "Tail down a bit," "Turn its head towards the camera," "Smile, you miserable git," etc.

For maximum visual impact, we need photos that fill the available space top to bottom as well as across. We get a lot of photos that fulfil every requirement other than height.

  • If it's a long fish, don't hold it horizontally; raise its head and lower its tail.
  • Angling the fish with its head slightly towards the camera can almost magically increase the visual impact.
  • A smiling captor always looks more appealing than someone looking serious or unmoved by their success.

Getting it to us

Please do not post in digital print-outs.

Do not try to be clever and 'enhance' your photos using Photoshop or the like. Send us the original, unedited image file(s) and we will do the necessary in terms of lightening, sharpening, etc. We can also remove objects from the background, or even the whole background if requested, but let our professional photo manipulation specialists do their job.

Ideally, you should attach your image file(s) to an email, put your name in the 'Subject' field and click 'Send', then fill in the catch report form at www.carptalk-online.co.uk and click 'Submit'.

Frustratingly, even this simple procedure can be kiboshed by certain internet service providers and online email services trying to be 'helpful'. AOL and Hotmail are two of the main culprits, and if you’re not careful, they convert your beautiful, high-resolution image files to practically useless 640 x 480 pixel 'thumbnail' images! To get around this, always attach your images as files, not as pictures or photos. Also, always start with an email and then attach the image file, rather than right-clicking on the image and selecting 'email to a friend' (or similar).

Alternatively, you can post your camera’s memory card to us at the following address: News Desk, Carp Fishing News Ltd, Sandholme Grange, Newport, East Yorkshire, HU15 2QG. We have a multi-card reader allowing us to safely access and copy the relevant files, and we will return the card straight after.

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