If you’ve been poking around the Internet for long enough, you’ve surely run across images of trout by Pat Clayton, a.k.a. the FishEyeGuy. His astonishingly clear underwater shots show us our quarry in an entirely new light: in their own element. What he goes through for every shot speaks to his commitment:
During summer months I don a drysuit to shoot riffles stacked with trout lazily sipping mayflies. In smaller water and during the swing seasons I use a remote control and place the camera in likely spots. With the advent of digital cameras, this type of photography became possible. Using a full frame Digital SLR with large capacity cards allows me to take as many as ten thousand high-resolution shots in one day. At this sort of pace, I will get a keeper one out of every ten days. My goal is not a photo documenting something. It is to create an image that stands as a piece of fine art as well as doing the location and species justice. Marrying the perfection of a red bellied Westslope Cutthroat to the kaleidoscope glacial-scree bottom of a gin clear Glacier Park creek takes all the pieces to fall into place. Only when all the stars align do these places give up that image that exists in my mind.
Clayton now has a new project. Today, he launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund an expedition to the Bristol bay region of Alaska, where he will use his unique skills to photograph the fisheries threatened by the proposed Pebble Mine:
The unique skills I have gained through countless hours spent on and in the river have prepared me to photograph the salmon, trout, and other native fish of the Bristol Bay watershed in a way they have never been photographed before. My goal is to share this by photographing the watershed, landscape, and fish, and to capture compelling images of what we are fighting to save.
Orvis has signed on as the inaugural sponsor of Clayton’s expedition, with a $2,500 grant. Clayton’s project has the potential to create an entirely new way too see what’s at stake in the region.