Photo equipment - Antun Mateš: The Enchanted Angler

Photo Equipment

Difficulties with sharpness, aperture and the composition of photos
In memory of Branko Petrinić

The essential condition was, of course, to perpetuate these catches, preserved or at least on photographs. The time of Izaak Walton and the illustrations with pen-and-ink drawings of fish and flies from the book The Compleat Angler had already been past tense and could not return anymore, so that actually only photographs were possible. There was the problem. During the 70s of the 20th century, cameras were the privilege of the higher class and were not accessible to everyone. My neighbours, the Kratofils, had got a camera from America. It was a present. They claimed very proudly that one could shoot even colour photos with it!

My friend Branko Petrinić – he sometimes accompanied me on my fishing trips, especially when I went to Slovenia – had a more modern camera than the Russian Zorka 6 and Smena 8, which then, in the Russophile state, were as highly appraised as Russian weapons. Something special! Allegedly, the lens was from the factory Carl Zeiss in Jena, they were in thick cowhide cases and could be used as weapons. If you bang someone’s head with a Zorka, he will certainly fall.

The attempt of shooting a trophy with a composition that would have been more appropriate for the cover of the song Green, Green Grass of Home by Tom Jones

My friend Branko lived in the opposite part of the town. So shootings of 4 to 8 pound fish from the Gacka could not be made before the next day, because we always came back home late in the evening, after 11 p. m. Full of enthusiasm, I rushed to my friend in order for him to make photos of my trophies. The intention was all right; Branko did this very eagerly and received, notabene, always a decent compensation – a 6-pound fish. But he simply could not get the composition of the motif right. It made me unhappy and sometimes really desperate that my boasting smile about a great fish remained unnoticed, because on the photo I was an undersized, not identifiable person on some meadow. On top of that, I was always somewhere in the left or right corner – whatever. I set myself to work and explained Branko on a sketch where in this photo I should have been with the fish and where the meadow. We repeated the same scenario the next Sunday, because on the Gacka the fish took the bait always, mine at least. But in spite of all that, on the Diacolor the grass was dominating. My fish and I were somewhere in the background. In autumn, when I ran, deliriously happy, with a ten-pound huchen to my dear friend, it was the same story again. I explained again that the fish and I were the central characters and that everything else was secondary. Then it happened – Branko put the fish and me in the middle, but I had no cortex and the fish lacked one part of its head and tail fin. In the end, I realised that my friend had a problem called paralexia, similar to dyslexia; he sees the centre, where in fact there is not the centre.

Back to top of the page
English Deutsch Hrvatski Glavatice i lipljani