Flying Red Salmon

Ron Niebrugge Alaska, Chugach, Photos, Travel 11 Comments

A Red Salmon trying to leap up a waterfall, Alaska.

A Red Salmon trying to leap up a waterfall, Alaska.

OK, here is another setup I have been attempting to fine tune this past week.  This is also captured by a remotely fired camera via a Pocket Wizard, along with a very wide angle lens set at 20mm, and some fill flash.

Since the salmon were often landing where I had my camera setup, I decided to use an old camera (5d), and an old barely functioning tripod, along with an equally old, seldom used lens – glad I held on to that stuff!   Even though I had the whole setup tied to the bank with rope, I really didn’t want to take a chance of losing my main gear into the pool of water!

So what do you think, does this “work”, is it worth pursuing?

Here are my thoughts.  The uneven lighting doesn’t help – I hope to try again on a cloudy or overcast day.  I think 20 mm might be too wide – the salmon looks a little small in the frame even through it is just a couple feet from the camera – maybe 24 would be better.    I might try a different composition, one looking back towards the waterfall – this might help keep the camera dry – I had to constantly dry the front of the lens thanks to splashing salmon!

I need to work on my reaction time – about 100 of my 120 photos contained only a waterfall because by the time I clicked, the salmon had already landed!

Comments 11

  1. pix is great i like the way it is smiling for the camera!
    the salmon does look small how big do you est. good job!

  2. I find myself wanting to push those alders out of the way to see more context in the background – like forest, snow-capped mountains, and sky. This picture says “salmon jumping in a waterfall” (better than I’ll ever be able to say it) but I’d like better “salmon jumping in a waterfall in the Alaska wilderness”.

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    Thanks Melanie – it does look like its smiling!

    Hi ttnewton – That is a great thought! Unfortunately, trees beyond those alders further block the mountains, but that would be the benefit of a wide-angle – capturing more of the scenery. Thanks!

  4. Hi Ron – I like this angle, but I agree, an overcast day is your best bet I think. Too many hotspots. I’d like to see another from farther left looking back a bit at the waterfall 9if it’s possible). Enough to still hold a bit of a broadside anghle to the fish, but more into the waterfall….. So who’s watching for bears while your doing all this? :))

  5. Maybe put a small softbox on the flash as well to soften the reflections, wrap the light around the fish more… Maybe put it out on a support? How about putting the camera just outside of the falls pointing down towards the jumping fish?

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    Wow Jeff – lots of great ideas! That was my thinking – having a bit more of the falls as a background. I hadn’t though about looking down from the falls – I may have to scope that out to see if it is an option.

    Thanks Jeff!

  7. Nice capture Ron, I would zoom in a little more to make the fish a little bigger and I like your idea of including more of the water fall. It looks like it could well be worth the effort.

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