Friday, November 14, 2008

Red Salmon, Brooks Falls

Red Salmon, Brooks River, Katmai National Park, Alaska
Canon 1Ds Mark III, 500mm f4L IS, 1/640 sec @f/8, ISO 1000


In reviewing some files from a trip to Katmai, I came across this image, which is the only one I kept out of many taken. It's a much more difficult acquisition than it may appear. This is so for many reasons. One never knows for sure where the fish will jump, and they jump so quickly that it is almost impossible to use autofocus. Instead I pre-focused on a spot and waited. As you will notice, the salmon is red, which indicates it is later in the year than the strong runs in July and fewer fish jump by this time. So, lots and lots of waiting, then waiting for the fish to be in the correct position, the correct color, and in your plane of focus... and, you press the shutter at the right time. Staring at moving water through a 500mm lens makes your eyes wacky real fast. I used ISO 1000 to enable me to maximize the shutter speed and the f-stop. As it is, I could have used a faster shutter speed, but it was a trade off in depth of field.


2 comments:

Troy said...

Patrick, I am not sure which is more challenging, but check out the timing nightmare I had with this shot

http://www.flickr.com/photos/arctic_troy/3013183115/sizes/l/

I suppose I had one advantage. The gun crew has a series of commands I can cue from. There were only ten rounds that night, this was the last actuation, last round. No others came out, and there were 3 people furiously trying.

Hope you are all well (and warm)

Patrick said...

Troy,
That is a great shot, and my challenge surrenders easily to yours. Both from what I see and can't see, that lie behind the photo. Please keep shooting more stuff like that, I encourage you to document your time there, including portraits of those who are willing.
Patrick