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Thread: The Salmon Run at Buchanty Spout

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    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    The Salmon Run at Buchanty Spout

    In early October 2012 I went to a narrows in the River Almond in Perthshire called Buchanty Spout (Spout being the name we give to that narrowing into a rushing torrent of white water). It's one of the best places in Scotland to see salmon make their journey up river as the leap over the falls.

    Well, last year was a bit of a disaster. It was my first time ever trying this type of shooting .... and it showed. However, never daunted I was determined to try it again this year. Circumstances were leading me to believe I wouldn't get the chance, but today I got a few hours of 'me' time. So, off I headed.

    I think this year is definitely an improvement on last year. I'd welcome your comments on these two images, one in B & W, the other in colour.

    The Salmon Run at Buchanty Spout
    40D, 24-70mm f/2.8L @ 28mm. ISO1600. 1/1500s@f4

    The Salmon Run at Buchanty Spout
    40D, 24-70mm f/2.8L @ 28mm. ISO1600. 1/1500s@f4
    Last edited by Donald; 7th October 2013 at 05:44 AM. Reason: EXIF data was wrong

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    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
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    Re: The Salmon Run at Buchanty Spout

    Nice shots Donald. A lot of skill is required to get those beautifully crisp shots you got of the salmon jumping.

    I remember watching salmon jumping on their way up to the spawing grounds a few years ago while I was near Victoria (Goldstream Creek), on Vancouver Island, Canada. I didn't have my camera along and fortunately the bears were not out feeding. What surprises me in your shots is how clean and fresh the fish are. The ones I remember seeing were looking pretty beat up after the long swim as they are heading up to their spawning grounds.

    It's tough to anticipate where and when they are going to jump. This must have been a fairly lengthly outing? I assume you must have quite a few shots that didn't turn out quite as well.

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    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: The Salmon Run at Buchanty Spout

    Quote Originally Posted by GrumpyDiver View Post
    This must have been a fairly lengthly outing? I assume you must have quite a few shots that didn't turn out quite as well.
    Thanks, Manfred.

    Yep, I was there for three hours staring at the same point of water. My mistake last year was to try and follow every fish jumping in all parts of the water. This time, I ignored everything not within the the field of view upon which I was focusing my attention.

    I suspect the many other people who came and went whilst I was there thought my behaviour was a bit odd.

    I was burst-shooting and got through about 325 frames. For me, that is a huge amount.

    The only reason I gave up was because a salmon leapt right out and landed between my feet. I didn't want to get in its way as it slithered back into the water. In the process of trying to get my feet out of the way, I slipped and fell backwards. I stuck my left hand out and smashed my thumbnail on a rock. There was blood everywhere. I washed it off in a pool, but thought I'd better pack it in for the day. My thumb is now sore!
    Last edited by Donald; 6th October 2013 at 08:57 PM.

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    Re: The Salmon Run at Buchanty Spout

    These are great, Donald. The water drops show up great in the B/W.

    Your experience is the same thing I go through on new subjects where there is a lot of action. Trying to capture everything going on is counter productive. Better to stay focused and come away with a few good shots than shooting all over the place and coming away with hundreds of shots that were just too late.

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    Re: The Salmon Run at Buchanty Spout

    Suffering for your art Donald. Two great shots but the mono is a gem. Superb work.

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    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
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    Re: The Salmon Run at Buchanty Spout

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald View Post
    The only reason I gave up was because a salmon leapt right out and landed between my feet. I didn't want to get in its way as it slithered back into the water. In the process of trying to get my feet out of the way, I slipped and fell backwards. I stuck my left hand out and smashed my thumbnail on a rock. There was blood everywhere. I washed it off in a pool, but thought I'd better pack it in for the day. My thumb is now sore!
    Ouch! You should have grabbed the salmon; that way your thumb would still be intact and a meal of fresh Scottish salmon sounds delicious to me. It's a stroke of luck that you didn't take your camera down with you. Your thumb will heal, but a wet camera is never a good thing...

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    Re: The Salmon Run at Buchanty Spout

    Well done Donald,two crackers,might give it a try at Gartness near Drymen tomorrow jf it,s not chucking it down.....

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    Re: The Salmon Run at Buchanty Spout

    The black and white is the better of the two. Very sharp and well frozen in time. Not that fish have facial expressions, this one seems surprised to see you there.

    Hope the thumb heals

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    Re: The Salmon Run at Buchanty Spout

    Really great, Donald! The color one seems to be more of a documentary image, showing all the colors, scales, etc., that make it possible to identify the species. The monochrome one is very dramatic due not just to the open mouth but also to the curved tail. I prefer that drama but that's just me.

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    GeorgeM's Avatar
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    Re: The Salmon Run at Buchanty Spout

    Stellar work, Donald. I'll go with the B&W as well.

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    Re: The Salmon Run at Buchanty Spout

    I like them both - just about equally but, probably would lean towards the color if I were forced to make a choice; because I see more of the front of the fish....

    Do your Scottish salmon feed on their trip upstream? Our Pacific Salmon stop feeding as soon as they reach fresh water...

    http://www.thinksalmon.com/learn/ite...pawning_phase/

    I waited here on the Russian River in Alaska for hours but nary a salmon showed...

    The Salmon Run at Buchanty Spout
    Last edited by rpcrowe; 6th October 2013 at 11:21 PM.

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    Re: The Salmon Run at Buchanty Spout

    I like both Donald but do have a preference for the mono version (as I told you on Facebook).

    Having said that, I craned my neck a bit and think that a rotation of the second shot 90 degrees counter clockwise (fish belly down) so that an upward arc is created by the fishes body might be easier for viewers to process. You could then convert to mono so you have a pair of great images to remember you sore thumb by

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    Brownbear's Avatar
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    Re: The Salmon Run at Buchanty Spout

    Both are wonderful images. I prefer the colour version because it shows the beauty of the fish and the scales (details are prettier)

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    Re: The Salmon Run at Buchanty Spout

    As Christina and everyone else is saying both wonderful images. The colour version is probably more illustrative of the species but I find the B&W one a lot more dramatic.

    P.S. Just read Mikes coment and realise I am more or less repeating him - I must get in first next time.

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    jprzybyla's Avatar
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    Re: The Salmon Run at Buchanty Spout

    Your images make me wish I were there. Well done, much more difficult that shooting flying birds. I like both for different reasons agreeing with the comments written by others above.

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    Re: The Salmon Run at Buchanty Spout

    Great images Donald, its the colour one for me,only just....

  17. #17
    RockNGoalStar's Avatar
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    Re: The Salmon Run at Buchanty Spout

    Well worth the injury, Donald!

    The detail you've got of the fish, especially on the colour version, is awesome!

    Hope your thumb gets better soon!

  18. #18
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    Re: The Salmon Run at Buchanty Spout

    Donald,hope you don,t mind me adding to your thread I went to salmon leap on river Endrick which runs into Loch Lomond today,took loads of shots but just couldn,t get focus right,the two I,ve added were sharpest taken,any info on how to improve would be greatly appreciated,hand held,Sony A65,F8,ISO 1600,focal 75mm,Apert.4.3,SSpeed 1.1000....The Salmon Run at Buchanty Spout....The Salmon Run at Buchanty Spout

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    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: The Salmon Run at Buchanty Spout

    Quote Originally Posted by Benjy View Post
    ....any info on how to improve would be greatly appreciated
    Benjy. I notice you shot at 1/1000s. Mine were at 1/1500 and I got lucky. Later in the same shoot I was at 1/3000 and was still getting blur and not hitting the mark. You will know better than most just how fast these beauties are moving. Whilst we can apply all the skill we have to help us, success is still dependent upon a lot of luck. With that second one, if you'd got the whole fish, it would have been a beauty. But, so many of mine also had tails exiting the frame and many, many images of white, foamy water with nothing else in them.

    So, I don't think I've got any pearls of wisdom. For me it's a case of keep practicing.

    And thank you to everyone else for commenting. I think I'm pretty good at judging when one of my landscapes hits the quality mark. But this was a different ball game and it was good to get feedback from others. These can now serve as a benchmark for future efforts.
    Last edited by Donald; 7th October 2013 at 05:34 PM.

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    Benjy's Avatar
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    Re: The Salmon Run at Buchanty Spout

    Thanks Donald,might give it another go tomorrow and try thumb other settings

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