Autumn brings around the annual salmon run as the mature fish return to their breeding grounds to produce the next generation of their species. It has been extremely wet with much heavy rainfall over the last couple of weeks so the river is in full flow at the moment which brings strong currents and high water levels and the salmon take full advantage to leap the falls. I was accompanied by two photo friends, one of whom is a fisherman and as such is aware of the timing of this event so we decided the time was right to try to photograph this spectacle. We arrived soon after daybreak and were the only ones present as we began but as the morning drew on we were part of a growing band of photographers.
As with all things there are many ways to achieve a result and we started off with the following approach.

  • Tripod mount to target a particular stretch of the falls.
  • 150mm lens to allow a reasonable filed of view.
  • Manual metering mode: 1/1600s; f9; ISO Auto (typically 5000)
  • Manual focus pre-focused and using hi-speed shutter repeat.

The fish slowly started to attempt to leap the falls and the battle to capture the ensuing action began. The tactics were simply to keep my finger on the shutter release button and watch for any sign of activity at the foot of the falls then press and hold. This resulted in just over 500 images captured of which less than 100 had a fish on them, quite a poor hit rate in normal circumstances but all to be expected in this scenario.