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Remote shooting in a River

has anyone placed a camera

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#1 Bentoni

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 03:34 PM

I want to shoot salmon as they swim upstream in our local river. If I get into the water with my camera they never come close. I want to anchor my camera to the riverbed, and fire it remotely (or set an intervalometer to fire it) Has anyone done something like this? What's the best way to keep my camera from floating away with the river's current. I plan to be in approximately 12 inches of water, with mild current. Thanks for your advise in advance.

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#2 errbrr

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 08:31 PM

I don't know, but I'm interested in the answer so I can go in search of platypus. I'm told the standard wireless remote triggers will work through a little but of water, but not through a metal housing. Aquatica sells a remote trigger kit that looks interesting, and there's always the bicycle brake cable on a broom handle.

As for holding the camera down....a tripod, and lots of lead!

#3 Alex_Mustard

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 01:17 AM

Here is a photo of the Aquatica remote trigger that Liz mentions, being used by Todd Mintz on our salmon shoot a couple of years ago:

Can10_am-11305.jpg

One of the first lessons you learn from any sort of remote or pole cam photography is that if you can possibly be in the water with the camera - then be in the water.

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#4 Bentoni

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 03:44 PM

I attached a 2-foot long metal plate to the bottom of the housing and held it down with a pair of ten pound sand bags. I prefocused and set the camera's intervalometer to fire every four seconds. I put the camera into the water where I could see several salmon congregating. Naturally the fish stayed away once the camera was in place. But I tried several locations, and was very patient. Eventually I managed to catch a few frames of salmon. I will try to attach the best three here. Thanks for all the advice, and I hope someone else can learn from my efforts as well.

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Attached Images

  • RB Spawning 7.jpg
  • RB Spawning 6.jpg
  • RB Spawning 8.jpg

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#5 Autopsea

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 03:16 AM

Nice shots Posted Image

Appologize for the bad quality of the following shots, very dark conditions with an old camera that could harly go over 400 ISO.

But maybe you can use some of these :

I did a few salmon shot back in 2008. I did not have any specific equipment and could not get one. So simply with housing, no adds.

I stayed just in the water (naked feet, was hard...) but with a small rock bridge behind me, allowing me to get some sort of camouflage.

Posted Image

and did manage to get a lot of shots. I'm a bit sad my camera (and skills/technique) was so bad back then, but I'd love to go back with better settings ! : )

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image

Could even manage to get somehow close in a lake further up. It hurted.

Posted Image

Some are tired enough so you can get close.


For the other you either have to rush in dirty water, trying to get a shot,

Posted Image



or to get on the bottom and stop breathing for a few minutes. It is hard in such a cold water !


Posted Image


hope you can do more, it's so cool to have them close to where you live ! : )

Edited by Autopsea, 21 November 2012 - 03:17 AM.


#6 Julian D

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 12:27 PM

These are really inspiring images. Well done to everyone.

I’m interested in trying to do something similar here in NZ with brown trout (not spawning). Thinking I’ll do the good old bicycle brake cable setup. A few questions if anyone can help me: Is it best to preset focus? Planning on using my 10-17 - is this the best lens to use? (I also have a 1.4 teleconverter) do fish scare when they hear the shutter etc etc.

Thanks


#7 Autopsea

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 10:58 PM

For the lens, I guess it depend how big + how scared are the fish : ) If they are big and can come close, I would guess the tokina is great.
I would really be suprized if they would be afraid of the shutter, especially with all the sounds there is naturally in rivers with some current. Salmon didn't fear shutter, or flash / strobes firing / charging etc... or me speaking loud outside.

#8 Julian D

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Posted 22 November 2012 - 01:05 AM

Thanks. Good sized fish here but they're wild and pretty flighty. The ones I'm thinking about targeting are going to be cruising in only 1 ft of virtually still water and close to the edge so I'm going to find the right spot and ambush them : ) The good thing about this is that it should be pretty easy to place the camera/activate the shutter. Many years of fly fishing behind me so hoping I can use my knowledge of their behaviour to my advantage. Will post some photos when I get a chance to try it.

FYI, because water is much denser than air, sound doesn't really travel well from air to water and you can pretty much shout all you like without scaring fish. Usually it is movement or the crunching of stones underfoot that scares fish (here anyway)

#9 Autopsea

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Posted 22 November 2012 - 04:14 AM

I know but I mentionned it because having a few thousands hours of fishing behind me as well (but marine fishing) I've seen fish reacting very strongly to voices; It wasn't the case for salmons, at least where I was.

good luck with your operation : ) think about water clarity too for choosing the lens.

#10 Tom_Kline

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Posted 22 November 2012 - 10:28 AM

An interesting discussion thus far. I have shot a number (>> 100,000) of underwater photos of salmon over many years. I have snorkeled with them, squatted in the stream with them, and used remote control from the shore. I have used primarily the latter technique since going digital using the Seacam system. Remote shooting enables a lot more time, which is aided by the greater shooting capacity of digital relative to film (anyone remember limitation 36?). For example, the camera can be in the same position for many hours in a stream. One does need a lot of patience. Remote control also helps to minimize disturbing the fish. My primary lenses are fisheyes.
Tom

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  • _G7G2019.jpg

Edited by Tom_Kline, 22 November 2012 - 10:29 AM.

Thomas C. Kline, Jr., Ph. D.
Oceanography & Limnology
Canon EOS-1Ds MkII and MkIII and Nikon D1X, D2X, D2H cameras. Lens focal lengths ranging from 8 to 180mm for UW use. Seacam housings and remote control gear. Seacam 150D and 250D, Sea&Sea YS250, and Inon Z220 strobes.
www.flickr.com/photos/tomkline/

 

 


#11 Julian D

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 12:53 PM

Tom that is a fantastic shot. It it's not rude to ask would you mind sharing some more info as to how you got it? I guess you saw the fish lying in this spot and decide to photograph them - presumably they scatter when you placed the camera, then it’s a waiting game until they come back?

Composition is great – do you have a remote monitor with your seacam system? I don’t so I thought I would take a few photos and pull it back out to check the composition then try and place it in the same spot? Maybe set the zoom (10-17) a bit wider to allow for cropping?

Having the log in the photo looks great – does it often help to have some other features in the photo rather than just fish & riverbed/surface?

No flash?

Do you preset focus/aperture/exposure?

Sorry if these are silly questions - I’m a total novice so any additional advice would be much appreciated.

Thanks,

Julian

#12 Tom_Kline

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 07:03 PM

Thanks Julian,
This shot was one of many taken with the camera at the same spot for many hours in one day. I have a few more with me from the same day on my HD (currently traveling) which I am attaching. The previous day I had the camera positioned downstream of the fallen tree and was less successful. It took to day 2 to figure out what was going on. It was the end of sockeye and at the start of the coho spawning seasons. So there was some interesting inter-species interaction. Up to 3 (just 2 in one of the pix) sockeye males thought the rather worn out female may have been trying to spawn from her feeble swimming motions. More likely she was just guarding her clutch. Meanwhile a coho female was trying to spawn on the same site. You can see it got late so the background is dark later on. I hope you can look at the EXIF data - the exposure was set manually so not changed all day. I used the E-finder with the E-glasses sold by Seacam to set up and observe this shot. However I have done most of my salmon shots without this system. Once I set up the camera I do not move it to allow the fish to do their thing without disturbance. I find that they ignore the camera going off as well as the strobe - used a Seacam 250D. Have been able to get over 900 shots in a day with it set at 8% power.
Tom


Tom that is a fantastic shot. It it's not rude to ask would you mind sharing some more info as to how you got it? I guess you saw the fish lying in this spot and decide to photograph them - presumably they scatter when you placed the camera, then it’s a waiting game until they come back?

Composition is great – do you have a remote monitor with your seacam system? I don’t so I thought I would take a few photos and pull it back out to check the composition then try and place it in the same spot? Maybe set the zoom (10-17) a bit wider to allow for cropping?

Having the log in the photo looks great – does it often help to have some other features in the photo rather than just fish & riverbed/surface?

No flash?

Do you preset focus/aperture/exposure?

Sorry if these are silly questions - I’m a total novice so any additional advice would be much appreciated.

Thanks,

Julian

Attached Images

  • _G7G1909.jpg
  • _G7G2101.jpg
  • _G7G2361.jpg

Thomas C. Kline, Jr., Ph. D.
Oceanography & Limnology
Canon EOS-1Ds MkII and MkIII and Nikon D1X, D2X, D2H cameras. Lens focal lengths ranging from 8 to 180mm for UW use. Seacam housings and remote control gear. Seacam 150D and 250D, Sea&Sea YS250, and Inon Z220 strobes.
www.flickr.com/photos/tomkline/

 

 


#13 andy_deitsch

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 04:05 AM

Great shots Tom. I really like the fish in the last photo. In my mind, the ideal shot would be that last one with more ambient light in the background to get the nice blue but as you said it was later in the day.

How do you setup the remote? I have a Nauticam housing. Is it easy to rig up? I want to try this with rainbow trout near my home.

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#14 Julian D

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 12:54 PM

Thanks for the info Tom. I really like that last photo too. I checked the EXIF data for these photos: ISO 800, 1/200 sec, F9. I also had a look at your photos on Flickr. Very impressive indeed.

I've finished making my polecam now (can post photos if anyone is interested) and it seems to be working so just need to try it out in the water and see if I can find a cooperative trout or two. Will post some photos once that happens.

Cheers

#15 Tom_Kline

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 09:21 PM

Thanks!
Here is the set up I used: http://www.seacam.co...e-system/system
The difference is that I left the camera on the stream bottom (was not holding it). The Seacam Power Pole handle was not attached to the pole but I was holding it in my hand with 10 or 15 meters (I don't recall which) of cable between the housing and it. I was wearing the E-glasses shown on the linked web page.
Tom

Thomas C. Kline, Jr., Ph. D.
Oceanography & Limnology
Canon EOS-1Ds MkII and MkIII and Nikon D1X, D2X, D2H cameras. Lens focal lengths ranging from 8 to 180mm for UW use. Seacam housings and remote control gear. Seacam 150D and 250D, Sea&Sea YS250, and Inon Z220 strobes.
www.flickr.com/photos/tomkline/

 

 


#16 Tom_Kline

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 09:24 PM

I really like that last photo too.


Note how the female got shoved to the bottom by the male poking at the other male.

Thomas C. Kline, Jr., Ph. D.
Oceanography & Limnology
Canon EOS-1Ds MkII and MkIII and Nikon D1X, D2X, D2H cameras. Lens focal lengths ranging from 8 to 180mm for UW use. Seacam housings and remote control gear. Seacam 150D and 250D, Sea&Sea YS250, and Inon Z220 strobes.
www.flickr.com/photos/tomkline/

 

 


#17 Julian D

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 01:18 AM

Ok, here is my first attempt. I've cropped, adjusted exposure and bumped up the contrast (a lot). This is a wild rainbow trout (about 4 lb) in a river near where I live. It's cruising in a few ft of water. Was harder to get this than I expected - tokina 10-17 at 17 - like all new underwater photogs I thought it woudl look a lot clser than it did in the photos (in this one it was about 2-3 ft from my lens). I also think I had the focus set too close as it's not very sharp.

No flash but just as well as the water wasn't as clear as I had hoped. While it didn't scare, this fish definately reacted to either the release lever moving or the vibration from the shutter activation. At one point I thought it came closer to the camera to check it out but after a few passes it had had enough and it shot off down the river.

Anyway, not the greatest photo but enough to convince me it can be done and that it's worth trying again. Thanks for all the advice and any comments on how to improve would be most welcome.

Julian

trout attempt # 1 Dec 12 (1 of 2).jpg

#18 Silverleapers

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Posted 27 July 2014 - 04:06 AM

Anyone using an HDMI cable/port and remote software on a tablet or phone? I think Sea & Sea makes the only one (with rumour of aquatica testing one for release)?