Taiwanese photographer Wu Yung-sen’s photograph of salmon migrating, with its unique shooting angle and vivid colors, stunned the judges and won first prize at the International Water Photography Competition World Shootout in the wide-angle category. During the Sony World Photography Contest, the same photograph of salmon migrating again took first prize. Wu became the first photographer in Asia to receive both honors.
Recalling the photo shoot
In order to capture the stunning shot, Wu Yung-sen had to wait until the salmon migrate, an event which happens only once every four years. To get the shot, he had to be in the cold water of a brook in Canada with the temperature in the lower 40s. Wearing a wetsuit, Wu lingered in these low temperatures in the turbulent water waiting patiently for the right shot.
Inspiration from an inverted image
On the second day of shooting and despite the bad weather during the day, Wu Yung-sen captured a picture of a salmon as it swam in the middle of the clear stream by using an inverted image style after being inspired by looking at some pictures taken by his friends.
This photo with the inverted image inspired his next shot because he wanted to take a multi-faceted, beautiful, and unforgettable picture with blue sky, trees, waves, and salmon underwater.
Finally, the sun came out
Wu Yung-sen soaked in the cold water for three days. “On the fourth and fifth days, I finally had the right light.” Wu Yung-sen was very excited and wrote on his Facebook: “Life is full of waiting and expectation!”
Wu Yung-sen resisted the impact of the turbulent water, lying in wait in the biting cold stream for several hours under the clear blue sky. Finally, his patience was rewarded as he captured the rare and beautiful picture of a blue sky, green trees, red and green salmon, and the clear water movements. After that, Wu Yung-sen found that he was pretty much worn-out by his efforts.
Wu Yung-sen said: “This year happens to be the one when the salmon migrate up here every four years. It is estimated that there are seven million salmon swimming here.” The number of salmon spawning this time is the highest for the past few years. That afforded him the rare opportunity to shoot the beautiful photograph.
This double international award-winning work was shot at the Adams River in Canada. It is reported that the local government only opens the area for water photography every four years. An application needs to be sent to the local government department well in advance, and the professional photographer must obtain special permission issued by the government before taking underwater photographs.
Translated by Jean Chen