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Every now and then, I catch a glimpse of a scene that stops me in my tracks then spurs me to get my gear and capture it!

(The sun sets remarkably fast when you start setting up and snapping.)

Shooting in aperture mode, I set the depth of field to f/22 for the sunbeam effect and got the image below.

1/40 sec, f/22, ISO 400

Since the wind was brisk, I quickly boosted the ISO from 400 to 1000 to increase the shutter speed from 1/40th of a second to 1/160th of a second and managed to get a crisper shot before the sun vanished behind the low clouds.

1/160 sec, f/20, ISO 1000

Here’s the close up comparison with camera settings from Lightroom .So glad there was just enough time to make the quick adjustment. I love the final shot.

Bridge to no where field trip

The next nearest community west of where I live is Dryden with a population of almost 8000. Since my town has about 1200, Dryden offers some stuff Ignace doesn’t. A camera club is one of the activities that draws me there.

Recently I was able to attend a Dryden Camera Club meeting which included a field trip to a local park that has a suspension bridge over the river running through town. A club member referred to it as the ‘bridge to no where’ because you cross over to a platform on the other shore then have to return.

The bridge was of little interest to me to photograph but I did cross it (twice). The moving water was of much more appealing to shoot. There were a few significant challenges, however. The setting sun created harsh contrast even the neutral density filters hardly reduced. Man-made structures up stream and down stream were numerous so we worked at tightening the shot.

I was pleased with the composition in the above shot (85mm, 1.0 sec, f/20, ISO 100). I really liked how the white in the foreground rock mimicked the layers of white water on the background ridges but disappointed to discover upon upload that the foreground was not in focus. Even though I shot at f/20, I had focused in the middle of the scene instead of the lower third (explained a club member). It would have been easy to take a second image right away with better placed focal point or another with the foreground perfectly clear then blend the images in post processing. Next time.

When I uploaded the images, I had to look very closely to see if what I thought were animal faces were really animals. Do you see any in the upper image?

This was taken with my 17-55mm for a wider shot, closer to the edge and better focus. It was about a half hour later and the sun had set. (42mm, 13 sec, f/22, ISO 100) I got the clarity I wanted but the change in lens and angle created a much bigger gap between the rocky layers.

I pulled both images into Photoshop to layer the best of both images but the difference in the smoothness of the water and the focus vs out of focus grasses on the lower left were beyond my current skills (and time required) to tackle.

By the way, here’s where I thought I saw something seeing me…

Happy Anniversaries

There will be lots of fireworks going off both in Canada and in the USA this week. Enjoy the shows! And if you want to try to capture some of the bright lights, check out this great article. You might just want to sign up for the Digital Photography School weekly newsletter. It’s full of great articles with photo taking and post processing tips and gear reviews.

We had our own little ‘shoot’ last night. Happy Anniversary, Scott and Krista!

fireworks over agimak lake

(By the way, I found the above mentioned article this morning so I’m looking forward to capturing our municipal display tonight. I’m going to try tip#15 for sure. Grabbing my tripod, remote shutter and bug jacket….)

leap into focus

This past week end, we attended the Kenora Harbourfest and participated in the Classic Car Show with our ’69 Camero. I took lots of pictures of parts of cars so don’t be watching future posts for shots of the 100+ cars on display. I focussed on (pun intended) wheels, chrome reflections and classic detailing. One of my favourite vehicles was a 1936 Ford pick up with this leaping greyhound which looks a lot like the iconic jaquar hood ornament. Ironically, Ford bought Jaguar in 1989. Who copied whom?

Photo tip: The amount of what is in focus is related to the aperture setting (measured in f-stops). I’ve always been confused by how this is explained, “small minimum aperture (larger maximum f-number) allows for a wider depth of field…” What I do know is the smaller the f-number, the more expensive the lense!! I have also figured out the lower number, the faster the shutter and the crisper the image. Of course this is very important with moving subjects. I usually shoot in aperture mode at the smallest number my lense will allow. What happened with the above image was, having my zoom out full (200mm) and aperture at f/2.8, only part of the ornament ended up in focus. Considering the shutter speed was 1/1250 of a second and the vehicle was not moving, I could have easily adjusted the aperture to f-11 or f-14 (is that bigger, smaller, wider, narrower, I don’t know!) Making the f-number adjustment would have brought the whole greyhound in focus. A way to remember the f-stop to use: the lower the f-number f-2.8 or f-4), the shallower the depth of field (less will be in focus) like for a butterfly on a flower with a dreamy blurred background; the higher the f-number (like f-22 or f-29) more will be in focus best for landscapes with everything in focus.
Start saving up for those sweet, pricey lenses….