Occasionally I will go through my Lightroom library and clean out old junk photos I know I’ll never want to use. Among the photo shoots I plowed through last night was a sunset boat race in Annapolis, MD (the sailing capital of the world). I remember that evening well…a perfect night for shooting…with a fantastic sunset as the backdrop, and the Annapolis capital building in the background. I took several hundred shots that evening, with this one being my favorite:
I deliberately tried to time this shot so that each boat would be equidistant from the capital…leaving the capital as the centerpiece of the photo. I wanted the sun to be partially behind the sail of “Thalassa”, making the sun look like it’s creeping out from behind the curtain. I also got lucky…Mother Nature left me with an amazing sunset to work with…delivering that radiant orange horizon juxtaposed with the deep blue sky.
This shot is a testament to how well the Nikon D800e can render wide dynamic ranges. The camera can allow enough light in the darker areas of the shot to give us some detail of the architecture along Spa Creek, without blowing out the sun. The D800e handles sunrises and sunsets remarkably well.
I set the camera to ISO 400, 1/250 shutter speed, at f/8. I used Thalassa as my focal point, which, at f/8 will make everything in this particular shot appear to be in focus. Generally speaking, your depth of field will depend greatly on the type of lens you’re using, the size of your camera’s sensor, and the distance from where you’re standing relative to your focal point. At some point, I’ll probably write a blog post about how to use aperture to manipulate your depth of field (DOF).
Anyway…for those of you who take enough photographs to compile them in some sort of organized fashion on your computer, I recommend that every few months you go back through all of them to 1) weed out the really bad shot you won’t ever want (in turn helping to keep more free space on your hard drive, thereby delaying the day when you have to drop a nice chunk of change on a drive) and 2) possibly find some really good photos that, for whatever reason, you didn’t see when you uploaded them into the computer the first time around.