My Lesson in Shooting Landscape #3

5:30 PM, 10/12/12, 1/60 sec at f/10, 24 mm, ISO 400, Canon EOS 60D

When I arrived at the top of the mountain for my highly-anticipated sunset pictures, I rushed out of the car with Sophie, camera, and recently acquired monopod, which I thought would be great to use for the sunset shots. Quick. Portable. And the WRONG piece of equipment.  I had a difficult time holding it still and had almost as much (maybe more) camera shake than if I had hand-held the camera.

What did I learn? Lesson #3

First: USE A TRIPOD FOR LANDSCAPE. I said that before, didn’t I? If you look closely at the image above, you will see that the details are not sharp. This image would not print well — not one to hang on my wall.

Second: Notice that my ISO is even higher than in the shots taken earlier in the afternoon as you can see in a previous post. I reasoned that since there’d be less light, I should bump up the ISO. Again WRONG! Keep the ISO at 100 for the cleanest shots.

Nature provided me with a glorious opportunity to create some fabulous shots (just look at the incredible light show in the sky). My inexperience and my haste ruined them. I’ve probably read all of the advice about landscape photography before, and I’ve probably taken notes in workshops on how to take good landscape shots; however, I guess I needed to make my own mistakes in order to learn the lessons.

By the way, if you look closely, you will see houses at the base of this rock formation. Wouldn’t it be super cool to actually live there?

Next post: Sunrise shots the next morning

My Lesson in Shooting Landscape #1

It’s been weeks since I’ve posted and even longer since I’ve taken a decent photo. Today, Sunday, October 14, is the last day of my Fall Break and I return to teaching my Freshmen tomorrow. My week off was consumed with appointments and a 2nd job (doesn’t this just sound like a teacher?) and time disappeared in a whiff. I was determined, however, to steal just a little time for myself.

Consequently, Sophie and I took a brief road trip 100 miles north into the Red Rock country of Sedona, AZ. We were gone just 27 hours; oh how I wish we could have spent several more days. In the next few posts, I’ll talk about the images and about the lessons I learned during our mini-vacation.

Lesson #1: PREPARE.

This rock is one of the first that you see as you enter Sedona from the Interstate between Phoenix and Flagstaff. All of the different formations have names; this one might be Cathedral, but I’m not sure. If I find out, I’ll let you know.

The stormy skies gave me the perfect backdrop.

Afternoon sun and storm clouds add drama to the Red Rock of Sedona. ISO 200, 40 mm, f/10, 1/160 sec.