Shooting the Breeze

Today, I continue my quest to graduate from a 101 use of depth of field to, well, I’d like to jump up to a 400-level given it seems I’m not going to get a great shot before I die if I continue at this pace.

I was hoping for a nice sunset to play with–there are always so many interesting clouds.  I would really like to figure out how to get the clouds sharp from front to back in the image.

So, that is my assignment for today:  sharp clouds front to back.

As I gather up my gear to head up to the roof, I feel like I am doing a scene written for Chevy Chase or Tim Conway.  I pick up my tripod, swing it around and knock a glass off a table.  I set it down and trip over the leg.  I pull myself together, clean up, and then become frantic trying to find the radio trigger for my wireless remote (which mysteriously and thankfully started working again).

I wish I had a video of me darting back and forth looking fearfully over my shoulder out the windows at the fading light.  I run into two door frames, a door knob, and trip a second time over my tripod leg in the process.

I am considering changing the name of my blog to “Bumbling Photography.”

When I get all my stuff together, Pat puts a bowl of food down for Tisen, which means I have to stay until he’s done eating or he won’t eat his dinner.  I watch him eat.  He’s pretty into it, so I decide to sneak down the hall.  Tisen pokes his head around the corner only seconds later and I pretend to be setting up my tripod in the hallway.  Tisen stares at me.  I leave the tripod where it is and then return to the kitchen until Tisen finishes eating.

Finally, up on the roof I realize I haven’t missed much.  The light is not very dramatic, although the clouds will still work for my assignment.

I’ve identified two possible causes for inadequate depth of field in my landscape photos:  1) not consciously choosing an aperture based on the depth of field I want, and 2) focusing too far back in the field of view.  Tonight, I learn that maybe my lack of skill is not the only reason.

Those clouds are moving.  And I don’t mean crawling along.  I mean hauling across the sky like they’ve got somewhere to be.  Given the amount of light, stopping down for good depth of field means slowing the shutter speed to speeds like 2 seconds to get what the camera thinks is a good exposure at 400 ISO.  I play with balancing ISO, aperture, and shutter speed to see if I can get something that gives me enough exposure, enough depth of field, and enough speed to stop the motion.  I really thought it was going to be easier!

Just for fun: