Night Shot Moon


7136 Technical: Nikon D200, 1/10 sec, f3.5, manual, ISO 1600, focal length 18mm

7142 Technical: Nikon D200, 1/10 sec, f5.6, manual, ISO 1600, focal length 130mm


Ever wonder about your zoom lens with the designation 18-200mm f3.5 to 5.6. It means that the fastest/widest opening is 3.5 at 18mm. It also changes as you zoom so that the f-stop at 130mm is 5.6. That means the lens is about 1 ½ stops slower at the larger zoom.

The decision to consider in night shots is that moon will be overexposed relative to the scene. If you check on my post about the moon exposure this will be evident. The moon is reflecting the sun’s light and is very bright. To expose the moon properly will make the foreground scene black. The moon is also very small relative to the foreground scene and this means that it shows up as a bright dot. One could paste in a properly exposed larger image of the moon. I like the concept of having the moonrise in the middle of the arch. I was just too cold to wait around. It’s the difference between hobby and obsession.

Vertical or Horizontal


7086 Technical: Nikon D200, 1/15 sec, f3.8, ISO 1600, focal length 24mm

7087 Technical: Nikon D200, 1/15 sec, f3.5, ISO 1600, focal length 18mm


It’s your choice to decide on cropping. These are two examples. The images were handheld. I don’t carry a tripod. I braced some shots on a bench, pole, or tree. The lens had VR (vibration reduction), which allows you to hand hold at a bit slower f-stop. The recommendation is 1/focal length. So for 18mm focal length the slowest speed to hand hold is theoretically 1/18 sec. This works. I kept the camera on ISO auto and it went to 1600. This will produce some noise on the image. The sharpness is compromised. For me, in night shots, this is not objectionable. When you consider that I couldn’t have made this shot with slide film way back when, this is a very acceptable shot. There are reflections from the empty pool in the foreground. The vertical crop throws attention on the arch and capitol building. The vertical is more about the scene and foreground reflection. It’s the photographer’s choice. I don’t hesitate to shoot one of each and decide later. One other thing to do here is to shoot multiple exposures. At least one or two shots will be blurred due to the slow shutter. Or, if you planned ahead, use a tripod.

Building Perspective


Technical: Panasonic DMC ZS7, 1/320 sec, f 4, ISO 80, focal length 4.1

This also has a reflection. But the first impression is of counterbalance, the building on the right versus the one on the left. The graphics are crisp. Depth of field can be a problem but here there is focus from near to far. It’s a good strong graphical image.

Building Reflection


Technical: Canon EOS 7D, 1/125 sec, f 11, ISO 200, focal length 18mm

Another good architectural shot done here. What’s even better is that David brought the building into a reflection of a reflection. This is great work and good observation. The perspective lines converging in the distance is once again the result of the photographer’s distance to the building. It is not objectionable as long as you accept it for what it is.

Building reflection


Technical: Canon EOS 7D, 1/125 sec, f 6.3, ISO 200, focal length 52mm

Reflections of buildings are all around us. They are often more interesting than the actual buildings. The ripple effect is from the imperfections of the glass. It is very nice. The two tone glass color every other floor adds more interest. It’s very good to look and get that different perspective.



Technical: Canon EOS 7D, 1/80 sec, f 8, ISO 1250, focal length 52mm

Good shot. If pushed to comment, I might consider the background and cropping. The space to the left is distracting. I might want to get rid of the Walgreen sign. There might not be much you can do with the light posts. I might try to use the negative space of he dark blank wall more. It isolates the musician. Otherwise crop vertical. Recently I have admired a picture of my niece that had a large negative space offsetting her portrait. It has me thinking that this can really work in a horizontal portrait. As is, it’s still nice.


Abbott Hall

Technical Nikon D90, 1/200 sec, f11, ISO 200, focal length 95

Okay? What’s the point of interest? What are you trying to convey or demonstrate. Is it the leaves, the weathervane, the tower, or the pattern of brick? Basically, it’s a picture with too much information and no point of interest. It could be any of the fore mentioned. Pick one and go for it. I agree with the choice of a vertical composition. I personally like the weathervane. A close-up is tough with a 200mm zoom. And then there is perspective and converging lines to contend with. Still, I’d have moved away from the tree leaves. They distract. The tower is at a focal point on the rule of thirds. This should somehow be your point on the image.



Technical Nikon D90, 1/160 sec, f6.3, focal length 24

Subject? Is it the gourd, the flower, or the cabbage? What is the subject here in this photo? The orange blossoms aren’t completely open. We don’t see the cabbage well enough to be sure that it is a cabbage. I think that the gourds are the point of interest. Here I might have put the camera low down and shot the gourd on the left at ground level. All I’m really suggesting is, think and take an extra moment to consider whether this photo would be a ‘keeper’ or is it just a documentary image.


Email spam

To: undisclosed recipients@null, null@null
Subject: Please I Need Your Help
Date: Jan 23, 2012 6:30 AM

From Edith Okono Please I Need Your Help.

Dearest One,

I am Edith Okono, 21 years old from Ivory Coast . The only Daughter of Mrs Grace Okono . I have 9.5 million USD which was made by my mother before she died in Oct 2009 which is left in a security company here in my country.

I seek your permission to remit this amount to your country so that I could come to your country for investment and to further my studies until I am able to secure a better financial education to help me make good money decision later in life which may take years to come. I have accepted to offer you 20% of the total sum for your desire to assist me.

Please do respond specifying your interest immediately you receive this mail for more information’s regarding the trunk box and the way forward as well.

My Best Regards.
Edith Okono.

I have asked at the top of the page for contributors to email a photo for critique. In the time this blog site has been up, here is the first email to this address. If I wasn’t so familiar with this scam, I might even have given it a moment. Better yet it reminds me of a time when my daughter won a free trip to Florida. The computer screen told her she only had minutes to respond. Her mother got involved and they paid $400  for this free trip which turned out to be a real estate scam. As an illustration, this is a picture of the sun. Don’t look too close or you’ll be blinded by the light. And here’s hoping you read this post Edith.


This spectacular vine, or root, actually I’m not sure which, is in a neighbor’s yard (well, a stranger’s garden–to tell the truth…. I couldn’t help myself).  My problem is I don’t know quite how to “get it.”…

This was posted and a request for help was made. It’s hard to know where to start. Exposure is too dark in the shadows. This leaves the hole in the curve of the vine black. Perhaps flash. Perhaps photoshop. The vine is monotone. It might work as a black and white conversion. What is the interest? Is it color, line, curve, or texture. If you macro up more you lose the sense of the size of the vine. The composition of the image leaves you with the dark hole about centered in the image. Working the curved vine so that it leads the viewer’s eye into the picture would be less static.

You don’t need the whole width of the vine to be showing. If there were just a portion included, it would show the thickness of the vine. The viewer can surmise the rest. Showing the whole of the vine is a common mistake. It assumes that the viewer can’t understand the concept here. If you think about good images, many are detail shots and let the viewer imagine what’s missing.

Finally, exposure consideration. I would think about a well exposed (shadows) image in HDR, with the front to back of the vine finely focused. Put the dark opening off center at the ‘rule of thirds’ intersection. There is not enough image to work with to try to illustrate. Fortunately it’s a good subject that’s not going to move anytime soon. Try, try again.