This photo was taken from the other side of the bridge shown in yesterdays post. Its location is right at the point where we were no longer driving down a very steep road and things were beginning to level out; more about that exhilarating part of the trail tomorrow. There is a pullover point here that could fit two vehicles (even though one other person tried to squeeze in there) which is where the family pulled over and waited for me while I shot through the beams on the bridge, moved out of the way for the occasional passing auto and truck and spoke with a mother and son who were climbing on some of the rocks by the bridge.
And because of all that going on I made a common photography mistake – I didn’t check my settings! No, I’m not referring to chimping, I’m talking about checking my shutter speed and aperture to make sure my images were as sharp and clear as I wanted them to be. Because I was shooting handheld but wanted to get as much of the scenery in focus as possible, I had my aperture around 7.1 (I often shoot aperture priority) which normally would’ve been fine for this scene but in order to get the light right for that setting my camera upped my ISO to around 400 and dropped my shutter speed to 1/30 of a second while using a 35mm lens. Uh oh!
It is highly recommended that unless you have nerves of steel, when working with a shutter speed lower than the size of your lens you should use a tripod, balance your camera on something stable (a wall, ledge, etc.) or change your aperture and/or ISO to raise your shutter speed. I must confess that because of this negligence on my part out of all of the photos I took from this bridge only two of them came out properly sharp. A possible once in a lifetime moment of nature and scenery making beautiful colors together not captured fully because I didn’t take a second to check my camera.
Sometimes in photography you have to shoot quickly and other times you may be able to work at your own speed. Whatever the scenario, make sure that you take a moment or two to check your settings to negate a negative return on your efforts. Then again, returning to a location to get that shot you missed can work too!