The Seneca Boat House at Sunset –

See a larger more detailed image, click on it (really, it’s juicy!)

Seneca Boat House at Sunset by Photographer Marc Mantha

Mother Nature springs things on you. Beautiful fleeting moments. Click, click click. I had but a few minutes and this would gone. Getting a good exposure on a strongly back-lit scene like this is rare. I’ll only know how it turned out back at the studio.

This was on the trails at the Seneca College King Campus north of Toronto, Canada.

I was taking a new lens through it’s trials. It’s the updated SIGMA 12-24MM F4.5-5.6 II DG HSM LENS (for full frame sensor). It’ll be reviewed here once I get a few hundred shots in to better determine what it can do.

How Did You Shoot This?

Footnotes off the top of head or what’s going on inside of it…

I use Aperture Priority (Av) almost exclusively. As I was moving along the water side trail taking photos, in some instances, the shutter speed was getting slower. I decided to move the ISO up to give the shutter a boost as I didn’t have a tripod. When doing hand-held shots, you need at least 1/30 of a second and a steady hand to avoid blurry camera shake. At this point on the trail, mainly forest shots in low light. When shooting the featured photo, that all changed shooting into a bright background, I could put the ISO back to 100, and because I was shooting really wide at 12mm, I lowered the f-stop (open the aperture) to speed up the shutter. Hind site, the f-stop could have been a little higher having achieved 1/320 shutter speed, but it changed with every shot and this scene is gone in minutes.

That above mentioned paragraph sounds confusing, but that’s what’s going through my mind as I’m moving along and assessing everything moment by moment.

Experience has been the best teacher of all.

My metering is Center Weighted, not to confused with Spot metering. So I’m taking several shots, recomposing. I partially depress the shutter button to engage the metering (and focus) near the setting sun, re-frame the shot and follow through pressing the shutter button all the way down. I don’t meter right on the sun, because then the background would likely become too dark. I’m trying to find a medium to medium light area to meter on. You just can’t tell from your built in camera screen exactly what the outcome is, so I focus and recompose about a dozen times moving the spot where I’m metering several times.

This is my typical mode of operation for outdoor photography.

I have to be fluid in this situation…in less than five minutes, the light is gone.

Actual Settings for this Shot

  • Shutter Speed 1/320
  • Aperture (f-stop) 5.6
  • Metering Mode: Center weighted average
  • Exposure Compensation 0
  • ISO Speed 100
  • Focal Length 12mm ultra wide (fish eye range)
  • White Balance Daylight
  • AF Mode – One Shat AF
  • Drive Mode – Single Frame Shooting

The final stage was processing with Photomatix Pro for a very light application of HDR. Then my Lab Sharpening Technique and removing a speck. Time to clean my sensor, I’ll get right on that.

I’ll gladly entertain your questions.

Have fun, keep on clicking and try something new.

MAMA Photography

MAMA supports the creative minds of the planet earth. If you come across something interesting and out of the ordinary, or just something that makes you smile, we’d like to know about it.

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