Gonna rise up. Find my direction magnetically.

My first time… with a tripod

I got a shipment the other day that included a new tripod, some filters and a wireless shutter release. This should be the last of my gear before the Canada trip (although maybe another spare battery…. there is always something!).

I was driving Brooke home from drum lessons on Tuesday and the sunset looked really amazing. I got to the house, mentioned this to Julie in passing and she told me to go shot it! So I grabbed my gear as quick as I could since the sunset was almost over and drove like mad to a place on the Fox River that offered a decent view. I missed the most amazing part, but this gave me a great chance to try the tripod.  After some minor post-processing, here is what I ended up with. The composition could have been better but I was happy with my first attempt at low light photography. The auto-focus and VR didn’t help at all… next time, note to self.

All three were shot with the Nikkor 18-105mm 3.5-5.6 lens.

ISO 400, .125s, f/6.3

ISO 200, 5.0s, f/10

ISO 1800, 1/30s, f/3.8


  1. Mom

    Really nice pictures, Ryan. My favorite is the middle one–guess I’m a balance freak! I love the composition of that one. The colors are great, too. I did have to actually go to your blog to find the sunset pictures, though. I thought I was supposed to get an auto e-mail when you posted something new. I tried to resubscribe but it told me I was already signed up. For a while, tell me when you post something new so I can see if there’s a reason I’m not getting e-mails. Loved Brooke’s “graduation” this morning. Love, Mom

  2. Mike


    For the focusing in sun -rise/set light conditions, I have learned to focus on the point of interest with the highest zoom level on the lens, once set( u=with auto focus off) it will remain in good for the zoom range.

    We will face many sun -rise/set opportunties in Canada.


    • rdobson

      Good tip. I’m sure you’ll be able to give me the hands on tips while we are on the trip.

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