Photo of the Week

The Sands of Namibia

Nikon D300, 17-55 @ 17mm, ISO 200, f10 at 1/160 sec

Deep in the sand dunes of Namibia, I was presented with a rolling light show of highlights and shadows as the sun rose from my left.  With the camera having significantly less dynamic range than the human eye, it is always a challenge to record an image that depicts, as close as possible, the scene as it was seen by the eye.  As many of you know, I am a technical shooter.  Shooting in the deserts of Namibia was truly a personal and technical challenge for me which resulting in pushing my photography skills to a new level.  Amidst a sea of sand, I worked hard to incorporate an artistic approach in many of my images.  I found myself paying a great deal of attention to lines, shapes, highlights and shadows to tell the image story.  Thanks to JP Caponigro and Andy Biggs for pushing me into this artistic journey!

This image is a good example of the use of hyperfocal distance knowledge to achieve the desired zone of focus.    Using hyperfocal tables, I was able to determine that focusing on the sand, 10 ft in front of me, the hyperfocal distance would be 5.37 feet (using f10 and the D300 at 17mm), resulting in a near focus limit of 3.48 feet and a far focus limit of infinity.  After determining these values, I simply reset the focus to 5 feet and shot.  To make all of this easier, I now use an iPod for my hyperfocal distance calculations rather than lugging around 10 pages of tables.  Thank you Mr. Apple.

Cheers and happy photo’ing