Notice that I used an aperture of f/6.3, ISO320 and 1/30th second shutter speed. If you’ve read other articles on CaptureLandscapes or other websites about landscape photography you might be aware that these aren’t the settings often recommended.
Couldn’t I instead have used an aperture of f/11 and ISO64/ISO100? No. With those settings my shutter speed would have needed to be much slower, meaning it would have been impossible for me to capture it without using a tripod, something I didn’t have handy at the moment.
You’ll often find yourself in this kind of situation. Good light doesn’t last forever; sometimes it’s gone in a matter of seconds. That’s why you need to be ready and able to quickly capture the moment when it’s present, even if that means not getting a technically perfect image.
Following the Rules = Missing Opportunities
I wish I’d known this when I started learning photography. Back when I got ‘hooked’ and spent all my spare time reading about the various concepts of photography, I was so focused on doing everything correctly without ever realizing that capturing the moment is what matters the most. The horizon needed to be straight, the ISO couldn’t be higher than 100, the aperture had to be f/11 and the image needed to follow the Rule of Thirds.
What happens when ticking off all these boxes becomes the main focus? Exactly. You miss the perfect moment.
This happened to me over and over. Until I realized that while it’s important to tick the boxes, the main focus should be capturing the image you’re envisioning. Sometimes that doesn’t allow the time to set up perfectly.
What Should You Do?
Now don’t get me wrong. If the situation allows it, you definitely want to spend the time perfecting the composition, focus and using the settings that will result in the highest quality file.