Sunset Cameo in Briar Tree Photo Shoot

28 01 2012

I’ve been wanting to go out and get some sunset shots for a while but as you know I like to put a twist on things like that. There are a couple great places in town to watch the sun go down. We have a lake, tons of open fields, a college campus, a National historic site. I ended up deciding on an old tree on the side of the road. I didn’t want the sunset to be the main focus of the image so I got in close and was excited to find a huge overgrowth of thorns surrounding the tree. This was bad for my arms and legs but fantastic for my photographs.

I decided not to capitalize on the thorns for my first frame and was really pleased with it. I got in tight on the end of a small branch and the sun played really well in the background. I love macro and I love shallow Depth of Field so I loved this photo.

I love how much action we’re seeing in the defocused portions of this image. From the leaf to the stray twigs to, of course, the sun, this image worked well for me. I had to switch over to manual focus which was a challenge because I was shooting freehand macros while trying to lean over a briar patch :)

This shot was my favorite. I expanded the DoF a bit by pushing out to f/4. This got me some more twig action but still did its job on the sun and other background elements. My trick for manually focusing these shots was largely breathing control. I started out trying to chase the focus with the ring as my body moved slightly but I fell behind in most of my shots. I finally decided to get the focus right once and wait for myself to be at that exact point to shoot. I think of the old joke a slow watch is never right but a broken watch is right twice a day. My breathing patterned my body into a gentle sway and I timed my shots for the right focus. (I shot the picture when I passed through the right moment, get it?) :)

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