The skies this morning were already showing color, forty minutes before sunrise. Gotta love mornings like that! …So long as you have enough space on you memory cards for all the shots you’re going to want to take.
(Yes, that is a reminder to back up, back up, back up. Do it on a regular basis, use more than one format, and store your copies in more than one place! Otherwise you don’t really love your photos.)
Took the rock-climbing trail again – wanted to get up there just as quickly as possible, to capture as much of the changing color as I could! It was a brisk morning. The lined hooded jacket I’ve been wearing was a bit heavy while walking up, though it was a comfort by the time I’d been exposed to the winds up top for a few minutes.
The colors were still just starting to develop by the time I was on the eastern overlook – right on time!
Now most mornings I’ll have the aperture set to f/11 – it’s a nice compromise between the corresponding shutter speed, and the level of detail it captures. Sometimes on darker mornings I have to open it up a bit more, plus turn the ISO up, when I want to stop fast-moving clouds in their tracks. Other times, if I want to increase the detail or deliberately capture the clouds’ movement, I close the aperture down and increase the shutter speed. (I have seen some fine sunrise and sunset photos where the foreground detail is sharp but the clouds above are colored streaks across the sky, and I’m trying to duplicate the technique.)
Today, with the clouds all but stationary and yet showing off both color and texture, I wanted the maximum amount of detail the camera was capable of capturing. So aperture at f/22, ISO at 100, and whatever the shutter speed at whatever it needed to be to create a good exposure. I’d taken, oh, twenty or thirty shots, pleased as punch with what the smidgy-small screen on the camera showed.
Then I happened to glance at the lens itself. Five great big flecks of debris, scattered across the surface, met my gaze.
Oh, yes. It is possible to make a photographer cry.
Thank heavens for the spot removal feature in Lightroom!