My recent trip to Denver, Colorado, did not allow much time for photography, but I was keeping my eyes open for any opportunities that might present themselves. Unfortunately, sitting in a large conference room for 10 hours a day just doesn’t provide for much opportunity.
But, on my final morning, as I was standing in the foyer waiting on the elevator to take me down to the lobby so I could check out, I caught a glimpse of something out of the corner of my eye. When I turned to investigate, I noticed that my hotel was being reflected in the windows of the building across the street. What I found intriguing was how each window of the other building was producing a slightly different distortion of the reflection thus creating a very interesting and abstract image.
I returned to my room, got my camera, and returned to the foyer. I rarely use my camera without it being securely mounted to my tripod. But, in this case, I reasoned that using a tripod would be more of a hindrance than a help. With people trying to get on and off the elevator, there was a high likelihood of the tripod being knocked over or someone tripping on it. Thus, I decided my best course of action was to handhold the camera.
Because I was handholding the camera and not using a tripod, shutter speed was the main factor I needed to consider, and it needed to be as fast as possible. Since the reflection was relatively far away, depth of field, and consequently the aperture, was not a concern. To ensure a fast shutter speed and a large aperture, I set the camera’s exposure mode to Program and selected Auto ISO. This combination of settings resulted in the camera selecting a shutter speed of 1/160 second at an aperture of f/2.8 with an ISO of 1000.
Normally, in order to generate as little digital noise as possible, I typically keep my ISO at 400 or lower. However, given the lighting conditions, the lack of a tripod to keep the camera steady, and shutter speed/aperture combination I needed, I had no other choice but to use the higher ISO setting and eliminate the noise later in Photoshop.
Settings: Canon 5D Mk II, 200mm, 1/160 sec, f2.8