Posts Tagged: mexico

Sea of Cortez Sunset

Here’s a photograph I took at Rocky Point (Puerto Penasco), Mexico in 2011. I know sunset photographs can be something of a cliche but I’m pretty pleased with this one because of the way it was shot.
I was exploring the tide pools along the shore and looking for interesting pictures of fish or crabs to shoot. As the afternoon passed into evening, the sun started going down and it got too dark for photographing sea life.I hadn’t planned to take sunset photographs. So I had not brought along my tripod which is, of course, essential for taking photos with low light. However, as I wandered, I noticed the most amazing color wash over the sky and I thought, well, I have to try.

I almost always shoot ISO 100 to keep the noise and grain very low which is especially important in low light images like this. In this case I wanted good depth of field to bring out the waves and the shore line but still keep the sun in sharp focus. That meant I had to use the smallest aperture I could at ISO 100 while still keeping a fairly fast shutter speed because I was hand holding.

I ended up selecting an aperture of f16) and a shutter speed of 1/80 s. When I framed up the shot I wanted, the focal length was 107 mm leaving me with a shutter speed that was a bit too low for the focal length (you may recall that your shutter speed should be at least 1 over the focal length of your lens in order to get a sharp image — in this case I should have used at least 1/125 s but then I couldn’t get as small an aperture as I wanted).

However, I have Image Stabilization on the lens I was using. It really helps in some situations. So I very carefully held the camera as steady as I could and tripped the shutter.

I only got one shot at it because as soon as I had made the capture, the color faded. As it turned out, one capture was enough. I got the amazing colors I wanted with nice sharpness and a deep focus.

People love this photo. I have it hanging up in my studio and it always gets comments. If you’d like a print for your home, you can order it here: