Sunset photo of a lone footprint imprinted on a bay beach.


Sunset photo of a lone footprint imprinted on a bay beach.
Imprinted — 14mm | f/2.8 | ISO 100 | EXP 1/100

After making Friday’s sunset photograph I turned my attention to the waterfront and decided to do things a little different. While I kept with my 14mm lens, I did switch from manual focus to autofocus and stopped up from f/8 to f/2.8—the latter being wide open on my wide angle lens. From here I opted to mess with some selective focus on a footprint marked upon the sand. I thought it might make an interesting foreground prop were I to get close enough. From a distance of roughly three inches I engaged back button focus on my camera and let technology take over the focus ring. Once it found its mark giving a reassuring beep of approval, I depressed my shutter and exhaled. Instead of rendering a tack sharp image from edge to edge of the frame, as is my usual execution when shooting wide angle landscapes, here the background is able to fade away keeping the attention on the dollop of tread upon sand. It’s easy to get stuck in our routines, executing the same process over and over, so it’s liberating to cut loose and throw a changeup every now and then. It is spring training time, after all. Baseball is back, baby!

This shoot wasn’t all sunshine and roses, however. When doing my thing in Lightroom I waffled on whether or not to go with a 3:2 ratio—what you see here—versus a 2:1 crop. I liked them both for somewhat different reasons, ultimately settling upon the former because the sunset sky is a bit more balanced with the foreground. Granted the 2:1 brought more focus on the footprint and the individual grains of sand, but there was something about leaving the upper third of the frame as sky that made me a bit unsure. Best stay with the 3:2 in the sake of balance here. Or not. As I’ve written many times, while it’s good to have our rules it is also good to break them.

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