Moonlight on Island Lake, Manitoba, Canada by Patrick McNeill

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Picture Story

For a previous job I would sometimes travel to remote northern areas of Manitoba, Canada. In this case, I had taken a small plane up to a lodge on Island Lake. On this trip I had brought my camera with me and after dinner I headed down to the dock to try to get some sunset photos. The sunset wasn't too bad but as usual, I kept shooting for a little while after the sun had gone down. While looking for compositions I spotted the moon reflecting on the lake, along with a nice deep blue (hour) sky. This ended up being my favorite shot of the night.

Water reflections with a telephoto lens are tricky because the depth of field can be really shallow and it can be a balancing act to get some depth but still keep the ISO low and get the shutter speed you want. In this case I settled on an aperture of f/8, and since I had my full frame camera with me, I didn't mind increasing the ISO a bit up to 800ISO, though I rarely shoot over 100ISO. The sweet spot for the flickering reflections on the waves seemed to be about 1/3rd of a second; any longer and there would be too much movement and less definition of the abstract shape, and any shorter would lead to it being too sharp and it would lose the "dreamy" look to it. I set the camera on burst mode as I wanted to get something I liked before the night got darker and I would have to push my ISO higher than I would like. I liked how it turned out to look like a mix between fire and water.


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