Today I wanted to share a little example, how you can turn some photography obstacles into inspiration and possibly a nice picture =)

Recently we took a trip to a beautiful mountain lake, Lake Kaindy this one:


The place is stunning, the road there is quite tiering – 5 hours to the lake and 5 hours back. But the view was worth it.

While driving our windshield became all…well dotted =) Making my photography from the window experience less than pleasant (I was a passenger, just so you know =)).

You can see little dots on the windshield on the picture below.


So for a while I had to make all pictures from the side window.

My camera settings for this shot were:

  • Shutter speed 1/500 sec
  • Aperture f/11
  • I used my 35mm 1.8 lens


A quick note, when I shoot from the car, I usually use low aperture values like f/11 – f/16, so that as many details can be captured.

Quick clarification on Aperture –  aperture is a bit confusing, because it is shown in fractions, the lower the number below the fraction, the higher the aperture, so the aperture of f/1.4 is HIGHER than of f/7. So when I say I use LOW aperture values I mean something like f/11 – f/16. LOW aperture value let’s LESS light into the camera, and more of the scene captured is in focus. HIGH aperture value means MORE light and hence LESS of the scene will be in focus. 

As we drove back home, the sunset was upon us and we were heading directly west. Driving wise, not the best situation, because sun was shining right at us. Photography wise and just generally it was beautiful. The road was filled with golden light and everything looked magical (well they call it magic hour for a reason, right?)

So I changed my settings to following:

  • Shutter speed 1/5000 sec
  • Aperture f/2.5
  • Same 35mm 1.8 lens


And this is what I got


The pesty little white dots disappeared! Or did they? No they didnt, of course =)

By using the HIGH aperture value of just f/2.5 – much less of the scene was in focus, in particular the windshield was very out of focus, and hence the dots were too. They are still present in the picture, but now look like a very cool bokeh effect – see the light wide circles? That’s our dots.

In this particular case to achieve this effect two conditions were met:

1) Relatively HIGH aperture value (f/2.5 in my case) to blur the foreground by making it out of focus. I focused on the car in front of us)

2) Source of light in front of the camera (also known as backlight), to create bokeh effect by highlighting those dots and make them shine


So, watch out for those odds and obstacles, because they may just be your next great photo opportunity =)