Date Taken: 03/31/2016
Location: Thunderstruck Ridge Overlook, Milepost 455 on the southern end of the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina
Camera: Nikon D2X
Lens: Nikkor 70-210 f/4
Focal Length: 82mm
Shutter: 1/13 s
How I Got This Shot: This image was cut and dried – it was all a matter of execution. A rainstorm had just passed through at sunset, leaving a silvery-blue fog and mist in the valleys and even light. I had to hurry though while there was still some daylight left, so I set my Nikon D2X on a sturdy tripod, shooting “mirror up” (Mup on the selection dial) and using a remote shutter as well. In this mode, I tap the shutter once to lift the mirror, and again to open and close the shutter. This, along with the use of a remote shutter, helps minimize camera shake and vibration for maximum sharpness. Also, the f/8 aperture seems to be the sweet spot on the D2X for maximum depth of field from edge to edge, as its crop sensor is diffraction limited in comparison to newer cameras. The autofocus is brutally fast and accurate, even in low light, and I focused on a spot about 1/3 into the image from the bottom, again to help with sharpness and depth of field. At full resolution, there is a remarkable amount of detail throughout. On the farthest mountain in the distance, you can clearly make out the two antennas on top, even though that mountain is some twenty miles away – the ability of this ancient camera to pick up subtle details like this (with the right lens) is one reason why I still carry it in my bag, despite the newer technology out there. In the right conditions and with the right technique, the images from this camera look as good as, if not better than, many newer, higher resolution cameras.
Visit our guide site, www.virtualblueridge.com, for a complete list of overlooks along the Blue Ridge Parkway.
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