Stunning photo of NYC's last 2013 sunrise


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That is a nice picture.

Scott’s writeup is kind of interesting, though. He’s factually correct, but ignores that as the focus approaches infinity the depth of focus becomes proportionately deeper. Despite his comment of manually focusing on the smoke, objects closer to the camera are still in sharp focus, meaning that he’s shooting with a relatively wide focal length (probably 35 or 55mm) and it all ends up in focus anway.

As a fellow photographer (albeit amateur), this speaks to me more about the importance of composition and timing. It’s got a great framing, and there are only a few moments where he could’ve captured this.

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yeah, was just going to say the same thing. the only salient part is that the lens is fast and so the shutter times can be short, making handheld photography in low light viable. of course i didn’t read the link, perhaps he’s using a tripod anyway.

anyhow, the subject is so far away that everything is in focus: the online DOF calculator at says that even at f/1.2 with a 55mm lens, everything 118 meters away from the camera is in sharp focus.

signed, the internet pedant squad

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Yep, you’re both right! It’s probably more field curvature than DOF – that said, I do think the wide aperture helped to isolate the smokestacks, if you see what I mean. Thanks for looking (and correcting).

A wonderful picture to get one in a philosophical mood…

your photography is great and the composition of that picture is awesome.

the techincal “mistake” is pretty meaningless. but you know, if someone is wrong on the internets…

Ha! But now re-reading, I actually think what I wrote was technically correct, so I still lay claim to my Internet Accuracy Seal-of-Approval… :smile:

But in the interest in Higher Truth, a wide aperture is going to show a deep depth of field for distant subjects.

In fact, I took this with the smokestacks at the center of the frame, where I would get the sharpest image, and then cropped. If I had put the smokestacks at the bottom-right, I wouldn’t have been able to get them as sharp with the wide aperture.

Oh yeah, you’re technically correct. I don’t understand optics enough to get into whether the wide aperture may bump into issues of defraction or lens softness, because in my experience those kinds of discussions end up worried too much about each pixel and don’t step back to appreciate the great shot!

Your statement about how you took the picture and then cropped it is more informative for me, since that tells me you had a wide shot (and wanted to avoid any weirdness towards the edge of the lens) and then cropped it based on your creative skills. Kudos!

… And watching for pigs on the wing.

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