Sunrise in Alpine, CA

 I was up before the sun again this morning and I poked my head outside to see what was going on. There was a bit of cloud cover to the east, so I grabbed the camera and tripod and decided to try my luck sunrise hunting.

This would be the perfect opportunity to test the new D3200 on manual settings with the remote and tripod.

It was still dark when I got to Loveland Reservoir. I walked around a bit, looking for the best place to set up and decided on a spot that offered the best composition for my needs. I wanted to have subjects in the foreground and background to test depth of field at lower ISO and f stops. I also wanted to get a feel for 35mm framing because I think my next purchase will be a Nikon 35mm f1.8G prime lens.

After I set the tripod up, I adjusted the camera to 100-ISO with the plan to stop down the shots from f8 to f16…I also made sure that the auto ISO was disengaged and then set the camera to remote mode.

I was ready!

I manually set the exposure and f stop and started shooting.

On my old D80, my favorite f stop was 16 for taking big landscape shots. I would get good detail all the way back as far as you could see at this setting, and I was hoping for similar results with the D3200.

I wasn’t disappointed!

I started at f8 and by the time I was at f16, the colors were starting to pop in the clouds. I tried some different exposures at f16 and found that by underexposing the shot by a couple of steps, I was getting the best color results, without losing anything in the foreground.

In this series of shots, the best one came out at, f16; ISO-100; ¼ sec exposure @ 35mm, but I would have to wait until I got home to really see the detail.

When I developed this shot, I sharpened the image just a touch and raised the saturation to a setting of 6 out of a possible 100… very minimal adjustments. I was happy with the overall detail…I mean… it’s not a D4, but it will work for what I’m trying to do.

I don’t recall ever getting a shot this rich in color from the D80.

What do you guys think…are we happy with the D3200?

9 thoughts on “Sunrise in Alpine, CA

  1. I am so glad you are having such a great time with your new camera. Wow! Incredible shot. It’s perfect! I love all of the colors and no detail is lost throughout the entire scene. You will probably cause a spike in their sales with just this one photo!

    • Thanks Linda!
      I’ve been pretty happy with the new camera so far…and it’s motivated me to get out and shoot more. i can’t wait to see how it does in the field on an extended outing…with extra batteries.

      That’s the only down side so far…the D80 battery would last over a week…the D3200 doesn’t last near as long. It’s dead after a full morning of shooting. But that’s an acceptable trade-off with the quality of pictures I have been getting.

      Is your next trip this weekend?

      • I know it’s disappointing to lose battery power so fast, but with pictures like these, I agree, so worth it! I can’t wait to see what shots you come back with after one of your trips.

        Yes, this weekend, I can’t wait! It’s going to be pretty warm, but the nights should be cool. I’ve never been to this park, but I’ve heard a lot of great things about it. Small, quiet, not well known. Sounds perfect to me, but we will see. I’m taking my pocket rocket to try it out and I’m picking up some meals from REI like you suggested just to try them out and see what we might like for our backpacking trip in November. Thank you for asking!

  2. Great photo! The D3200 has some pretty amazing features compared to the D3000 and the D3100. Not too long ago I upgraded from the D3000 to the D7000 and fell in love. Nothing is better than a giddy feeling when you are upgrading. I swear I was giggling like a school girl when I would discover a new feature on my new camera. For me, the quickest way to learn is trial and error. After all, every photographer has their own particular style.

    If you are looking to purchase spare batteries for an extended trip, there are some off brands that work exactly the same for a lower cost (Empire is the brand that we sell at the camera shop that I work at). Usually you can save anywhere from 10.00 to 30.00 (depending on the battery).

    Again, awesome photo!
    Amanda Foxx

    • Hi Amanda and thanks!

      Finding and figuring out new features is awesome…so is upgrading!
      I love(d) my D80, but the D3200 is pretty sweet.
      My biggest comparison before buying, was between the D5100 and the D3200, and the video features on the D3200 won out.

      I’ll probably end up with a D7000 sooner than later but for now, the 3200 is meeting my needs…although I am anxious to check out the D600 when it’s released…

      Thanks for the tip on batteries – I was wondering about that. I have read mixed reviews of off brand batteries and wasn’t sure if I should try them or not. Now I think I’ll give them a shot…and the way the 32000 goes through juice, I’ll need a few.

      Well, thanks again for stopping by and have a great and safe holiday weekend!

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