Ohiwa Harbour by Rod Topperwien - Photo Review



"Our local harbour in Ohope, NZ brings some unique opportunities to capture lights from all different sources. In this case we see the reflections of man made lights, light of the sun reflected off the moon and the heavenly beings - the stars. In my opinion it was a nice unique opportunity to have all three sources cohabiting."

Shot at: F2.8, 15s, ISO3200, 16mm

Thoughts by Reviewer

I’m going to start with the things I love about the picture and then move on to the ones that could use a bit of fixing to make the image perfect.

  • The first thing that caught my eye and that I absolutely love is the subject itself. The sky above the body of water with the clouds just moving along the way, it’s stunning.

  • The second thing is the composition. I find it very pleasing as you have the clouds coming in from the right of the frame and they’re almost dragging the stars with them. Maybe the frame could’ve been moved a bit to the left but seeing there’s some sort of a town on that part of the image, the better choice may have been evading the light pollution and sticking with the composition you chose.

  • Lastly, I find that you nailed the colour of the sky, it is a perfect blue colour, really sticking out with the greyish clouds.

Now that we have that out of the way, let’s take this image a few levels higher.

Shutter Speed and ISO

The most challenging part of photographing the stars (also knows as astrophotography) is the long shutter speed and high ISO which results in a considerable amount of noise being introduced to the image. (Shutter speed = duration that the sensor on your camera is being left open to capture light on the final image, ISO = your camera sensor’s sensitivity to light, the higher the