On Thurday the Ravoravo stood intact watching over the shoreline as the Pacific Dawn sailed into harbour. By Saturday she had broken apart and lay in ruins.

"Ravoravo" has a couple of meanings in Fijian - one suggests the unbroken cycle of the tides coming in and going out. We expect many things in life to remain constant like the tides or rising and setting of the sun, yet so many things have an end, and we can never be sure when it will come. On Thursday I was in two minds about whether to stop and take the first photo here, thinking that there would be another chance later. But it was my last chance. Perhaps it is even the last photo ever taken of that boat in one piece. I certainly didn't expect to find her broken up and being used for firewood just a few days later.

Yesterday I was watching an episode of "The Glee Club" at a friend's house. I wasn't really expecting anything philosophical to come out of that, but there was a poignant moment that stuck in my mind - a conversation between a father and his son who was about to move away. The father said something along these lines: " The older you get, the more you realise how short the time is. When you leave, things will change, and they will never go back to being the same. We will still love each other and we will be there for each other, but it will be different. Change is good and beautiful but there will be times I'll wish for the old days... "

Death can come at any age. People move away. Relationships change or end. Cherish what you have while you have it, before the day comes when you discover it is no longer there and you can't go back.

How to impress your photography friends

So Shrishti and I were out exploring one weekend and ended up at The Pearl, where she's practising shooting on manual. Take a shot... Way too dark. Adjust... Take another shot... Still much too dark...

So I ask, "What ISO are you on?"
"400", she replies.
I look up at the sky, look around where we are sitting, then look at what she's taking a photo of and say, "Try 1/200th of a second at f/8".

Oh snap! It's out by less than half a stop...

"How did you do that?"

"Oh, just experience..."

Yeah, I lied. It's actually experience plus a handy little rule commonly referred to as "the sunny 16 rule".

The sunny 16 rule says that around noon on a nice sunny day, the correct exposure is the reciprocal of the ISO at f/16. So with ISO 400 I would have said shutter of 1/400s and aperture of f/16 if she was shooting something in bright sun. But it wasn't bright sun - it was overcast, so I subtracted a stop for that (1/200s at f/16) - and it was about 4pm so I took off another half a stop - and the subject of the photo was a little dark and in the shade, so I subtracted another half-stop from that to arrive at 1/200s at f/8.

So I took the rule and adjusted it to fit the situation. The rule is the starting point, and knowing how much to shift it is experience.

Next time you're shooting outdoors, give the rule a try. f/16, and shutter of 1/ISO. Take the photo and see how far you have to adjust it to get a good exposure. Do it enough times and it will become second nature.

Now artificial light is a story that will have to wait for another day...

About DivePeak

This is a personal website - DivePeak isn't a company, and I don't do paid work. There are other professional photographers in Fiji who would love to shoot your advertisement, capture the special moments of your wedding, or record your function. I take portraits for fun - mostly for friends, but sometimes for others. Most of the weddings and engagements I attend are for friends. If you want me to take photos for you, please bear in mind that my work (market research) takes priority over my hobby (photography) - I can only shoot in my spare time, and I can never give you a guarantee that I can be anywhere at a particular time.

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