Nearly every day since fall quarter started I have seen this picture in my mind. When my daily French class ends at 11:50 a.m., I walk out of my second floor Olson Hall classroom and head for the stairs. Just before I turn right to go down the steps, I see this picture. The busy people – tiny and out of context – the geometry of the building and the different levels of Olson are all visible from this perspective. Finally, I decided to capture the moment.
Thanks to the windows near the roof of Olson, I had enough available light to use a low ISO of 400. At 400, I was still able to achieve my desired shutter speed, keep the people from being too blurry and take an image of good quality by minimizing the graininess that comes with increasing the ISO. Circumstance gave me a lens with an aperture that could only open up to f/4, so that’s what I worked with. At f/4, the light meter in the viewfinder revealed a correct exposure of 1/80th of a second, which would overexpose the left stairs while properly exposing the rest of the image.
The final ingredient was patience. With digital photography, it’s easy to trigger without regard and hope that you find something you like. Instead, I framed my shots deliberately, taking a few before I found this composition. When it felt right, I snapped this shot.
– Evan Davis