The Obligatory Fire Hydrant Photograph

Sometimes a fire hydrant is just a fire hydrant. This is one of those times.

The fire hydrant depicted below is on my street. I watched this photo unfold itself yesterday, periodically noting how the light and tree shadows fell on the scene at different times, then walked up with the camera at 5:23pm today for the Photo.

At that time, the shadows cast on the scene were from the treetops, rather than the elongated shadows of palm and ash trunks.

The long shadows nearer to sundown were likely to arrive in golden light, but I couldn’t shoot because my shadow would be in the frame.

Here are the gearhead statistics: Nikon D200 body, Nikon 18-105mm VR DX 3.5-5.6 G ED lens. Aperture priority at f/9, shutter speed 1/80s, ISO 100, 58mm focal length, multi-pattern metering.

I chose f/9 to keep the twin palms behind the hydrant in focus, rather than blurring them out with the lens wide open. I rarely shoot at higher than ISO 200. If it’s dark enough to think about increasing the ISO speed, 99 percent of the time I prefer the results of the longer exposure using a tripod or with the camera braced on a stable object like a boulder, etc.

A 100 percent crop of the photo is shown here. The blue tape on the top of the hydrant is what was left after a yard sale sign was posted on it a few months ago.

(There. I just achieved my lifelong goal of reasonably using the word “hydrant” five times in under 250 words. Since I began to write 54 years ago, this has been no small undertaking. Now, what’s next?)

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