Walking through tree's so thick that I couldn't see the sun, I kept following the bird calls that seemed to chime out all around me. As I did I slowly came to the conclusion that I was never going to get a clean sight of one of these avian songsters, let alone get their picture. And the deeper into the mini jungle I got the less chance I had of getting back to the picturesque bay in Hamilton in time to capture a super sunset shot (complete with a great moon to boot). So looking at my watch as well as what little sky I could see through the trees, I decided it was time to leave Sherwin's nature reserve and my hopes of capturing some photo's of those illusive exotic birds.
Hurriedly I grabbed the next bus back to town. But alas it's hard to out race the sun when your traveling at 20 miles an hour, which is about the islands speed limit. (I'm guessing any native New Yorker driving here would blow their brains out). As I watched the slowly setting sun out race our bus back to town, it seemed to be laughing at me as it glided along in the sky over my left shoulder. But while I was now certain I wouldn't get back in time for a rich sunset shot, I held out hope that maybe I could get a kind of nice shot of an early evening sky instead.
However that hopeful feeling did not last very long, because I had checked before leaving our cruise ship this morning for when sunset was here in Bermuda, I could tell by the large clock on the front of the bus (clocks inside of buses, how cool is that?) that there would be no nice left over color in the sky by the time the bus got back to the ferry boat terminal this day. And sure enough when I got off the bus the sky was pitch black, no colorful water, no nice light shining off the boats in the harbor, no nothin'. Just like the setting sun, the moon too seemed to look down and laugh at me. "Oh well, time to catch the ferry boat back to the ship and hook up with some of our group for dinner". "Now what time does the next ferry leave this place?", I half mumbled as I looked up at the big board at the dock that posted the ferryboats routes and departure times. My shoulders drooped as I read the map routes 3 different times - ONE HOUR?? THE NEXT BOAT LEAVES IN ONE HOUR?? You've got to be kidding me!!! In the middle of the week before it's even 9 pm and the boats run every 60 minutes ??? But as I looked around at the lazy little hamlet I realized I was lucky it ran THAT often. I'll never complain about the Staten Island ferry schedule again.
With nothing to do and most of Hamilton shut down, I walked into town to see what might look nice to photograph, but unfortunately anything that did look that good required the use of a tripod. Just my luck I had left it back on the ship so I wouldn't be too bogged down with equipment. Soon I found myself meandering back to the bench at the ferry terminal, and decided to rest my eyes and let the warm night air relax me a bit - or try to. But after a few minutes I started going stir crazy again and opened my eyes, this time in the direction of that mini luxury liner still docked in front of me but now it was bathed in the light from the town and her own ship board lighting, which made for a fabulous image. "Boy what a great shot it would make" I thought to myself as I sat lazily with my arms spread wide across the bench. But how do I get it with the composition I desire, seeing that I have no support for the camera? Plus the moon will be over my right shoulder outside of the picture. "Well the moon isn't critical, and I can always add one later when I get home if the sky looks too empty". (This is one of only two shots in all of my galleries that didn't originally have a moon in the scene that I added one to it later).
Dragging my butt off the bench I attached the lens I wanted for the shot onto my camera and then walked up to the railing and rested my camera there with the correct angle needed for proper composition of this night time scene. After looking at a few test shots I saw that the best exposure setting was at a 1/2 a second - PRECISELY the slow shutter speed I was afraid it was going to be. Hunching over slightly I carefully rested the camera on the railing again and looked into my viewfinder. I saw the limp flag, and waited for a breeze to come, then when it finally started blowing I had to wait for the wind to change directions so it would blow the flag on the right angle to be photographed from where I was standing. When that finally happened a large wave came by and moved the dock just enough to blur the picture. After that I pressed the shutter release button too hard and moved the camera enough to blur the picture myself.
As you can tell, trying to capture this exact shot without a tripod required lining up a lot of ducks in a row, and two of them in particular. One, I needed plenty of room on my memory card for what was sure to be a lot of blurry shots. Fortunately my big compact flash card had me covered there. The second thing I was going to need to capture this scene, not surprisingly, was time - and LOTS of it. But thanks to the good people at the "Sea Express" ferry service, time was one more thing that I had in great supply.