We went to the Black Hills in South Dakota last week for a little family get away. I knew I would be taking a ton of pictures, but also knew that I might be out of my comfort zone a little bit. See, at home, I'm often taking pictures of people (mostly Riley) and usually use a wide aperture, but since I would be taking a lot of landscape photos on vacation I mainly kept my aperture at 10 or above to keep the entire scene crisp and in focus. This caused me to have to change other settings (ISO, shutter speed) to make sure I got the correct exposure.
Additionally, I only used my wide angle and my zoom lenses. They are good lenses, but my prime lenses (50mm and 35mm) always seem a little crisper. I love my primes, but they didn't give me the versatility I needed on this vacation. I debated about renting a really nice zoom lens, but never got around to it - maybe next time.
At any rate, on our first night we were stationed in Chamberlain, SD so we drove up to Roam Free park to take in the Missouri River views. I used the wide angle lens, but totally forgot to bring the polarizer with (to help darken the sky, and it helps lessen reflections when you are shooting near water). I didn't love the light - it was ok, but I wasn't getting the best pictures so I decided to at least work on getting a good starburst effect. To get this (whether it's with the sun, Christmas lights, etc) you need to have a narrow aperture or a higher number on your aperture. For the picture below my settings were ISO 250 ~ f/22 ~ SS 640. I was also hoping to get more of a silhouette effect, but I need more practice on that.
It's not the most stunning picture, but I had fun trying this out and plan to work on it more in the future. And most importantly, we had fun checking out the view while there.