The Story of the Staircase

January 29, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

While walking the campus of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, I entered the Grainger Engineering Library to photograph the colorful staircase:

Grainger staircaseGrainger staircaseStaircase in the Grainger Engineering Library at 1301 W Springfield Avenue on the campus of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in Urbana, Illinois on January 24, 2018 Security approached me as soon as I started to set up my shot. I was told that photography isn't allowed inside the library. I asked if it would be possible for me to capture a photograph of this staircase before packing up. I promised not to include any library patrons in the frame as that seemed to be the main concern. To my surprise, permission was granted for me to take a few minutes for this picture.

I found it challenging to align the camera for this picture. The tripod was positioned on the stairs with the camera just a foot or so off one of the steps. After trying unsuccessfully to get my body positioned under the viewfinder (like a gymnast), it dawned on me that the Nikon D850 features a tilt LCD screen on the back of the camera! So, I sat comfortably upright while focusing the lens and composing the photograph.

The D850 also offers a feature called "focus peaking". While focusing the lens, the area that is in focus turns red--so you know that you've nailed the focus precisely. You can also change the color of the focus peaking (for example, when you happen to be shooting a red subject). Once the appropriate railings turned red, I activated the shutter and captured my image.


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