Cellpic Sunday – 17 May 2020

Lake Township, Iowa.

Just over a month ago, we headed back from Arizona to our home in Fargo, North Dakota. Normally we take three to five days, visiting family and friends along the way and taking time to capture some “local color” as we go. Given that we are in good health and looking toward the upcoming 14-day state mandated quarantine for snowbirds returning home, we decided to throw some sandwiches in a cooler and drive straight through. Lynn and I alternated driving and napping and we made the trip in 29 hours, stopping only for driver swaps, rest stops, and fuel.

After driving through Nebraska in the wee hours of the morning, we transited from I-80 to I-29 near Omaha and started northward on the highway that would bring us to within a mile from our home. We had just swapped drivers and before I settled down to nap, I started fiddling around with my camera hoping to catch the nice sunrise. It would be a good time to learn how to set the camera in my Samsung S20U to “Pro” mode so that I could adjust shutter speed, lens opening, and ISO.

About the photo: In order to eliminate the foreground motion blur that images suffer when shooting from a high speed moving vehicle, I set the camera’s exposure to 1/2000 sec. To get a decent exposure, I would need to set the ISO higher than default. Putting the ISO on 400 is a good compromise between noise and light sensitivity and that ISO allowed me to set the lens to f/1.8. As I rode along the Iowa countryside in the passenger seat, I looked for interesting compositions as the sun started appearing through the misty clouds in the distance. As we rolled along at somewhere near 75 mph, I snapped the shutter as we passed by a lone tree. I happened to catch it in silhouette as the sun rose just above the horizon. The image was transferred into Adobe Lightroom, tweaked, then editing finished in Luminar Flex. In most browsers, you can click on the image for a better view.

John Steiner


  1. Gorgeous picture! You and your wife are far more adventurous than I as I cannot imagine driving for 29 hours with, essentially, no breaks.

    Stay safe and be well.

    • It was a push, and something we haven’t done since we were probably in our 30s. We’d heard there were issues getting into some hotels along the way from our snowbird friends who preceded us home, and we just decided not to bother.

  2. Pretty amazing considering the challenge John! I cannot believe you spent 30 hours in a car. I’d be totally unable to unbend from the seated position after that 😱

    • Thank you! Though there are software issues with the new Samsung S20U camera, for the most part, it’s an excellent walk-around camera that doubles as a cell phone. Given that it costs almost as much as a new Nikon D500, I want to get the best results, so I am learning far more about its camera modes than I’ve ever done with a cell phone camera before.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.