Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #210 – Your Favorite Images

Sunset on the Missouri River

Given the constraint of three favorite photos, I feel a bit constrained in my selection. After all, my images are all my creations, my babies. How can I make a Sophie’s Choice like that? Seriously, I did find three images that are among my favorites to share. Regular readers know of my preference for large panoramic landscapes. The image above was captured on a high bluff overlooking the Missouri River. This image was captured by my cell phone at the time, a Samsung Galaxy S6. Since the aspect ratio of the S6 was more traditional, I cropped some at the top and bottom to give the image a more panoramic feel. Click on the image to view it in full 2K HD.

Old 353
Old 353

As a lover of steam trains, and steam power in general, I’ve captured several classic steam engines in operation. My favorite image in that group features the steam engine at the Western Minnesota Steam Thresher’s Reunion, an annual Labor Day Weekend celebration of steam power. I happened to capture a workman making a tweak or two on the engine’s power train as the engineer waited to start the next excursion around the short track that circles the grounds. This image was captured with my Nikon D7000, f/14; 1/200 sec. I used the wide-angle 16 mm setting on my Tamron 16-300 mm zoom lens. This image was merged into HDR via Lightroom from three separate exposures separated by 1 stop each.

NHRA Dragster at the Phoenix Nationals

I don’t have a lot of images of sporting events (well, maybe except baseball), but I did attend a National Hot Rod Association drag race meet in Phoenix in 2012. It was there that I decided to see if I could pan the camera and match the speed of the moving dragsters as they traveled down the quarter-mile track. The goal was to capture the dragster without motion blur while blurring the remaining parts of the image that weren’t moving. I have plenty of examples where I was unsuccessful, but after a bit of practice, I was able to freeze the moving dragster that was probably traveling at over 150 MPH. In my experiments, I found the “sweet spot” for exposure of these fast-moving vehicles was around 1/160th sec with ISO 100. My Tamron lens was set to 16 mm on my Nikon D7000 and cropped to increase the size of the subject in the image.

Thanks to Sarah for allowing me the opportunity to share some of my favorite images. You can visit her original challenge post here. If you like to pixel peep in HD at the photo details and metadata, all images are available in an album on my Flickr site here.

Next week, the Lens-Artists team returns after our July break. First up is Anne. If you have been thinking about submitting your images for our weekly challenges, but aren’t quite sure how to join in, you’ll find all the details you need here.

John Steiner


  1. Yes, I didn’t make things easy for you, but you’ve come up with a super selection John! I always like your landscapes and the first shot is a belter – excellent depth of field, lovely light and the crop enhances it ๐Ÿ™‚ Although not into steam trains or sports photography I also really liked your other choices and I admire your success in panning, something I’ve rarely mastered.

  2. Congratulations on getting a drag car in focus and moving. Trains are always winner in my books also are wonderful sunsets. Great post John ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Great choices John. I love the opener and it’s hard to believe it was from a cellphone! The car shot is fabulous and OF COURSE you needed to include a train image!!

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