Example image

Pacific Explorer in Sydney Harbour


Last week I wanted to take a photo from the Opera House of a ship coming into Sydney harbour. I knew the rough dimensions of the ship, and the rough angle of its approach, and was hoping to catch the rising sun behind it. What I didn’t know what was lens I’d need, or what f-number I should shoot at to ensure the whole ship would be in focus.

The image didn’t pan out how I had imagined. Nevertheless, the I found the links below helpful in planning the shoot.


Sunrise/Sunset angles


Object/Image Size


Depth of Field Calculator


Having these three links, and knowing that the Pacific Explorer is approximately 50m high from sea level (and the size of my camera sensor, 35mm), I was able to calculate the lenses that I’d need at various stages of the ship’s approach, and where I’d need to close the aperture (increase the f-number) to ensure the subject remained in focus.