Fire in the sky

Hi All! I'd first like to comment on my disasterous attempt to take a picture of a cardinal in my parents backyard. For two days this red bird has eluded me and well I was starting to get a little frustrated. Now I know what you're thinking, where is the picture of the cardinal? Its locked away for now in the "Vault" and will probably not see the light of day. Or at least the light of the Internet. However, I will mention that trying to get the picture of this bird did lead me to something a equally as interesting. That would be the picture you see before you. I had left my camera out on the off chance that the "Woody Wood Pecker" wanna be Cardinal would rear his scarlett hide.  Anyways, lets get back to the picture. (I get distracted easily) The photo which I have named "Fire in the sky" presented its own set of "technical issues"  It was sometime after 6:30 in the evening, the clouds looked great with the setting sun. However, the trees in the foreground presented some challenges. I wanted to make sure that they didn't get "lost", and well I was being a little lazy and didn't want to get my tripod out. I love my tripod but it isn't easy to throw together. I should probably just keep it assembled so I don't have to worry about it so much. Back to the picture. So to make this picture, this is what I did. (After all that I'm just now getting to it...sheeze, I told you I got distracted easily) Oh and later remind me to tell you about my "adventures" in "Kicking an eight year olds butt in a snowball fight". So, since I didn't have my tripod ready I was going to be "forced" to hand hold it, and as such I was contrained with what my shutter speed would be. Nothing slower thann 1/60 sec. Some of you should note that 1/60 is probably the slowest you can go provided you have a rock steady hand. If you do, it tells me you don't drink enough coffee. :-) BUT since the bulk of the "grown ups" do drink coffee the various camera manufactures, such as Nikon and Canon have compensated for the caffine shakes by developing some form of vibration reduction that makes going to to 1/60 sec a real possibilty.  But I'll save that for another day. Ok so after all that I didn't even use 1/60 sec, I went for 1/80 which I accomplished by setting my camera (Nikon D300) to shutter priority and set it for 1/80. I let the camera pick the aperture, which ended up as 4.2. I was also shooting at ISO 200, which I found out recently isn't even the true ISO. A study was done of 53 DSLR's and the net result was that all or most of these camera's manufacturers ISO rating are actually shooting lower than advertised. Its not really an issue to me. Though I think Nikon has some explaining to do to me. So here ya go.....the Fire in the sky, shot at 1/80 and 4.2 Later...