Knowing what’s going to happen before it happens is always a plus for a photographer. While covering the commencement ceremony at the high school in town, I was aware that at a certain time during the ceremony, the graduates would be throwing their mortar board caps in the air.

Preparing for this, I set my camera on shutter priority, 1/200, to stop action and set my ISO to 1600, because it was getting dark and I knew exposure would be an issue. I took my chances with the camera assigning the F-stop. I had already set the focus on the last row of graduates and locked it in. When the hats went into the air, I was able to fire two shots. This one was the best.

Thankfully, there was enough light from the stadium lights to silhouette the hats. I could have used my on-camera flash, but having shot in dusk conditions before, I knew all that I would have captured would have have been two or three hats that were close to me on a blackened background.

This shot only had a slight bit on editing. I had to straighten it and enhance sharpness slightly.