Anna Attlid: Paper Hearts

The Image

Anna Attlid

Somewhere between California and Arizona, USA

Time / Date:
18:04 / September 26, 2012

The Technical

Camera Body: Nikon D200
Lens: Nikon 35mm f/1.8

Camera Settings:

Shutter Speed: 1/1000s
Aperture: f/1.8
ISO: 100
Focal Length: 35mm

The Story


I was driving with my boyfriend from his home town in southern California to his mom’s house outside Bullhead City, AZ, to stay there for a couple of weeks. It was a very long drive, with two impatient dogs in the backseat and bad music on the radio, and we were anxious to get to our destination.

The Scene: 

We had been driving all day when I took this, somewhere very close to the border between California and Arizona – we were almost there, the sun was setting and a good song finally came on the radio. I took out my camera as we drove past these acres of green fields with the mountain ranges towering in the background. It was a beautiful moment in the middle of a long and tiring day.


Taken with my D200 (now retired) and a Nikkor 35/1.8. I’ve since this upgraded to full frame, and I do find the 35/1.8 to be more useful on a FX body. I find the range much more versatile on full frame since it’s not quite as narrow. On my DX bodies I used it more for portraits and things like that, while on FX it can be used for pretty much anything – I tend to grab it when I’m doing lifestyle shots or when I’m in need of the F1.8.

Making the Shot:

I wanted to get a shot of the sunset over the fields, framed by the car window to tell the whole story. I decided to include my boyfriend’s profile in the shot as well, since I wanted it to contain every single element that made that moment special. I composed the image so that I knew there would be a lens flare in the shot – I’m a lover of lens flares and I like how this one turned out.

Editing & Processing:

Minor editing in Lightroom 4, mainly to try and save some detail that was lost in the overexposed parts of the sky. I’ve also straightened the horizon a bit – trying to get a wide shot in a crowded car with a 35mm on a DX body was quite tricky, so the image ended up being slightly tilted. Easy fix though.

Looking Back:

Since we were driving while I took the picture, I didn’t really have time to change the settings all that much. This ended up being taken with a wide-open aperture, F1.8, which makes the depth of field too short in my opinion. I would’ve liked more sharpness overall, plus I think that my boyfriend’s profile is too vague; I would’ve liked it to be more prominent.


Never be afraid of picking up your camera to capture a moment, no matter how little time you have to get it. It only lasts for so long until it’s gone. I barely had time to capture this moment, but I am very glad I did – it brings me right back to that day, that moment and that car. I know that if I wouldn’t have taken it, I would regret it today.


I am inspired by the things I see around me, and by images I wish I would’ve taken myself. There are too many photographers out there who’s work I truly enjoy to mention them all.



About the Photographer

Anna Attlid, 20, full-time photographer and webdesigner. Born and raised in Sweden, but infatuated with the whole world. Half of my heart belongs in southern California.

Currently working on some equine photography projects, while planning and dreaming of upcoming travels.

Instagram: @aattlid

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