Thread: Underexposed
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Old 03-26-2014, 03:22 PM   #2
KevinM
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Massachusetts
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Hi Reggie,

I'm definitely not an artsy-fartsy type, so take this as a technical opinion more than anything else......

This shot is what I would refer to as a "tweener". It is in between a better lit and detailed dusk wedge and a dark silhouette. Either one of those might have been accepted, but something in between (such as this one) will probably not make it. In this type of shot, the viewer sees enough detail to be left wanting more, but it isn't there. If you're going to show some detail, then you will need to make it look more like a human eye (not a camera) would see it. That will require playing with shadows, contrast and noise reduction....if the image you have can stand the abuse. If it is a JPEG, it's probably game-over.

Honestly, this is one of those shots that's a learning experience. We've all got 'em. The next time you try it, have a go at balancing the exposure. Shoot bright enough to allow yourself to recover the shadows, but not so bright that you blow the highlights. In a scene like this, your camera doesn't have the dynamic range to capture it all perfectly, so you need to make up for that in Photoshop. Of course, you will want to be shooting raw, to give yourself as much latitude as possible to work on it afterward.

If you choose to go for the silhouette, which might be my choice, you will need to find a location without the background buildings, trees, etc., so you can better show off the shape of the train.
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