Old 03-14-2005, 01:36 AM   #1
bigcman
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Default Overpass Picture Advice

I have seen some good pictures from overpasses on the site, but I seem to have a difficult time with taking pictures from an overpass about a half-mile from where I live. In particular, the pictures are always out of focus. I like to bring my digital camera with me on my morning run and I have had some success with the trains coming by while I am on the run. It is always exciting to time it right so that I see a train, but disappointing to get back and see that Iíve blown the shot. I have included a link to the photos so anyone can see what Iím talking about. I am new to photography, so any tips, pointers, feedback or advice would be appreciated. I think I am getting a little better at figuring out what the screeners like and donít like in pictures, and what makes a good picture, although I still have yet to figure out the whole cropping issue. Thanks in advance for any advice I may receive.

http://albums.photo.epson.com/j/Albu...a=31679182&pw=
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Old 03-14-2005, 12:18 PM   #2
cmherndon
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Those are some nice shots you have there. It looks as though your camera may be focusing on something else, or the manual focus is off just a bit. If it's the latter, try using autofocus. It does well most of the time. A trick you may want to try is to zoom in all the way, focus on a distant subject, and then zoom back out. That should help you keep your photos in focus.

Now as far as shooting off a bridge, lower bridges are good to try head on telephoto shots, or just head ons in general. When cropping a head on/down on shot from a bridge, it's usually best to compose and crop it vertically.

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That last is more of a down on, but can still give you an idea of shot composition from a low bridge.

From a higher bridge, you may want to try shooting with a really wide angle, which can yield some amazing results. Depending on where you are, you can possibly get the entire train in the frame.

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All three of these photos were shot with a wide angle from heights ranging from 150-200 feet.

The best thing to do is experiment with shooting off of bridges and see what you come up with. You'll be able to find out what works, what doesn't, and may come up with a new angle in the process. Keep trying, and you'll get the hang of it.
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Old 03-14-2005, 04:37 PM   #3
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Shooting off of bridges can be tricky at times. A vertical composure usually is the best way to go. But depending on the position of the sun, a 3/4 angle can be used as well.

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Old 03-14-2005, 05:52 PM   #4
Pat Lorenz
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You say you are running, well i would say that thats the problem. When you are stopped at the overpass just after your run then your breathing hard/ heavy. So when you look through your camera to compose the shot your kind of not as focused, you know what i mean? Like sometimes i will have to run to a location to get there in time, once i get there and start to frame up the shot i am so focused on being tierd that sometimes a few frames get out of focus.
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Old 03-14-2005, 07:29 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pat Lorenz
You say you are running, well i would say that thats the problem. When you are stopped at the overpass just after your run then your breathing hard/ heavy. So when you look through your camera to compose the shot your kind of not as focused, you know what i mean?
That's a good point. The first picture in your group looks to be more of camera shake than out of focus. You may be trying to rush the shot. Also, I don't see a person running with an SLR so you're probably using a compact digital camera. Those types sometimes have a slight delay between pressing the shutter button and actual shutter opening. If you're already breathing heavy from a run the delay in shutter action sure can't be helping.

Make sure you've steadied yourself and don't move your camera quickly into and out of position when taking the photo.

It looks like a good overpass to get some shots from and since you're using digital you can work on the process without costing you anything but time.
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Old 03-15-2005, 01:27 AM   #6
bigcman
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Thanks for the advice everyone. It would seem like these types of shots would be a little easier, but they arenít for me. The idea of zooming in on a distant object and zooming back out seems like one worth trying.

Although I am usually cooled down by the time I get in place to take the picture, it is certainly a possibility that I am still breathing heavier than normal. I generally have about 5 minutes for southbound trains from when I first hear the horn until it gets close to the overpass, but I still may not be back to my resting heart rate at that time. Another possible contributor to camera unsteadiness could be my own anxiousness. Of course, the trains get louder as they approach, and it does seem like you can ďfeel its momentumĒ as it gets closer, which may lead to shakiness. I am glad the possibility of camera unsteadiness was brought to my attention so I can try to avoid it going forward.

Thanks again for all of your feedback.
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Old 03-15-2005, 01:48 AM   #7
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What kind of camera are you using and what resolution do you have it set at.
Try follow focusing on your subject then take the shot.
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