Old 02-04-2006, 02:54 AM   #1
Wonka001
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Default Night shots w/lighted number boards

I have a problem with my night shots and lighted number boards.

If you notice by the attachment, they come out looking like the number boards are over exposed or are fuzzy around them or something like that.. I would like some assistance..

I'm using a Canon EOS 650, w/various types of film but the number boards still seem to come out the same every time.

I manual focus till the number boards show up crisp and clear.

And I think that might be the main reason for some of my rejections... any help on this matter would be greatly appreciated.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg lightednumberboards.jpg (124.3 KB, 234 views)
File Type: jpg lightednumberboards2.jpg (142.5 KB, 199 views)

Last edited by Wonka001; 02-04-2006 at 02:57 AM.
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Old 02-04-2006, 03:40 AM   #2
raylewis
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Default Take it for what its worth

That first shot of the UP is overexposed- not just the numberboards. As for the second shot, you would be surprised at what 1/2 stop would do. Just try to use a slower shutter speed or smaller aperature(bigger number, ie. instead of f/8 use f/11). Of course this could be a factor caused by reciprical failure....which in that case I cant explain that too well, but i know the longer the exposure the more your film is prone to it. Try limiting your exposures to 30 seconds or less, take your aperature all the way down to what your lens will allow (4.0, 5.6 etc). While no expert in the field of photography, all I can tell you for sure is to really get to know your camera, and how it reacts to different lighting. Maybe next time bracket(explanation following) and record a few shots of the same composition. Lets say you shoot it at 1/15thsec and f5.6, then in the same focal length, location, aperature, and subject shoot it at 1/30th, 1/10th, etc, etc.
**Disclaimer- Again, Im not professional so I cannot give you the book answer.
By the way, what were your settings?
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Last edited by raylewis; 02-04-2006 at 03:46 AM.
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Old 02-04-2006, 02:06 PM   #3
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Both digital and film suffer from a ballooning effect when an area, like a headlight, numberboad or other bright object is very over exposed. There really is nothing you can do if the number boards are nowhere near the same light level as the rest of the engine.
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Old 02-04-2006, 04:42 PM   #4
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Default

For the first pic it doesn't look like the engine is in focus either. May just be my morning eyes still a lil blurry.

As for the second photo, like the above have stated, for long exposure the number boards may become one big light spot. It has happened to me before and I feel that the engine being in focus and correctly exposed is more important.

Post processing is a key for sharpening digital images since they are no where as accurate as slides or print. Also use the symbol or logo on the engine for focusing as a back up. Weird number boards seem to be out of focus when they are in focus messing up the correct focus. Just my two cents.
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Old 02-04-2006, 07:47 PM   #5
Ken Carr
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Default numberboards

Try Ray and Andrew's advice, bracket your shots and use lower settings. I'm am far from an expert but I enjoy night instead of day train photography.
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Old 02-04-2006, 09:32 PM   #6
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I'm with you Ken... especially since San Diego's rails are downright boring during the day. I took some photos of Surfliner Cab cars with different settings at different times of days, so when I get the proper software (tomorrow) I'll upload the pics here as well to show you. Don't remember the settings thogh
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Old 02-04-2006, 10:10 PM   #7
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Default Browse Through Night shots

I havent checked out everyones night shots, but take a look at Ken's as well as my night shots. Your numberboards don't have to look like that.
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Old 02-05-2006, 01:28 PM   #8
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Not much you can do. This was a long exposure where 4501 was painted with flash. The total length of the exposure was perhaps 2 minutes, which burned out the number boards, but they a minor part of the picture.

http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.php?id=109304

(If you had someone in the cab, they could have turned the number board lights off except for about 5-10 seconds, that would work)
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Old 02-05-2006, 09:47 PM   #9
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Default His posted shots

I can almost guarantee that if he would have allowed less light, ie faster shutter speed or smaller aperature then those numberboards would not have looked like that. Once you get above 30 second exposures it is difficult to avoid it, but with the available lighting that looks like he had (yard lights) he should have been able to shoot it at 30 seconds or faster, that is assuming he is using at least 100 ISO film. Like I said originally, that first shot is well overexposed, the second after further review looks a 1/2 to a full stop over exposed. As stated before, try bracketing and/or adjusting your camera settings to allow less light into the exposure. This can be avoided with night exposures to a certain extent- again, once you get into minute(s) long exposures it becomes more difficult. Ray Lewis

Last edited by raylewis; 02-06-2006 at 10:58 AM.
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Old 02-07-2006, 12:32 AM   #10
Wonka001
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Thanks people for all your input. I will try some of those things that have been mentioned. and see what I can come up with.. too bad I don't have my camera completely figured out yet, I'm missing some interesting shots (there was a full BNSF train w/full BNSF consist in the Roper Yard in South Salt Lake a Last week, but that's a different subject)
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