Old 10-05-2007, 05:06 AM   #1
CG_F45
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Smile The Weather!

As I sit awake, experiencing writer's block while working on an English paper due tomorow, I had a thought pass through my mind and I was hoping to gather some opinions, to get to know the general attitude of rail photogs.

And so I ask... do you prefer the weather to be wet, ie. snowy, rainy, foggy, etc... or do you prefer the weather to be dry, ie. crisp sunny, bone-dry conditions when you are after a good photograph?

Voice your opinion!

Thanks
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Old 10-05-2007, 07:40 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CG_F45
As I sit awake, experiencing writer's block while working on an English paper due tomorow, I had a thought pass through my mind and I was hoping to gather some opinions, to get to know the general attitude of rail photogs.

And so I ask... do you prefer the weather to be wet, ie. snowy, rainy, foggy, etc... or do you prefer the weather to be dry, ie. crisp sunny, bone-dry conditions when you are after a good photograph?

Voice your opinion!

Thanks
Each has its own merits. Crisp, sunny, dry conditions are usually the ones where you can count on getting good photos. Snow and sun are usually a spectacular combination as well (but rare in this part of the UK). Grey/rainy is probably my least favourite weather condition, but if its a showers/sun sort of day, you can produce some great photos, but its down to luck catching the light correctly just when a train arrives.
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Old 10-05-2007, 12:23 PM   #3
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Nothing but blue sky and about 75 degrees for me. There's nothing that pisses me off more as when a cloud moves in front of the sun just before I get "the shot." It's happened more times than I can count recently and I always say to myself that I'm not going to waste my time and gas unless it's perfectly clear. I can never hold myself to that, though.
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Old 10-05-2007, 02:23 PM   #4
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I usually like clear blue sky's, but the occasional puffy clouded sky is nice to. I think fog with night shot's is always interesting.

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Old 10-05-2007, 02:41 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimThias
. . . . I'm not going to waste my time and gas unless it's perfectly clear. I can never hold myself to that, though.
Yeah, I know the feeling too well. Like right now, when the sky is 90% filled with clouds and the sun is popping in and out of bright blue "sucker holes" between them.

Even the stupid weather channel says it is only partly cloudy, so I must be seeing more clouds than there really are, right?

I know that it will most likely be a waste of time and gas if I go out to photo trains, and I'll just put myself in a bad mood when the sun gets covered by clouds just as a train approaches, but chances are I will give in to the need for a "fix" and head out anyway!
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Old 10-05-2007, 02:55 PM   #6
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It depends. I have noticed RP accepting a few more cloudy and/or rainy day shots, which makes me a little more willing to go out in those conditions...well, that is, if I weren't stuck down in Champaign with only a bike for transportation. Now I'm pretty much limited to sunny days.

However, I will admit a preference for some clouds in the sky, almost any type, mainly because a lot of the lines around here tend to be either slightly elevated or surrounded by nothing, thus meaning an empty sky looks very boring, especially when it's inevitable to get a decent chunk of sky in the shot.

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Old 10-05-2007, 05:56 PM   #7
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The only weather in which I'm unlikely to be trackside is a steady downpour.

As others have said, each kind of weather has its own merits when photographing trains. A passing shower, for example, can yield some truly fantastic light, or even a rainbow. Snow looks beautiful on film (or even pixels), whether it's a flurry, a blizzard, or a recent snowfall in sunlight or moonlight. And fog can provide some haunting effects.

The biggest drawback to my locale is the high number of hazy/overcast days, when a damp breeze rises from the refineries, and everything smells like a dead pigeon soaked in gasoline. I still go railfanning on such days, but my chances of capturing an exemplary image are slim.
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Old 10-05-2007, 06:47 PM   #8
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Quote:
There's nothing that pisses me off more as when a cloud moves in front of the sun just before I get "the shot."
The other day I had the 70-200mm lens on and a small cloud blocked the sun starting at 201mm and went away at 69mm. So I got a nice cloudy shot for the entire focal length of the lens, dang it.

I prefer sunny, haze-free skies. That's the kicker. If it's hazy/hot, it's not a joy. I look forward to winter for two reasons:
1) No haze, which makes everything brisk
2) No high sun, so you actually have more hours to shoot even though the days are shorter
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Old 10-05-2007, 10:34 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich K
Yeah, I know the feeling too well. Like right now, when the sky is 90% filled with clouds and the sun is popping in and out of bright blue "sucker holes" between them.
You mean like this?



As the train approached, I waited patiently for the nose to hit that "spotlight from the heavens," or "sucker hole" as you call 'em. I absolutely love the dramatic lighting, color and moodiness in that shot, but I've hesitated from submitting it here because if it's rejected, it'll just tick me off.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Slopes09
However, I will admit a preference for some clouds in the sky, almost any type...
Like this?

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Old 10-06-2007, 12:33 AM   #10
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Anything except gray, 100% overcast days.
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Old 10-06-2007, 05:06 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimThias
Nothing but blue sky and about 75 degrees for me. There's nothing that pisses me off more as when a cloud moves in front of the sun just before I get "the shot." It's happened more times than I can count recently and I always say to myself that I'm not going to waste my time and gas unless it's perfectly clear. I can never hold myself to that, though.
Funny you say that because just today as I was waiting for a westbound BNSF (on a sunny blue sky day) and as I saw the lights approaching a big cloud blocked the sun (the only one around) as the GP20 passed by me so did the cloud
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Old 10-06-2007, 05:54 AM   #12
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Chris, you should well know by now that I love snow for any purpose
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Old 10-06-2007, 06:12 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sd9
Funny you say that because just today as I was waiting for a westbound BNSF (on a sunny blue sky day) and as I saw the lights approaching a big cloud blocked the sun (the only one around) as the GP20 passed by me so did the cloud
The BNSF doesn't have any GP20s...
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Old 10-06-2007, 07:28 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike B.
The BNSF doesn't have any GP20s...
Well how about a GP38-2
Make that a rejected GP38-2 (it is a GP38-2 right?)
http://www.railpictures.net/viewreje...&key=412031322
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Old 10-06-2007, 07:33 AM   #15
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Correct. 2000-2039 units are GP38-2s that were recently rebuilt by NRE.

I wish the BNSF still had some GP20s, I'd chase those things.
I see ex-BN GP20s all the time, but they have CAT engines in them.

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Old 10-06-2007, 11:11 PM   #16
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I shoot in any weather, but do prefer sunny days and fog, i dont mind rain but like it to be a heavy sun shower, i dont really like 100% overcast but if somthing special comes through, i will chase.


Quote:
Originally Posted by JimThias
As the train approached, I waited patiently for the nose to hit that "spotlight from the heavens," or "sucker hole" as you call 'em. I absolutely love the dramatic lighting, color and moodiness in that shot, but I've hesitated from submitting it here because if it's rejected, it'll just tick me off.
sounds like this shot Jim


Regards Lee

Last edited by Lee Baxter; 10-07-2007 at 06:12 AM. Reason: Trying to link photo properly. Idid it!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 10-07-2007, 12:52 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimThias
As the train approached, I waited patiently for the nose to hit that "spotlight from the heavens," or "sucker hole" as you call 'em.
It wasn't dramatic, but I have shot a bit of the hole, a wide one, like in this going-away shot, where I missed the timing on getting the distant front end in the light also.

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But here is the ultimate spotlight shot

Image © Jerry Albertie
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Photograph © Jerry Albertie


Hellacious noise, but a cool shot nonetheless.
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Old 10-07-2007, 02:48 AM   #18
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Here in Southern WV, you have to make due with lots of fog, lots of clouds, and lots of haze in the Summer.

I didn't pick a camera up until late winter this year, so I'll reserve judgment on snow. I think I'll like it though

Since I haven't seen much of it this year, I'm a big fan of Sunny haze free days!

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Old 10-07-2007, 08:24 PM   #19
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Even though rail pictures doesn't like them, I like to shoot on cloudy days and then adjust the colors in photoshop.

I also like snow and of course, a nice cool breezy day.
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Old 10-08-2007, 03:01 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg P
Even though rail pictures doesn't like them, I like to shoot on cloudy days and then adjust the colors
Another thing I've found that cloudy days make for interesting B&W photos.

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Old 10-08-2007, 03:14 AM   #21
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I like both snowy and cloudy days. Rainy shots just never turn out to go for me
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Old 10-08-2007, 04:36 AM   #22
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There's not much backlighting when the clouds cause uniform light distribution. Of course on the flip side, there has to be enough light for the camera to take a picture.
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