Old 10-21-2007, 11:24 PM   #1
bigbassloyd
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Default Looking for suggestions

I'm a big fan of the backlit b&w photos I see from time to time on RP, so I gave it a shot today:

http://www.railpictures.net/viewreje...key=1148757991

I'm guessing I didn't get the nose dark enough perhaps?

I was wanting some input and suggestions on how to make this type of shot work out, from those who've done it successfully.

Thanks as always!

Loyd L.
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Old 10-22-2007, 12:20 AM   #2
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First, I have toask: is that first car the ex-C&O Chapel Hill? If you have a run down of the consist, I'd love to see it.

Now about the shot, a darker nose might help. But also less sky might be nice too. I know you're trying to show as much of the train as you can which is a god idea, but it might not help for this shot.

Out of curiosity, do you have any of the train before they switched the power?


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Old 10-22-2007, 01:28 AM   #3
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I have done backlit B&W successfully in the past, but each and every one* of the ones that I've had accpeted were taken from a point of elevation. This one like Joe mentioned just has too much sky.

Here are some examples that have worked for me:
Image © Chris Paulhamus
PhotoID: 199668
Photograph © Chris Paulhamus

Image © Chris Paulhamus
PhotoID: 191302
Photograph © Chris Paulhamus

Image © Chris Paulhamus
PhotoID: 184781
Photograph © Chris Paulhamus

Image © Chris Paulhamus
PhotoID: 169597
Photograph © Chris Paulhamus

Image © Chris Paulhamus
PhotoID: 168918
Photograph © Chris Paulhamus

Image © Chris Paulhamus
PhotoID: 168808
Photograph © Chris Paulhamus


*Except one. Here's one that was taken from the same level:
Image © Chris Paulhamus
PhotoID: 168311
Photograph © Chris Paulhamus
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Old 10-22-2007, 02:29 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe the Photog
First, I have toask: is that first car the ex-C&O Chapel Hill? If you have a run down of the consist, I'd love to see it.

Now about the shot, a darker nose might help. But also less sky might be nice too. I know you're trying to show as much of the train as you can which is a god idea, but it might not help for this shot.

Out of curiosity, do you have any of the train before they switched the power?


Joe
Thanks for the suggestions, I was kind of questioning how to crop, since I did get alot of train along this curve. I'll rethink it, and may try a different approach. I can't argue with the rejection though

I didn't take a shot of each car this weekend, but since the train will be intact until next weekends runs, I'll make it a point to get that for you. That is the C&O Chapel Hill on the rear. A friend of mine from St. Albans rode the deck down and back.. lucky dog..

Attached is a pic I took of the varnish as she passed Brooks today.

Loyd L.
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Old 10-22-2007, 02:33 AM   #5
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Interesting shot. I think the nose is plenty dark, but the nose of the train doesn't stand out enough from the trees. You'll hear me say this almost everytime with a backlit shot: the train needs to "pop" from it's surroundings. This may mean getting lower to the ground or getting elevation, as Chris did. In many of his example pics, Chris uses the prairie grass as a light background to make the nose of his locomotives pop from the background. In Appalachia, finding the medium to accomplish that could be tough with all the trees...might try it with snow.
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Old 10-22-2007, 02:33 AM   #6
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I think that your pics are the ones I'm remembering, great stuff.

so if I were to repeat this scene, and get some elevation, I'd stand a shot?

because she'll be in the same spot, with the same consist, at the same time next weekend, and I'll setup a ladder right there in the yard if it'll help

Loyd L.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ween
I have done backlit B&W successfully in the past, but each and every one* of the ones that I've had accpeted were taken from a point of elevation. This one like Joe mentioned just has too much sky.

Here are some examples that have worked for me:
Image © Chris Paulhamus
PhotoID: 199668
Photograph © Chris Paulhamus

Image © Chris Paulhamus
PhotoID: 191302
Photograph © Chris Paulhamus

Image © Chris Paulhamus
PhotoID: 184781
Photograph © Chris Paulhamus

Image © Chris Paulhamus
PhotoID: 169597
Photograph © Chris Paulhamus

Image © Chris Paulhamus
PhotoID: 168918
Photograph © Chris Paulhamus

Image © Chris Paulhamus
PhotoID: 168808
Photograph © Chris Paulhamus


*Except one. Here's one that was taken from the same level:
Image © Chris Paulhamus
PhotoID: 168311
Photograph © Chris Paulhamus
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Old 10-22-2007, 02:35 AM   #7
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I might get lucky and try this shot with another train behind it, once they pull back and clear number 2..

thanks for the suggestions!

Loyd L.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ken45
Interesting shot. I think the nose is plenty dark, but the nose of the train doesn't stand out enough from the trees. You'll hear me say this almost everytime with a backlit shot: the train needs to "pop" from it's surroundings. This may mean getting lower to the ground or getting elevation, as Chris did. In many of his example pics, Chris uses the prairie grass as a light background to make the nose of his locomotives pop from the background. In Appalachia, finding the medium to accomplish that could be tough with all the trees...might try it with snow.
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Old 10-22-2007, 02:38 AM   #8
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Quote:
I think that your pics are the ones I'm remembering, great stuff.

so if I were to repeat this scene, and get some elevation, I'd stand a shot?
Thanks, Loyd! Fortunately, RP has leaned more favorable to the backlit B&W in the past year or so. It's probably my favorite type of shot.

An increase in elevation might make a difference, but the key for me is minimizng the sky. Good luck next time it comes through!
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Old 10-22-2007, 02:45 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ween
Thanks, Loyd! Fortunately, RP has leaned more favorable to the backlit B&W in the past year or so. It's probably my favorite type of shot.

An increase in elevation might make a difference, but the key for me is minimizng the sky. Good luck next time it comes through!

Thanks again, we'll see what happens next weekend!

Loyd L.
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Old 10-22-2007, 12:26 PM   #10
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Well, I've tried a couple very similar to Ween's #3 shot, taken from an overpass along a curve in my area, under simiiar lighting conditions, and have had no luck. Will have to dust them off and try again.
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Old 10-22-2007, 05:39 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbassloyd
That is the C&O Chapel Hill on the rear. A friend of mine from St. Albans rode the deck down and back.. lucky dog..
It's funny how these cars get around. I caught the Chapel Hill in Rock Hill, SC three years ago as she was en route to the L&C Passenger Car Division in Lancaster.

Image ©
PhotoID:
Photograph ©


That last dome car in your attached shot looks familiar too. I can't remember the name of it, but it's been in Lancaster as well, if it is the one I recall. It might even be the one in the shot above coupled to the CH. I remember not being able to get a shot of that one because they were on the end of the Rock Hill to Charlotte turn and were being shoved back at the time.


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Old 10-22-2007, 05:46 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe the Photog
It's funny how these cars get around. I caught the Chapel Hill in Rock Hill, SC three years ago as she was en route to the L&C Passenger Car Division in Lancaster.

Image ©
PhotoID:
Photograph ©


That last dome car in your attached shot looks familiar too. I can't remember the name of it, but it's been in Lancaster as well, if it is the one I recall. It might even be the one in the shot above coupled to the CH. I remember not being able to get a shot of that one because they were on the end of the Rock Hill to Charlotte turn and were being shoved back at the time.


Joe
well its good to see she's out and about alot!

the last dome is a Northern Pacific Vista-Dome "North Coast Limited" I'm not sure who she belongs to though.

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Old 10-23-2007, 09:37 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ween
I have done backlit B&W successfully in the past, but each and every one* of the ones that I've had accpeted were taken from a point of elevation. This one like Joe mentioned just has too much sky.
Chris, should I submit this "elevated" backlit shot?



(of course, I'd get rid of the color in the signals)
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Old 10-23-2007, 09:45 PM   #14
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The nose is almost too black for me. I do like how you left the red in though...
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Old 10-23-2007, 10:06 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ween
The nose is almost too black for me. I do like how you left the red in though...
Well, that could be easily corrected, and I'm sure it would be as light as this nose:
Image © Chris Paulhamus
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Photograph © Chris Paulhamus


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Old 10-23-2007, 10:51 PM   #16
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Okay then...too much black all the way around...no glint/light areas on the train.
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Old 10-23-2007, 11:36 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ween
Okay then...too much black all the way around...no glint/light areas on the train.
That works.
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Old 10-24-2007, 02:21 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ween
Okay then...too much black all the way around...no glint/light areas on the train.
I agree and disagree. I love my answers! I believe the tops of the locos are what are suppose to be 'glinty' and I think that are. The idea for a backlit shot is to have the subject (train) in front of a light background (sunlit rails and ballast). Personally, I like it, may not be technically perfect, but then again thats an unrealistic goal. You did amazingly well for the situation you were given.

BTW, nice touch leaving the signals red; subtle yet effective!
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Old 10-24-2007, 02:57 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Blaszczyk (2)
I agree and disagree. I love my answers! I believe the tops of the locos are what are suppose to be 'glinty' and I think that are. The idea for a backlit shot is to have the subject (train) in front of a light background (sunlit rails and ballast). Personally, I like it, may not be technically perfect, but then again thats an unrealistic goal. You did amazingly well for the situation you were given.

BTW, nice touch leaving the signals red; subtle yet effective!
What he said. By the way, have you tried uploading it here yet? Minus the red signals, of course, of course.


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Old 10-24-2007, 11:53 AM   #20
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Not yet, but perhaps I will sometime soon. Thanks for the feedback. And Chris, if I hadn't mentioned before, nice work on your b/w pics.
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Old 10-24-2007, 03:37 PM   #21
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Thanks, Jim. Good luck with your shot...
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Old 10-24-2007, 06:31 PM   #22
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I agree, dead on shots like that don't really work when they're backlit - But I do like the idea of leaving the red in the signals. I had a very similar idea with a night shot I took last winter, and it's now my avatar
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Old 10-24-2007, 06:36 PM   #23
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Quote:
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I agree, dead on shots like that don't really work when they're backlit . . .
You may have just opened my eyes to why folks didn't seem to like this one:
Image © Andrew Blaszczyk (2)
PhotoID: 185694
Photograph © Andrew Blaszczyk (2)

Interesting thread of what angles work better for glint/backlighting.
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Old 10-24-2007, 10:24 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Blaszczyk (2)
You may have just opened my eyes to why folks didn't seem to like this one:
Image © Andrew Blaszczyk (2)
PhotoID: 185694
Photograph © Andrew Blaszczyk (2)

Interesting thread of what angles work better for glint/backlighting.
Well, if THAT made it on here, mine certainly should.
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Old 10-25-2007, 12:31 AM   #25
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Loyd,

I like the shot and the nose is plenty black. It doesn't stand out from the trees enough, but here's a trick that might work.

In CS2 (CS3 has a better & easier to use B&W converter), click on Layer then from the drop down menu click on New Adjustment Layer, then Channel Mixer. Click OK then check the Monochrome box. Your shot will go B&W, but you can adjust the red, green and blue sensitivity using the sliders, so you can brighten the green leaves and make the train stand out more. It takes some fooling around and the values of all three colors should add up to 100%.

Give it a shot and see what happens.

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