Old 03-24-2010, 04:23 PM   #1
ed.united@gmail.com
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Default New at Train photography.

Ive posted maybe a few times here in the past to try and see if the quality level of my train shots are getting there. Feedback is appreciated. Thank you in advanced.

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Old 03-25-2010, 04:55 AM   #2
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Hi Ed,

I don't shoot current equipment much, so I'm probably not the best person to comment on these, but your thread has 38 views at the moment and no one seems to be helping you.

First of all, I applaud your caution. A lot of folks come busting in the door at RP and bomb the screening queue with lots of pictures that aren't even close to meeting standards, and they end up in dutch with the Site Admins. It is far better to approach it slowly and carefully.

1st shot:

Looks to be cloudy or in deep shadow. For current equipment, lighting needs to be a lot better. This is one is at the bottom of the stack (#5), from my viewpoint.

2nd shot: Better, but the nose is dark. A dark nose might fly for a wide shot with lots of nice scenery, but this is a roster shot/wedge and the nose needs better lighting.

3rd shot: Looks pretty much side-lit to almost back-lit and again, the nose is too dark.

4th shot: Lighting looks OK, but there is a pretty distracting lamp post shadow on the nose that would probably get it a boot. Also, that signal tower that just barely sticks out in front of the engine would be better hidden behind it. It detracts from the photo in its current position. If the loco had been 30 ft further forward, you may have lost both the pole shadow and the tower and this would be the best of the lot.

5th shot: Probably best of the lot, but would have been better if the train were a tad further back and we could see what's written on that big arch behind the locomotive. Since this is a very basic wedge shot, RP viewers probably wouldn't find much interest there....unless you included something else of interest...and that arch might have filled the bill nicely.

Overall, these are a lot closer than many of the shots that new folks typically post. As a general rule, you want good, early morning, or late afternoon light, a well-lit nose, no shadows on the subject and at least some surrouding scenery.

I'm sure others will have more detailed comments.
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Old 03-25-2010, 08:45 PM   #3
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thank you for the tips. I usually always shoot at dusk because that is the only time I really have outside of work and school. The lighting is really good but there are shadows from the station and the nose is always dark in every pic I take because the tracks run almost directly north/south. Maybe ill have to find another location.
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Old 03-25-2010, 09:48 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ed.united@gmail.com View Post
The lighting is really good but there are shadows from the station and the nose is always dark in every pic I take because the tracks run almost directly north/south. Maybe ill have to find another location.
Bingo Ed. North-running locomotives can be a problem. You can use tools like Google Earth and others to research the lines in your area to look for publicly-accessible spots where the line curves to the west or northwest. That would give you a fighting chance for a well-lit shot.

Just FYI, the reason why you didn't get more hits on your request for assistance may have had something to do with the fact that this is the Digital Processing Forum. While theoretically, there should be LOTS of activity here, you'll find that most of the activity is in the Railroad Photography Forum. I would post this type of question there in the future. Also be aware that when you do, you'll get all kinds of opinions, some of which aren't always tactful. When you post stuff around here, you have to have a thick skin!
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Old 03-26-2010, 05:19 PM   #5
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Shooting a northbound train near sunset on or near the Summer Solstice or in the winter with lots of snow on the track and ground may put enough light on the nose of an engine to have a photo look good and be accepted.
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Old 03-26-2010, 05:38 PM   #6
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Some more comments: shots 1,2,5 cut off the back end of the train. RP does not generally like that, they want to see the entire train trail off into the distance or have it be cutoff behind a building, trees, or other object.

Shot 5: interesting context is always good, rather than just a shot of a train on a track that could be anywhere. Here you have what looks to be an entrance to *ER CROSS FIELD. Make use of that! Show the train as it is about to pass that entrance, not as it is already in front of it. That will be nice, an interesting background for the train plus sense of location.
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