Old 08-11-2016, 04:09 PM   #1
spacetrain1983
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Default Good lighting at last!

Hey everyone. Today, I actually got a shot that I mostly don't have doubts about. I set up at my location, and sure enough, after a few minutes went by, I heard a distant eastbound. I turned on my camera as the train came into view, and I got this shot.
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The only doubt I have about this shot is that the front of the train might've slightly blurred. But other than that I think this is a good shot.
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Old 08-11-2016, 05:20 PM   #2
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Correct the exposure, and you have a chance with this one. It's maybe 1/2 to 3/4 stop too dark.
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Old 08-11-2016, 05:25 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by miningcamper1 View Post
Correct the exposure, and you have a chance with this one. It's maybe 1/2 to 3/4 stop too dark.
I'd also crop it a bit tighter, take a bit off the bottom and at left so that the train is in the bottom third of the image. But yes, this is a vast improvement over previous attempts.
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Old 08-11-2016, 06:09 PM   #4
John West
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Progress. The big challenge here is it is a wedgie of common power (I think) so it will be held to a high standard if you want to get it into RP. As you mention the nose is a bit soft. And while the lighting is not terrible, the sun looks to be fairly high and too head on, much of the side and undergear is in shadow (remember the over the shoulder rule). Not terrible shadow but it does detract. And the contrast and color need to be punched up a bit. But this represents a good step forward.
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Old 08-11-2016, 08:28 PM   #5
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I concur with John. The light is a bit head-on here, so the sides are not lit as well as they could be. It is also a bit "high-sunish".....a bit later in the day would produce much more direct light, although a later-in-the-day sun angle would probably not work at this location. Still, as others have noted, this is a huge improvement over Spacetrain's previous submissions.

Suggested edits:
  • Brighten by at least 1/3rd stop.
  • Use some shadow reduction to bring out details in the dark areas.
  • Bump up contrast after brightening and shadow reduction, as both will reduce the contrast.
  • Boost saturation a bit. The colors are a bit blah.
  • Crop some off the bottom of the image. The train is too centered now.
  • Do some sharpening.

    Edit: Spacetrain, you need to figure out which exposure mode you have selected on your camera. If it is fully automatic (camera chooses shutter speed, aperture and ISO), I would recommend changing that. Softness in the nose of the train is most often due to inadequate shutter speed. A new photographer like you really will want 1/500th of a second or faster, to guarantee you a sharp image. You want a mode like Shutter Priority or Full Manual, which allows YOU to pick the shutter speed. If you are shooting full manual, and it's bright and sunny out (NO clouds in front of the sun....not even cirrus clouds), figure perhaps 1/640th of a second at f/8 and ISO 200 if you are shooting raw. If you are shooting JPEG, 1/800th at f/8 and ISO 200 will produce an image that will need to be brightened, but you are unlikely to clip any highlights with that. Again....that's BRIGHT SUN, this time of year....no clouds filtering the sun.
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Old 08-12-2016, 04:04 AM   #6
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Do you know what your shutter speed was?
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Old 08-12-2016, 06:27 AM   #7
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Just checked online. The Coolpix L340 has "Scene Modes" buried in the menu. Read your manual and go find the one called "Sports." That will make the camera select the fastest shutter speed possible.


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Old 08-13-2016, 01:57 AM   #8
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Had you gave it a little zoom for a more head on shot, the poor lighting would have been avoided. It's a step up from total backlighting, but whenever possible, shoot wide to show a "scene" or try and include interesting elements. It's a great way to begin improving your overall photography skills.

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Old 08-13-2016, 03:29 AM   #9
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Unfortunately the motion blur on the nose is a killer with no solution. Getting closer though! Keep going.
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Old 08-16-2016, 03:08 AM   #10
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The comp and lighting are good enough on this one. However unless you either figure out how to use or upgrade your equipment then you will continue to struggle. I've never used a Nikon point and shoot but even the little Sony P&S that I carry around in my pocket when travelling overseas can do that and yield reasonably sharp images.
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Old 08-16-2016, 05:26 AM   #11
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Well, maybe something that happened a few months ago affected the camera more than I realized. While I was at a hotel in Salt Lake City, I accidentally dropped the camera in the lobby (well, actually, one of the securing things for the neck straps came loose). Luckily it only caused the batteries to come out and the lens cap to come off. As far as I have been aware, that was all that happened, though the battery cover is a tiny bit loose, but not enough to matter. Now I'm starting to question if maybe it more got damaged than I realized, like maybe the image processor got slightly damaged, resulting in slightly under sharpened images. But, maybe it's just my skill level. Because you know what they say: a camera is only as good as the photographer that uses it.
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Old 08-16-2016, 05:48 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spacetrain1983 View Post
Well, maybe something that happened a few months ago affected the camera more than I realized. While I was at a hotel in Salt Lake City, I accidentally dropped the camera in the lobby (well, actually, one of the securing things for the neck straps came loose). Luckily it only caused the batteries to come out and the lens cap to come off. As far as I have been aware, that was all that happened, though the battery cover is a tiny bit loose, but not enough to matter. Now I'm starting to question if maybe it more got damaged than I realized, like maybe the image processor got slightly damaged, resulting in slightly under sharpened images. But, maybe it's just my skill level. Because you know what they say: a camera is only as good as the photographer that uses it.

It really just looks like motion blur, not a sensor issue. Simply too slow a shutter speed.
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Old 08-17-2016, 06:08 AM   #13
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Quote:
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Now I'm starting to question if maybe it more got damaged than I realized, like maybe the image processor got slightly damaged, resulting in slightly under sharpened images.

Highly unlikely. Either the sensor works or it doesn't. Always a chance some elements in the lens got jarred out of position, but the shot you posted was from too slow a shutter speed.


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Old 08-16-2016, 12:48 PM   #14
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Even at 200th of second you can avoid motion blur. Shoot slowly moving trains or position yourself on the outside of a curve where you can shoot the train head on (safely). Sometimes shooting off a bridge above the train while it is coming at you head on will work, too.

I shot for a few years with an Argus C3 film camera when I was first starting out and got pretty OK results with it and slow Kodak film. There are even a few of those shots on this site. :0
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