Old 10-22-2008, 04:21 AM   #1
Noct Foamer
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Finally getting the kind of results I had envisioned when I started a year ago. Two monolights on each bank with 30 degree grids, Tokina 11-16mm f2.8, ISO 800 & f2.8 (bridge is BIG and ate up a tremendous amount of light!) Photo taken from my duckboat anchored in the channel of the river. I had to paddle back upstream a quarter mile in total dark to get back to my truck. It was a little spooky. Bridge is near Granite Falls, MN on the Minnesota River. BNSF Marshall Sub (Twin Cities Div.) Even daytime shots of this bridge are rare because you pretty much need a boat, and the location is a bit remote.


Kent in SD
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Old 10-22-2008, 04:59 AM   #2
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Great effort Kent. The color looks like it has a ways to go though
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Old 10-22-2008, 05:16 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by ottergoose
Great effort Kent. The color looks like it has a ways to go though

The paint on the trains? It looks a lot different at night than in the daytime. I've thought about this and I think it has to do with the paint having reflective particles mixed in? That's what a foreman at a BNSF shop (Willmar MN) told me anyway. Remember that in that shot the light isn't coming from above as usual (sun), but rather it is coming sideways. Another point is that light from strobes seems to be highly polarized. There is no glare from the sun bouncing around. By using grids over the lights, it makes the light even more directional. Anyway, I've noticed the paint on all the trains (BNSF, UP, DME, D&I) I've photo'd at night seems to react similarly.

There is one exception. A few weeks ago the UP ran a special train out my way, including one run that began at 2 AM in the morning. The paint on that one seemed to soak up my light like a sponge! The locomotive was painted black. All black. Yes--I managed to get shots of the UP 3985 running at NIGHT!!! I consider that the catch of a life time.



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Old 10-22-2008, 05:18 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Noct Foamer
There is one exception. A few weeks ago the UP ran a special train out my way, including one run that began at 2 AM in the morning. The paint on that one seemed to soak up my light like a sponge! The locomotive was painted black. All black. Yes--I managed to get shots of the UP 3985 running at NIGHT!!! I consider that the catch of a life time.



Kent in SD
Care to share some samples?
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Old 10-22-2008, 05:24 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Noct Foamer
The paint on the trains? It looks a lot different at night than in the daytime. I've thought about this and I think it has to do with the paint having reflective particles mixed in? That's what a foreman at a BNSF shop (Willmar MN) told me anyway. Remember that in that shot the light isn't coming from above as usual (sun), but rather it is coming sideways. Another point is that light from strobes seems to be highly polarized. There is no glare from the sun bouncing around. By using grids over the lights, it makes the light even more directional. Anyway, I've noticed the paint on all the trains (BNSF, UP, DME, D&I) I've photo'd at night seems to react similarly.
I had gathered that the sun wasn't out, but thanks for clarifying anyways

BNSF orange is tough to deal with when there's proper natural light, I'm not surprised that it's giving you trouble there - the other colors look to be reasonably close.

Have you considered shooting from that angle when you didn't need an elaborate light setup?
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Old 10-22-2008, 12:22 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Noct Foamer
Finally getting the kind of results I had envisioned when I started a year ago. Two monolights on each bank with 30 degree grids, Tokina 11-16mm f2.8, ISO 800 & f2.8 (bridge is BIG and ate up a tremendous amount of light!) Photo taken from my duckboat anchored in the channel of the river. I had to paddle back upstream a quarter mile in total dark to get back to my truck. It was a little spooky. Bridge is near Granite Falls, MN on the Minnesota River. BNSF Marshall Sub (Twin Cities Div.) Even daytime shots of this bridge are rare because you pretty much need a boat, and the location is a bit remote.


Kent in SD
Interesting location for a night shot, Kent. Looks like it needs quite a bit of clockwise rotation, though. The water is going to flow off the left side of the frame if you don't!
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Old 10-22-2008, 01:58 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by ottergoose
I had gathered that the sun wasn't out, but thanks for clarifying anyways


Have you considered shooting from that angle when you didn't need an elaborate light setup?

I'm pretty limited because this is such a difficult location. The river gets pretty deep and it is 100 yards wide. The river takes an "S" curve when it goes under the bridge, making it hard to place lights on the bank. There's also lots of big overhanging trees to work around. I thought about putting lights out on the river, mounted on styrofoam platforms anchored to the riverbed, but that would have the light reflecting up and might cut the reflection. The four light set up I used was really very basic. The main problem is getting THAT much light across 100+ yards. I'm a little skittish about putting monolights out on the water anyway because people with far more experience than I have tell me each of those big lights have enough juice to kill me if I screw up! I'm out there alone on the river, in the dark. That makes me even more cautious than usual. I hope to get back there before ice-up and try shooting the other side.

@TAMR159

Yes, I will post a couple of my UP3985 shots here but on another thread. I'll have to chalk those up to luck as much as anything, LOL! I'm not aware of any other shots of the UP 3985 running at night, and neither were the people at UP headquarters media relations dept. They had me send them one of the shots for possible purchase. They liked it!

@ JimT
Yeah, I noticed that on my computer this morning. The location was very dark so I couldn't level before the train came. Usually I do that with a torpedo level on the tripod head. Couldn't use a tripod here because I was shooting from a boat (current bats the boat around while shooting, rendering tripod useless.) I used the bottom edge of the bridge as my "level line," and that was obviously wrong because it was actually at an angle. Looks like it needs about 2 degree R rotation.


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Old 10-22-2008, 02:00 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Noct Foamer
Finally getting the kind of results I had envisioned when I started a year ago. Two monolights on each bank with 30 degree grids, Tokina 11-16mm f2.8, ISO 800 & f2.8 (bridge is BIG and ate up a tremendous amount of light!) Photo taken from my duckboat anchored in the channel of the river. I had to paddle back upstream a quarter mile in total dark to get back to my truck. It was a little spooky. Bridge is near Granite Falls, MN on the Minnesota River. BNSF Marshall Sub (Twin Cities Div.) Even daytime shots of this bridge are rare because you pretty much need a boat, and the location is a bit remote.


Kent in SD
Great shot! That photo is a lot more then I can do at night. Besides some minor things I like the shot and location. I don't think that shot would ever work durning the day. The train would look like crap behind the bridge but with a black sky and dark scene the train pops out at you. The reflection worked for you also.
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Old 10-22-2008, 06:56 PM   #9
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A bit heavy on the clone tool on the left side, other wise a bit to much color for me but i like it.
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Old 10-22-2008, 11:56 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by milwman
A bit heavy on the clone tool on the left side, other wise a bit to much color for me but i like it.
I was in a hurry and was sloppy with the clone tool. Some of you here have sharp eyes! I had given the image a 2 degree R rotation and since most of the grayed area was vacant space I simply ran around the edge with the clone tool. The color is actually pretty accurate. For reasons mentioned above flash seems to almost always give a very saturated color on the painted surfaces of locos. Check out some of Gary Knapp's work and you will see this effect also. The exception is steam engines and their traditional flat black paint. I'll post one or two of those later, in a different thread.


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Old 10-23-2008, 01:24 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by milwman
A bit heavy on the clone tool on the left side, other wise a bit to much color for me but i like it.
Yes, Kent, if this cloning isn't obvious to you, you might need to adjust your set. It looks like spray-paint all over the water. I'm curious as to why you thought you needed all this cloning (or painting)?
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Old 10-23-2008, 03:08 AM   #12
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I like this one cropped like this better
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Old 10-23-2008, 03:59 AM   #13
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For reasons mentioned above flash seems to almost always give a very saturated color on the painted surfaces of locos. Check out some of Gary Knapp's work and you will see this effect also.
Some of Knapp's stuff has been brought up in the forums in the past, the most recent one dealt with his processing techniques. He uses a program that super-saturates the colors...not a "real" look color-wise and nothing to do with his flash set up.
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Old 10-23-2008, 04:02 AM   #14
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Some of Knapp's stuff has been brought up ... He uses a program that super-saturates the colors...not a "real" look color-wise and nothing to do with his flash set up.
I've never met a program that "does" anything. Someone has to push the button. When I convert my RAW files, I get a little slider called "Saturation." I think Knapp jams it all the way in one direction, but I don't think the program is doing it for him.
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Old 10-23-2008, 04:17 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by John Ryan
I've never met a program that "does" anything. Someone has to push the button. When I convert my RAW files, I get a little slider called "Saturation." I think Knapp jams it all the way in one direction, but I don't think the program is doing it for him.

Now John maybe the default was set on 100% and he just never noticed or doesnt know how to fix it
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Old 10-23-2008, 10:29 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Ryan
I've never met a program that "does" anything. Someone has to push the button. When I convert my RAW files, I get a little slider called "Saturation." I think Knapp jams it all the way in one direction, but I don't think the program is doing it for him.
One thing about night shots is its mostly Black out and color sticks out, I would for one like to see what he started with. As he played with it a lot, to much as it would get a over processed reject as the water is brushed hard and can see it plus much other things that show.
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Old 10-23-2008, 02:07 PM   #17
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Does it matter what the photo looks like from the camera? All my night shots come out oversaturated. I then slide the slider back some (I can even go b+w). Colors do get exposed differently at night. Most likely do to the black background, dark, dark shadows, and the subject is the only thing with light on it. If you shoot a very well and evenly lit scene you will notice it isn't as bad. If you shoot a long exposure in the middle of the day, you will sometimes get more saturation then normal. In the end, everything is completely controllable by the photog.

I knocked the saturation down in this shot a lot along with a lot of color correction work. It still may be a little too saturated and the colors a little muddled.
Image © Travis Dewitz
PhotoID: 251549
Photograph © Travis Dewitz


Just think how dense colors start to get on cloudy days sometimes. The effect is like moving the the blacks slider in camera raw.

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Old 11-13-2008, 02:36 PM   #18
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@TAMR159

Yes, I will post a couple of my UP3985 shots here but on another thread. I'll have to chalk those up to luck as much as anything, LOL! I'm not aware of any other shots of the UP 3985 running at night, and neither were the people at UP headquarters media relations dept. They had me send them one of the shots for possible purchase. They liked it!
Have these been posted anywhere yet?
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