Old 04-09-2008, 04:33 PM   #1
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Default Never understood this....

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High sun. Now, I understand what the high sun is, pretty harsh light from right above you, but never see it in the rejects I get. These 2 photo's were taken by Jen, I accidentally forgot to log me out of RP (We do all processing and uploading on my PC). Even if it were me, I'd still try to take these 2 shots. I guess my question is, what can help eliminate high sun, if anything, when we're out shooting and how to identify it in the shot. I know going out in the morning and going out towards the evening, AND avoid low angles? I feel kinda dumb asking this, but no question is too dumb. Thanks for the help guys!


Ben



*Oh yea, I do realize the one sitting in the yard is not a SD70ACe, again, me being "mouse button happy" and forgot to change the loco type.
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Old 04-09-2008, 04:41 PM   #2
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If it's between March 21 and September 21, you basically want to avoid taking pictures close to 1:00 PM. By June 21 you are looking at quite a huge window of high sun, depending on how far south you live, easily two hours before and after 1:00, three hours to four hours on either side if you are in Texas or SoCal or Florida.

Now, you can mitigate slightly by finding angles that conceal the harsh shadows, but this is difficult to do and not always effective. If you can, put the sun completely at your back when you shoot. See how the shadows look. Are they hard to see? It will have to be a view that doesn't really show the trucks, but hides them in a way that doesn't look like an obstruction. If there are harsh shadows just below the radiator blister or dynamic brake blister, you need to be shooting in a direction that hides this.

It may work, sometimes. I have one in the data base now, where I managed to find the one angle that concealed the shadows, but it was by luck.

Last edited by Freericks; 04-09-2008 at 04:43 PM.
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Old 04-09-2008, 04:50 PM   #3
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Oh the turmoils of working the night shift. I have to leave my house at 5 in the evening. So all that beautiful wonderful light gets wasted. And i dont get home until at least 11 at night. So when I get home, I spend time here, shower, eat and stuff so getting up early is kinda hard for me Or.......it's just called lazy. I could get up if I wanted too, but my job is extreme physical work, so im POOPED! I wanna get my sleep. Damn sun Luck seems to be both on you and jennifers side freericks :

Image © Jennifer Hickman
PhotoID: 230752
Photograph © Jennifer Hickman


She managed to get this one at quarter til 3

Thanks again man!
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Old 04-09-2008, 05:11 PM   #4
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Overexposed IMO...on both, but the first especially. The first would also definitely get nailed for backlit, since such a large majority of the visible train is in shadow.
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Old 04-09-2008, 05:25 PM   #5
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High sun and overexposure go hand-in-hand which is why it is a major photo killer. Many photographers will tell you "don't shoot from 11AM and 2PM" well thats all well and good except if there is something running that you want to photograph!!! I'm looking forward to the challenges that 'high sun' present this summer while chasing the BR&W since they run from 10AM until 3PM, wonderful timing, no? So here are some tips that I will remind myself and others may want to follow in case they can't avoid the midday hours.

1.) Elevation, elevation, elevation. High sun means exactly what it is, the sun at the highest point in the sky therefore shadows are nonexistant but there is excellent lighting on subjects you are looking down on.
2.) Underexpose. The relation of the sun to the Earth during 'high sun' months makes it stronger therefore your normal settings you used in the winter and into spring need to be kicked up a notch. This is actually an advantage since trains move and in some areas fast.
3.) Along the same lines as #2, expose for the sky. Just as you would on a cloudy day with defined clouds. When shooting on M (or manual) make sure you adjuct for the sky so they do not become washed out and all white. The subject will be dark and it some cases too dark to save which means you've probably gone through at least a dozen bottles of water.
4.) Treat it like a cloudy day. If you can block out the sky, do it! We Northeasterners should like shooting in the summer around midday because our 'favorite' treed in spots may finally being seeing sun which means a well lit subject while we enjoy some shade and a nice natural frame used to hide any ugly white skies.
5.) Get creative. If you happen to be out for lunchtime but know nothing 'special' or 'rare' will go by take the opportunity to try something out of the ordinary or an angle that you wouldn't dare risk going for in 'sweet light'. Here's my favorite example:
Image © Alex Ramos
PhotoID: 195902
Photograph © Alex Ramos

6.) You know that girder bridge or that spot where that darn fence is in the way, go shoot it! Dark trucks and shadowed pilots are the other killer of summertime sun so try to use something that would otherwise ruin a good shot to cover up the trucks.
7.) Don't go nuts with the shadow/highlight tool. Enough said.
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Old 04-09-2008, 07:35 PM   #6
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We have the same problem with the Western Maryland Scenic back here. It runs from 11:30 am to 3 pm, right at the wrong time. Plus most of the run is on the shadow side of the hills.
If I catch a cloudy bright day, I might have a chance of getting shots that aren't too dull and don't have the harsh shadows.

It does get better in the fall, however, when they run twice a day. On the second run which starts at 5pm, the train is neary in the sun all the way to Frostburg.
That's a tip for some of you who haven't been to see the WMSR yet!

Ed

Last edited by Ed Mullan; 04-09-2008 at 07:36 PM. Reason: fix text
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Old 04-09-2008, 07:57 PM   #7
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I made my first visit to the Roaring Camps & Big Trees in Santa Cruz recently. They run 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM.

I managed to get one shot that's in the data base. Nothing else was worth trying.
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Old 04-09-2008, 11:59 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by asis80
Oh the turmoils of working the night shift. I have to leave my house at 5 in the evening. So all that beautiful wonderful light gets wasted. And i dont get home until at least 11 at night. So when I get home, I spend time here, shower, eat and stuff so getting up early is kinda hard for me Or.......it's just called lazy. I could get up if I wanted too, but my job is extreme physical work, so im POOPED! I wanna get my sleep. Damn sun Luck seems to be both on you and jennifers side freericks :

Image © Jennifer Hickman
PhotoID: 230752
Photograph © Jennifer Hickman


She managed to get this one at quarter til 3

Thanks again man!
Well, look how much sun is still on the plow in that shot, and how much shorter the ladder rung shadows are on the nose compared to your two rejections.

You asked how you can tell what "high sun" is. Andrew said no shadows, but also LONG shadows from horizontal features like the ladder rungs on the nose. That is the most telling part of sun direction and how high it is in the sky.
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Old 04-10-2008, 12:04 AM   #9
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I go by my shadow...if my shadow is shorter in length than I am tall, the sun's too high...
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Old 04-10-2008, 12:17 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ween
I go by my shadow...if my shadow is shorter in length than I am tall, the sun's too high...
That won't work for me, I'm quite tall.



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Old 04-10-2008, 12:19 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ween
I go by my shadow...if my shadow is shorter in length than I am tall, the sun's too high...
That works but maybe quitting a bit to soon, and looking at your map boy i thought i need to get out of town bad
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Old 04-10-2008, 12:21 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ween
I go by my shadow...if my shadow is shorter in length than I am tall, the sun's too high...
I just look up at the sun.
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