Thread: Backlit?
View Single Post
Old 05-06-2021, 12:21 AM   #16
Senior Member
Mgoldman's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 3,704

Joe, I think your shot *could* get in if you were able to adjust two issues. With regards to being backlit - it is, and in a way that does not necessarily improve the image. With that in mind, I have two suggestions.

1) Make it so it's "less" backlit. RP screeners seem to be more willing to accepted "corrected" images. Ie; Too dark - lighten it. Backlit, add more shadow fill. Looks unlevel, tilt it. The linked shot from Anthony is a good example.

Try a little more shadow fill with the shadows and highlights filter. If you are shooting with Canon... then afterwards, I'd add some extra noise reduction to the filled area because Canon cameras don't preserve much detail in the shadows. Might even reduce saturation to get rid of those infamous Canon purple and green specs. Now, if you are shooting Nikon or Sony... skip those steps. A final step, if necessary, might be worth altering the color balance of the filled shadow area to re-warm it, if it turns cool.

2) Do you have a shot that is more broadside? Knowing the smokebox would be backlit, I'd have gotten a shot that was completely broadside - though, you might loose the glint.

Hey - and find a different screener, as Carl notes.

With regards to the 3 other shots shared -

Bob - I think the appeal of Anthony's shot is the "ethereal" look it captures. It does not have "God beams" but it shares that look - especially with the contrasting contrast of the mountains. The blue sky sure helped, too. I really like your shot, too. As someone who shoots Amtrak's Northeast Corridor mostly at 520 mm, I can appreciate alternate perspectives of unique locations. These unique perspectives, be it via a wide angle vs telephoto, or standing in a photo line or hiking back two or three hundred feet can really change the look of a location while each remaining authentic.

With regards to my backlit shot - is it? I suppose it is, but in reality, the entire scene other than the glint is dark. So - it's not a dark nose, it's a dark scene with a punch of glint. I think the sky was icing on the cake, one without the icing likely would not have made it into the database. And as noted above - it took a bit of work to bring the nose of the Sprinter back to life with shadow fill, noise reduction and some warming. Y'know, cuz I didn't shoot it with a Nikon or Sony sensor with the added dynamic range that would've allowed me to simply slide some slider up to 10 noise free.

Joe - (and Kevin) thanks for the kind compliment, it's great to hear as lately, based on "likes" and comments, I was starting to think the audience for Amtrak under catenary on was limited to only 7 or 8 folks.

Mgoldman is offline   Reply With Quote