Old 02-19-2021, 07:24 PM   #1
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Default Sun shining into station hall

I'm now averaging one rejection per seven submissions. Here is a new type of rejection for me: Overexposed. I kind of see the point: some of the surfaces where the sunlight is reflected directly, as well as where the sunlight hits the platform, are overexposed.

So my question is less about the rejection and more about: how would you go about shooting a high-contrast scene like this?

A bit more info about the scene I wanted to capture: this is a special illumination you have in Munich main station for maybe half an hour for a few weeks before and after the longest day of the year, as the visible side of the train faces north and the Sun has to rise over ~10 degrees (so no yellowish sunrise colours) to shine down trough the parallel north-south triangle-cross-section roof windows (the photo was made at 7:58 local time).
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Old 02-19-2021, 08:23 PM   #2
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I suspect that the screener was likely thinking that an image like this has the OPPOSITE problem to "distracting shadow." It means he thinks the uneven lighting is not pleasing to the eye and I'd be inclined to agree. I don't think it is worth appealing. Just for fun, you could experiment with some exposure or highlights adjustments, just to see if the glare can be attenuated without making it look overcooked.

As far as how to shoot that, I typically set the exposure to ensure that I'm not exposing the highlights more than just a little.....meaning less than 2/3 of a stop. In that range, a highlights adjustment in post will virtually always recover that nicely. Technically, it will probably recover even more overexposure, but I try not to chance it. You don't want to shoot it too dark, especially if you're at high ISO, because brightening it in post will typically surface noise in the darker areas. It's a tough balance.

But as noted above, I'm thinking that RP does not want this image, so I would not appeal.

Honestly, when I read your subject line, I expected to see "God beams" (aka "Jesus rays") in the shot. RP DOES like those:

Image © Kevin Madore
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Old 02-19-2021, 11:50 PM   #3
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Honestly, when I read your subject line, I expected to see "God beams" (aka "Jesus rays") in the shot. RP DOES like those:

Image © Kevin Madore
PhotoID: 226338
Photograph © Kevin Madore
[/quote]

You got to be kidding, I was there also!!, this was the year without steam but the Heber was good.
I was hanging around with the freelance guy handing out release forms and using a 12' stepladder. I have one similar to yours, not as good composition. I have attached a quick edit(can has to go etc) of another view. I think Ms. Priest used one like this and some version did good in some art shows.

OP- Maybe a little less exposure all around but to me it would be an absolute acceptance in some form. Maybe screeners look at histogram to decide but this photo is cool, really too bad. But what does 18-316 mean? Personally I like names with posts.

Bob
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Old 02-20-2021, 03:31 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobJor View Post

You got to be kidding, I was there also!!, this was the year without steam but the Heber was good.
I was hanging around with the freelance guy handing out release forms and using a 12' stepladder. I have one similar to yours, not as good composition. I have attached a quick edit(can has to go etc) of another view. I think Ms. Priest used one like this and some version did good in some art shows.

OP- Maybe a little less exposure all around but to me it would be an absolute acceptance in some form. Maybe screeners look at histogram to decide but this photo is cool, really too bad. But what does 18-316 mean? Personally I like names with posts.

Bob
So, where the heck are the photos??? When I read this post, I went straight to your photos, sorted by RR and went looking for NN and Heber, but came up completely dry. Did you post your stuff anyplace? Some photographers never look at other people's stuff. I am always anxious to see other people's takes on places and events I have been to.....if only to see what I screwed up.

I was so incredibly disappointed back in 2008. That NN event was my first real, high-end photo shoot and to get there and find the place steamless was just heartbreaking.....especially given the way their web page pitched the place. Guess what? 2009 was damn near steamless too. I went there knowing that the 40 was still out of service, but they were pitching the fact that the 93 had just completed a running gear overhaul and was "good as new." Then, on Friday morning, they took her out on a Locomotive Rental and returned to a lot of sullen faces, when they announced she had hot bearings and would be out of service that weekend. Well, I think they thought about it seriously and realized that if they didn't do SOMETHING, people might not ever come back. On Saturday morning, they ran the 93 in the yard, with a freight.....and it SNOWED....big-time!

Image © Kevin Madore
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Photograph © Kevin Madore


They only ran her that morning, but at least we did get some steam photos with a blizzard. The rest of the weekend was a diesel shoot.

Unfortunately, I never got to see Heber. I was not in a position to do it in 2008 and it was shortly thereafter the Form 4 on 618 ran out.....and they've been steamless ever since. I'm told that there's been a lot of development on that line and that it's not as scenic as it used to be. I would still like to see it.
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Old 02-20-2021, 04:37 AM   #5
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[quote=KevinM;197373]So, where the heck are the photos???

I was so incredibly disappointed back in 2008. That NN event was my first real, high-end photo shoot and to get there and find the place steamless was just heartbreaking.....

--------------------------------------------------------

I was surprised seeing you were at NN with no steam!!!
I forget how it was arranged but I signed up on a deal for both the NN and the Heber and went with Herb Sommers from Toledo, we had also gone to China. We were told NN would not have steam and given choice of refund but we went anyway. At that time I was not on RailPics but sending photos into CTC, R&R and Trains. Online I might post to Train Orders. I was content to get maybe 15 photos a year published and entering local art contests.

Then there were changes in Magazines, lost my connections, so I started with Railpics but by that time photos from 2008 were old news and so many already online. I tried a few but not seeing sense doing what others already posted I looked for unusual, had a couple rejects and that was the end of that.

China was again old hat so never even tried.

Still it was fun/weird seeing your photo from same time at NN.

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Old 02-20-2021, 12:10 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinM View Post
I don't think it is worth appealing.
Just to be clear, I am not at all thinking about appealing (or even re-submitting after an edit, see below). I'm now past my first successful appeal (a non-ROT scene, incidentally, with "God beams"), and I have learnt my lesson to (1) first think about it for at least a day, (2) read up on whether and how a deviation from a rule-of-thumb can be justified, (3) be succinct in my appeal, and (4) submit it only when I feel really really sure about my point.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinM View Post
As far as how to shoot that, I typically set the exposure to ensure that I'm not exposing the highlights more than just a little.....meaning less than 2/3 of a stop. In that range, a highlights adjustment in post will virtually always recover that nicely. Technically, it will probably recover even more overexposure, but I try not to chance it. You don't want to shoot it too dark, especially if you're at high ISO, because brightening it in post will typically surface noise in the darker areas. It's a tough balance.
A really tough balance. I experimented with the image as it is just to see what I can do with the non-overexposed parts (the overexposed are under 1% of the entire image), reducing highlights and boosting shadows, but the shadows are already too noisy (so no chance at re-submission after edit, either). ISO was 400, taking it lower & increasing aperture would bring depth of field problems...

Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinM View Post
Honestly, when I read your subject line, I expected to see "God beams" (aka "Jesus rays") in the shot.
Image © Kevin Madore
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Photograph © Kevin Madore
Yeah with some steam or smoke it would be a much better scene, but with electric trains and hot summer, no chance at that.
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Old 02-20-2021, 12:32 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobJor View Post
Maybe screeners look at histogram to decide but this photo is cool, really too bad.
The submitted version already had highlights reduced, so its histogram doesn't show it, but the raw image's histogram does show some overexposure.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RobJor View Post
But what does 18-316 mean? Personally I like names with posts.
I prefer to not use my real name on public on-line forums due to privacy concerns (private emails or subscriber-only forums not visible to search engines would be another thing). 18 316 is the number of a famous German steam locomotive which survived past regular service as an asset of the testing institute, later as heritage power, and is now languishing in a museum in Mannheim. I never had a chance to photograph it myself, but here is a picture from a German site of how she looked in 1996.

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Old 02-20-2021, 09:00 PM   #8
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To OP, adding to Kevin’s suggestion: do you have Photoshop? If so, you might look up a technique called “luminosity masking.” With a situation such as this, the additional control of specific areas can be quite helpful. If you shot the photo in raw, there’s a decent chance of recovering enough highlight detail.
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Old 02-22-2021, 04:13 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinM View Post
I suspect that the screener was likely thinking that an image like this has the OPPOSITE problem to "distracting shadow." It means he thinks the uneven lighting is not pleasing to the eye and I'd be inclined to agree. I don't think it is worth appealing. Just for fun, you could experiment with some exposure or highlights adjustments, just to see if the glare can be attenuated without making it look overcooked.

As far as how to shoot that, I typically set the exposure to ensure that I'm not exposing the highlights more than just a little.....meaning less than 2/3 of a stop. In that range, a highlights adjustment in post will virtually always recover that nicely. Technically, it will probably recover even more overexposure, but I try not to chance it. You don't want to shoot it too dark, especially if you're at high ISO, because brightening it in post will typically surface noise in the darker areas. It's a tough balance.

But as noted above, I'm thinking that RP does not want this image, so I would not appeal.

Honestly, when I read your subject line, I expected to see "God beams" (aka "Jesus rays") in the shot. RP DOES like those:

Image © Kevin Madore
PhotoID: 226338
Photograph © Kevin Madore
I like this image.
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Old 02-22-2021, 04:14 PM   #10
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I like your image.
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Old 02-22-2021, 09:52 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by br_railphotos View Post
To OP, adding to Kevin’s suggestion: do you have Photoshop? If so, you might look up a technique called “luminosity masking.” With a situation such as this, the additional control of specific areas can be quite helpful. If you shot the photo in raw, there’s a decent chance of recovering enough highlight detail.
This was shot as JPG. I have no Photoshop, only Lightroom (I find it expensive already...), but I also have GIMP and I think it has a function similar to what you describe. I will play around with that image some more, but I don't have high hopes for a re-submittable result.
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