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Old 01-03-2020, 02:43 AM   #26
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 2,073

Originally Posted by Colebrookdale Railfan View Post
Where is the line drawn between an obstruction and "just part of the scene?" I give to you these examples:
The steam is partially or almost completely blocking the locomotive as a result of poor timing, fouling otherwise decent shots. I know a lot of people are guilty of this during blow downs, specifically with the 113 trips in my neck of the woods. Just wondering what y'all think of it.
Well.....I suspect this one is right in my wheelhouse.

A couple of things.... The examples cited don't appear to be blow-downs. It's just steam from the cylinder cocks when the locomotive is starting to move. The cylinder cocks are opened to release any liquid water that may have accumulated in the cylinders (so they don't hydro-lock and blow the cylinder heads off) and to warm up the cylinders to ensure that steam does not immediately condense and add to the water issue. In all cases here, I think the photographer was timing the shot for maximum steam effects, which are really nice in cold or damp weather. They were going for an artistic effect as opposed to a clean shot of the locomotive, so I don't see any conflict with the RP rules at all.

Now, from a personal taste standpoint, I prefer not to have the steam blocking more than half the face of the locomotive, and I also tend to prefer steam under pressure as opposed to just wafting steam.....but that's me. When it comes to people in the "steam bath", I prefer either a pure silhouette, or the person's face being recognizable. I don't really like the in-between.

I was recently up at the WW&F for Victorian Christmas, and it was POURING FRICKEN RAIN. That made it a real challenge to shoot, but the steam effects were just awesome. I think I shot about 500 frames....and kept about 300 of those, deleting stuff that didn't meet the above criteria. I did a lot of bursting, and ended up with a ton of frames that were nearly identical.....but were so compelling that I just couldn't delete them. I may share a few in the next few days.

My RP stuff is here.

Link to my Flickr Albums. Lots of Steam Railroad stuff there from all over the US.
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