Old 10-04-2012, 11:22 AM   #1
adickson
Senior Member
 
adickson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Central NC
Posts: 236
Default Looking for opinions. Be gentle...

I have eyeballed this location for a couple years. I know there are some great shots to be had but not all of them are attainable to a person in my position. That said I have been working on finding a good shot and hit the RP brick wall. This shot was shot down yesterday. I tweaked to humor them and it sat in the queue all day and finally was picked off.



Here is the shot that has been veto'd. Busted for bad color though I don't entirely agree as the logo on the front of the engine has perfect colors that match the hat in front of me. The yellow hopper was truly that hideous faded vomit yellow. In addition, I looked at the lights today and to the naked eye the red lights are red and the blue light is actually blue. Though the white balance issue has exaggerated the blue in the shot. Also busted for being back lit...no sh!t... Not much I can do about that. Even if I had a flash setup it would look odd to light up the engine and leave the rest of the yard with shadows. I could probably B&W the shot and wait a month and get it in. Not interested in compromising that much. I love the shot in color even though it is a definite white balance war with all the different sources and types of light. So now I'm looking for outside opinions. Yay or nay on the location/angle and what could I do to improve the shot? I am striving for a coveted "Screener's Choice". Not necessarily with this shot but I am aiming to improve my shots to be able to "compete" at that level. I think a train moving through the shot would put it over but if a train is moving I'm probably the one behind the "wheel" so thats a no go. I guess I could gravity drop it... ha!

Anyhoo, help me out. What can I do to improve?
__________________
Anthony Dickson
www.vidivides.com
www.flickr.com/photos/adickson87/
adickson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-04-2012, 03:17 PM   #2
Joe the Photog
Senior Member
 
Joe the Photog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Columbia, SC
Posts: 7,899
Default

Move the engine up closer next time. You don't need to blow the light up, just get a little light on the nose. Sometimes an external flash will help, or paint the nose with light. Sometimes all I do when I need just a little light is to pop on the car's headlights just for a qick second. But sometimes parking is an issue as you need to get the whole front of the unit. It would really help, too, if the power was one track over. That would take out the shadow on the exposed side.

The color is all wrong. For my Cayce shots at the yard, I hit a wall when I was just not able to get a shot uploaded here anymore. One thing I quickly found out was that the "This is how it looked to me" arguement never worked. And your shot needs color work. The ballast and cars look too yellow/green and the sky looks too purple.
__________________
Joe the Photog Dot Com
Joe the Photog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-04-2012, 08:07 PM   #3
Holloran Grade
Banned
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: In the California Republic
Posts: 2,774
Lightbulb

There is no "white" color in your shot.

You need to have somewhere in there where the color is white.

Once you get that, the other colors seem to drop into place.
Holloran Grade is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-04-2012, 10:27 PM   #4
adickson
Senior Member
 
adickson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Central NC
Posts: 236
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe the Photog View Post
It would really help, too, if the power was one track over. That would take out the shadow on the exposed side.

One thing I quickly found out was that the "This is how it looked to me" arguement never worked. And your shot needs color work.
These engines are in dry storage. I never move engines into place for a shot anyhow. I feel that would kind of press my boundaries. The open track is the mainline. I imagine a moving train would really help out. It would light up the storage engines and give a more active feel to the shot. However it would introduce yet another light source that will probably be a different temperature and I will lose my mind trying to process..haha! I'll have to wait for the planets to align to try that one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Holloran Grade View Post
There is no "white" color in your shot.

You need to have somewhere in there where the color is white.

Once you get that, the other colors seem to drop into place.


I took the white dropper in levels and turned the white in the logo to bright white. Brightened up the image but it did not drastically change the look of the whole image. Red lights+clouds+early morning blue does come out to purple though... haha. How do you tackle different light temperatures within one image? Like I said I'm happy with where it was/is now but if I can do better I'm all ears.

Thanks for the input!
__________________
Anthony Dickson
www.vidivides.com
www.flickr.com/photos/adickson87/
adickson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-04-2012, 11:21 PM   #5
Holloran Grade
Banned
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: In the California Republic
Posts: 2,774
Lightbulb

Quote:
Originally Posted by adickson View Post
...... How do you tackle different light temperatures within one image? Like I said I'm happy with where it was/is now but if I can do better I'm all ears.Thanks for the input!
It is not always easy and hopefully you are shooting in RAW format.

Sometimes you end up optimizing the white balance for a given location.

Image © EL ROCO Photography
PhotoID: 380822
Photograph © EL ROCO Photography


Image © EL ROCO Photography
PhotoID: 354719
Photograph © EL ROCO Photography


Image © EL ROCO Photography
PhotoID: 354592
Photograph © EL ROCO Photography


Image © EL ROCO Photography
PhotoID: 324016
Photograph © EL ROCO Photography


And then you get something like this, where it is really hard to find the right spot.

It Don't Look Like a Blue Flag
Holloran Grade is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-04-2012, 11:26 PM   #6
adickson
Senior Member
 
adickson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Central NC
Posts: 236
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Holloran Grade View Post
It is not always easy and hopefully you are shooting in RAW format.....

and then you get something like this, where it is really hard to find the right spot.
I am shooting in RAW. Learned that one the hard way. The current version is leaps and bounds better than the original.

As for the last comment...I HEAR YA! haha That said. I really like the shot. I'm guessing the RP Nazis weren't on board with that one?

Thanks again for the input!
__________________
Anthony Dickson
www.vidivides.com
www.flickr.com/photos/adickson87/
adickson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-05-2012, 01:13 PM   #7
JimThias
Senior Member
 
JimThias's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
Posts: 9,800
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by adickson View Post
I tweaked to humor them and it sat in the queue all day and finally was picked off.
Why didn't you tweak it to make it look correct instead?
__________________
.
Rhymes with slice, rice and mice, and probably should be spelled like "Tice."

This pretty much sums it up: http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Thias
JimThias is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-05-2012, 03:24 PM   #8
adickson
Senior Member
 
adickson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Central NC
Posts: 236
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by JimThias View Post
Why didn't you tweak it to make it look correct instead?
hardy-har-har.. haha

I started from scratch and tried a different approach. Sitting in the queue awaiting judgement.
__________________
Anthony Dickson
www.vidivides.com
www.flickr.com/photos/adickson87/
adickson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-05-2012, 06:18 PM   #9
JimThias
Senior Member
 
JimThias's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
Posts: 9,800
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by adickson View Post
hardy-har-har.. haha


I hope the sky in the new version isn't as purple.
__________________
.
Rhymes with slice, rice and mice, and probably should be spelled like "Tice."

This pretty much sums it up: http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Thias
JimThias is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-05-2012, 06:56 PM   #10
Ron Flanary
Senior Member
 
Ron Flanary's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Big Stone Gap, VA
Posts: 1,327
Default

I do like the composition, but the colors are weird, for reasons that others have discussed. I messed around with it using Photoshop and might have improved it a tad. I used a little of this, a little of that, etc....


Attached Images
File Type: jpg RFEdit.jpg (101.0 KB, 478 views)
Ron Flanary is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-05-2012, 09:06 PM   #11
KevinM
Senior Member
 
KevinM's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 2,010
Default

Getting the color right on a night shot which includes multiple (different) light sources can be a real pain. With a steam shot, you can sometimes punt and go B&W and people might love it.

Image © Kevin Madore
PhotoID: 300090
Photograph © Kevin Madore


With more contemporary shots, going B&W will probably just kill your views.

I am assuming that you have tried the following:
  1. Using the "Auto Color" option, just to see how it looks.
  2. Using the White Balance Tool in your software to seek out a black, grey or white point.

The latter sometimes works for me. It can be painstaking, but the WB Tool allows you to look at individual pixels, screening for one that is a truly neutral color. When you find one and click on it, the program changes the color temp and tint. The results are often better than what your camera might select if you shot with WB on "Auto".

Another option is to bring a (18%) grey card to the site and shoot it under those lighting conditions for later reference during post. Some cameras can also shoot a grey card and directly read out a color temp in degrees Kelvin, allowing you to set that specific color temp in your camera's white balance setting.

Again, all of that stuff works great if you have consistent lighting. When someone sticks a big sodium lamp square in the middle of your scene (the Durango Roundhouse, for example), you may have to do some selective editing to get the scene looking right.

I would try to get something white looking white. That would be a good start.
__________________
/Kevin

My RP stuff is here.

Link to my Flickr Albums. Lots of Steam Railroad stuff there from all over the US.
KevinM is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-05-2012, 09:21 PM   #12
JimThias
Senior Member
 
JimThias's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
Posts: 9,800
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinM View Post
Some cameras can also shoot a grey card and directly read out a color temp in degrees Kelvin, allowing you to set that specific color temp in your camera's white balance setting.
Does that work with raw or just in jpg mode?
__________________
.
Rhymes with slice, rice and mice, and probably should be spelled like "Tice."

This pretty much sums it up: http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Thias
JimThias is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-05-2012, 10:18 PM   #13
KevinM
Senior Member
 
KevinM's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 2,010
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by JimThias View Post
Does that work with raw or just in jpg mode?
Hi Jim,

I have a Nikon D7000 and I can shoot a grey card and get a color temp. I don't know that it matters if I am shooting raw or JPG. The manual does not mention the capture method in its description of the procedure. I virtually never shoot JPG any more, so I can't say I've tried it.

Basically, you expose an 18% gray card (I carry a small one) to whatever mixed lighting situation you have. You set the camera's WB to "Preset Manual", and select direct measurement mode. You then fill the frame with the grey card and pull the shutter release. It doesn't actually take a picture, but it does measure the color temp and load that temp as a Pre-Set that you can then select with your WB control.

I've only tried this a couple of times. Normally, what I do is expose the grey card and just take a shot of it before shooting normally. In post, I use the WB tool in Lightroom to measure the color temp and tint. I then dial those in on the pictures I want to postprocess....and tweak them a bit as needed.

I can sympathize with the OP. Shooting yard pictures can be a royal PITA when there's a tossed salad of light sources.
__________________
/Kevin

My RP stuff is here.

Link to my Flickr Albums. Lots of Steam Railroad stuff there from all over the US.
KevinM is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-05-2012, 10:25 PM   #14
JRMDC
Senior Member
 
JRMDC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 11,202
Default

Kevin, doesn't the gray card capture the temperature only at the card itself? How does that work if you are shooting a subject 50 yards away? Do you have to walk down to where the train is going to be, walk back to the tripod, shoot the card, set the camera, walk back down to get the gray card so you don't have a gray card in your shot, walk back to the tripod, wait for train, shoot?

Or is the gray card useful only where the light at your feet is the same or similar to the light in the scene? And what if you are in shadow but the scene is lit?

And can one presume that in a scene with mixed light from sources of different colors, the card is useless?
__________________
My RP pix are here.
My Flickr pix are here.

My commentaries on rail pictures are in my blog.

RP Photo Albums:
Cabooses
Engine Details
Farm and Train
Plumes!
Railroad Details
Signal Details
Switchstand Shots
JRMDC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-05-2012, 10:57 PM   #15
KevinM
Senior Member
 
KevinM's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 2,010
Default

Hi J,

The card must be exposed to the same lighting situation as the intended subject. So yes, if the lighting at your shooting position is not the same as the lighting where the subject will be, you will need to do some walking. That may not be a problem for the OP, for although he did not say that he works for the railroad, I am reading between the lines that perhaps he does.

Nikon's manual describes this procedure as a means for dealing with what it describes as "mixed lighting situations", which to me, is exactly what the OP is facing here.

Normally, when I am using the gray card, I am outside in whatever natural lighting exists. I use it rarely in sunny situations. I use it quite often during inclement weather. I used it constantly during the Valley Railroad charter last May, when it basically rained during the whole event. I don't know that I achieved great results, but I think it got me close most of the time.
__________________
/Kevin

My RP stuff is here.

Link to my Flickr Albums. Lots of Steam Railroad stuff there from all over the US.
KevinM is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-05-2012, 11:17 PM   #16
JRMDC
Senior Member
 
JRMDC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 11,202
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinM View Post
Nikon's manual describes this procedure as a means for dealing with what it describes as "mixed lighting situations", which to me, is exactly what the OP is facing here.
Thanks.

I won't say I understand gray card use yet, but it does seem to me that unless one finds a spot in one's "mixed lighting situation" where all of the various sources of light are blending, then the card cannot help. So if a foregound is sodium light and a background it not, then I don't see the help. Unless you take two gray card images and split the master image in post and process each part essentially separately.
__________________
My RP pix are here.
My Flickr pix are here.

My commentaries on rail pictures are in my blog.

RP Photo Albums:
Cabooses
Engine Details
Farm and Train
Plumes!
Railroad Details
Signal Details
Switchstand Shots
JRMDC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-05-2012, 11:19 PM   #17
JRMDC
Senior Member
 
JRMDC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 11,202
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinM View Post
although he did not say that he works for the railroad, I am reading between the lines that perhaps he does.
Well, as the shot looks like he took it from the top of a tank car, I would say the gray card might be just a wee bit unwieldy to use! And his employer may not want him scrambling all around the place taking gray card shots.
__________________
My RP pix are here.
My Flickr pix are here.

My commentaries on rail pictures are in my blog.

RP Photo Albums:
Cabooses
Engine Details
Farm and Train
Plumes!
Railroad Details
Signal Details
Switchstand Shots
JRMDC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2012, 12:45 AM   #18
KevinM
Senior Member
 
KevinM's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 2,010
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by JRMDC View Post
I won't say I understand gray card use yet, but it does seem to me that unless one finds a spot in one's "mixed lighting situation" where all of the various sources of light are blending, then the card cannot help. So if a foregound is sodium light and a background it not, then I don't see the help.
Hi J,

As per my previous post, you are completely correct. If the gray card is not exposed to the same lighting as your subject, it will not help you. A gray card is simply a calibration standard. It is a way to show your camera's sensors what 18% gray looks like under your current lighting condition.
__________________
/Kevin

My RP stuff is here.

Link to my Flickr Albums. Lots of Steam Railroad stuff there from all over the US.
KevinM is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2012, 01:01 AM   #19
adickson
Senior Member
 
adickson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Central NC
Posts: 236
Default

Thanks, Kevin. That is something I will have to try. I have never been able to get a shot in this yard accepted in color. I always end up folding and going with B&W. "PITA" is a perfect diagnosis! I'm working in elements 10. I played with levels and the grey dropper and saw some improvement in areas. What I ended up doing with the blue was isolating it and desaturating it to better blend it with the other mix. By using the levels tool to pick out a white, grey, and black points I brought the red hue down drastically which in turn dulled the yellow hue in the FG. Still waiting on a decision with fingers crossed. This yard is almost something people have to see to believe. I asked my conductor his opinion of the lights and he also picked out yellow, red, and blue without the use of a camera to exaggerate them. I imagine the lengthy exposure is just making the clearly visible colors that much more obvious. I think this shot would work well in B&W given the shadows and multiple light points but like I said, I'm ready to learn something new. Thanks again for the information!

Ron, I like some points of your edit. I am still waiting for the decision from the screener's. It appears to have bounced through just about all of them. If they veto my latest version I may try to go somewhere in the middle. Thanks for taking the time to take a swing at it. I appreciate it!
__________________
Anthony Dickson
www.vidivides.com
www.flickr.com/photos/adickson87/
adickson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2012, 01:44 AM   #20
JimThias
Senior Member
 
JimThias's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
Posts: 9,800
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinM View Post
Hi Jim,

I have a Nikon D7000 and I can shoot a grey card and get a color temp. I don't know that it matters if I am shooting raw or JPG. The manual does not mention the capture method in its description of the procedure. I virtually never shoot JPG any more, so I can't say I've tried it.
Ah, ok. I guess I just always assumed that shooting raw rendered all in-camera image settings ineffective.
__________________
.
Rhymes with slice, rice and mice, and probably should be spelled like "Tice."

This pretty much sums it up: http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Thias
JimThias is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2012, 01:48 AM   #21
adickson
Senior Member
 
adickson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Central NC
Posts: 236
Default

Image © Anthony Dickson
PhotoID: 411151
Photograph © Anthony Dickson


Success! Ended up doing a quick re-edit. In addition to other changes stated above, I isolated the top half and bottom half and processed the WB separately. Big improvement over original. Basically isolated all 3 different temperatures and process each different to get a much better outcome overall. Thanks again for all the info. As you can see, it helped quite a bit.
__________________
Anthony Dickson
www.vidivides.com
www.flickr.com/photos/adickson87/
adickson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2012, 01:53 AM   #22
JRMDC
Senior Member
 
JRMDC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 11,202
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by JimThias View Post
Ah, ok. I guess I just always assumed that shooting raw rendered all in-camera image settings ineffective.
I don't know this for a fact, but I believe that when shooting raw, in-camera settings affect
a) the view of the shot on the LCD
b) the thumbnail embedded in the raw file
c) how certain software, in particular the manufacturer's own software (like Canon DPP) does its initial choices for certain processing parameters in setting up for the conversion from raw

Happy to be corrected on any or all of this

J
__________________
My RP pix are here.
My Flickr pix are here.

My commentaries on rail pictures are in my blog.

RP Photo Albums:
Cabooses
Engine Details
Farm and Train
Plumes!
Railroad Details
Signal Details
Switchstand Shots
JRMDC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2012, 02:37 AM   #23
Ron Flanary
Senior Member
 
Ron Flanary's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Big Stone Gap, VA
Posts: 1,327
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by adickson View Post
Ron, I like some points of your edit. I am still waiting for the decision from the screener's. It appears to have bounced through just about all of them. If they veto my latest version I may try to go somewhere in the middle. Thanks for taking the time to take a swing at it. I appreciate it!
You're welcome. I don't care very much about all that white balance and other digital mumbo-jumbo. I think I have a pretty good sense of what looks good, and what doesn't, so I use a variety of Photoshop tools to arrive at what I want (hopefully...). I'm in the camp of thinking this is more about art than something exceedingly technical (although I know how to operate a camera, and what all those knobs and dials....er, sorry....buttons do). Sometimes you can techno-talk right past the obvious: maybe the shot just sucks.

At any rate--glad you got your shot accepted. As I said earlier, it's a very nice composition.
Ron Flanary is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2012, 04:02 AM   #24
Dennis A. Livesey
Senior Member
 
Dennis A. Livesey's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 1,985
Default

As seen here, a grey card is best for when all lights are the same color temperature. In that situation, it can really help accurately dial in the color. I would say it is more valuable in a studio situation or if you are shooting film.

Incidentally, when you submit to Trains magazine, they like you submit a grey card.

To pick WB, I like to go to Live View, spin through the WB selections and pick the one that looks best.

If you shoot only RAW, the picture settings most likely will be stripped off. If you shoot RAW+JPEG, the picture settings will be saved on the JPEGS. I do the latter when I am trying things on location. This serve as a reminder to me of what I was thinking when I get back to the computer.
__________________
Dennis

I Foam Therefore I Am.

My pix on RailPics:

I am on Flickr as well:

"Dennis is such a God, he could do that with a camera obscura and some homemade acetate." Holloran Grade

"To me it looks drawn in in Paintshop. It looks like a puddle of orange on the sky." SFO777
Dennis A. Livesey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2012, 12:27 PM   #25
JimThias
Senior Member
 
JimThias's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
Posts: 9,800
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis A. Livesey View Post

Incidentally, when you submit to Trains magazine, they like you submit a grey card.
Wait, what? Can you explain this?
__________________
.
Rhymes with slice, rice and mice, and probably should be spelled like "Tice."

This pretty much sums it up: http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Thias
JimThias is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 06:26 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.1
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.