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Old 06-12-2012, 08:44 PM   #51
JimThias
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That's exactly my point - it is a skill and it's not a photographic skill in the narrow sense of composition & exposure but it can be just as important in achieving "great shots". People's train chasing and photography styles vary greatly but you notice how some people seem to be at the right place and right time far more often than others? Once or twice could be attributed to "luck" but consistently "being there" or "getting the great shot" has more to do with skill than luck.

That's my belief because I've seen it in action repeatedly. It's the ability to synthesize a large quantity of various types of information and make good decisions about time utilization. What's the weather forecast? What way are any fronts or cloud formations moving and at what speed? Do you know your way around and/or have good maps for the area you'll be in? Do you know the rail lines in the area including place names and or milepost locations? Have you scouted photo locations or potential ones? Do you have a good scanner with the appropriate channels programmed? Do you know the typical trains or operating patterns of the lines? Etc...

People with the skill & experience can put that all together on the fly to consistently place themselves in good spots for photos.
All of that aside, the odds of finding yourself in a spot to witness a train that just happens to be running in the right direction with perfect sunlight under a perfect double rainbow are off the scale and transcend any definable skill. No one can plan to be in the right place at the right time to witness a full rainbow, let alone a double rainbow ("What does it mean?!"). It's an extremely unpredictable and random occurrence in nature. These Danneman brothers are frickin' wizards!
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Old 06-13-2012, 05:39 AM   #52
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No one can plan to be in the right place at the right time to witness a full rainbow, let alone a double rainbow ("What does it mean?!"). It's an extremely unpredictable and random occurrence in nature.
Actually, anyone CAN plan to be in the right place at the right time to witness a full rainbow as long as weather conditions permit. Water droplets need to be spread throughout your line of sight (left to right) while rays from the sun (directly behind you) hit them all. Double rainbows are often present when one is seen and are caused by water droplets reflecting light rays a second time at a different angle.

Sadly, it is not that unpredictable and happens anytime light hits water.

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Old 06-13-2012, 12:35 PM   #53
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Actually, anyone CAN plan to be in the right place at the right time to witness a full rainbow as long as weather conditions permit. Water droplets need to be spread throughout your line of sight (left to right) while rays from the sun (directly behind you) hit them all. Double rainbows are often present when one is seen and are caused by water droplets reflecting light rays a second time at a different angle.

Sadly, it is not that unpredictable and happens anytime light hits water.

Image © Andrew Blaszczyk (2)
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You lucked out, too. Those tracks could have been empty. Instead, you have a perfectly placed locomotive with a full rainbow over it in beautiful sunlight. Being in the right place at the right time to experience (and photograph) that exact scene is extremely rare. You should have played the lottery that day.
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Old 06-13-2012, 01:00 PM   #54
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Andrew's point about being able to predict where a rainbow might occur, when in the vicinity of a shower, is well-taken, but having all of the right conditions appear in the right places in order to be able to place that rainbow perfectly around a train still takes more dumb luck than anything. I got lucky like that once. No, not a double rainbow, but a very pretty one right next to a rare treasure, with gorgeous background scenery:

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Total dumb luck. What do they say.....f8 and be there? My biggest contribution was being there.

Folks have to remember that in the case of the Danneman brothers, you have two excellent photographers who have both been actively doing this for a very long time. The shots they are posting on RP represent some of their favorites from years and years of experience. My guess is that like all of us, they have probably had their share of frustrating days when nearly nothing went right.
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Old 06-13-2012, 01:10 PM   #55
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Andrew's point about being able to predict where a rainbow might occur, when in the vicinity of a shower is well-taken, but having all of the right conditions appear in the right places in order to be able to place that rainbow perfectly around a train still takes more dumb luck than anything.
Something just occurred to me...is the train in Mike's shot moving, or parked like AB's shot? For the record, this whole time I've been thinking Mike captured a moving train, which is what I'm making a big deal about.

This will make a difference, because I'm willing to make a cash "reward" to anyone who can capture a wedgie shot of a moving train in perfect sunlight under a full rainbow and have it accepted to RP. That's how extremely rare I believe experiencing (and photographing) something like can be.
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Old 06-13-2012, 02:53 PM   #56
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* Double rainbow guy isn't impressed.
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Old 06-14-2012, 12:55 AM   #57
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Moving and on Saint Patick's day! The thing was huge though even at 14 mm I could only capture this portion of it but it was a Full On "single" rainbow all the way across the sky.

http://www.railpictures.net/viewphot...392477&nseq=19
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Old 06-14-2012, 04:08 AM   #58
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Something just occurred to me...is the train in Mike's shot moving, or parked like AB's shot? For the record, this whole time I've been thinking Mike captured a moving train, which is what I'm making a big deal about.

This will make a difference, because I'm willing to make a cash "reward" to anyone who can capture a wedgie shot of a moving train in perfect sunlight under a full rainbow and have it accepted to RP. That's how extremely rare I believe experiencing (and photographing) something like can be.
It's parked power in a yard. Note the rails under the engine are dry while all the other rails are wet. (plus it looks "dead" - dark cab, headlights off) It's still a totally awesome shot though.

It's been a while since I've seen his shot, but I have a local friend with a shot that I think meets your criteria (the one I mentioned previously in this thread) but alas, it's a slide shot and he doesn't contribute here.

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