Old 12-09-2018, 05:06 PM   #1
RobJor
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Default Curiosity on night flash shots standards

Not meaning to single out one in particular, just an example. I wonder what are the standards for night flash shots.

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I question this because I have be "set straight" on some of my night shots without a flash and seemingly......

Robert Jordan

Here is one I have from near the same location I didn't even try.
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Old 12-09-2018, 06:40 PM   #2
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Rob -

I'm going to chime in since my last two accepted shots were done with external flashes. I don't know there's any set standards other than the good lighting, well composed, low noise, etc.. It does seem there's some forgiveness for darker areas or shadows that don't directly impact the lighting of the subject.

For me, I enjoy seeing night shots whether they be done with flashes or long exposures. As long as the quality is there, I think they'd be accepted on here the same as others. That's my take anyway. Hope that makes sense.

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Old 12-10-2018, 02:00 AM   #3
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Echoing what Brian stated, there really doesn't seem to be here, but from what I can gather, if you lack light in certain areas, you will get the "too dark" rejection. Flashes have become cheaper (still pricey, but better), and more people are dabbling in it, and some enjoy it, and some do it and back off. I stayed in it because I enjoyed the challenge. Better balance of your light and giving more depth to your subject, not just throwing light at the lead unit and calling it good is going to make your shots more appealing and more likely to be accepted, and you will be much happier with the outcome, which to me, is far more important than getting them accepted on here.

Tom Nanos is a great person to study if you want to take an artistic approach using shadows and selective lighting, his work is top notch. If that is an approach you want to study and master, you can get away with using fewer lights, but much more strategically placed.

Basically, either light your subject at or above the example used above, or take an artistic approach that is not too radical, and you should be well within the standards that are acceptable here. Or, you can do it in a way that makes you happy, RP standards are for this site, not for what makes you happy, remember, this is just a hobby, having fun is all that matters.
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Old 12-10-2018, 04:57 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobJor View Post

Here is one I have from near the same location I didn't even try.
I like this scene- the question is how bright should it be. I think I like this edit best (but maybe I'll prefer a different one tomorrow).
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Old 12-10-2018, 01:05 PM   #5
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The standard for ocf night photography here is quite low, as the majority seem content to light up one or two locomotives and call it good.

I've spent a good amount of time shooting with several who I consider experts in the field (Hoyden, Knapp, Ryan to name a few), and I wish the acceptance level was closer to the product they produce.

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Old 12-10-2018, 01:52 PM   #6
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I look at night flash photography the same way I look at drone photography. We see a lot of blah images that scream one of the following:

"Hey guys, I bought some flashes!" or

"Look mom, I'm flying!"

But besides that, a lot of the resulting photos are not all that compelling. Many of the flash shots are either poorly lit, or completely nuked. Way too many drone shots are taken from too high an altitude and with excessive down-angles.

I personally would probably not have submitted the shot that started this thread and would have expected a rejection if I had. Only the lead loco is lit and the lighting is uneven, not only on the loco, but on the signal bridge as well. As a learning experience, it looks like a fine start, but some additional lighting is required and perhaps some tweaking on the aiming and power settings.
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Old 12-10-2018, 02:09 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinM View Post
Way too many drone shots are taken from too high an altitude and with excessive down-angles.
True, some of them are not very artistic, but I still like to look at them!
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Old 12-10-2018, 02:19 PM   #8
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Most of my UAV photography photos are well under 100' AGL. I must be doing something wrong..

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Old 12-11-2018, 12:52 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinM View Post

But besides that, a lot of the resulting photos are not all that compelling. Many of the flash shots are either poorly lit, or completely nuked.
...and poorly processed. But yeah, the nuked flash thing...so annoying.

Quote:
Way too many drone shots are taken from too high an altitude and with excessive down-angles.
I agree with this. I think the sweet spot is somewhere between 25-50'. My tall tripod is around 28', and I'm pretty happy with that perspective. But if I could go to the 40-50' range, I'd be very happy.
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Old 12-11-2018, 02:08 AM   #10
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I think if done right, flash photography at night can be a nice alternative. To me it’s relatively new. I’ve managed to get a stationary train at night using a couple external strobes. I never had luck getting good shots of moving trains. That said I’m writing this while sitting by the old post office at Mance trying to practice the technique. I think it’s a way to expand on photography in general. I enjoy it and want to get better at it. Some of the shots I’ve seen on here are, in my opinion, incredible. As mentioned, balanced lighting and not having a nuked look is key in my mind. I recommend giving it a try for any photographer. If nothing else, it’s another reason to get trackside.
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Old 12-11-2018, 06:06 AM   #11
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I'm very happy someone brought this up. I think flash photos are held to a different standard than daylight photos. Think of all the rejections for bad lighting on daylight photos: cloudy, backlit (nose). backlit (side), too dark, etc. When half of the train is dark, the ground is blown out because the lights are too low to the ground, and the photo is grainy because the ISO levels are through the roof, shouldn't a line be drawn?
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Old 12-11-2018, 07:37 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimThias View Post
I think the sweet spot is somewhere between 25-50'. My tall tripod is around 28', and I'm pretty happy with that perspective. But if I could go to the 40-50' range, I'd be very happy.
I'm content with 40-70' AGL most times, so I bet you would enjoy the opportunities if you purchased one.

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Old 12-12-2018, 05:57 PM   #13
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Probably.
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