Old 02-08-2014, 07:21 PM   #26
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Thank you for your suggestions. I do shoot raw. I like to keep my ISO as low as possible due to noise. But I will try a higher ISO next time. Also, I was probably shooting 5.6 without realizing it to keep allow more light and a faster shutter speed.
That sounds good in theory, but it has a few drawbacks in practice:

1. Your kit lens probably sucks balls at apertures less than F7.1. Most do...
2. At apertures less than F8, depth of field issues creep in, they become really noticable approaching F4. I think you ran into it at F5.6
3. On a Nikon, ISO200 is standard. Your camera appears to be relatively new, it should be able to handle at least ISO640. Maybe higher...
4. image quality seems best with modern digital cameras at F8. So try to stay there

Armed with that knowledge, go out and practice... use shutter priority mode welded at 1/500, and see what happens...

And go back and re-read my previous post, I put some other stuff in it you missed the first time
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Old 02-08-2014, 07:30 PM   #27
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This maybe off topic, but could I get some advice on this photo?

http://www.railpictures.net/viewreje...82&key=5241719

Thanks
The image quality is bad and there could be a million reasons why. I can't believe Nikon would put their name on something that produces that poor an image. f5.6 1/200? C'mon that's gotta be in the wheelhouse of almost any setup. Maybe you jostled the camera at the time you hit the shutter?

As a test, go out in the yard, try these same settings, and then adjust them, use a tripod and see if the camera is working right.
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Old 02-08-2014, 08:59 PM   #28
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There's nothing artistic about that. I know nothing about that camera. Were you shooting raw or jpeg? If jpeg, try shooting raw, you have more control over the processing. It just turns out better. But I think your largest problem is your shooting mode.

The shot was taken at 1/200 F5.6, ISO200 in Aperture priority mode

Every one of those settings is wrong. My first suggestion would be to understand how to expose a shot properly. I recommend the book "Understanding Exposure" by Brian Petersen (sp?).

That combination of too slow shutter speed (unless you are on a tripod), too wide F-stop (shoot at F8, leave it there), and ISO200 (too low for those lighting conditions) led you to get a bad shot.

I am guessing the Nikon 18-55 is a kit lens. Kit lenses usually suck at less than F7.1.

Keeping the camera in aperture priority mode at F5.6 makes no sense. Why did you do this?

Finally shutter speed. For moving targets of just about any kind, try to at minimum get shutter speed of 1/400 or faster, preferably 1/500 or faster.

Which leads me to my next point, after you learn how to expose properly, use RAW, learn how your camera works. There is 3 or 4 basic modes,
"Aperture prioirty" which you set the camera to choose exposure settings, but it leaves aperture set to whatever you choose
"Shutter priority" which you set the camera to choose exposure settings, but it leaves shutter speed set to whatever you choose
Then there is "program" mode, which is some nosense I have never used, ever because it has no point
And finally MANUAL mode, which you choose all this stuff yourself, and use the light meter...

I use manual, most everyone else worth a damn does too.

You have a lot to learn, go learn...
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Originally Posted by troy12n View Post
That sounds good in theory, but it has a few drawbacks in practice:

1. Your kit lens probably sucks balls at apertures less than F7.1. Most do...
2. At apertures less than F8, depth of field issues creep in, they become really noticable approaching F4. I think you ran into it at F5.6
3. On a Nikon, ISO200 is standard. Your camera appears to be relatively new, it should be able to handle at least ISO640. Maybe higher...
4. image quality seems best with modern digital cameras at F8. So try to stay there

Armed with that knowledge, go out and practice... use shutter priority mode welded at 1/500, and see what happens...

And go back and re-read my previous post, I put some other stuff in it you missed the first time
Troy is full of opinions, and bellicose at times. "Sucks balls"? I've no problem at f/5.6 when I need it.

In the foreground, I think the sharpness is fine. Looking at the background, I see a bit of softness, but i have no need to maintain sharpness all the way to the back. If the nose is good, it's ok. The ballast near the engine looks fine.

But what I see in addition to the not bothersome background softness are artifacts in the bare branches above the engine and to the left of the engine. It looks like an artifact of processing in some way. I see that sort of thing when I am trying to select just the sky with the magic wand.

As for the light, maybe it's not "artisitic" but it is fine, lead engine pretty much lit, shadow around it, sets it off. Some darkness on a trailing unit doesn't bother me at all. It may not be RP suitable given that light pattern, but the shot is just fine in that regard.
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Old 02-08-2014, 09:01 PM   #29
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Troy is full of opinions, and bellicose at times. "Sucks balls"? I've no problem at f/5.6 when I need it. "Most everyone worth a damn uses manual"? Put that at "many" and I' might agree. I generally use aperture priority, it hasn't held me back too much.

In the foreground, I think the sharpness is fine. Looking at the background, I see a bit of softness, but i have no need to maintain sharpness all the way to the back. If the nose is good, it's ok. The ballast near the engine looks fine.

But what I see in addition to the not bothersome background softness are artifacts in the bare branches above the engine and to the left of the engine. It looks like an artifact of processing in some way. I see that sort of thing when I am trying to select just the sky with the magic wand.

As for the light, maybe it's not "artistic" but it is fine, lead engine pretty much lit, shadow around it, sets it off. Some darkness on a trailing unit doesn't bother me at all. It may not be RP suitable given that light pattern, but the shot is just fine in that regard.

I would crop left and top, and maybe give up on keeping that green railing on the right
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Old 02-09-2014, 01:13 AM   #30
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The exposure looks fine to me on Cory's shot, and the settings are fine if they were appropriate for the speed of the subject. If the units were rolling slowly along, 1/200 is more than adequate.

The one thing that stood out to me the most is the cropping. Way too much on top. Perhaps cutting a bit off the left side and top could make the crop more appealing to the eye.
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Old 02-09-2014, 03:14 AM   #31
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You want to see a real awesome shot for a limited time:

http://www.railpictures.net/viewreje...38&key=5886145
While the train in Troy's shot is obstructed, this one apparently is not.

Image © Glenn Anderson
PhotoID: 469179
Photograph © Glenn Anderson


And let me remind you that this train is not obstructed.

Image © Chase Gunnoe
PhotoID: 455656
Photograph © Chase Gunnoe
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Old 02-09-2014, 03:45 AM   #32
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And let me remind you that this train is not obstructed.

Image © Chase Gunnoe
PhotoID: 455656
Photograph © Chase Gunnoe
While the train is obstructed, the nose is not. If the nose was obstructed in that shot it would have a hell of a time getting on. RP is a hell of a place, ain't it?


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Originally Posted by CoryC View Post
This maybe off topic, but could I get some advice on this photo?

http://www.railpictures.net/viewreje...82&key=5241719

Thanks
It was off topic - but if you've been participating in the Forums you'd find that to be the norm. I'd suggest you start a new topic next time lest we have another thread that reaches over a 1,000 replies. Ask a question, get a response or a few, done. Next.

Not sure what happened there - it's soft and seems to have a vignette (dark circular shadow around the edge). Speed may have been OK at 200th if the engine was not moving very fast. F 5.6 may have been OK, too, though higher F stops would definitely keep more of the image (front to back) in focus. The camera is decent and I'm sure the lens brand new would suffice.

So what happened? Maybe the lens is not in calibration. Or the camera (a defect or a bump /drop). Or you shook while taking the shot. Or the lens started to hunt. Maybe it's your processing - not enough sharpening? Best bet is to shoot some test shots and verify. Compare with another lens, same settings or same lens, another camera. I'd forget about that shot, unless it's the processing.

I recommend RAW but in a shot like that, and on RP at low res, I doubt you'd notice any difference.

Good luck!

/Mitch
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Old 02-10-2014, 10:22 PM   #33
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W.D. I like the first one a lot! Excellent powerful simple subject. It screams winter railroading to me. I would have accepted as is. But try Mitch's idea for it's more than worthy and even Top24 material.
I also agree on his assessment regarding the platform shot. I see what you wanted to do but it does not rise above snapshot interest here.
Dennis, you were right, it's in the Top 4 of 24 as I type this. Didn't have more at the top to work with (was focusing on including the huge snowbanks banks in front of me, which I later ended up mostly cropping out anyway )
Appealed as suggested and it was accepted. Thanks, guys!
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Old 02-10-2014, 11:08 PM   #34
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How could that one have possibly been rejected??
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Old 02-10-2014, 11:12 PM   #35
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Dennis, you were right, it's in the Top 4 of 24 as I type this. Didn't have more at the top to work with (was focusing on including the huge snowbanks banks in front of me, which I later ended up mostly cropping out anyway )
Appealed as suggested and it was accepted. Thanks, guys!
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A successful appeal, what's that?!?

Great shot!
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Old 02-10-2014, 11:19 PM   #36
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I guess this was rejected for not being railroad-y enough.
Perhaps you need to focus in more on a "door" or a "paper" taped to a window.
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Old 02-11-2014, 02:09 AM   #37
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How could that one have possibly been rejected??
In every human endeavor there's always the potential for epic failure!

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Originally Posted by Mberry View Post
A successful appeal, what's that?!?

Great shot!
Still sipping on a rum and trying to wrap my mind around it Mike! We may have stumbled upon something entirely new to mankind!

Oh, and thanks!

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Old 02-11-2014, 03:24 AM   #38
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Dennis, you were right, it's in the Top 4 of 24 as I type this... Appealed as suggested and it was accepted. Thanks, guys!
Image © W. D. Shaw
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My rejects are among my most appealing images once accepted, lol.

It's a shame I had to (temporarily) abandon hope of getting ol' Rover onto RP.

/Mitch

Note- I do not know if the dog's name is Rover - it may very well be one of these instead:

Male

Female

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Old 02-11-2014, 03:38 AM   #39
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A successful appeal, what's that?!?

Great shot!
No, no. It was my saying the top of the 24 that made it happen.

Credit is due where credit is due.

I rest my case.

As I write this it is top of the 24.
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Old 02-11-2014, 03:46 AM   #40
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No, no. It was my saying the top of the 24 that made it happen.

Credit is due where credit is due.

I rest my case.

As I write this it is top of the 24.
Others have said it before, and now I believe! You really are Him!
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Old 02-11-2014, 04:14 AM   #41
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The exposure looks fine to me on Cory's shot, and the settings are fine if they were appropriate for the speed of the subject. If the units were rolling slowly along, 1/200 is more than adequate.
I would say the ISO 200 and the 1/200 is probably ok unless the train is traveling faster than 50MPH, but shooting something at f-5.6 when you are that far away from the front of it is not going to work.

Unless you are planning on focusing on the nose and bokehing the background.

Example of Bokeh-

Image © EL ROCO Photography
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Photograph © EL ROCO Photography


I tend to use f-11 when shooting trains and seldom go below 7.1, unless I am doing something special with the depth of field.

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Old 02-11-2014, 05:06 AM   #42
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....but shooting something at f-5.6 when you are that far away from the front of it is not going to work.



I tend to use f-11 when shooting trains and seldom go below 7.1, unless I am doing something special with the depth of field.
Not sure what you mean by that (in bold), but I shoot at f4 and f5.6 quite often, and never stop down any further than f8.

f4:

Image © Jim Thias
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Image © Jim Thias
PhotoID: 420496
Photograph © Jim Thias


Image © Jim Thias
PhotoID: 413539
Photograph © Jim Thias


Image © Jim Thias
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Image © Jim Thias
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Photograph © Jim Thias

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Old 02-11-2014, 05:23 AM   #43
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Interesting.

I tend to use a lower exposure and a much higher f stop.

I also seldom go below ISO 200 unless it is cloudy and then I might raise the ISO.

With a moving train I tend to not go lower than 1/125 sec when it is heading towards me, or away.

Side shots require a fast exposure as does 70 MPH trains.

Fullerton and Cajon are all less than 45MPH trains and Cajon is usually about 20-30MPH.

Amboy and many other parts of the Barstow to Needles run are 70MPH, but they can be slow on the hills such as:

Image © EL ROCO Photography
PhotoID: 463874
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I like having things in the distance be in focus, so I use > f-11.

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Old 02-11-2014, 05:25 AM   #44
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What do you mean you use a "lower exposure"? You underexpose your shots?
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Old 02-11-2014, 05:28 AM   #45
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What do you mean you use a "lower exposure"? You underexpose your shots?
Usually 1/250-1/400 sec, ISO 200, f-11.
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Old 02-11-2014, 05:28 AM   #46
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What do you mean you use a "lower exposure"? You underexpose your shots?
Quite sure based on the sentence that he meant shutter speed.
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Old 02-11-2014, 05:30 AM   #47
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Quite sure based on the sentence that he meant shutter speed.
No, I was referring to peer reviewed science and it's effects on global warming.
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Old 02-11-2014, 01:11 PM   #48
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Quite sure based on the sentence that he meant shutter speed.
Well, seeing as you know him personally, you're probably better at translating his launguage.

And "lower exposure" can apply to all three settings in one way or another.
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Old 02-11-2014, 01:13 PM   #49
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I like having things in the distance be in focus, so I use > f-11.
I really doubt you could tell the difference in DOF between f8 and f11 on a shot like that (or any train shot, for that matter).

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Usually 1/250-1/400 sec, ISO 200, f-11.
So why not go 1/500-1/800 and f8? After all, f8 seems to be the sweet spot for a lot of lenses, plus you're going to freeze the action better at the doubled shutter speed.
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Old 02-11-2014, 03:12 PM   #50
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No, I was referring to peer reviewed science and it's effects on global warming.

That would be zero, even if we fix the two grammatical errors.

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