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T O P I C    R E V I E W
brucet Posted - 11/17/2015 : 8:17:36 PM

OK I'm just testing to see if I understand how to include a photo within a post.

If this works I'll include some text in the next post.

15   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
rca2 Posted - 01/27/2016 : 12:33:16 AM
Amazing. I had no idea that you could do this with photos.
brucet Posted - 01/26/2016 : 10:57:24 PM
OK enough of the delays. Letís take some photos. Iím going to proceed with some settings that may not be available to everyone. So if you have a problem get back to me and Iíll see if I can nut it out for you.
I use a number of different methods to create my photos. Including single shot edits. And multiple shots that use HDR and layer techniques. For this exercise Iím going to talk about just the HDR multi shot technique. (Folks often mix the terms HDR and Tonemapping. HDR involves multiple shots in order to capture the Ďhigh dynamic rangeí of what our eyes see). Tonemapping is the next step in treating HDR files. Tonemapping can also be applied to single shots. Thatís for another time).
Where going to use three photos to make one photo. One shot will be the Ďnormalí exposure. One shot will be over exposed to capture the details in the shadows. While the third shot will be under exposed to retain the details in the highlights. (Each photo will have a different exposure. Ie one will be a Ďnormalí exposure. One will be over exposed and one will be under exposed). The key here is not only changing the exposure settings but aligning all three frames/photos. So to do our three shots we either need a camera that will fire off the three shots quickly and make the necessary in camera exposure changes. Or a tripod to mount the camera on and keep it steady.
If you have a camera that will do bracketing find those settings and make the appropriate changes. Ideally you need the three frames to be at least 1, preferably 2, stops apart. Ie set your camera to take a shot at 0ev, -2ev and +2ev. Then set the camera to take all three shots with a single press of the shutter button. (There is more than one way to vary the exposure but for now Iíll only talk about changing the ev values). If your camera doesnít have a means to take the three shots and make the changes for you then not all is lost. Itís simply a matter of taking three individual shots and making the adjustments manually.
So if your camera has an automatic means to take three shots set it up and fire away making sure each photo has varying exposures. If your camera doesnít have an automatic means by which to take a bracket of shots then simply find the EV compensation button/setting. Take one Ďnormalí frame. Then adjust the EV value to +2. Take your shot again. Then reset your EV value to -2. To do this you must have your camera securely fixed to a tripod. (HDR programs can adjust for some camera movement but not lots of camera movement).
Remember to do this sort of photography you need to move away from the auto mode. The best starting point is to use A mode. (Aperture priority mode. Called different things by different manufacturers). Set and aperture of F8 to be on the safe side. Use an ISO level that will allow your slowest shot to be at least 1/100 of a second. (Many folks can hold a steady camera below 1/100 but thatís another discussion for another time).
Ok you have your shots. Either by firing off three shots using the auto features of your camera or by doing it manually using a tripod. Now the fun begins. I havenít mentioned file format yet. Simply put the better the file format the better the results. However the higher the quality often means more work. So shoot in high quality jpeg if you want the easier route. Shoot in raw mode if you Ďlikeí the extra challenge.
If shooting in raw mode use your favorite converter program to adjust and convert your files. Again itís a quality decision. Convert to a tiff, 8 or 16 bit, or convert to a jpeg.
Ok we have our three photos. Either jpegs or tiffs. You can use raw files but thatís something I donít recommend at this stage. Either will do but you have more data to play with using tiffs. Make a copy of those three files and put them somewhere safe. Only ever Ďplayí with copies so that when you have an Ďoooopps momentí you can go back and start again. Now you need a program to convert those three files into one HDR image. This can get really technical and being politically correct is not one of my strong points so bear with me!! I use Photomatix. Itís the industry benchmark and as good a place as any to start. If you donít want to buy Photomatix you can still download it and use their 30 day free trial period to have a play.
Open Photomatix and load your three files. Once done you can save the HDR file or skip it and get right on with playing. (Remember that all HDR files have to be Tonemapped. 32bit files etc etc etc). When your file opens up in Photomatix youíll see many presets to try. Pick one and play with all the slides. Youíll have a great time and forget all about your coffee!!
Once you finish playing save your file. Now a word of warning. HDR/Tonemapping can leave you with a finished photo that needs more work. More often than not your file will need more work. If so open it up in your favorite editor and begins playing all over again.
One detail to keep in mind. Movement. There are two types of movement you need to be aware of. Camera movement and subject movement. Camera movement can be overcome by using a tripod. Programs such as Photomatix can correct some camera movement but not a lot. Subject movement is often referred to as ghosting. Again Photomatix can take care of ghosting. But either type of movement on adds more work so itís best avoided where possible.
Thatís all the time I have for now. Any questions can be asked here and Iíll try to answer them as soon as possible.

CWRailman Posted - 12/28/2015 : 4:56:25 PM
Great work. What sort of separation between exposures are you using? By creating your own files from the main RAW file you take care of the blurring issue.
Janitor in Training
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WEB site: http://www.cwrailman.com/
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brucet Posted - 12/10/2015 : 4:40:51 PM
Sorry folks. I haven't forgotten. Just have so much on at the moment.

brucet Posted - 11/27/2015 : 5:27:04 PM

Sorry about the delay getting back. Iím a freelance photographer and I currently have a large assignment that needs my attention. I also have a layout that Iím building. Plus a wife!! Say no more.
OK letís start taking photos. Remember I talked about quality. Well there are two types of quality. First there is the Ďtechnicalí quality. Camera, settings and software, etc. But there is a second layer of quality. If you donít get this second layer of quality right in the first place then no amount of Ďtechnicalí specifications will help. This is the Ďartisticí aspect of photography.
The quality Iím talking about is composition and imagination. There are some photographic Ďrulesí that can help understand what Iím on about. Books and books have been written about composition. I wonít go into it here but try reading about composition and in particular what they call the Ďrule of thirdsí. Basically the rule of thirds is about NOT putting your main subject in the center of your frame/photo. Composition and imagination are what make a great photo. When you look at a photo you like you may not realize why you like it but the chances are that is follows the Ďrulesí of photography. One of those subliminal things they keep telling us about!!
When photographing donít just walk up and start pressing the shutter button. Look around and see if there is a better vantage point. Bend the knees and get down low or even find something to climb on. Just do something that makes your photo look different from all the rest. Use your legs. Walk up and get some close ups. Walk away and put your subject in the distance. While you are a distance from your subject zoom in and get some close ups. Zooming in rather than walking up close will change the Ďcompressioní rate. Changing perspective and giving you a whole new look. Trains move. Mostly in a forward direction. Try to leave space in front of your locos to give them 'room' to move into.
Iíve include the below photos as an example. Think about various angles, distances and perspective. Iíll come back next time and start taking photos. Remember ask questions if you have to. I donít have all the answers but I can make any answer sound right anytime. !!!!!!!

The below photo was taken by kneeling down to get a low angle. The angle and perspective give the 'impression' of powerfull loco passing by.

The below photo was taken from a distance away. See how the train has been compressed by the long focal length of the lens. It's curves over the summit. As they do to balance the train. It I had been too close then this feature would have been missed.

The following is a photo I used earlier. It shows what you can do by walking away from the subject and then zooming in. Point being you don't have to be up close to fill your frame.

Think about what you want your photos to say.

k9wrangler Posted - 11/20/2015 : 09:19:48 AM
High Dynamic Range photo taken at Williams, AZ while waiting the train to the Grand Canyon.

This was done with a single exposure, in RAW format. Using Photoshop elements, I created my own bracketed images. I opened the image then saved 3 shots at +1, 0, -1 exposure. I then combined them in the Photomatix Pro 5 software to get the HDR image. This widens the scope of using HDR tremendously.

Here is another single image HDR photo along the BNSF in W New Mexico or E Arizona

Dutchman Posted - 11/20/2015 : 08:41:54 AM
Excellent, Bruce!
brucet Posted - 11/19/2015 : 11:28:07 PM
OK I think I have figured out where my brain was on holidays! My program was set to a highest quality jpeg. (I'm a freelance photographer and work the high end of quality so down sizing is all new to me).

Here's a test photo just to prove to myself that I did get it right!!

I'll get back to the reason for the thread now that I've got the brain ticking over correctly!

Dutchman Posted - 11/18/2015 : 10:52:14 PM
Originally posted by brucet

Dutchman I was trying to keep within the 125kb size limit. Thus the size issue.


I use a free program called Paint.net The nice thing about it is that once I resize it the way I talked about above, it also allows me to adjust the file size in kb when saving the file.
jbvb Posted - 11/18/2015 : 10:33:02 PM
I think the actual hard limit is about 200 KB; I try to stay under 150 KB but occasionally post a 160 KB image. What I do is resize to about 800 x 600 and save at 75% JPEG quality. Last time I checked, RR-Line's software can handle JPEG and GIF but not PNG.
brucet Posted - 11/18/2015 : 3:45:05 PM
Dutchman I was trying to keep within the 125kb size limit. Thus the size issue.

TRAINS1941 Posted - 11/18/2015 : 11:04:15 AM
I'll follow along. Always looking for good information on taking great photo's.
Dutchman Posted - 11/18/2015 : 09:20:56 AM
Bruce, thanks for that info!

As for posting larger photos here on the site, here are a few tips.

I see that you have resized your photo to 72 pixels per inch. That is good. Next you have a width of 5.56 inches and a height of 3.69 inches, hence the small size.

My camera takes photos at 180 pixels per inch and I use photo re-sizing software to first bring it down to 72 pixels per inch. Next, I resize the photo to 11.65 inches wide. That will give a good size photo that will fit on the screen without scrolling.

We do prefer that members upload their photos here rather than using a photo hosting site. The reason? Other sites go out of business or member delete the photos down the road to make more room on the site for new photos. The result is the dreaded red 'X' that appears way too frequently here on the forum. If you want to see what I mean, go to almost any monthly Photo Gallery from a few years ago and run thru the pages.

Don't worry about space here on the forum. Joe has cloud storage that can handle what ever we send his way.
Mario Rapinett Posted - 11/18/2015 : 06:22:26 AM
Bruce. Thanks for the info...

After reading your comments and downloading a heap of YT vids on the subject, I realise it's another whole new world to explore.

But I also now realise that I may have to stick with my miniature stuff, as time is always limited and leave the HDR to others .

Your photos are incredible.

Thank you again for making us aware of yet another form of photography.

cheers mate

CWRailman Posted - 11/18/2015 : 02:32:13 AM
I like your work and really wanted to read your presentation as I am also nurturing a similar interest. For those of us who are visually challenged could you please use a larger text. I think you have some good ideas to pass along.

You might also consider hosting your images on some photo specific WEB site or your own if you have one then using the image link as I used here the image will come in as a larger, more detailed version and it will not burden the forum server.

Janitor in Training
CW Loco and Car Rebuild Shops
WEB site: http://www.cwrailman.com/
Facebook: CWRailman

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