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brucet
Engine Wiper

Posted - 11/17/2015 :  8:17:36 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote

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.

regards

Country: Australia | Posts: 446

brucet
Engine Wiper

Posted - 11/17/2015 :  8:19:41 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
OK time for some comments/suggestions/tips about how I achieve my railroad photos.
Before I start I want to make some ‘general’ comments about photography.
First I regard photography as an art form and in doing so that gives me the argument/excuse to please myself and not have to ‘conform’ to what others expect. After all I believe that there is no right way nor wrong way. It’s all just a matter of getting a result that pleases me. If others enjoy the results then great. That makes me even happier. (Bit like freelance modeling hey!)
Now for the technical stuff. Remember what I said about no right or wrong way? Well that starts now. The following is my way. Others may and will disagree. That’s ok. Remember the old saying? “There’s more than one way to skin a cat”.
My photography involves quite a bit of what is known as HDR. Or to be more correct, Tonemapping. Those who know about photography may run a mile now. HDR/Tonemapping has a reputation. Some folks love it and some folks hate it. Remember it’s art. So each to their own. However I take further steps than often change the resulting photo. (HDR and Tonemapping are separate issues/steps. A HDRed bracket will need tonemapping. But a single image can be Tonemapped. It gets all technical with 32 bit and 16 bit data and I won’t go there).
The basics of HDR are as follows. The human eye can see much more ‘light’ than a camera. Our eyes adjust for bright and dark areas without us being conscious of it. For instance we can see details in shadows better than a camera. For a camera/photograph to do this we need to take multiple shots and combine them into one final image. The ‘normal’ procedure is to take one correctly exposed photo. Then one over exposed photo that captures the details in the shadows. And one under exposed photo that captures the details in the bright areas. (Most HDR involve 3 photos. But many folks take many many photos to create their HDR brackets). These photos are then combined in specialised software. The enemy of HDR is movement. Any movement in the camera or subject will result in a blurred result. Don’t worry though as there are ways around this within the software. (It is possible to Tonemap a single image and get very similar results to a HDRed photo. The outcome is not as technically good but often ‘good enough’).
OK what do you need?
1/ A camera. Ideally you want a camera that will take ‘brackets’. This is where the camera can be setup to automatically take the various ‘adjusted’ photos. This can also be done manually but that requires a tripod to limit camera movement.
2/ Software. You need a software program that will facilitate the combining of the brackets. There are free programs available. There are editing programs that have HDR options. And there is specialise HDR/Tonemapping programs.
A word about quality. You know the old saying? “you can’t make a silk purse out of a pigs ear”. Well that is very true in photography. The better the quality image the more data you have to play with. So what’s the answer? Well I always shoot in RAW mode. No not me in the raw! All cameras collect data in RAW mode. They then convert that RAW data into a JPEG format. In doing so the camera will typically throw away 70-80% of the data. Gone. Gone forever. However if you shoot in RAW mode you retain 100% if the data. Simply gives you far more leeway to manipulate to you hearts content. But RAW does involve more work. No such thing as a free lunch.
So where are we up to? My suggestion is to find a camera that will shoot in RAW mode and that also can shoot a bracket of different exposures. You also need a software package that will combine your brackets and Tonemap the result.
I’ll leave it for now and give you time to ask any questions before I go onto the actual taking of the photos.
regards

Is there a way that I can include a larger photo?



Country: Australia | Posts: 446 Go to Top of Page

CWRailman
Engine Wiper

Premium Member

Posted - 11/18/2015 :  02:32:13 AM  Show Profile  Visit CWRailman's Homepage  Reply with Quote
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.


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



Country: USA | Posts: 386 Go to Top of Page

Mario Rapinett
Fireman



Posted - 11/18/2015 :  06:22:26 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
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




Edited by - Mario Rapinett on 11/18/2015 06:31:30 AM

Country: Australia | Posts: 5845 Go to Top of Page

Dutchman
Administrator

Premium Member


Posted - 11/18/2015 :  09:20:56 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
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.



Country: USA | Posts: 31281 Go to Top of Page

TRAINS1941
Engineer

Premium Member


Posted - 11/18/2015 :  11:04:15 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I'll follow along. Always looking for good information on taking great photo's.

Jerry

"And in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years." A. Lincoln

Country: USA | Posts: 11607 Go to Top of Page

brucet
Engine Wiper

Posted - 11/18/2015 :  3:45:05 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Dutchman I was trying to keep within the 125kb size limit. Thus the size issue.

regards



Country: Australia | Posts: 446 Go to Top of Page

jbvb
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 11/18/2015 :  10:33:02 PM  Show Profile  Visit jbvb's Homepage  Reply with Quote
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.


Country: USA | Posts: 5909 Go to Top of Page

Dutchman
Administrator

Premium Member


Posted - 11/18/2015 :  10:52:14 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by brucet

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

regards



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.



Country: USA | Posts: 31281 Go to Top of Page

brucet
Engine Wiper

Posted - 11/19/2015 :  11:28:07 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
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!

regards



Country: Australia | Posts: 446 Go to Top of Page

Dutchman
Administrator

Premium Member


Posted - 11/20/2015 :  08:41:54 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Excellent, Bruce!



Country: USA | Posts: 31281 Go to Top of Page

k9wrangler
Engineer



Posted - 11/20/2015 :  09:19:48 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
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



Karl Scribner
Sunfield Twp. Michigan
H.M.F.I.C
Kentucky Southern Railway
The Spartan Line

Edited by - k9wrangler on 11/20/2015 09:27:45 AM

Country: USA | Posts: 10372 Go to Top of Page

brucet
Engine Wiper

Posted - 11/27/2015 :  5:27:04 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote

Sorry about the delay getting back. I’m a freelance photographer and I currently have a large assignment that needs my attention. I also have a layout that I’m building. Plus a wife!! Say no more.
OK let’s start taking photos. Remember I talked about quality. Well there are two types of quality. First there is the ‘technical’ quality. Camera, settings and software, etc. But there is a second layer of quality. If you don’t get this second layer of quality right in the first place then no amount of ‘technical’ specifications will help. This is the ‘artistic’ aspect of photography.
The quality I’m talking about is composition and imagination. There are some photographic ‘rules’ that can help understand what I’m on about. Books and books have been written about composition. I won’t go into it here but try reading about composition and in particular what they call the ‘rule of thirds’. 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 ‘rules’ of photography. One of those subliminal things they keep telling us about!!
When photographing don’t 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 ‘compression’ 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.
I’ve include the below photos as an example. Think about various angles, distances and perspective. I’ll come back next time and start taking photos. Remember ask questions if you have to. I don’t 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.

regards



Country: Australia | Posts: 446 Go to Top of Page

brucet
Engine Wiper

Posted - 12/10/2015 :  4:40:51 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Sorry folks. I haven't forgotten. Just have so much on at the moment.

regards



Country: Australia | Posts: 446 Go to Top of Page

CWRailman
Engine Wiper

Premium Member

Posted - 12/28/2015 :  4:56:25 PM  Show Profile  Visit CWRailman's Homepage  Reply with Quote
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.
Denny
Janitor in Training
CW Loco and Car Rebuild Shops
WEB site: http://www.cwrailman.com/
Facebook: CWRailman





Country: USA | Posts: 386 Go to Top of Page

brucet
Engine Wiper

Posted - 01/26/2016 :  10:57:24 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
OK enough of the delays. Let’s take some photos. I’m going to proceed with some settings that may not be available to everyone. So if you have a problem get back to me and I’ll 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 I’m 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 ‘high dynamic range’ of what our eyes see). Tonemapping is the next step in treating HDR files. Tonemapping can also be applied to single shots. That’s for another time).
Where going to use three photos to make one photo. One shot will be the ‘normal’ 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 ‘normal’ 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 I’ll only talk about changing the ev values). If your camera doesn’t have a means to take the three shots and make the changes for you then not all is lost. It’s 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 doesn’t have an automatic means by which to take a bracket of shots then simply find the EV compensation button/setting. Take one ‘normal’ 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 that’s 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 haven’t 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 ‘like’ the extra challenge.
If shooting in raw mode use your favorite converter program to adjust and convert your files. Again it’s 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 that’s something I don’t 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 ‘play’ with copies so that when you have an ‘oooopps moment’ 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. It’s the industry benchmark and as good a place as any to start. If you don’t 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 you’ll see many presets to try. Pick one and play with all the slides. You’ll 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 it’s best avoided where possible.
That’s all the time I have for now. Any questions can be asked here and I’ll try to answer them as soon as possible.
regards









Country: Australia | Posts: 446 Go to Top of Page
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