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TomNanos
07-13-2006, 10:30 AM
Here's an early morning shot of Connecticut Southern train CSO-1 starting up the locomotives in West Springfield.


(http://www.nanosphoto.com/gallery/displayimage.php?pos=-367)
http://www.nanosphoto.com/gallery/albums/userpics/10001/wm_normal__MG_7258.jpg
(http://www.nanosphoto.com/gallery/displayimage.php?pos=-367)

If you click the image, you'll head to my site. Click on that image to see the full sized version - if you look at the left side of the nose of the locomotive you'll see a "ghost." That's the engineer walking across the nose, pausing to release the handbrake, and walking back into the cab. And yes, those are star trails in the sky. Taken at 4:30 AM on a chilly September morning.

-Tom

Orgnoi1
07-13-2006, 10:31 AM
ok this makes up for the cab ride ribbing I am taking.... its beautiful!!!

convergent
07-13-2006, 10:40 AM
Absolutely gorgeous...

TomNanos
07-13-2006, 10:41 AM
Thanks! The only thing I screwed up was my shadow is right at the bottom. OH, well....can't be perfect...

But about 90 minutes later I took this one... ;)


http://www.nanosphoto.com/gallery/albums/userpics/10001/wm_normal__MG_7307.jpg
(http://www.nanosphoto.com/gallery/displayimage.php?pos=-761)

Sorry, I had to.................

zacker
07-13-2006, 12:09 PM
Darn it Tom... You take such great shots!!!
lol
the lighting in the first one is just great... that is a winner!
(the second aint too shabby neither!)
-zacker-

TomNanos
07-13-2006, 12:17 PM
Darn it Tom... You take such great shots!!!
lol
the lighting in the first one is just great... that is a winner!
(the second aint too shabby neither!)
-zacker-
Thanks for the kind words!!! Well, they look pretty good because you don't see the crappy-ass ones. Those stay at home locked on the hard drive... :D

zacker
07-13-2006, 12:26 PM
lol i know the feeling!

What lens was that with?
-zacker-

fadeout
07-13-2006, 12:35 PM
Tom, these are great, I'm especially fond of the first one. Do you mind sharing some information on how you shot this and what type of light you had?

Dave

TomNanos
07-13-2006, 12:47 PM
What lens was that with?

Both taken with a Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8 EX DC on a Canon 20D. I sold my Canon 28-135mm IS for it. Didn't regret it one bit. The Sigma is heads and shoulders above the 28-135, even with IS. Plus the 28mm was too narrow for me on the 1.6x body. Needed something wider and not too expensive (kids have a way of killing the photo budget! :D). The Sigma fit the bill.



Tom, these are great, I'm especially fond of the first one. Do you mind sharing some information on how you shot this and what type of light you had?
Here's the info from the EXIF (available if you click the image - it brings you to my site with all the EXIF info):

ISO 100
f/8
53 seconds
29mm focal length

I simply put it on the tripod, framed it, and opened the shutter. Figured the exposure time off the top of my head. I figured between 50 and 60 seconds would do it. My calculations (or lack thereof) were close - I only had to boost the exposure a half stop or so in post (a plus of RAW shooting). Probably could have left the shutter open another 10 seconds or so. Lighting was 100% ambient light. I had to adjust the white balance in post (another advantage of shooting RAW) because the yard lights are all sodium vapor lights. I really wanted to do this because I knew they shut the engines down overnight, and they, especially the second unit - an SD40, would throw some smoke when they were warming up. That coupled with the cool air (maybe around 50* F) and slight and steady breeze gave me those cool exhaust plumes. I do have another one, more head on of the consist, where you can see a slight bit of a fireball the third unit spit out of it's stack when the engineer fired it up, but it's ever so subtle. GEs are notorious for spitting fire.

Let me know if you'd like any more info...

Thanks
Tom

convergent
07-13-2006, 01:00 PM
OK, that second shot is unbelievable. I actually got a little dizzy looking at it it was so real. The contrast of the incredible sharpness of the railing, with the blur of the pan and moving train pulls you in.

How did you post process that image... specifically, what sharpening did you do to it? I struggle sometimes with USM in this type of shot.

stoneylonesome
07-13-2006, 01:03 PM
Wonderful shots, like zacker said the lighting on the first is terrific. The second one, I swear if you stare at it you'll actually feel like you are moving. :)

TomNanos
07-13-2006, 01:23 PM
OK, that second shot is unbelievable. I actually got a little dizzy looking at it it was so real. The contrast of the incredible sharpness of the railing, with the blur of the pan and moving train pulls you in.

How did you post process that image... specifically, what sharpening did you do to it? I struggle sometimes with USM in this type of shot.
Thanks Mike! You should see the 11x17...get your Drammamine ready... :D

Sharpening was only a touch of USM. I think it was 200%, .3, 0. Otherwise, I think I only adjusted white balance (yard lights again, even though we were a good 1/4 mile from the yard), and brought the exposure up a tad. I think this one I did all my post in Photoshop, and gave it a touch of Fred Miranda's Velvia Vision to give the colors a bit more pop - they were kinda dull with the early pre-dawn mixed with artificial light. As for figuring out what to use on USM's settings - I just do a bit of trial and error. I usually start at the 200-.3-0 and adjust the percentage up or down, depending on taste and final output (print or web).

No panning was involved. The train I was on was moving backwards at about 5MPH, and the other was heading in the opposite direction at about 15MPH. That's why the other train is more blurred than the tracks in front of us.


Wonderful shots, like zacker said the lighting on the first is terrific. The second one, I swear if you stare at it you'll actually feel like you are moving. :)
Thanks! Too bad Trains Magazine didn't feel the same way. It didn't even place in their capturing movement photo contest last year. Oh, well....

-Tom

Orgnoi1
07-13-2006, 02:30 PM
Too bad Trains Magazine didn't feel the same way. It didn't even place in their capturing movement photo contest last year. Oh, well....

-Tom

I dont see any movement in there at all...LOL:rolleyes: :rolleyes:

convergent
07-13-2006, 02:45 PM
OK, I had to go get some more medication for my motion sickness... just kidding, but that image is the first one I've ever seen that continually makes me dizzy everytime I look at it. Amazing work.

So, here's another question. How did you secure the camera? The rail and body of the train you are on is so sharp... and I know that trains aren't exactly smooth running machines.

TomNanos
07-13-2006, 02:45 PM
Yeah, they probably thought it was out of focus! :eek:

TomNanos
07-13-2006, 02:52 PM
OK, I had to go get some more medication for my motion sickness... just kidding, but that image is the first one I've ever seen that continually makes me dizzy everytime I look at it. Amazing work.

So, here's another question. How did you secure the camera? The rail and body of the train you are on is so sharp... and I know that trains aren't exactly smooth running machines.
Thanks!

I was sitting in the fireman's seat, had the tripod in front of me set up about chest high while seated (2' or so off the deck), and had my hand on the camera pressing gently down. This acted kind of like a shock absorber, and kept everything moving with the locomotive. That's what kept the deck & rails sharp - no aparent movement with respect to them. I also made sure I swayed with the locomotive, and wasn't too stiff, otherwise my hand would have tugged the entire rig around. Took a bit of practice. Like I said, I've got 15 or so pieces of crap prior to that as we were getting the train together in the yard. :D