Once in a year opportunity : ) .... messed up. : (

Started Dec 1, 2013 | Discussions thread
bruxi
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Re: Once in a year opportunity : ) .... messed up. : (
In reply to GeorgianBay1939, Dec 2, 2013

Moti wrote:

You did a remarkable job in analysing almost every point that lead you to fail a desired shot. It is nice to be able to find out what went wrong after the shoot but it is much nicer to think about these things beforehand and to be able to come home with a good photo.

Tha main reason for that is that you have a broad knoledge about almost every technical aspect related to cameras which is great, but you don't think as a photographer. Let me just give you two examples.

Biggest mistake, you didn't plan anything in advance. You didn't even define your subject. Is it the train? Is it only the lighting? So you go on a challenging mission without any planning, hoping that your technical knoledge will help you, well it didn't. As a former pilot you know that you go nowhere without a flight plan, same goes for a photography mission.

Another example, every photographer knows that on a challenging night mission, you always start with your best and fastest lens if you have it with you, and you had it. This is something you do automatically, without even thinking. Using your 35-100 at f2.8 would have given you a shutter speed of 1/24 instead of 1/6 which could have been the difference between fail and success.

That would have still blown the highlights of the coloured lights.   That is why I would reduce the exposure by several more stops, EV*.   (see calculation in the first post.)

The blowing/clipping of those coloured lights could've been minimized further by decreasing ISO to base 200.    That would have left plenty of DR to lift the snow and rails out of their darkness.

*In short, the image is horribly OVEREXPOSED, (using the proper definition of exposure)

As I mentioned above, you really have an excellent technical knoledge which is important but is not everything. There is much more into photography than figures, formulas and charts and thes other things are not less important to the success of good photography but somehow, they seem to be a bit neglected in these forums.

Cheers

Moti

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Thank you.

Your most helpful advice was this:

You didn't even define your subject. Is it the train? Is it only the lighting?

Almost all of my photography is unplanned.   I tend to make photographs of what I see as opportunities arise and try to set the camera up in a way that will optimally capture the file.  That is why I work hard at knowing the technicalities of the gear.

Usually I see something interesting and I photograph it with the technicalities in the background.  I didn't have much time the other night and the results show it.  I screwed up the technicalities.

So I did what I normally do, figure out why it was such a mess.  I learn from that stuff.  Who knows? I might see some moving lights some night in the future ... I'll know better how to capture it.

Cheers,

Tom

I think you're too hung up on some things. Unless that train is moving at 5 km/hr, your priority is fast shutter. You have to boost ISO to get a fast shutter and get anything near sharp. It would also be nice to close down the aperture so you have more than 10 feet of lights in focus. Get those things right in camera and then adjust for exposure and increase DR by tweaking the raw file in LR. Also consider shooting a layer on a tripod at longer shutter before the train shows up and dropping that in later in post.

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