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

Started Dec 1, 2013 | Discussions thread
OP GeorgianBay1939 Senior Member • Posts: 3,899
Re: Was never going to work .....

Doug Brown wrote:

That shot was never going to work.

Good challenge though.    I didn't want the train.  I wanted the lights ( and maybe a bit of snow and track to give context).   And that is what screwed me and the AE up.   I thought, so did the camera, that we were capturing the TRAIN.   Can't do that.  Only the specular lights and a bit of reflective snow/rails.

Part of this issue is knowing what I am actually photographing.   Yes, always the light but in this case it REALLY WAS the light(S).

At most if you had cranked the ISO to ridiculous levels you might have been able to expose for the bright lighting on the train, but that would have left you trying to lift the shadows in post and a horrible noisy mess.

I had the ISO too high as it was.  I should have dropped it to base 200.

I had the camera in A(perture) priority which caused the metering to push the EV to 7.5.  That led  to a shutter speed of 1/6 sec (at wide open f/5.3).   If I had shot in M(anual) at f/2.8, 1/250s, ISO 200 I think that I would've had a workable RAW file.   No motion blur, no blown highlights, enough DR (>11 stops) to pull that snow and rail out of the read noise in Lightroom.

Maybe you didn't read Paul Hogan's preliminary analysis in my first post ... this, more vividly, illustrates the point of dropping to base ISO to get DR:

GX7:  Photographic DR as a function of ISOspeed (lose 3 stops of DR going from base to ISO 3200)

Click "Measurements" here: http://www.dxomark.com/Cameras/Panasonic/Lumix-DMC-GX7

Some things just don't photograph.

I am going to try again next year.  MAYBE with a tripod, probably with my lil 20mmf/1.7 attached to the GX7.   In the meantime I am going to learn a bit more about shooting in the dark (with my spot meter so I can get an idea of how far out AE really is when averaging to produce 18% gray.)

If it makes you feel better, I was freezing my @ss off shooting the CP Christmas Train concert with Great Big Sea and Natalie MacMaster in Hamilton last night.

It doesn't make me feel any better.  I froze my @ss off and didn't even enjoy a concert!!!  

All the media were stuck on a raised platform back by the sound board, and to begin the show the organizers brought the Christmas Train in slowly along these rail tracks beside the venue (Gage Park).

Everyone in the media blew that shot completely, and it wasn't moving anywhere near as fast as your attempt.

What?   They may have been in some form of Auto Exposure depending on their metering to control their exposures.

Dark train, no supplemental lighting on the train or surroundings, motion blur, epic fail.

Depends on what you want.  I didn't want the train.   I just wanted the lights (and a bit of snow.)

We all walked up and shot it with long exposures after the show instead.

And that would be the only way that you could get the TRAIN itself ... ie when it was stopped.

Unless you were an Ogle Winston Link , of course!  (What kind of name is that for parents to saddle a kid with, eh?)


Douglas Brown

Thanks for your comments.  We are sending some snow down your way, just passing the gift along from the Canuck prairies.


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