Trackside with Erik and Mike, Vol. 11: July 12, 2004

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Trackside with Erik and Mike, Vol. 11: July 12, 2004

  • In our online feature, Trackside with Erik and Mike, staff members Erik Bergstrom and Mike Yuhas go trackside and share their results with you. In each installment, we’ll include let our users vote on who got the best shot. Read this week’s installment.

    Please vote for which photo you feel is better and then share your comments below.
    Erik Bergstrom
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  • I like photo 2 because it has more light in the overall composition and brings out the detail on the engines better.

    Mike Chapmon
  • While I agree with Mike's analysis of the engine detail, unfortunately some color saturation and detail is lost in the overall image. Personally, I think Photo 2 is better, but the best would have been somewhere around halfway between the two. This is never easy to set up on site because if you use an automatic mode, the camera bases its exposure on a balance of light and dark to attempt to make white White.

    Picture 2 appears to be shot as the camera would have analyzed in full auto, which gives good saturation and detail, but because the sunlight is essentially in front of the camera, it loses locomotive detail in shadow.

    Picture 1 brings out the detail on the locomotive, but unfortunately overexposes the photo, thus washing out color and giving the entire image a faded look.

    Given these two images to run through post-processing, I would take Photo 2 and attempt to lighten it slightly either with Levels or, considering RAW format, lower the f-stop by about 1/2 stop using Canon's RAW editor.
  • Photo 1. It is all about composition. It may be a hair over exposed but the train is better framed, there is no distracting element on the left (like in 2) and the curve of the changing grade is more apparent and give a better sense of scale and length of the train.
  • Photo 2. The whole picture seems to be in a better balance between light and shade. In the first picture you think the train eats up the entire light with the consequence that a lot details got lost.
  • Gotta go with number 2, for the same reasons as vulpine and kuschi.

  • I selected 2 for the previously noted better overall exposure, and for the slight change in viewing angle that allows us to see the track elevation change. I think this made for a more dynamic picture. I do not find the structure behind the locomotive distracting, any more than the parked car at the left edge of Photo 1. The signal visible in 2 adds to the composition. While 1 is a picture of a train, 2 is a picture of railroading.
  • The reason have been stated elsewhere already. But, I'll mention them again.

    I voted for picture two because the wider angle shot gives a more dramatic overall view of the track grade and allows for a view of the lineside signal. Also, while neither picture is exposed perfectly, If I had to pick on over the other without the benefit of digital manipulation, I would like the slightly over-exposed image over the slightly underexposed image.
  • I voted for number 2. The brighter background won for me..
  • I also liked photo 2, the lighting appeared better. Hope everyone is back in good health on the Trackside team!!
  • I think that Photo 2 looks much better due to the better lighting. If Photo 1 had good lighting like 2 does, I probably would have voted for it instead.
  • Photo 1 was underexposed and photo 2 was a bit overexposed, I chose #2.
  • Exposure in both pictures could have been better. Overall, both were good shots.

    Personally, I liked the composition of #2 better. For reasons mentioned by others (signal in the frame and grade is more obvious), as well as the "greenery" on both sides to break up the long horizon. [8]

    I like seeing some sky in photos (especially deeper blues). However, unless there are clouds, mountains, or something to make it more interesting, 1/3 of the shot is too much sky for my taste. [B)]

    A half step further left and camera turned a few degrees to the right may have shown the signal a little better (in #2), but since I wasn't there, I don't know if that would've been a possibility. As for the "distractions" on the left side... I liked both of them. [:)]

    Thanks for the shots guys.
  • In photo 1 the cars to the left of the engine are a distraction and lighting is not good.

    #2 is it for me. lighting is better and he has more of the train. The hilly nature of the land makes me think of a worm.
  • It was a very hard decision. But I pick number 2. I think it brings more light and on the locomotives you can see more detail.