Old Experiment In Outdoor Photography

Discussion in 'Photos & Videos' started by CharlesH., Jan 19, 2006.

  1. CharlesH.

    CharlesH. Member

    A few months ago I had a few extra pictures left on the camera from a school project so I decided to put them to good use in a little experiment. I wanted to do some outdoor model photography (which I hadn't attempted in years) so I took the camera, tripod, diorama and one locomotive up the roof to get some nice clear sky.
    I really wanted to have some cotton "smoke" therein but the wind always blew it off right when I was about to open the shutter....



    Critiques and comments are welcome.
  2. sirhb

    sirhb New Member

    Looks great to me!
  3. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    Looks good. Sunlight always helps to add to the realism, too. I also like the telegraph wires.

  4. RailRon

    RailRon Active Member

    You asked for critique - well, here it is... :D :D :D

    Photographing in plain sunlight sounds good, but it isn't that easy. The problem is that the contrast between the lighted and the shadowed parts is too harsh. You see this effect clearly in the first picture: The scene is only slightly backlighted - the sun shines almost from above - and presto, the details below the running board are disappearing in a black lump.

    Now I don't know - perhaps you wanted to get exactly this effect of an extremely harsh contrast. If not, it can help to use a fill-in flash, or, if the sun is shining towards you, to place a white panel (notebook-sized cardboard, handkerchief...) beside the camera, which reflects some light onto the shadowed parts. In photo and movie sets they use white umbrellas or even huge panels to accomplish the same effect. For our small objects a hanky is more than sufficient.
    On the other side, your modeling is excellent and I like the composition of the picture. The wires are great! (What did you use for them? :thumb: )

    IMHO, the second picture is overexposed. Here the bright areas (boiler top, track ballast) are 'washed out', so that this time details are lost in white. On the other side, here the dark details of the running gear can be clearly seen.
    While you can improve softwarewise on digital photographs which are too dark, it is almost impossible to regain lost details in overexposed parts.

    I know, it is easier to critizise than to do better, I just wanted to point out an easy possibility for an enhancement of the picture. And be assured, I don't want to belittle your work in any way. Your modeling is great, Charles, and please, show us more of it. Your diorama must be really interesting, judging from the telegraph line and the car in the second picture. There must be more... :D :thumb:

  5. CharlesH.

    CharlesH. Member

    Thanks for the comments folks!

    Ron - I have never tried using fill-in flash on out door photography, but it sounds like it may have an interesting effect. (Although I do like the heavy contrast)

    The wire on the poles is the one that comes with the Walthers pole kit, firmly tied. And as for the diorama, it's nothing but a 23 x 8 inch board with some very basic scenery. I use it for photographing rolling stock in a "neutral" environment.
  6. RailRon

    RailRon Active Member

    Charles, in this case you have chosen a most interesting perspective, because the picture looks as if there was a whole world to discover behind that train. Very well done! :thumb: :thumb: :thumb:


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