Sunset Under the Shed at Heuston Station, Dublin.

September 20, 2014.

There’s only a few days during the year when the setting sun pierces deep into the darkness of the train shed at Heuston Station.

On the evening of September 20th, I made this image using my Lumix LX7 of the 7pm departure to Cork.

I had my camera set using the ‘A’ aperture priority mode, which automatically selects a shutter speed based on my manual selection of an f-stop. To compensate for the extreme contrast between the darkness shed roof and bright sunlight, I used the manual exposure over-ride to stop down (underexpose). This was necessary if the in-camera meter tries balances the scene it would have led to a total loss of highlight detail.

ISO 80 f2.8 1/80th of a second. RAW file manually adjusted to control contrast and exported as a scaled  Jpg for internet presentation.
ISO 80 f2.8 1/80th of a second. RAW file manually adjusted to control contrast and exported as a scaled Jpg for internet presentation.

An alternative means to select the exposure, would have been to use the camera in ‘M’ mode and manually select both shutter speed and F-stop, but in this situation that would have taken too much time.

I had only a few moments to catch the Station Inspector with his arm raised to give the train the signal to depart.

To make the most of the information captured in this instant, I worked with the RAW file to make some contrast adjustments in post-processing. Using Photoshop, I adjusted contrast locally in highlight areas, while making some over all adjustments to the scene to best portray what I’d seen with my eye.

I wanted to retain the glint effect on the underside of the shed roof while making sure the relatively small silhouette of the Station Inspector wasn’t lost in the direct glow of sunlight.

After making my adjustments I export the file as a Jpg and then scaled this for internet presentation. The camera RAW file is 12.MB, much too large for presentation here, while my scaled image is just 737KB.

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