Golden LUAS on Abbey Street, Dublin

October Glint Light

Dublin’s LUAS Red Line tram route follows an east-west alignment on Abbey Street.

This one of the older streets on Dublin’s North Side. Technically the thoroughfare is comprised of St. Mary’s Abbey Street, Abbey Street Upper, Abbey Street Middle, and Abbey Street Lower.

I’ve often walked this route, which has given me a good idea where the light falls during different times of day and over the course of the year.

On the evening of October 4, 2014, I aimed to make a few glint photos of the trams gliding through the city center.

The silver-sided LUAS Citadis trams reflect the setting sun nicely.

On October 4, 2014, an inbound LUAS tram approaches the intersection with Capel Street. I like the sunset  reflections on the tram and the sides of the buildings. By staying in the shadows, I minimize the effect of flare caused by bright light hitting the front lens element. Lumix LX7.
On October 4, 2014, an inbound LUAS tram approaches the intersection with Capel Street. I like the sunset reflections on the tram and the sides of the buildings. By staying in the shadows, I minimize the effect of flare caused by bright light hitting the front lens element. Lumix LX7.

Using my Lumix LX7, I exposed a series of photos with the sun near the horizon. I used the same exposure technique that I wrote about in my post Sunset Under the Shed at Heuston Station, Dublin [http://wp.me/p2BVuC-2by].

To make a dramatic glint light image, it’s important to retain highlight detail, even if this results in opaque shadows. With the Lumix, I use the ‘A’ mode (aperture priority) and then manually stop down ‘underexpose’ the image in order to keep the highlight density where I want it.

If I didn’t override the camera meter, the Lumix would attempt to balance the lighting by brightening the shadow areas and the result would cause the glinting tram to be overexposed (too bright).

Alternatively, I could set the camera manually, but I find in a rapidly changing setting of a city street, I can get a more effective exposure by letting the camera do some of the work.

An outbound tram catches the sun on St. Mary's Abbey Street. I've used the same exposure technique described above to hold highlight detail on the front of the tram. Lumix LX7 photo.
An outbound tram catches the sun on St. Mary’s Abbey Street. I’ve used the same exposure technique described above to hold highlight detail on the front of the tram. Lumix LX7 photo.
I've chosen a low angle to add a bit of drama. Also, I've allowed the sun in the image which has caused a little bit of flare. In this situation, I feel that the flare works well, and makes for a distinctive image. Lumix LX7 photo.
I’ve chosen a low angle to add a bit of drama. Also, I’ve allowed the sun in the image which has caused a little bit of flare. In this situation, I feel that the flare works well, and makes for a distinctive image. Lumix LX7 photo.

Back in the old days, I’d have used Kodachrome 25 slide film, which had an excellent ability to retain highlight and shadow detail. To calculate my exposure I use my hand held light meter.

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