New England Central 3850 and Lumix LX7 Color Profiles

Palmer, October 20, 2014.

It’s been nearly 20 years since New England Central assumed operations from Central Vermont.

In that time New England Central has had three owners. Originally a RailTex property, it was owned by RailAmerica for more than a dozen years and now is a Genesee & Wyoming railroad.

Despite that, a few of its original GP38s remain painted in the blue and yellow scheme introduced when the railroad began operations in February 1995.

NECR 3850 was working job 603 in Palmer and paused for a minute on the interchange track. Although I’ve photographed this old goat dozens of times in the last two decades, I opted to make a series of images with my Lumix LX7 to demonstrate the different color profiles (color ‘styles’) built into the camera.

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, one of the great compositional tools available with the Lumix LX7 (and other cameras too) is the ability to quickly change from one color profile to another (including black & white modes).

Although, it is easy enough to adjust and alter color in post processing, I find it is useful to be able to compose a scene on-site knowing how the camera will react to color and contrast.

Below are a sequence of similar images of 3850 using different built-in color profiles. I’ve adjusted the B&W ‘monochrome’ profile in-camera to better suit my personal taste.

Image 1—Lumix 'Vivid' color profile.
Image 1—Lumix ‘Vivid’ color profile.
Image 2: Lumix 'Natural' color profile.
Image 2—Lumix ‘Natural’ color profile. Please note that term ‘Natural’ is purely subjective and does not infer any unusual treatment as compared with the other profiles. In other words ‘natural’ is just a name.
Image 3—'Scenery' Lumix color profile.
Image 3—’Scenery’ Lumix color profile.
Image 4—'Monochrome' Lumix color profile.
Image 4—’Monochrome’ Lumix color profile.
Image 5 'High Dynamic Range' setting. (this blends three images exposed automatic in rapid succession).
Image 5 ‘High Dynamic Range’ setting. (this blends three images exposed automatically in rapid succession. Fine for static scenes, but not practical for moving trains).

Which of the photos do you like the best?

Of course every computer display has its own way of interpreting color and contrast. Compare these images on different screens and see how they change.

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Tomorrow: a colorful GP38 in Missouri!


One comment on “New England Central 3850 and Lumix LX7 Color Profiles

  1. Brian Jennison on said:

    I guess I like the first photo the best. It is good for the orange tree in the background, and the blue on the locomotive looks good to me as well. Number two seems “washed-out,” or flat. Same story on Number five. Number three is nice also. Vivid vs. scenery… I guess either will work when the scenery is vivid…

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