Westport Sunset.

Five images of Metro-North on January 10, 2015.

Long ago I noticed that the curve of the line and angle of the winter setting sun at Westport, Connecticut can make for some nice glint light.

It helps to have a very cold day with a clear sky above. New York City produces ample pollution to give the evening light a rosy tint.

Although I’ve found that glint photos tend to look more effective on slide film, I made these digitally. I also exposed a few slides, but we’ll need to wait to see the results.

Canon EOS 7D with 200mm lens. ISO 200, f4.5 at 1/640th of a second. White balance set at daylight.
Canon EOS 7D with 200mm lens. ISO 200, f4.5 at 1/640th of a second. White balance set at daylight. This front lit exposure made for my gauging point for the back lit ‘glint’ photo of the train departing the station. (Below).
Here I need to stop down about a full stop from the head on view. The metallic sides of the Metro-North multiple unit reflected more light than initially anticipated and I needed to compensate on the spot by using my in camera meter to gauge the lighting. The trick is not to over do it. If I stopped down too much, I'll lose shadow detail and the image will appear too dark. Canon EOS 7D with 200mm lens. ISO 200, f5.6 at 1//1000th of a second. White balance set at daylight.
Here I need to stop down about a full stop from the head on view (above). The metallic sides of the Metro-North multiple unit reflected more light than I initially anticipated and I needed to compensate on the spot by using my in camera meter to gauge the lighting. The trick is not to over do it. If I stopped down too much, I’ll lose shadow detail and the image will appear too dark. Canon EOS 7D with 200mm lens. ISO 200, f5.6 at 1//1000th of a second. White balance set at daylight.
The front lit sign at Westport made for a good place to make a test exposure. Canon EOS 7D with 200mm lens. ISO 200, f4.0 at 1/640th of a second. White balance set at daylight.
The front lit sign at Westport made for a good place to make a test exposure. Canon EOS 7D with 200mm lens. ISO 200, f4.0 at 1/640th of a second. White balance set at daylight.
Canon EOS 7D with 200mm lens. ISO 200, f3.5 at 1/640th of a second. White balance set at daylight.
Canon EOS 7D with 200mm lens. ISO 200, f3.5 at 1/640th of a second. White balance set at daylight. Here I’ve opened up about a third of a stop compared with the original test photo (Westport sign). I changed the aperture setting manually from f4.0 to f3.5 let more light reach the sensor; I was using the camera in ‘M’ mode, which allowed me to set both aperture and shutter speed manually, without the camera making any adjustments. This is important for getting well exposed glint photos.
The glinting sides of the old grime coated multiple unit are slightly less reflective than the newer cleaner train. Also the angle of the sun is lower. By fixing the white balance at the daylight setting, I can retain the rosy sunset coloration. If I'd used the auto setting, this would have canceled some of the effect of sunset, and I don't really want to do that.
The glinting sides of the old grime coated multiple unit are slightly less reflective than the newer cleaner train. Also the angle of the sun is lower. By fixing the white balance at the daylight setting, I can retain the rosy sunset coloration. If I’d used the auto setting, this would have canceled some of the effect of sunset, and I don’t really want to do that. Canon EOS 7D with 200mm lens. ISO 200, f4.0 at 1/640th of a second. White balance set at daylight.

Exposing for glint takes a bit of practice. My general rule of thumb is that the exposure for a front lit photo is approximately the same as glint at the same location. However, if a a reflective surface kicks back the sun, it will be necessary to stop down a little (probably a half to a full stop).

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