California Sunrise—August 2016.

The sinuous alignment of the old Southern Pacific in the Tehachapis is ideally suited to lining up sunrise photographs.

A blanket of airborne particulates filtered the rising sun, softening the light and giving it a luminous golden tint.

In the 1990s, I made many glint photos on Kodachrome. This one I exposed digitally and adjusted contrast in post processing to make for a more pleasing image.

Where K25 slide film would have retained the ring of the sun, now I have to settle for a golden blob of light.

BNSF symbol freight Z-LPKNBY7-05L (priority intermodal train from Logistics Park Kansas City to North Bay, California) catches the glint at Caliente, California. ISO 200 at f20 1/500th of a second.

A key to making an image such as this one is manually setting the aperture to control the amount of light reaching the sensor. I metered manually and ignored the camera’s recommended exposure, which wouldn’t have given me the desired effect.

Since I was preparing a classic silhouette, I wasn’t interested in retaining detail in the shadows, but instead aimed to hold tonality in the sky.

Where my ‘normal’ daylight exposure with ISO 200 is about f8 1/500th of second, for this photo, I closed down the aperture to f20, which made for two and half stops less exposure.

Tracking the Light posts Daily.

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