Making Sunrise—CSX near Palmer, Massachusetts.

Since 1986, the interlocking east of Palmer at the east-end of the dispatcher’s controlled siding has been known on the railroad as ‘CP79’ which describes it as a ‘control point (remote control power switches and signals) 79-miles west of Boston’.

Friday, morning (June 22, 2017), I anticipated a westward freight just after sunrise, and set up looking across the farmer’s field west of CP79, looking toward the rising sun.

Working with an external graduated neutral density filter, I carefully exposed a sequence of photos, including pictures with the train. Then working with the camera RAW files in Lightroom, I manipulated contrast, exposure, color temperature and color balance, to make for better balanced more pleasing photos.

With extreme lighting conditions I find that post processing is a necessary, if tedious, part of the photographic process.

Below are my results.

Here’s the equipment: FujiFilm X-T1 digital camera with 18-135mm Fujinon zoom lens. It is fitted with an externally mounted Lee 0.9 graduated neutral density filter with an aftermarket filter holder. I can rotate the filter left or right, and adjust it up and down in order to meet my specific requirements. The 0.9 filter works out to be about 1 full stop at its darkest.
In anticipation of the westward CSX train, I made a series of photos to show changes in the lighting. The interesting part of the scene is also the most difficult part to make a acceptable exposure.
Changing lighting conditions makes for added challenges.
CSX Q009 rolls west toward Palmer, Massachusetts.

Tracking the Light Posts Every Day.

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