The real topic is about how to use a wide angle lens when faced with a backlit subject.
Last week, while photographing Conrail Shared Assets freight CA11, Pat Yough and I were faced with finding suitable locations for the northward run. Complicating our challenge was the clear blue sky, which resulted in harsh back lighting at most locations.
Our train had an unusual consist of four diesels, led by one of CSX’s new SD40E3 ‘Eco’ units, but also featured one of Norfolk Southern’d former Conrail SD80MACs (third unit out).
We scoped several locations and ultimately settled on a broadside view near Penns Grove, New Jersey where the railroad crosses Perkintown Road.
To make the most of this setting, I opted to use the large tree by the side of the road as compositional frame, and exposed a series of images with my FujiFilm XT1 fitted with a Zeiss 12mm Tuoit.
This extremely sharp lens allows for exceptional clarity in backlit situations. In post processing I lightened shadows and nominally reduce the contrast to minimize unpleasant qualities associated with back lighting.