Derry, Snow and a Tricky Exposure.

The other morning I arrived in Derry, Northern Ireland with an aim to photograph NI Railways from the Peace Bridge over the Foyle.

Snow covered the distant hills while areas at right were deep in shadow. Complicating matters were clouds rolling across the morning sky, and NI Railway’s silver trains with bright yellow fronts, and reflective river waters to the left that were rapidly alternating from light to dark as clouds passed over.

Rapidly changing lighting conditions combined with these exposure extremes left me with few options to produce an ideal exposure.

If I set my Lumix in manual (M) mode, I risked getting the exposure completely wrong at the moment the train entered the optimal place in the scene.

However by using the aperture-priority (A) mode, I found the camera’s preset metering tended to over expose the snow and train.

On my second attempt, I used the aperture-priority mode with a manual override to dial down 1/3 of stop, which compensated for the dark areas in the scene while doing a better job of retaining highlight detail.

My first attempt: a trailing view of a Belfast-bound NI Railways CAF train-set. The light was changing as the train passed through the scene. I found that the camera set in ‘A’ mode resulted in clipped highlights. While this was less than ideal, I was able to adjust the exposure in post processing using Lightroom.
This is my second attempt. A Derry-bound train is rolling toward me. I’ve dialed down the exposure by 1/3 of a stop to compensate for the bright yellow nose on the train, the bright sky and the snow covered hills in the distance. There was about 40 minutes between these two views. Both exposed using my Lumix LX7.

So, I wonder how my colour slides from the same place will look?

 

Tracking the Light posts Daily.