Twice over the last 24 hours, LUAS tram 4012 has caught my attention. This wears the latest of recent advertising liveries.
The red lettering helps makes for more interesting photos, although the lighting was pretty poor. I’ve had to make a variety of contrast adjustments in LightRoom to put a bit of zest into otherwise flat street photos. Silver trams on a dull day.
My opportunities to photograph 4012 are relatively limited. Maybe the sun will shine tomorrow, but then again if doesn’t I have my ‘safety shots’.
To make a dramatic glint light image, it’s important to retain highlight detail, even if this results in opaque shadows. With the Lumix, I use the ‘A’ mode (aperture priority) and then manually stop down ‘underexpose’ the image in order to keep the highlight density where I want it.
If I didn’t override the camera meter, the Lumix would attempt to balance the lighting by brightening the shadow areas and the result would cause the glinting tram to be overexposed (too bright).
Alternatively, I could set the camera manually, but I find in a rapidly changing setting of a city street, I can get a more effective exposure by letting the camera do some of the work.
Back in the old days, I’d have used Kodachrome 25 slide film, which had an excellent ability to retain highlight and shadow detail. To calculate my exposure I use my hand held light meter.
Tracking the Light posts new material every morning.
For several days in a row it was clear, warm, sunny and bright in Dublin. In summer? Who would have thought? Walking around the city center one Friday afternoon, I made a point of trying to make some more photos of the pair of advertising trams prowling the LUAS Red Line.
After following the line on foot from Heuston Station, I slipped into a trackside café on Abbey Street for a late lunch. Here I sat by the window to keep an eye on things while I ate. The first of two trams glided westward shortly after my arrival, so I exposed some interpretive photos from inside the café.
As I was paying my bill, the second one passed in the opposite direction. This was easy enough to catch on foot, because it has to stop at the traffic lights before crossing O’Connell Street. The tram was destined for ‘The Point’ in Dublin’s docklands, and I estimated it would be about 20-25 minutes before it returned on its outward (westbound) trip.
I walked further, looking for an ideal place to catch it, finally deciding on the reverse curves near Busáras (Dublin’s central bus station) that I felt would best show the tram’s colors in a distinctive location.
Years ago, I noticed that in mid-April the evening sun floods Abbey Street in Dublin with low warm bright light. This only lasts for a few weeks. During the winter, the street is largely shadowed and in summer the evening sun swings too far to the north.
The other day, I walked along the LUAS Red Line on my way into the City Centre. Where Abbey Street crosses Capel Street there’s a bit of jog in the tracks which allows for an interesting perspective with a telephoto lens.
In past years, I’ve worked this spot with some really long lenses. However on this occasion I took a more conservative approach, choosing my Canon 100mm.
It was a Friday evening so there were lots of people on the street and outbound trams were full with passengers heading home.