Ok here’s the story: so as part of Dublin’s Cross City Extension, new extra long Citadis 502 trams were ordered from Alstom. These have nine-sections and are claimed to be among the longest trams in the world to date.
I knew that.
Mark Healy and I had discussed this on the day the photo was made.
We were out to photograph the new LUAS Cross City line.
Then I needed to visit the Bank of Ireland, and run a few errands. It had clouded over the light was flat and dull.
On the way back into the Dublin City center I saw an out of service tram on Parnell Street so, having the Lumix handy I made a few photos as it passed.
Not being up on the new tram numbering, or paying that close attention to it, I though very little of this photo.
It didn’t even make my initial cut.
I wasn’t going to show it on Tracking the Light.
A couple of days later Mark phone to let me know that somehow we’d missed one of the pioneer trials with the new longer trams.
‘Oh?’ I said. ‘What’s the number of the tram in question?’
‘You know, I think I have that.’
Afterwards I looked back through my photos from the day, and here it is! (I blame jet lag).
Now, I warned you that you weren’t going to believe me!
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’.
In October, Ireland doesn’t normally experience whole hillsides of brilliant red and orange autumnal foliage like in eastern North America, but the trees do get a bit rusty, and when the sun comes out it offers a pleasant mix softened pastels and bright colors.
On October 10, 2010, I was on my way over to Wexford Street for an Irish friend’s farewell party, when I exposed this sequence of images on James’s Street. It shows a LUAS Red Line tram taking the corner on its way to the Red Cow from the city center. I was using my Canon EOS 7D with 28-135mm lens. The yellow tinged trees and hazy sun is characteristic of Autumn in Dublin, when it’s not raining. The LUAS Red Line just recently celebrated its 9th birthday, having opened for traffic in September 2004.
My YouTube Video, ‘A Tram Called LUAS‘ has received more than 4000 views. If you haven’t seen it, take a look! Please give me a ‘thumbs up/like’ if you enjoy it. Thanks!
Practice panning. I’ve found this increases the ratio of success. Trams are good subjects for practicing. They come by a frequently and at regular intervals. They operate in urban environments with interesting backgrounds. If one set of pans isn’t satisfactory, no problem, there’ll be another tram along shortly. Also, trams tend to be double-ended, allowing opportunities for panning coming and going.
Dublin is blessed with a modern tram system. The LUAS is well suited (and aptly named— translated from the Irish roughly means ‘speed’) for panning. LUAS Citadis trams built are by Alstom, and are a standard European model. I find these reasonably photogenic, so far as trams go and they glide along smoothly. Over the years I’ve made a variety of LUAS pans. I exposed this pair of tram pans yesterday afternoon (February 18, 2013) along Dublin’s Benburb Street using my Canon 7D fitted with 40mm Pancake lens (which as result of the 7D’s smaller sensor size provides a 35mm film camera equivalent of about 60mm lens)
Here’s a few tips for making clean pan photos:
1) Use a 50mm lens or short telephoto. (Making pan photos with wide-angles and long telephotos is much more difficult)
2) Manually select a shutter speed between 1/15th and 1/60th of a second. (the longer the shutter is open, the greater the effect of blurring, but the harder it is to obtain a clean pan).
3) Make a series of experimental photos to practice the panning motion.
4) Pan by pivoting the entire body.
5) Pick a point in the frame to line up with the subject; try to hold the subject to that point during the entire pan.
6) Begin panning well before the subject is photographed and plan to continue panning until well after the shutter is released. Don’t stop suddenly.
7) If using an SLR/DSLR, plan on making a single frame and not a series of motor drive exposures. (The mirror flapping up and down is distracting and may simply result in a series of badly blurred images instead of a single sharp one).
8) Pay careful attention to the background and how it relates to your subject.
9) Repeat steps 1 to 8 as often as is practicable.
I’ll divulge a few more panning tricks in a later post.