Perched high in a 13thcentury stone tower on the Oberwesel city wall, I made this photograph of a container boat navigating up river on the Rhein as a northward freight of GATX tank cars rolls by behind a Bombardier Traxx electric.
The combination of two very busy railways, a busy water way and a medieval town set in a supremely picturesque setting make Oberwesel, Germany among my favorite places to photograph trains.
On this visit the pesky fluffy clouds tended to stay out of the way of the sun, which had been an annoyance on previous visits.
In the course of just a few hours, I exposed weeks worth of photographs. Although this view minimizes the wall itself, I made plenty of photographs of Oberwesel and its architecture.
Light makes all the difference. The current livery used by Brussels trams is silver and bronze. This tends to look sedate on dull days, and makes photographing the trams challenging, as they too readily blend in with the city’s architecture.
However, this silvery livery catches the sun nicely, especially when slightly backlit.
Exposure isn’t exactly intuitive.
Are you better to overexpose (allow more light) to capture detail in the deepest shadows and risk blowing out the silvery highlights? Or, instead, underexpose slight to retain highlight detail and let the shadows go dark.
I’ve chosen the latter course. With the caveat, that from the moment of exposure I intended to work the digital files in post-processing using Lightroom to control contrast for final presentation.
I’ve treated each of the files slightly differently, but in general, I’ve reduced the highlight exposure and boosted the shadow areas to allow for a more pleasing rendition.
The Right Bank of the Rhein is a busy freight corridor. Trains run in waves, and often follow each other several minutes apart on their north-south journey across Germany.
Kaub station sits wedged into a hillside with a castle above, and a sweeping curve to the south. In the afternoon, the sun swings around, which makes it a great place to photograph trains on the move.
Bombardier’s TRAXX locomotives family includes several classes of electrics. While the DB red class 185s may seen repetitive, open access operations make for a bit of variety. It seems that there’s always another freight working its way up or down the Rhein Valley. And this provides an opportunity to refine photographic angles and technique.
I made this selection using my FujiFilm X-T1 digital camera.