I paid a visit to the Ontario Midland at Sodus, New York on a windy October day in 1987.
The sky was a tumble with autumnal clouds blowing off Lake Ontario with occasional patches of blue sky.
I made this view on Kodachrome 25 slide film with my Leica M2 and 50mm Summicron.
I’d missed a wink sun on the Alco RS-11 by a few moments.
I wonder why I didn’t wait a little while to see if it would have come out again?
Below are three versions of the photo. The first is my uncorrected scan, the second and third are variation with corrections to exposure, contrast, saturation and color balance implemented with Adobe Lightroom.
On August 13, 1994, I traveled with Mike Danneman to the Mississippi River. At East Dubuque, Illinois we caught up with a Chicago Central & Pacific coal train working eastbound on the old Illinois Central.
Mike was familiar with the territory and after making a few photos on the joint Burlington Northern-CC&P line, we drove to Galena to catch the train working up grade out of the Mississippi Valley.
The weather was less than ideal; a ‘heavy’ summer’ afternoon—hot humid and overcast.
Working with my Nikon F3T and f4 200mm lens, I made this view of the train crawling by the old Illinois Central station.
As previously described on Tracking the Light, Kodachrome 25 slide film had a cyan to red color bias (cyan when fresh, red when aged).
To correct for the cyan tint and adjust contrast, I imported the scan into Adobe Lightroom for a few nominal corrections. Below are scaled Jpgs from both the uncorrected and corrected files.
It was on a misty May 2009 morning that I exposed this Fujichrome slide of a tram in the village of Bad Schandau in Germany’s Elbe River Valley.
This was just a few months before I purchased my first digital camera and when I still exposing lots of color slide film.
Yesterday I scanned this slide using an Epson V750 scanner and then processed the file using Lightroom.
Below are two Lightroom Jpgs. The top is uncorrected, the bottom reflects digital tidying up for internet presentation.
Specifically, I adjusted the gamma for better contrast by putting the darkest regions at the toe of the curve (far left) and moving the highlights to the top of the curve (far right) while increasing contrast in the middle range. I reduced the amount of magenta and increased the yellow for better color balance, and applied a small degree of digital sharpening for edge effect. (This doesn’t actually make the photo sharper, but it looks sharper on screen). Lastly, I made a nominal correction for level by slightly rotating the image (which crops it).
The other evening I exposed this trailing view of Conway Scenic’s RDC number 23, Millienear Glen-Jackson on its evening run up to Attiash .
On of the best kept secrets among Conway’s scheduled trains are its RDC runs for Attitash that depart North Conway on select evenings at 6pm.
I like the RDC, a typical Budd Car, that was common to New England passenger services when I was growing up in the 1970s and early 1980s.
For this photo, I was working with a FujiFilm XT1 with 90mm prime telephoto. The camera color profile was set to Velvia (see photo above), but ultimately I worked with the camera-RAW file in Lightroom to adjust color temperature, contrast and saturation (see photo below).
Working with Kodachrome 25, I exposed this view of a Conrail local freight on the Water Level Route at Dunkirk, New York on March 10, 1989.
Although Kodachrome was among my favorite films, it was by no means perfect. The film tended to be unusually sensitive to aging and temperature which could affect its color balance and overall color bias.
When it was too fresh from the manufacturer the film tended toward a cyan (blue-green) bias; as it aged and/or endured storage in hot environments the film shifted toward a red/magenta bias.
This slide suffers from a cyan bias, so I made some nominal corrections using Lightroom to better balance the color for a daylight setting.
I’m not using a perfectly calibrated computer screen, so my adjustments are still less than perfect, but I feel these restore the scene to more or less how it looked to my eye on the day.
Since everyone viewing this image will see it on different screens and with different eyes, and because it is impossible to know how each screen is biased, I cannot know if my corrections will improve the image for the individual viewer or not. Such are the challenges with color photography! There is no one correct answer.