Tag Archives: #Composition

Black & White Composition-color save.

We had just a few minutes to wait for a Belfast-bound NI Railways train on the Bangor Line at Cultra.

I set my Z7-II to the ‘Carbon’ profile, which allows me to compose the photos in a high-constant, broad-tonality monochrome mode. This records the monochrome settings as a Jpeg, while saving the full color photo as an NEF RAW file.

I learned photography exposing black & white images, so it seems natural to look at black & white interpretations of color scenes. However, in this situation, I’m actually composing photos as black & white images.

For point of comparison, I’ve included both the in-camera JPG (scaled for internet presentation) and a scaled version of the NEF file (scaled as a Jpeg) but without adjustment to alter appearance though changes to exposure, color balance, saturation, contrast, sharpness etc.

Color version of the trailing photo

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Gray Day at Creek Hill Road

The weather was mild and the light was dull when I crossed Willow Road and spotted the headlight of Norfolk Southern’s New Holland Branch freight.

I zipped down the line to Creek Hill Road in Leola, Pa., where I opted for a slightly different angle than the one I posted from this location on Tracking the Light a few days ago.

In these views, I composed photos to include the road.

Also, where in my previous encounters with the New Holland Branch local, locomotives were working back to back on the train. On this day, sequentially numbered GP38-2s were ‘topped and tailed’ (to use a British descriptive phrase). In other words, there were locomotives positioned at both ends of the train.

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Parallel Perspectives

This is not all about the train, nor the railroad.

I purposefully placed Jefferson Drive to de-emphasize Amtrak’s Keystone racing along to the right.

I’ve inserted a bit irony with the placement of the ‘speed limit 35’ sign. The train was gliding along at about 100 mph.

The green grass of summer contrasts nicely with the sky at dusk.

And don’t forget the two railroad boxes alongside the track. At least one of these house equipment for a lineside defect detector.

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By Goves—Take Two.

Yesterday (September 13, 2022) I returned to Goves, where the old Maine Central Mountain Division ducks under Route 302 east of Bartlett, NH, to again photograph Conway Scenic Railroad’s Mountaineer on its westward run to Crawford Notch.

The other day in my Tracking the Light Post, ‘Poles and Wires Conundrum,’ I described my compositional frustrations with this location.

Working with my Nikon Z6 with 24-70mm lens, I selected a slightly lower position that was a bit closer to the tracks.

On this attempt, the Mountaineer had two units and seven cars, which made for a more photogenic train. Also, it was brightly overcast, which helped to minimize the poles and wires, and I opted for a tight crop.

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Is this pole a nuisance?

The other day at White River Junction, Vermont, I made this photo of the Vermont Rail System yard office and GP38 204 using my Lumix LX7.

I like the classic style railroad building and vintage diesel, but I’m not sure about the pole. Would this photo be better without the pole, or does it lend context and relevance to the image?

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339 at 399—Unusual Perspective.

Note: To get the full picture, you will need to view this post on Brian Solomon’s Tracking the Light.

I like to find non-standard angles and unusual perspectives to make common subjects, uncommon.

In April 1989, an Amtrak F40PH leading Amfleet, was about as common as it got.

I’d set up along Conrail’s former New York Central Waterlevel Route at milepost 399, near the School Road grade crossing, east of Batavia, New York.

Working with a Leica M2 with 200mm Telyt prime telephoto attached using a Leica Visoflex and fixed to a Bogen 3021 tripod, I selected a rail-level view.

My angle deliberately forces the eye away from the primary subject. Why do this? The bright Amtrak train already dominates the scene, so by forcing the eye downward it makes for an unusual angle that better captures your attention.

An unwise photo editor, might try to crop the bottom 20 percent of the image in a misguided effort to center the train from top to bottom.

Sadly, photographer’s compositions are too often foiled by less insightful editors.

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