One of the challenges of digital photography is its limited dynamic range. While a RAW file gives you more than a compressed JPG, when you’ve reached the limit of the camera sensor, definition in highlights and shadow areas is finite.
Previously, I’ve experimented with a Lee 0.6 soft graduated filter as means of holding highlight detail in the sky, while providing a satisfactory exposure in foreground areas. Without this tool, I’d risk losing sky detail.
The 0.6 filter offers a very subtle graduated change. Fine for improving cloud detail on an overcast day, but not as useful in situations with greater contrast. So recently, I upped the ante with a 0.9 soft graduated filter.
In short, this is darker at one end, thus blocks greater amounts of light, and so provides more effective exposure control in scenes with greater contrast.
As a test, using my FujiFilm X-T1 digital camera I exposed this view at Fitchburg, Massachusetts looking east on the old Boston & Maine Fitchburg Mainline toward Ayer and Boston.
Admittedly this image is unrefined. It is but the first step toward something else, and I’ll continue to explore this topic in later posts.
On Thursday (December 19, 2013) I made these photos of Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority Commuter trains on the old Fitchburg route.
For some 35 years, Electro-Motive F40PH diesels have worked these lines. MBTA’s early F40PHs supply head-end power from the 16-645E3 prime mover by running the engine at high rpms. The result is a high-pitched scream that has given these locomotives their nickname.
Replacement locomotives are on their way and the first have already arrived. How much longer will these old screamers work the Fitch? Bets anyone?