Tag Archives: #Germany

Koblenz Hbf—September 16, 2019.

On this day four years ago, I was on my way from the Bonn/Köln Flughafen to Boppard, Germany, I changed trains at the Koblenz Hbf.

During the interval between trains, I made this series of photographs with my FujiFilm XT1.

To improve upon the flat lighting, using Adobe Lightroom, I made minor adjustments to contrast, color temperature, and color saturation.

Tracking the Light Posts Daily!

Cobblestones and Trams—Eight Years Ago!

It was on this day eight years ago—September 8, 2015—that my Irish friends and I traveled up the Rhein by train to Mainz, Germany.

In the evening light, I made a few views of the slim-gauge trams navigating narrow streets in the historic city center. And believe me, there was time for a bier in there too.

FujiFilm XT-1 with 27mm f2.8 pancake lens set at f2.8, 1/60th sec, ISO 200.
FujiFilm XT-1 with 27mm f2.8 pancake lens set at f2.8, 1/60th sec, ISO 200.

Here’s a useful photo tip; to allow the LED signs to appear clearly in photos, set the shutter speed to 1/60th or less, and time your shutter release so that the sign is showing just one sequence at time (in a situation where the sign may be scrolling). Note that in the above photo that the sign is mid-scroll, but on the top photos the sign is easy to read.

Tracking the Light Posts Every Day!

Double-headed Ore Train in the Mosel Valley.

On the afternoon of September 4, 2015, I made this photo with my FujiFilm XT1 of double-headed Class 189 electrics leading a loaded iron ore train through a vineyard near Klotten, Germany in the Mosel Valley.

This was on a week long visit to Germany with my Irish friends. We scored numerous excellent locations while exploring the Mosel and Rhein Valleys.

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Alex near Lindau-Processing Technique

Alex is a passenger train operator in Germany that connects Munich and Lindau among other routes.

Seven years ago (18 April 2016) a group of us had selected an overhead bridge near Lindau to catch an Munich bound train. I exposed this photo using my FujiFilm XT1 with 18-135mm lens set to 18mm.

The lighting was uniform and bright, which illuminate the train nicely, and I liked the subtle Spring colors. However, the unmodified RAF/RAW file tends to display a slightly overexposed white sky.

To correct for the relative over exposure, I imported the camera RAF (Fuji RAW) file into Lightroom and used the ‘select sky’ feature, which automatically identifies the sky areas, and then used the ‘highlights’ slider to lower the sky density relative to the rest of the photo and thus better display detail and make for a more realistic image.

Unmodified Fuji RAF (RAW) file. Note the ‘white’ sky. Compare with the adjusted file below.
This is the same RAF file following adjustments to the sky to improve highlight detail.

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Telephoto on the Rhein-8 April 2010

On this day 13 years ago, a group of my Irish friends and I set up in the Rhein Valley at Boppard-Hirzenach.

Working with a Canon EOS-3 with f2.0 100mm lens, I made these Fujichrome slides featuring the trailing views of passenger trains heading toward Köln, Germany.

In these views overhead electrification, a cluster of buildings nestled into a hillside plus tidy fencing and recycling recepticles make for perfectly Continental views of trains on the move.

A DB Class 120 electric works at the back of an IC passenger train.

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Köln Hbf—Aug 1998.

Working with a 1960s era Nikkor f2.8 135mm lens on a Nikon F3T, I made this view of DB passenger trains from beneath the arched trainshed at the Köln Hauptbahnhof (Cologne, Germany).

It was a hot day in August 1998. The camera was loaded with Fuji Sensia 100 color slide film, an emulsion that I found to be well suited to the soft light of German summer. This rendered the colors well, especially DB red, while handling the extreme contrast.

The slide was scanned using a Nikon LS5000 slide scan powered by VueScan 9.7.99 software. Set at: 64 bits per pixel (64 bit RGB), scan resolution 4000 dots per inch, fine mode, color profile ‘white balance’ and output as a TIF file. Minor corrections were implemented in post processing using Lightroom version 5.5.

Tracking the Light Posts Daily

DB at Bad Grönenbach, Bavaria

Among the thousands of slides that I recently retrieved from storage in Ireland, was this image that I’d exposed on Fujichrome in Bavaria, Germany on January 20, 2008.

Denis McCabe and I were on a week-long photographic exploration of southern Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

This location on a Deutsche Bahn (DB) single track line at Bad Grönenbach featured traditional German mechanical signaling.

This slide was in a box labled ‘Bavaria, Extras’. (My code to indicate that I’d already culled the preferred images and filed them elsewhere.)

Last night, I scanned the slide using a Nikon LS-5000 Super CoolScan slide scanner powered by VueScan 9.7.08 software.

I selected ‘Ektachrome’ with a ‘White Balance’ color profile and scanned as a TIF at 4000 dpi. Then I imported the scan to Adobe Lightroom and made several JPG variation. The first is scaled without correction. The others display various minor adjustments aimed at improving the image.

Scaled scan, but otherwise unmodified.
Scaled with first round of color and contrast corrections
Scaled with second round of color corrections, contrast adjustment and minor sharpening.
Image with final crop to minimize sky and foreground.

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Fujinon 50-140mm Lens Sample

On September 16, 2019, I was traveling in Germany with my old pal T.S.H.

We’d set up north of Boppard along the River Rhein to photograph the morning parade of trains on the busy ‘Left Bank’ route.

For these photos I borrowed T.S.H.’s 50-140mm Fujinon zoom and fixed it to my Fujifilm XT1 as a test.

These images are scaled from the in-camera Fuji JPGsmade with the camera’s Velvia color profile. These files have not been adjusted in post-processing.

Both images are trailing views of northward train IC 2226 that were exposed from the same vantage point. The first has the zoom set at 50mm, while the second has the zoom set at 140mm.

Fujinon 50-140mm zoom at f5.6 1/500 sec; 50mm setting.
Fujinon 50-140mm zoom at f6.3 1/500 sec; 140mm setting.

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Fujichrome at Köln—six track bridge over the Rhein.

In September 2015, I flew from Dublin to Köln, Germany with my Irish friends.

At the Köln Hbf (main station), we walked across the Rhein on the footpath along the six track multispan railrway bridge.

At the time this was covered in lover’s locks. So many that there were concerns about the excessive weight on the heavily-built bridge.

From the east bank, I made this Fujichrome Provia 100F color slide of the bridge and the famous cathedral. Back-lighting helped to illuminate the locks on the bridge.

I scanned the slide yesterday using our Nikon LS-5000 digital scanner driven with VueScan software. I made a multipass scan and imported the file into AdobeLightroom for final adjustment and scaling.

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Not Every Place is Pretty

Must every interesting photo feature stunning scenery?

On my visit to Leizig, Germany in 2001, I traveled on a local passenger train to the out-lying station at Rackwitz, where I spent an hour making photos of passing trains.

This was one ugly place. Low level platforms on tangent track with scruffy weeds and brush mixed in with uninspired industrial what not.

This northward freight paused for a few minutes on the mainline waiting for a signal to clear. For me this a photograph that works with texture, including the platform. But what makes it work for me are the flock of birds that filled the sky above the locomotive.

Exposed with a Rollei Model T on Fuji Neopan400 120 size film. Two versions of the same RAW scan below.

Low contrast interpretation.
This is a high contrast interpretation of the original negative that more closely represents the stark effect I was trying to achieve.

Tracking the Light Posts Daily!

Leipzig Tram Square

Among the desirable qualities of the Rolleiflex Model T was its square format.

While in my early years of using a Rollei I tended toward overuse of the 645 Superslide insert which provided a rectangular negative. I later decided that I preferred the basic square.

In June 2001, I traveled to Germany with a Rollei T, and exposed numerous 120 rolls of black & white film.

In Leipzig, I made this image of a tram on Fuji Neopan 400. I processed this roll using a mix of Agfa Rodinal Special. Unfortunately, I slightly overprocessed the negatives, a problem easily corrected after scanning, using Adobe Lightroom to adjust contrast and shadow density. The end result offers broad tonality.

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Provia 100F on the Rhein

Among the photos in my ‘Scan pile’ was this Fujichrome Provia 100F slide of a northward SBB Cargo train on the westbank of the Rhein near Lorch, Germany

It was among the color slides that I chose to scan during the week using my old Epson V600 flatbed scanner powered by Epson Scan 2 software.

Yesterday, I had prints made from some of my recent scans and was impressed by the way the scanning captured detail in the film right down to the grain.

Provia 100F color slide exposed on September 17, 2019.

Tightly cropped version to show detail.

Tracking the Light Posts Every DAY!

Ludmilla at Dresden

Twenty years ago on a visit to Germany, I spent a couple of days photographing around the historic city of Dresden.

This black & white photo at the Dresden Neustadt station features a former DR (East German Railways) Russian-built diesel-electric, DB class 234, a type colloquially known as a ‘Ludmilla’. 

June 2001.

Working with myvintage German-made Rolleiflex Model T, I made this photo on 120-size Fuji Neopan 400 roll film. I processed the film in Agfa Rodinal Special (not to be confused with Agfa Rodinal) mixed 1-32 with water for 3 min 45 seconds. I scanned the negative using an Epson flatbed scanner. 

Also see: http://briansolomon.com/trackingthelight/2020/12/20/dresden-june-2001/

Tracking the Light Posts Daily

Ten Years Ago in Munich.

On this day, May 16, 2011, I exposed this telephoto image of a number 20 tram in Munich, Germany.

I was working with my Canon EOS7D with a fixed 200mm f2.8 telephoto.

Notice the unusual point-work on the tram track in the foreground.

Selective focus made possible by the relatively wide aperture with a long focal length lens helps direct the eye to the primary subject, allowing for other elements of the scene to remain slightly out of focus.

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Stuttgart, Germany June 1999.

I made a brief visit to Stuttgart during a trip to Germany and Switzerland in 1999.

On my first afternoon in Stuttgart, I exposed this Fujichrome Sensia II (ISO 100) color slide of a classic tram ascending away from the city center. Notice the effects of cross lighting. (The sun is to the left of the camera).

At the time I was working with an N90s with 80-200mm zoom lens, my standard camera combination for the period.

I’ve found that different types of equipment lend to different sorts of compositions. I wonder what images I would have made in Stuttgart if I could have carried the Nikon Z6 that I own today?

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Railfreight RastatT

On this day (April 19) five years ago my Irish friends and I visited Rastatt, Germany, a known rail-freight choke-point on the DB rail network.

I made this photo using my FujiFilm XT1 showing freight wagons on southward freights queued up while waiting for signals at the Rastatt station .

Rastatt, Germany on April 19, 2016.

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Dresden Tram-Two Versions

This is another view from Dresden, Germany exposed with my Rolleiflex Model T in June 2001. It was on the same roll of Fuji Neopan 400 that I described last week on Tracking the Light.

I’m at street level, with the Dresden Neustadt station behind me.

In the first interpretation, I made no alterations to the reversal scan of the original negative.

In the second (below), I’ve made significant adjustments to exposure and contrast.

Tech data:

Exposed using Rolleiflex Model T with Carl Zeiss 75mm lens. 120-size Fuji Neopan 400 roll film. Processed in Agfa Rodinal Special (not to be confused with Agfa Rodinal) mixed 1-32 for 3 min 45 seconds. Scanned with a Epson V600 flatbed scanner, digital processing with Adobe Lightroom.

Tracking the Light Posts Daily!

Dresden-June 2001.

I visited Dresden, Germany for the first time in June 2001.

The Dresden Neustadt station impressed me with its arched train shed and vintage mechanical semaphores.

Working with my old Rolleiflex Model T, I made this pair of photos on 120-size Fuji Neopan 400 roll film.

I processed the film in Agfa Rodinal Special (not to be confused with Agfa Rodinal) mixed 1-32 for 3 min 45 seconds.

I like the technological contrast between the then modern train (a Siemens Desiro railcar) and the old signals. This contrast is mimicked in the visual contrast of my black & white technique that produces stark dark lines against fluffy afternoon clouds.

120 size negative reversed and adjusted for internet presentation.
Direct scan (without reversal) of the same negative.
Reversed scan with contrast adjustments.
Direct and unmodified scan of the above negative.

Tracking the Light Explores Railroad Photography Every Day

Rabbit at Dusk

DB (Germany Railways) class 218 diesel hydraulic locomotives are known as ‘Rabbits’ because of the rabbit ear appearance of their exhaust stacks.

Once a very common type, the Rabbits have been on decline for more than a decade.

On January 17, 2007, photographer Denis McCabe and I caught this Rabbit at the Bavarian town of Buchloe, where two non-electrified lines converged.

Working with my Canon EOS 3 with 24mm lens, I made this photo on Fujichrome.

A few minutes ago I scanned the slide with a Nikon Super Coolscan5000 and imported the TIF file into Adobe Lightroom for adjustment and scaling.

The TIF was made at 4000dpi and the file is about 115MB. By contrast the scaled and adjusted JPG is just under 1 MB, which makes it practical to present via the internet here.

Tracking the Light Posts Daily!

Leipzig tram and Hbf.

An afternoon rain in June 2001 had made for a bright gloss at the Leipzig, Germany Hauptbahnhof.

Working with my N90S, I’d exposed this Fujichrome view of a tram in front of the impressive façade of what was once Europe’s largest railway station.

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TRAXX at Lorch, Germany

DB (German Railways) class 185 electrics are members of Bombradier’s TRAXX Family of locomotives.

These are a common type for freight service.

Last September, I made this view of a Class 185 leading a southward tank train rolling along the Rhein near Lorch at Im  Bachergrund using my FujiFilm XT1.

Autumn sun was softened by thin high clouds that made for almost ideal lighting.

Tracking the Light Posts Daily.