Tag Archives: Lumix LX7

Tracking the Light Extra: Live from Trenton, New Jersey.

I’m posting from Amtrak’s WiFi on-board the Vermonter enroute to Windsor Locks, Connecticut.

It’s cold, wet, dim outside.

Here’s a few views from my Lumix LX7 at Trenton, New Jersey, exposed just a little while ago.

View from McDonalds at Trenton Transportation Center. November 13, 2017.
Amtrak train 172 arrives at Trenton.
Looking toward New York City.
Pan photo of an arriving NJ Transit train.

Keystone train with old Metroliner Cab car.

Amtrak train 56, the Vermonter arrives at Trenton.

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Lumix LX7 at Belfast Central.

I had a few minutes between trains at Belfast Central, so in the interval I made a few photos with my Lumix LX7.

To compensate for less than ideal lighting I made nominal adjustments to the RAW files in post processing using Light room.

Essentially I lightened the shadows, brought down the highlights in the sky, and boosted colour saturation while slightly increasing overall contrast.

Douglas Adams once wrote something to the effect: ‘There’s no language that has a word that means “as pretty as an airport”‘.
An inbound NI Railways train.
Red ‘tail lamps’ indicate that this is a trailing view.
NI Railways 8209 on the Belfast-Dublin Enterprise.
No flash was used in the exposing of this photo.

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Dusk in the Gullet; Illustration of Digital Sunset in 5 variations.

What? Not another of those InterCity Railcars?!

Yep.

I made these views from the St. John’s Road Roundabout bridge at Killmainham/Islandbridge in Dublin.

The light was fading, the train was shadowed and the situation routine: Irish Rail’s ICR pass this spot dozens of times daily. In fact, these trains rumble up and down all day long.

Unmodified Lumix camera RAW file (except for scaling). I’ve exposed for the sky.

What initially caught my interest was the sunset glow in the north-west sky.

I made these photos using my Lumix LX7, which exposes a RAW file.

After the fact, I made some heavy handed adjustments to exposure, contrast, colour balance and colour saturation to show what is possible with post processing.

Here’s my first adjusted file; working with the RAW I’ve made a variety of alterations.

In addition to enhancing the sky, I lightened the train and cutting while making a variety of localize adjustments, such as to the flowers at lower left.

I’m using the same essential approach that I used to apply to my black & white photography when making prints in the darkroom, except its now done digitally on the computer.

Unmodified camera RAW (scaled as a JPG for internet presentation).
My first modified RAW image (presented as scaled JPG).

The graffiti at lower right is bit of an annoyance. In my final version, I’ve darkened the area around the graffiti to minimize it.

My second modified RAW where I’ve tried to minimize the graffiti under the bridge.

My first modified RAW image (presented as scaled JPG).

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Lumix Underground; MBTA Park Street—Boston, Massachusetts.

Earlier in the month, I changed from the Red Line to the Green Line at Park Street, reminding me of visits to Boston decades earlier.

I don’t ride the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) subway often anymore so it’s something of a novelty when I visit.

These photos were exposed using my Lumix LX7 with the white balance set to ‘auto’ (key to help balancing the variety of artificial light in the station).

Lumix set at 80 ISO.
Green Line streetcars use the upper level at Park Street.

There are not many subways where you are allowed to cross the tracks at grade.
Waiting for a southbound Red Line train.

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Bright Morning in Zürich!

It was a clear blue dome and working with my Lumix LX7, I made these photos of trams working the streets of Zürich, Switzerland.

Zürich continues to paint its trams in its classic sky-blue and creamy white livery. This photographs well when the sun is out, but can be challenging on dull days.

The Lumix LX7 when used with the add-on external viewfinder is an excellent tool for urban street photography. I like the LX7 because it allows me to make both Jpg and RAW digital files simultaneously. The RAWs were especially useful here as I could more easily adjust contrast in post processing.

Lumix LX7 photo. RAW file adjusted to improve contrast and shadow detail, then scaled as a Jpg in Lightroom for internet presentation.
Camera Jpg scaled for internet.

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Milano Centrale Revisited.

I made my first visit to Milano Centrale (Milan Central Station) in February 2000.

Earlier this month (April 2017), I revisited this amazing example of railway architecture and made these photos using my Lumix LX7.

Milano Centrale is like an O-scale building on an N-scale model railway.

This is one busy station and served by hundreds of trains daily reaching points across Italy and elsewhere in Europe.

Recently, I featured Milano Centrale in my book Railway Depots, Stations & Terminals published by Voyageur Press.

Here’s an excerpt of my text:

Milano Stazione Centrale (Milan Central Station) is a monumental railway terminal that faces the Piazza Anrea Doria. . . [the station’s] design was the result of an architectural competition held in Milan in 1913 . . . Although the plan dated from before World War I, its blocky style and super human scale seems to typify the public architecture of the interwar Fascist period. [Milano Stazione Centrale] was one of the last great railway stations built in Europe before World War II.

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View from the Gutter.

Literally.

Hooray for puddles and dusk. (I’ve put all the useful information in the caption).

LUAS Citadis tram exposed on Benburb Street in Dublin using a Lumix LX7. ISO 80 1/4 second at f1.7—handheld. By keeping the camera very close to the surface of the water, I was able to make the most of the reflection.

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Philadelphia’s 2017 Mummers Parade.

On January 1, 2017, I exposed these photos along Philadelphia’s Broad Street of the annual Mummers parade.

Using my LX7, I set the camera in ‘A’-mode (aperture priority), which allows me to set the aperture while the camera adjusts the shutter speed.

I’ve found that to capture the spirit of a parade, using a slow shutter speed and panning puts the players in motion.

Panning also sets off the parade participants from the urban background and helps reduce the visual complexity of the environment to make for more dramatic images.

Below are a selection taken from some 500 digital images exposed on New Years Day.

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CSX on the Hudson at Mine Dock Park—November 18, 2016.

The sun was just rising over Bear Mountain, when I arrived at Mine Dock Park located on the west shore of the Hudson near Fort Montgomery, New York.

I set up on CSX’s River Line, historically New York Central’s ‘West Shore’ route. At first the signals were all red. Then after a bit the northward signal cleared to ‘medium approach.’

I concluded that a northward train would be taking the siding, thus in all likelihood it would be making a meet with a southward train. I secured an elevated view from the rock cutting north of the public crossing.

About 45 minutes elapsed and then a northward train took the siding as signaled. Six minutes later, this southward CSX autorack freight came gliding down river. I exposed a series of digital images with my Lumix LX7. The sun was perfect and the late autumn foliage on the trees made an already picturesque scene even better.

A southward CSX auto rack train hugs the Hudson at Mine Dock Park. Lumix LX7 photo.
A southward CSX auto rack train hugs the Hudson at Mine Dock Park. Lumix LX7 photo.
The train was moving relatively slowly, which allowed me to zoom out (to a wider focal length) as it approached. Which of the two views do you prefer? A southward CSX auto rack train hugs the Hudson at Mine Dock Park. Lumix LX7 photo.
The train was moving relatively slowly, which allowed me to zoom out (to a wider focal length) as it approached. Which of the two views do you prefer?  Lumix LX7 photo.

Nothing tricky or complicated here; it was just a matter of being in the right place for the action and paying attention to the signals.

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Sunset on the Boston & Albany at East Brookfield—Working with RAW Files.

Yesterday evening I was visiting East Brookfield, Massachusetts.

As the sun neared the western horizon it illuminated some clouds from below, the effect that I call ‘drop under’.

It’s a stunning natural phenomena, but can be difficult to capture effectively because of the extreme contrast.

Armed with my Lumix LX7, I made my way to the overpass near the old station location, as per the suggestion of Dennis LeBeau— photographer, musician and long time East Brookfieldian.

As I made a series of exposures, I knew by observing the camera’s histogram that it would be necessary to work with the RAW files to produce the most effective interpretations of the scene.

Below are some examples for your inspection and consideration.

This is the unmodified file. The only change from camera RAW was a necessary scaling and conversion to JPG for internet presentation (the RAW is too large to upload). I made no changes to color saturation, contrast, or other elements of the image.
This is the unmodified file. The only change from camera RAW was a necessary scaling and conversion to JPG for internet presentation (the RAW is too large to upload). I made no changes to color saturation, contrast, or other elements of the image.
This is my interpreted image from the above RAW. I've used a digitally applied graduated filter to better hold detail in the sky, while improving contrast and increasing saturation with a slight to warming of the color balance to enhance the effect of sunset. Without these changes, the scene would not look as it appeared to my eye at the time of exposure.
This is my interpreted image from the above RAW. I’ve used a digitally applied graduated filter to better hold detail in the sky, while improving contrast and increasing saturation with a slight to warming of the color balance to enhance the effect of sunset. Without these changes, the scene would not look as it appeared to my eye at the time of exposure. Admittedly these alterations are mere subtle improvements and may not be evident on some electronic devices.
This is a horizontal view similar to the above images. Using the 'cut and paste' feature in Lightroom, I've applied the same alterations to this RAW file as described in the image above. This feature not only saves time when adjusting images, but ensures an element of consistency between images made in similar lighting conditions. I use it regularly.
This is a horizontal view similar to the above images. Using the ‘cut and paste’ feature in Lightroom, I’ve applied the same alterations to this RAW file as described in the image above. This feature not only saves time when adjusting images, but ensures an element of consistency between images made in similar lighting conditions. I use it regularly.
A telephoto view made at the same location, but with slight adjustments to contrast controls to accentuate the clouds and rails.
A telephoto view made at the same location, but with slight adjustments to contrast controls to accentuate the clouds and rails. Note the wire crossing the line. I could have taken that out and you’d never have known better, but normally I avoid invasive alterations that physically change the scene.

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Long Island Rail Road Interlude—July 2016.

In July, I spent a few minutes on the Long Island Rail Road platforms at Woodside in Queens, New York.

LIRR’s busy multiple-track third-rail route from Penn-Station to Jamaica, New York is one of the few places in North America where you can experience train-frequency on par with busy European mainlines.

In the course of only a few minutes I saw a half dozen trains.

These are a sample of the photos I exposed with my Lumix LX7.

My compact Panasonic Lumix LX7 is ideal for urban railway photography. This camera compact, lightweight and unobtrusive, while it uses a Leica optical system that yields excellent images. I have mine set up to expose both RAW and JPG files simultaneously.
My compact Panasonic Lumix LX7 is ideal for urban railway photography. This camera compact, lightweight and unobtrusive, while it uses a Leica optical system that yields excellent images. I have mine set up to expose both RAW and JPG files simultaneously.
Trailing view of an outbound train.
Trailing view of an outbound train.
One of LIRR's older Metropolitan-series trains is heading toward Penn-Station.
One of LIRR’s older Metropolitan-series trains is heading toward Penn-Station.
It was nice to catch the older cars on the move.
It was nice to catch the older cars on the move.
I made this view from the concourse of the Flushing Line station (operated by the NYCTA). Woodside offers a convenient connection between LIRR and NYCTA trains.
I made this view from the concourse of the Flushing Line station (operated by the NYCTA). Woodside offers a convenient connection between LIRR and NYCTA trains.

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Pan Am Railway’s EMD F-Units in the Snow; a Second Look.

My Lumix LX7 is a superb tool.

Sometimes I use it as my primary camera.

Often I keep it handy for grab shots.

Near Soap Stone, Massachusetts I made this trailing view across the Deerfield River. Sure the trees block part of the train, but I like the overall atmosphere of the scene. Lumix LX7 photo.
Near Soap Stone, Massachusetts I made this trailing view across the Deerfield River. Sure the trees block part of the train, but I like the overall atmosphere of the scene. Lumix LX7 photo.

On Monday February 15, 2016, I used the LX7 along with my FujiFilm X-T1 to photograph Pan Am Railways executive F-unit with the company office car train. (See: Tracking the Light Special: Pan Am Railways Office Car Special (OCS)—February 15, 2015.)

Where most of my photos were made with the Fuji, I augmented my efforts with Lumix.

Why? Because each camera  produces different results.

On this occasion, I used the Lumix LX7 for some tight angles on the special train.

A report of a broken rail had Pan Am Railway's office car train moving at a walking pace. Bad news for operations, but a boon for the photographer. At the last moment I made this grab shot with my Lumix. It's among my favorite shots from the day's efforts.
A report of a broken rail had Pan Am Railway’s office car train moving at a walking pace. Bad news for operations, but a boon for the photographer. At the last moment I made this grab shot with my Lumix. It’s among my favorite shots from the day’s efforts. White flags are a nice touch. Better get out your train-order era rule book: white flags mean ‘running extra’.
Years ago, my dad brought me to Boston & Maine's roundhouse in Somerville. There I recalled staring in awe at a B&M F7A in McGinnis blue paint. Who could have imagined that more than 45 years later, F-units would be working the Boston & Maine Fitchburg mainline. I think that's pretty cool. Lumix LX7 view near Zoar, Massachusetts.
Years ago, my dad brought me to Boston & Maine’s roundhouse in Somerville. There I gazed in awe at a B&M F7A in McGinnis blue paint. Who could have imagined that more than 45 years later, F-units would be working the Boston & Maine Fitchburg mainline. I think that’s pretty cool. Lumix LX7 view near Zoar, Massachusetts.
Here's a trailing view. PAR-1 seems to get most of the glory, so I though to make a photo of PAR-2 as it rolled by me.
Here’s a trailing view. PAR-1 seems to get most of the glory, so I thought to make a photo of PAR-2 as it rolled by me.
Neat tail car! Six-wheel trucks must make for a nice ride.
Neat tail car! Six-wheel trucks must make for a nice ride.

I processed the Lumix RAW files in Lightroom to bring out shadow detail, and where necessary to adjust overall exposure, and alter color saturation and contrast to make for the most pleasing images.

Which of these do you like the best?

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A Dozen new Photos! Subterranean Photography Exercise: Lumix LX7 on New York City Subway.

 

Tracking the Light goes Underground!

 

My Lumix LX7 is a great tool for photographing the subway. It has a fast lens (f1.4) while the camera body is light, compact, flexible, and discrete.

For my New York City Subway photography exercise; I set the ISO to 200, the white balance to ‘auto’, set the exposure to dial to ‘A’ (for aperture priority, meaning I manually select the f-stop and the camera selects the appropriate corresponding shutter speed for optimal exposure ) and open the f-stop to near it’s widest setting.

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The Lumix LX7 allows me turn off all the sounds and lights, so when I release the shutter nothing beeps or flashes.

I exposed both RAW and Jpeg files simultaneously. While the camera’s automatic exposure was close, I needed made minor adjustments to contrast and white balance in post-processing using Lightroom.

NYC_Subway_42nd_Street_P1350162

Typically this is necessary to bring the highlights under control while opening up (lightening) the shadow areas to make detail more visible.

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Tracking the Light post Original Material, please share with your friends!

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La Hulpe Station at Night, March 2015.

On an evening last week, using my Lumix LX-7, I exposed this time exposure of Société Nationale des Chemins de fer Belges’s (Belgian National Railways or SNCB) Gare de La Hulpe.

This railway line is being transformed from double track mainline line to a quad track line to facilitate an improved suburban service akin to the Paris RER.

Exposed using a Panasonic Lumix LX7 set at ISO 80 at f1.7 for 5 seconds.
Exposed using a Panasonic Lumix LX7 set at ISO 80 at f1.7 for 5 seconds.

To make this image, I rested the camera on the bridge railing, exposed a pair of trial exposures to gauge the lighting conditions, then set the camera (shutter speed and aperture) manually to allow for sufficient exposure of the sky and shadow areas.

As previously mentioned on Tracking the Light, to make successful night photos it is important to give the scene sufficient exposure (usually 2/3s of a stop more than allocated by many built-in camera meter settings), while keep the camera steady for the duration of the exposure. Keeping flare to a minimum is also helpful.

See related articles:

Charleroi to La Hulpe. 

Lumix LX-3—part 2: Existing Light Digital Night Shots.

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New England Central 3850 and Lumix LX7 Color Profiles

Palmer, October 20, 2014.

It’s been nearly 20 years since New England Central assumed operations from Central Vermont.

In that time New England Central has had three owners. Originally a RailTex property, it was owned by RailAmerica for more than a dozen years and now is a Genesee & Wyoming railroad.

Despite that, a few of its original GP38s remain painted in the blue and yellow scheme introduced when the railroad began operations in February 1995.

NECR 3850 was working job 603 in Palmer and paused for a minute on the interchange track. Although I’ve photographed this old goat dozens of times in the last two decades, I opted to make a series of images with my Lumix LX7 to demonstrate the different color profiles (color ‘styles’) built into the camera.

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, one of the great compositional tools available with the Lumix LX7 (and other cameras too) is the ability to quickly change from one color profile to another (including black & white modes).

Although, it is easy enough to adjust and alter color in post processing, I find it is useful to be able to compose a scene on-site knowing how the camera will react to color and contrast.

Below are a sequence of similar images of 3850 using different built-in color profiles. I’ve adjusted the B&W ‘monochrome’ profile in-camera to better suit my personal taste.

Image 1—Lumix 'Vivid' color profile.
Image 1—Lumix ‘Vivid’ color profile.
Image 2: Lumix 'Natural' color profile.
Image 2—Lumix ‘Natural’ color profile. Please note that term ‘Natural’ is purely subjective and does not infer any unusual treatment as compared with the other profiles. In other words ‘natural’ is just a name.
Image 3—'Scenery' Lumix color profile.
Image 3—’Scenery’ Lumix color profile.
Image 4—'Monochrome' Lumix color profile.
Image 4—’Monochrome’ Lumix color profile.
Image 5 'High Dynamic Range' setting. (this blends three images exposed automatic in rapid succession).
Image 5 ‘High Dynamic Range’ setting. (this blends three images exposed automatically in rapid succession. Fine for static scenes, but not practical for moving trains).

Which of the photos do you like the best?

Of course every computer display has its own way of interpreting color and contrast. Compare these images on different screens and see how they change.

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Tomorrow: a colorful GP38 in Missouri!

 

High Dynamic Range Experiments—Summer 2014.

Playing with the LX7.

Among the built-in features of the Panasonic LX7 is a HDR—High Dynamic Range—setting in ‘Scene Mode’.

The theory behind HDR is the ability to produce a digitally exposed photograph with better highlight and shadow detail through post-processing blending of two or more images of the same scene exposed at different light settings. (In other words, a multiple exposure).

A common way to accomplish this is to place the camera on a tripod and make three images of identical composition with one image over-exposed (too light), one normally exposed, and one underexposed (too dark). Then combine all three images as multiple exposure.

When done effectively this can be used to overcome the limited dynamic range inherent to digital sensors. It can also be used creatively through extreme exposure variations to produce some outlandish images with nightmare skies and penetrating shadows.

The LX7s feature makes exposing a basic HDR style image exceptionally easy as the camera automatically takes three photos in rapid sequence and processes them immediately in-camera to produces a blended Jpg available for viewing.

I found this most effective in high contrast scenes, such as sunsets, that might be difficult to capture because of the camera’s limited exposure range. In other situations, it seems to flatten the contrast and doesn’t necessarily make for a more pleasing photograph.

Another point, if the scene isn’t static, ‘ghosting’ will occur of moving elements. My sense is that camera’s software must have a comparative feature that attempts to minimize the effect of ghosting, but the results can appear unnatural if not outright bizarre. Especially, when the subject, say a passing locomotive, become transparent!

Below are a few of my experiments. With most I’ve first included a comparison image (an ordinary non-HDR photo) exposed in the normal way.

This is the non-HDR normal photo. I've intentionally selected a high contrast scene to test the difference between a normal image and the HDR. Princeton Junction, exposed with Lumix LX7 in 'A' mode.
This is the non-HDR normal photo. I’ve intentionally selected a high contrast scene to test the difference between a normal image and the HDR. Princeton Junction, exposed with Lumix LX7 in ‘A’ mode.
Exposed in HDR mode. Notice that this does a much better job of retaining shadow and highlight detail. Princeton Junction, exposed with Lumix LX7 in HDR 'scene' mode.
Exposed in HDR mode. Notice that this does a much better job of retaining shadow and highlight detail. It is easier to see into the cab of the train and the clouds are better separated from the blue sky. Princeton Junction, exposed with Lumix LX7 in HDR ‘scene’ mode.
This NJ Transit train had paused at Princeton Junction in high midday June sun making for an ideal opportunity to test the effect of HDR. This my 'normal' non-HDR comparison image. Note the nearly opaque underside of the locomotive where wheels and equipment are lost in an inky black. Princeton Junction, exposed with Lumix LX7 in 'A' mode.
This NJ Transit train had paused at Princeton Junction in high midday June sun making for an ideal opportunity to test the effect of HDR. This my ‘normal’ non-HDR comparison image. Note the nearly opaque underside of the locomotive where wheels and equipment are lost in an inky black. Princeton Junction, exposed with Lumix LX7 in ‘A’ mode.
This is the HDR photo of the same scene. By using multiple exposures, the HDR feature has added detail to the shadows making equipment on the underside of the locomotive more visible. I'm not sure if I like the effect on the trees, which to me seem like a painted backdrop compared with those in the normal photo above. Princeton Junction, exposed with Lumix LX7 in HDR 'scene' mode.
This is the HDR photo of the same scene. By using multiple exposures, the HDR feature has added detail to the shadows making equipment on the underside of the locomotive more visible. I’m not sure if I like the effect on the trees, which to me seem like a painted backdrop compared with those in the normal photo above. Princeton Junction, exposed with Lumix LX7 in HDR ‘scene’ mode.
I thought I'd try the HDR feature on a rapidly moving train. Here one of Amtrak's Keystone trains is passing Princeton Junction at speed. Notice the effect of double exposure where the cab car is ghosted into the coach. This is curious aberration, but probably not the best solution for railway action photography.  I don't have a 'non'-HDR image of this scene. Princeton Junction, exposed with Lumix LX7 in HDR 'scene' mode.
I thought I’d try the HDR feature on a rapidly moving train. One of Amtrak’s Keystone trains is passing Princeton Junction at speed. Notice the effect of double exposure where the cab car is ghosted into the coach. This is curious aberration, but probably not the best solution for railway action photography. I don’t have a ‘non’-HDR image of this scene. Princeton Junction, exposed with Lumix LX7 in HDR ‘scene’ mode.
This high contrast scene at Overbrook, Pennsylvania in early July 2014, made for another opportunity to make comparisons. This is the 'non-HDR' image, exposed with Lumix LX7 in 'A' mode.
This high contrast scene at Overbrook, Pennsylvania in early July 2014, made for another opportunity to make comparisons. This is the ‘non-HDR’ image, exposed with Lumix LX7 in ‘A’ mode.
SEPTA at Overbrook, exposed with Lumix LX7 in HDR 'scene' mode.
SEPTA at Overbrook, exposed with Lumix LX7 in HDR ‘scene’ mode.
Sunset at CP83 in Palmer, Massachusetts. Owing to the extreme contrast of the scene, I opted to expose for the sky in the normal (non-HDR) image. If I exposed to make the tracks lighter, I'd lose the effect of the sunset. Exposed with Lumix LX7 in 'A' mode.
Sunset at CP83 in Palmer, Massachusetts. Owing to the extreme contrast of the scene, I opted to expose for the sky in the normal (non-HDR) image. If I exposed to make the tracks lighter, I’d lose the effect of the sunset. Exposed with Lumix LX7 in ‘A’ mode.
Here's the HDR image. While it retains sky and track detail, it radically altered the effect of sunset. Is this a more realistic portrayal of the scene? Exposed with Lumix LX7 in HDR 'scene' mode.
Here’s the HDR image. While it retains sky and track detail, it radically altered the effect of sunset. Is this a more realistic portrayal of the scene? Exposed with Lumix LX7 in HDR ‘scene’ mode.
View of an Irish Rail ballast train at Islandbridge Junction in Dublin. This is the 'non-HDR' comparison, exposed with Lumix LX7 in 'A' mode.
View of an Irish Rail ballast train at Islandbridge Junction in Dublin. This is the ‘non-HDR’ comparison, exposed with Lumix LX7 in ‘A’ mode.
While waiting for the ballast train to get the signal, I took the opportunity to make an HDR comparison. It was free, so why not? However, I don't think this improved the scene, now it just looks washed out to me. Exposed with Lumix LX7 in HDR 'scene' mode.
While waiting for the ballast train to get the signal, I took the opportunity to make an HDR comparison. It was free, so why not? However, I don’t think this improved the scene, now it just looks washed out to me. Exposed with Lumix LX7 in HDR ‘scene’ mode.

This is a work in progress, and I’ll follow up in more detail in a later post.

 

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Take a Ride on the SNCB

Charleroi to La Hulpe.

My time in Charleroi had come to a close. My next destination was La Hulpe in the suburbs south of Brussels. While I anticipated taking an Société Nationale des Chemins de fer Belges (Belgian National Railways or SNCB) train to Brussels and changing trains there, the ticket seller convinced me to try another option.

“It’s cheaper and faster to travel to Ottignies.” Ok, why not.

When I went up to platform 3A at Charleroi Sud, what appeared to be the oldest train in Belgium rattled in to collect me. I ended up riding a line I previously didn’t even have on my map (this turns out to be line 140).

While the train’s inside was nicely refurbished, it retained openable windows, a rare treat in today’s world of train travel.

No sooner than I boarded the train and the rain began, again. But after a while the sun came out and so I made a series of images using my Lumix LX7, which I was able to hold out the window at arms-length  while keeping a sharp eye on the rear display screen.

Exposed with a Lumix LX7 with built in neutral density filter engaged, 1/3 second at f8, 80 ISO. Handheld with aid of built in image stabilizer. Looking away from the direction of travel.
Exposed with a Lumix LX7 with built in neutral density filter engaged, 1/3 second at f8, 80 ISO. Handheld with aid of built in image stabilizer. Looking away from the direction of travel.

Among the Lumix LX7s features are a built in neutral density filter and image stabilizer. This allowed me to make relatively long exposures in bright daylight while keeping the camera steady.

SNCB’s track is flawless, and the heavy aged train provided a solid, nearly vibration-free ride, allowing me to expose a series photos using long shutter speeds intended to blur the tracks and countryside while keeping the train sharp.

Hooray for old trains on good track!

Exposed for 1/8 second at f8, 80 ISO with neutral density filter. The ND filter cuts the exposure by two full stops, so without it my exposure time would have been about 1/30 of a second. Enough for a bit of blur, but not enough for the appropriate effect.
Exposed for 1/8 second at f8, 80 ISO with neutral density filter. The ND filter cuts the exposure by two full stops, so without it my exposure time would have been about 1/30 of a second. Enough for a bit of blur, but not enough for the appropriate effect.

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