Tag Archives: #night photography

Night Photography at Trafalgar Square

We traveled on the Bakerloo Line from Paddington to Charing Cross. Upon arrival we exited the Underground via the Subway (foot passage) to Trafalgar Square, which is among London’s iconic public spaces.

I made these views of the famous square using my Nikon Z7-II with 24-70mm Z-series zoom. I set the ISO to 5000, the aperture to f4.0, and allowed the camera to select the shutter speed. I adjusted the highlights and shadows in post processing to improve detail and reduce contrast.

Although the shutter speed was about 1/13th of a second, all the photos in this sequence were made hand-held with the aid of in-camera image stabilization.

Tracking the Light Posts Daily!

Snow and Moonlight at Leaman Place.

The combination of a low ceiling, a bright moon and the blanket of snow covering the ground made for interesting evening light.

While there really wasn’t enough light to stop a fast moving Amtrak Keystone, I felt the ambient lighting conditions were still conducive to photography.

I set up my Bogen tripod in the snow and attached to it my Nikon Z7-II with 24-70mm Nikkor Z-series lens.

After a few test photos at ISO 200 to check my angle and lighting, I set the ISO to 2000 and waited fo the Keystone to zip by at speed.

The final pair of photos were exposed a f4, for 1.6 seconds with the lens set to 24mm.

Test photo, ISO 200, f4.0 15 seconds..
ISO 2000, f4, for 1.6 seconds
ISO 2000, f4, for 1.6 seconds

Tracking the Light Posts Every Day!

Out of the Mist at Windsor Locks.

Amtrak 494 was running a bit behind the advertised when we arrived the ‘station’ in Windsor Locks, Connecticut.

I had time to set up my tripod, make an assessment of the lighting conditions, and frame up my photo before the train came into view.

The two car shuttle from New Haven made a very brief stop. I exposed this sequence using my Nikon Z7-II with 24-70mm lens set at ISO 8000.

After just a moment the train was on its way toward Springfield, Massachusetts.

ISO8000, f4 1/125 second.
ISO8000, f4 1/200th second.

More than 38 years ago, I made a black & white photo of an Amtrak painted Budd-SPV2000 stopping here. See: http://briansolomon.com/trackingthelight/spv2000-at-windsor-locks-may-1985/

Tracking the Light Posts Daily!

NS Local and a Crescent Moon

Toward the end of dusk, Kris and I, went out to watch the Norfolk Southern local freight that serves the inustrial shippers near our new home.

As the local was getting ready to make a drop, I made this pair of photos of the train underwire on Amtrak’s Harrisburg Line near Greenfield, in Lancaster, PA. A crescent moon graced the western sky.

I was working with my Nikon Z6 with 70-200mm lens, hand-held with the ISO set at 20000.

Tracking the Light Posts Every Day!

Starlight at Tarratine!

On our last evening at Moosehead Lake, Kris and I made a strategic drive to Tarratine, Maine hoping to intercept Canadian Pacific’s westbound freight, #223, at the grade crossing with Route 6.

Within five minutes of our arrival, we could hear a whistle far to the east. Gradually the chug of General Electric diesels grew louder and more pronounced.

Kris set up her FujiFilm XT4, while I positioned my Nikon Z6 on my ancient Bogen tripod.

The moon was rising and the stars were glistening above. The time was approaching 11pm.

I made this sequence with the Z6 fitted with my 24-70mm zoom. The camera was set to ISO 400 and my exposures varied from 2.5 seconds to 30 seconds at f4.

After exposure, I made nominal adjustments to color and exposure in Adobe Lightroom.

Tracking the Light posts Every Day!

The End for an Old GP?

Yesterday I learned through social media that New England Central 3850 suffered a main generator fire while climbing State Line Hill (located in my hometown of Monson, Massachusetts.)

Over the last 26 years, I’ve made countless photos of this antique EMD diesel-electric at work and at rest.

While I cannot predict the future, I know that often with older diesels, a main generator failure may represent the kiss of the scrapper.

When it came to New England Central in 1995, 3850 carried the number 9531, which is how I picture it in the December 1996 view below.

I made this photo at Palmer, Massachusetts using a mix of artificial lighting, including electronic strobe for fill flash, and my original Fujichrome slide is strongly tinted.

I scanned this slide using an Epson V600 flatbed scanner driven by Epson Scan 2 software. Working from a high-resolution TIF file, I initially scaled the photo without corrections.

Then, working with slider controls in Adobe Lightroom, I implemented a variety of color corrections, plus contrast and exposure adjustements to overcome flaws with color balance and exposure. Below are both results for point of comparison.

This is a scaled JPG of the uncorrected scan which reflects how the original slide appears to the eye. Compare this with a partially color corrected version below.
Above is my first color-corrected scan aimed at better representing the colors of the locomotive as they would have appeared to my eye at night. Although imperfect, it is an improvement over the original slide.
Here’s an alternative version aimed at further reducing the green tint from the mercury vapor light and reducing overall contrast. This is closer to the way the scene would have looked.

Tracking the Light is a Daily Photoblog focused on railroads.