Think about it? How many different type of light will you work with?
I know a fair few sunny-day photographers. No sun, no photo.
I know others who only come out at night.
I have my favorite types of light and preferred angles, but I’ll photograph in a variety of situations.
There’s your old standby; ‘over the shoulder three-quarter sun’.
But there’s lots of types of sun and angles; clear cloudless mid-morning sun is nice; how about side-lit midday sun? Or hazy backlit sun?
Then there’s; low sun, glint, and the full back-lit sunset silhouette.
Of course with glint, you can subdivide it any number of ways; hard glint (silver glint), soft glint, golden glint, etc.
Likewise with overcast lighting. Not all cloudy days cast the same light.
Perhaps the most difficult is when the darkest cloud is above you and the rails glisten silver and the sky is white (but bright) off in the distance.
Then there’s rain; light rain, hard rain, driving rain, and ‘#@*#@@!!!! what am I doing out in this?!’ rain. Then there’s; sun and rain, and rainbow with dark sky.
Also; light falling snow, falling powdery snow, heavy falling snow, and one of my favorites; heavy falling snow with cross-lit sun’.
Then the next day: light snow on ground, heavy snow on ground, VERY heavy snow on ground. Then after it warms up; dead dirty snow.
Evening dusk with a hint of blue; evening dusk with stars twinkling. Evening dusk with comet (I’ve got it!), and even better, morning twilight with comet (got that too).
Then you have your mists and fogs; light fog, heavy fog, and mist clinging to top of hill in distance with full morning sun in foreground (another old favorite).
Night with stars; night with half moon, night with full moon; sodium vapor light, mercury vapor light; florescent light; incandescent light; and mixed electric light.
I like some of the specialized lighting effects such as ‘cathedral light’ where daylight is allowed to pierce shadows indirectly from the side, with no direct daylight in the scene. (Best accomplished in a snow shed, under a highway bridge, or in a train shed.)
There’s; train lost in shadow of its own exhaust backlit by rising sun.
And; everything in scene covered in hoar frost, backlit by rising run.
Not to mention; train in silhouette against fog bank in front of hill backlit by rising sun.
There’s more, but I bet I’ve lost some readers already.
Tracking the Light Discusses Photography Everyday.
My title may seem strange but it is descriptive: On March 29th, 2015, I visited the NS (Nederlandse Spoorwegen) station at Bergen op Zoom.
Working with my Fuji X-T1 fitted with an 18-135mm zoom lens (set to its maximum telephoto setting), I made this photo of an NS Verlengd InterRegio Materieel (VIRM) double-deck electric multiple unit arriving at the station.
Even on Sunday, NS provides a half-hour interval passenger service to Bergen op Zoom. The trains are clean, reliable and well patronized.
Earlier this month (September 2013), I traveled with an Irish railway photographer to the Netherlands. We spent a few sunny hours at a pedestrian/bicycle crossing near Dordrecht Zuid on a busy north-south line.
This was one of the most intensely used double-track mainlines that I’ve witnessed in any country. For two hours we photographed a constant parade of local and long distant passenger trains plus a great variety of freight. Trains passed the crossing every couple of minutes.
For me one of the most interesting trains to photograph are the Netherlandse Spoorwagen (translated as ‘Dutch Railways) ‘Koploper’ style electric multiple unit.
These are distinctively Dutch. As European railways are rapidly moving toward standard commercial train models, it’s nice to still see nationally characteristic equipment on the mainline.