Here are some recent examples of photos gone wrong.
It would be grand if every time I pressed the shutter I made a calendar perfect picture. (If, of course, I wanted to illustrate calendars all day long).
Trains move while I’m trying to make photos. If I don’t get everything set right, move at the wrong instant, or the technology slips up, then the moment is gone by the time I get it together.
Many times I get what I’m aiming for, but sometimes I goof it up.
Yes, I make lousy photos. Sometimes.
Too often the cause of the lousy photo is malfunctioning technology, or my over reliance on automated camera functions. Other times it’s just me. People make mistakes. Luckily no harm comes if I make a bad photo.
On my theme of ‘getting the angle right’; or rather how slight adjustments in elevation can alter perspective, compare these two recent views of Amtrak 768 Pacific Surfliner at Fullerton, California.
Both were made with my FujiFilm XT1 digital camera and a telephoto zoom lens.
The top view was made from my standing height and aims to include the footbridge.
With the bottom view, I’ve taken a more extreme telephoto focal length while placed the camera very near to platform level. Composition was aided through use of the fold-out rear display. This allows me to hold the camera near to the ground while being able to look down to see the image. (A handy feature of the XT1).
The low angle telephoto is a good means for making a more dramatic view.
To emphasize the wild flowers in the foreground, I’ve held the camera low to the ground and used the tilting back screen to compose the angle. (Aiding this approach is the FujiFilm X-T1’s built in line-level which appears as a ‘heads up’ display on the screen.)
By applying a Lee graduated neutral density filter to the front of the lens, I’ve maintained highlight detail in the sky.
My adjustments the RAW file in post processing lightened shadow density and increased color saturation to help make for a lush scene.
Notice the four layers: foreground, middle ground (the train), near background (the village of Gurtnellen), and the far background (snow crested peaks).
Once the new Gotthard Base tunnel is open to traffic at the end of this year, scenes such as this one of the Italian tilting train on the old route may be rare.