Tag Archives: #Sunrise technique

Sunrise at Cookshire, Quebec.

The other day on the Conway Scenic, I was telling film student Adam Bartley about a photograph I’d exposed on the former Canadian Pacific at Cookshire, Quebec.

I have relatively few photos on the old CP line in Quebec east of Montreal, and this one is one of my favorites.

I made it with very little set up time, and using something less than my sharpest lens.

This appeared as a full page image on page 102 of Railway Photography, a book authored with the late John Gruber in 2003. We dedicated the book to the memory of our friend the artist Ted Rose, who had passed away the previous year.

Here’s the un-edited caption I supplied to my publisher for the photo:
Get up early and be ready to photograph: if you’re not there. you won’t get the shot. Photographers George S. Pitarys and Brian Solomon spent several days in January 1998 photographing Iron Road Railways’ Quebec Southern. On the last morning of the trip, they hit the road well before sunrise and followed an eastbound train in the sub-zero gloom. This exposure was made at Cookshire, Quebec at sunrise. The clouds that made for the rosy morning glow would soon prevail leaving for a flat gray day. Sometimes your first shot of the day is your best. photo by Brian Solomon
Nikon N90S; Fuji Provia 100 (RDP)

Tracking the Light Posts Daily!

Sunrise Glint; Trams in Rome.

On April 6, 2017, I was up early to make photos of streetcars plying Rome’s streets.

Here, I’ve taken position where streetcars nip beneath the throat to Rome’s main passenger terminal. My goal was to work with the rosy rising sun to make some glint photos using my Lumix LX7.

These photos are all from the camera produced Jpg files. A little work in Lightroom might make for improved presentation, but that’s a topic for another day.

Any favorites?

I’m looking toward the rising sun working with glint, flare and silhouette—great elements to play with in the composing of interesting and potentially dramatic photographs.

By standing in the shadow of the railway overpass, I’ve blocked the sun from hitting the front element of the camera lens, thus eliminating the effects of flare, while retaining the glint on the side of the street car. I made several variations of this type of image, by playing with the light.

These narrow gauge cars work the vestige of an old interurban line.

Narrow gauge cars paused at a signal.

Tracking the Light Posts Daily.

California Sunrise—August 2016.

The sinuous alignment of the old Southern Pacific in the Tehachapis is ideally suited to lining up sunrise photographs.

A blanket of airborne particulates filtered the rising sun, softening the light and giving it a luminous golden tint.

In the 1990s, I made many glint photos on Kodachrome. This one I exposed digitally and adjusted contrast in post processing to make for a more pleasing image.

Where K25 slide film would have retained the ring of the sun, now I have to settle for a golden blob of light.

BNSF symbol freight Z-LPKNBY7-05L (priority intermodal train from Logistics Park Kansas City to North Bay, California) catches the glint at Caliente, California. ISO 200 at f20 1/500th of a second.

A key to making an image such as this one is manually setting the aperture to control the amount of light reaching the sensor. I metered manually and ignored the camera’s recommended exposure, which wouldn’t have given me the desired effect.

Since I was preparing a classic silhouette, I wasn’t interested in retaining detail in the shadows, but instead aimed to hold tonality in the sky.

Where my ‘normal’ daylight exposure with ISO 200 is about f8 1/500th of second, for this photo, I closed down the aperture to f20, which made for two and half stops less exposure.

Tracking the Light posts Daily.