Take the last train to Clarksville...
The Illinois Railway Museum was closed, today.
I suppose I got my signals crossed.
They are shutting down for "the season" and are only open on Weekends, until Nov 1. Then, the last train is out of there until April, 2012.
So, back I go on Saturday, which looks to be weather cooperative. Sunday, not so much. Looks like rain, rain, rain. :(
School work is chugging down the tracks!
You and I must be on similar wave lenghts. This past Sunday I continued photographing for my final "Large Format" portfolio assignment. I hauled my photo backpack with the A900 (w/ 28-90, 28mm prime and 50 mm prime) and Yashikamat TLR medium format camera, along with the 4x5 view camera (case, film holders and all) and tripod off the beaten track to get photographs of tressel bridge in Campo, CA. The bridge and railway serves the San Diego Railroad Museum.
Here are a couple of shots, including hauling the gear out onto the center of the bridge. Boy what a drop!!! :eek:
Really thinking composition
Don's post above brings up a really important aspect of photography. An aspect that often separates the master photographer from the every day Joe with a camera. As master photographer Edward Steichen put it, a photographer studies a subject until something unique captures his or her eye whereas a picture taker just snaps away at whatever is in front of them.
In my current class, my professor is helping me to refine my photographic vision beyond subject matter, quality of lighting (time of day, shadow play, contrast, etc.), and rule of thirds compositional choices towards studying the scene to see how lines and shapes play into the composition. How do you want to portray the subject matter? Do you want a sense of depth? Do you want the subject isolated? Do you want to lead your viewer to see what you think is important or do you want them to decide what is important or otherwise draw their own conclusions as to what is happening/being portrayed in you photograph. And, perhaps, one of the more important choices, when to actually take the picture (that is, if you're not doing still life).
A900 w/ Sigma 28-90 @ 28mm f22 1/200 ISO 400
Now I can tell, this is something that is going to take time to develop. But, I would recommend checking out the works of individuals like Robert Adams, Gerry Johannson and Henry Wessel (no known relationship) to see how they use lines in their scenes. For example check out the following article and attached photos http://lightbox.time.com/2011/10/12/...-landscape/#14 and in particular this photograph #15. Very simple, basic and sublime. But if you study the photograph, you will see multple triangles in the lines of the landscape and the way Henry Wessel chose to frame and locate his camera to capture that scene.
The UWA Zoom -> SIGMA 12-24mm f/4-5.6 DG EX
I have to agree, distortion to a degree... but then again, given the close quarters of the train barns makes for quite a challenge. Again, this was a "preliminary" series of shots, with only the bagged zooms tagging along, in order to check the lighting issues and lens length solutions. I will, more than likely, go with the PRIMES, once I am setting up each shot selected. I didn't even need the telephoto zoom. Just weighed me down.
When you close in on 16mm, you tend to start curving the world. I may go after it with the TAMRON SP AF 14mm f/2.8 and the SIGMA 20mm f/1.8 DG EX to see if they fare any better, next weekend. I am bringing in the studio strobes/hot lights to try and improve many of these indoor images, with a bit of an artsy flair. With the hot lights, I could HDR some of them, too, and pull up the shadows a bit. The biggest issue is the power demands for these lights.
Using the camera's DRO levels is kind of unpredictable and more of a "one-shot, spray and pray" type of shooting. I would like to have a little more thought in my work than that.
Thanks for the comment and I will try to reduce that distortion.
In the continuing pursuit of...
After the pull out of the Illinois Railroad Museum shoot, I was heading down IL-20, toward I-90, where there just happens to be a glider port. A few of the things that I loved as a teen were my days in the Civil Air Patrol... and the private airport with the cadet-glider program we had going. It was a lot of fun, then... it happened... I grew up.
Anyway, because I really never grew up, I found myself drawn back to the gliders. As I drove by, it was such a terrific day (sparse clouds and the wind at 6-10mph)... and there were at least 20-cars at the little airport, I just had to see what was happening. Weird thing, back in 1973, when I was in C.A.P., we used a Cessna 301 "Birddog" to tow the gliders up. Here it is, almost 40 years later... and the very same type of Viet Nam-era plane being used! It was de-ja-vue all over again. :p
I asked one of the guys just inside the small hanger at the field, "Who is in charge?" The guy smiles back, and asks, "What do you mean?" It was funny. He then told me the "glider club" owned the airstrip and that all the members ran the field in a loosely organized and friendly way. Being one that is more akin to a military or business infrastructure... this was bordering on being a little too loose for my comfort level. I remember all the stories about the dilution of responsibility... and this definitely was looking like one of those moments.
Anyway, I really wanted to know who would have a say about my photographing the fun... and the guy just said, "Just don't get in the way."
Okay... I'm good with that (All shots were taken with the α850 and 70-400mm f/4-5.6 G SSM combo). So, I get off to one side of the airstrip and in comes the first glider
Okay, that was cool... then I spotted this guy with something I really had wanted to see operate: a self-propelled glider, with the "stow-away" pusher prop (Ground assistant just let go of the wing).
I'm sorry, but to not have to wait for a tow plane to drag your sorry butt into the sky. There is a lot to be said about that. Unfortunately, after some discussion with the ground assistant (in that first image), these kind of gliders are tricky, unpredictable and just havoc to maintain. Understandably so and with the cost involved in the purchase of these high-end aircraft, hardly a bargain. Judgement: stick to a tow plane. ;)
Anyway... a few more shots to toss into the flight portfolio. Definitely worth the stop.