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Photography through windows...


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#21 lthanlon

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Posted 09 June 2011 - 03:57 PM

I've enjoyed many of photos I've taken through Amtrak windows with my iPhone and Lomo LC-A+. Typically, I use ISO 400 film, either color negative or C-41 black-and-white chromogenic. The Lomo's 32mm f/2.8 lens is recessed, so I'm able to hold the camera right up against the glass and avoid reflections. The iPhone is in a case, so its lens also is recessed. I keep the inside of the train window wiped clean; haven't tried Windexing the outside yet. I adjust Levels slightly in Photoshop Express or iPhoto, but seldom do a great deal of post processing. I occasionally shoot redscale film, which gives a very distinctive look. A few times, I've also used ISO 100 color negative, but that needs bright light to look good.

My major tip is to shoot purely for your own enjoyment.

iPhone / Lamy, New Mexico
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Lomo LC-A+ / Kodak BW400CN ISO 400 / Near Las Vegas, New Mexico
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Lomo LC-A+ / Lomography Redscale ISO 400 / West of Galesburg, Illinois
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Lomo LC-A+ / Kodak Pro Image ISO 100 / Somewhere in Illinois
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Edited by lthanlon, 10 June 2011 - 02:19 PM.

L.T. Hanlon | Chicago, USA
Trains traveled: California Zephyr, Empire Builder, Southwest Chief, Sunset Limited, Texas Eagle


#22 Ryan

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Posted 09 June 2011 - 04:03 PM

You might want to consider buying a DSLR if you want more real-time control.

That's a really good suggestion - what really drives the point home is the comparison of sensor sizes in the post above. Sensor size is FAR more important to image quality than Megapixels, despite all of the hype about that particular number.

The bigger the sensor, the more light you can capture.

Very nice pictures, Ithanion!
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#23 RCrierie

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Posted 10 June 2011 - 03:05 PM

The bigger the sensor, the more light you can capture.


Indeed. Let me post some pictures from a visit to the US Air Force Museum in Dayton OH a few years back to explain why I went out and spent $700 (at the time) on a DSLR kit (you can get that camera now for maybe $400)

This is what I saw on my point and shoot's 2.5" LCD Screen, which had a resolution of 420 x 240 pixels:

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It looked good to me at the time (and I was using a Tripod as well); so I thought everything would be fine.

But when I loaded them up on my computer; they were near total failures (I only got maybe five good pictures out of dozens)

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I was so bummed out by that experience of driving 500 miles....and getting absolute horrible pictures, with only about maybe 5 or 10 good ones out of 100-200 I took; that I went and got a DSLR a few months later for my birthday.

Edited by RCrierie, 10 June 2011 - 03:08 PM.

Amtrak Mileage:
1,800~ miles on 91/92 Silver Star -- WAS to ORL and ORL to WAS.
1,200~ miles on 50/51 Cardinal -- WAS to CIN and CIN to WAS. (with Great Dome)

#24 Tracktwentynine

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Posted 21 June 2011 - 11:12 AM

One of my favorite from a train photos was shot from the window the Empire Builder's dining car at breakfast. Other than some smudges on the glass, you can't tell. I have no idea how I got so lucky.
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Amtrak: 35,600 miles, 24 routes, 44 states, 2 provinces. First trip 5/2005. Miles in 2014: 10,154.

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#25 GG-1

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Posted 21 June 2011 - 02:02 PM

One of my favorite from a train photos was shot from the window the Empire Builder's dining car at breakfast. Other than some smudges on the glass, you can't tell. I have no idea how I got so lucky.

Aloha

Considering how blurred the smudges are you had the lens very close to the glass. This minimizes reflections.

GG-1, Aloha, Mahalo = Thanks
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#26 MrFSS

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Posted 21 June 2011 - 05:23 PM

One of my favorite from a train photos was shot from the window the Empire Builder's dining car at breakfast. Other than some smudges on the glass, you can't tell. I have no idea how I got so lucky.



And those smudges can be removed very easily with a photo editor. Here I used a soft healing brush, a smart sky brush, and a gentle noise filter. Se the before and after results of a simply beautiful picture your took.

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#27 Tracktwentynine

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Posted 22 June 2011 - 11:33 AM


One of my favorite from a train photos was shot from the window the Empire Builder's dining car at breakfast. Other than some smudges on the glass, you can't tell. I have no idea how I got so lucky.



And those smudges can be removed very easily with a photo editor. Here I used a soft healing brush, a smart sky brush, and a gentle noise filter. Se the before and after results of a simply beautiful picture your took.



Thanks. At the time I wasn't experienced with Photoshop. I'm now learning that, and I've been meaning to go back and edit that photo. Thanks for showing me the possibilities!

Amtrak: 35,600 miles, 24 routes, 44 states, 2 provinces. First trip 5/2005. Miles in 2014: 10,154.

"My heart is warm with friends I make, And better friends I'll not be knowing; Yet there isn't a train I wouldn't take, No matter where it's going."
--Edna St. Vincent Millay, "Travel"

Follow me: Twitter | Flickr | Tumblr | Blogspot | Greater Greater Washington


#28 Peter KG6LSE

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Posted 03 July 2011 - 01:49 PM

My camera is nothing fancy, the Panasonic FX75 (mid-range point-and-shoot), so maybe it is just a lack of processing power that would be improved with a more powerful processor in a better camera?

I went and looked up your camera. It's got a 1/2.33 inch sensor.

This equates to a sensor about this big:

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(this is actually for a 1/2.5 inch sensor; but you get the rough idea)

This is what my current camera -- a Rebel XSi with a APS-C sensor; the lowest level of a DSLR you can get -- carries:

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(Sensor sizes are all to scale).

Basically P&S do just fine in bright sunlight; but if you bring them indoors or put them in very difficult low light situations, they just horrifically fail.


I shoot APS-H in a 1 D You are SPOT on ..

To clareify what is going on here ..
A Pixel is a photo site . Kinda like a Photo diode .
Its Size is how much current it can put out .(CCD VS CMOS is not relivent at this point ) ,

Full frame cams have the advantage that for a Givin MP rating they have HUGE Pixels .

This is why my Older 1D mk2 8 MP cam can still Blow the top off most 10MP cams out there.
for more dense Pixels you Need to AMP them more to drive the Image proc Chip ( like a DIGIC 4 Ect )

the Noise you see is partly Jonson ( shot ) noise and some is thermal noise )
the same "noise" you hear on a mIc on large PA .

its the same noise is with Old TV amps .

Thus If you don't Need High MP go low MP and BIG chips .

this is on the 1 D My link at HIGH ISO ..( no flash in the theatre )

This is the S5 IS Point and shoot cam same MP My link Lower ISO .. out doors

so as you can see the ISO VS Chip size issue is a big factor ...



Peter

#29 Guest_HerMamma_*

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Posted 15 August 2011 - 01:42 PM

I picked up a couple of rubber hoods for my lenses before my last trip. Because they are flexable you can put them right up against window eliminating reflexions. The only problem I had was the dirty glass on the outside... 'solved' by depth of focus for sure :)

#30 jis

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Posted 15 August 2011 - 02:25 PM

Sometimes it is the smudges that makes the photo :)

Rainbow at dusk in pouring rain from a fast moving train

Taken from 50 running almost 4 hours behind schedule near Culpeper VA, near the end of a massive thunderstorm.

#31 Henry Kisor

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Posted 24 August 2011 - 11:11 AM

I carry cheap ($10) screw-in rubber lens hoods designed for 50mm lenses (on full frame 35mm cameras) to fit my two traveling zoom lenses (17-70mm, 55-300mm), used with APS-C sized DSLRs (Pentax K20D and K-5). Holding the rubber hood on the window locks out reflections from the rear, and the flexible rubber allows for some movement of the lens as well.

There will, however, be vignetting if the shorter zoom lens is used much under 35mm focal length. A wide-angle rubber hood would help here.

Post processing the photos in Lightroom 3 and/or Photoshop Elements helps dirty-window shots a lot.

Of course, shooting from an open vestibule window is best, but Amtrak and VIA do not allow that. Alaska RR provides convenient open-air platforms for that purpose (but hold on to your hat at speed -- I've lost two on the Denali Star). The White Pass & Yukon allows photography from its open vestibules.
Author of Zephyr: Tracking a Dream Across America, now available as Kindle and Nook ebooks.

#32 jis

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Posted 24 August 2011 - 12:04 PM

Just ordered a 55-300mm Nikkor AF-S VRII Zoom Lens. Should have it in hand by tomorrow and take it out for a spin on Saturday to Albany, weather permitting. Should be able to get some neat pictures along the Hudson through the window of Empire Service.

#33 Ryan

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Posted 24 August 2011 - 12:05 PM

I'd be interested in hearing your review of the lens - I love my 70-300VR.
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#34 bay state bruce

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Posted 08 April 2012 - 11:36 AM

This is a photo taken from the door on the last car of the EB. We were in North Dakota at sunrise.




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