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Thread: The Old Rail Car

  1. #1
    Dizzy's Avatar
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    The Old Rail Car

    This old rail car sits out behind the Post Office in our little town of 800 citizens, and it has become one of my favorite subjects to photograph. I'm still researching it's history, but apparently it was a dining car of some sort, and a local citizen (my son-in-law's now-deceased great uncle) purchased the car from the railroad when it was decommissioned. They removed the railroad tracks from this part of the valley many years ago, and now this old relic of days gone by sits alone on a 100' of track that only goes nowhere.

    Looking at it, I can only wonder about where it might have traveled to in the prime of it's life, and what interesting events might have taken place on-board such a large carriage. I have no doubts that this old carriage has many great stories to tell, and if I can only find a way to make my camera show them, then they can be shared with others.

    The Old Rail Car
    18mm, Aperture Priority, F/3.5, 1/1000, Exposure Comp.: -0.3EV, ISO 320, Matrix

    The Old Rail Car
    18mm, Manual, F/5.0, 1/500, Exposure Comp.: 0.0EV, ISO 200, Matrix

    The Old Rail Car
    18mm, Aperture Priority, F/8.0, 1/200, Exposure Comp.: -0.7EV, ISO 200, Matrix

    The Old Rail Car
    40mm, Aperture Priority, F/6.0, 1/40, Exposure Comp.: -0.3EV, ISO 320, Matrix

    All pics were shot with my Nikon D90, and using the VR 18-105mm F/3.5-5.6G kit lens. Cropped in Microsoft Office Picture Manager and processed in Picnik and Nikon Nx2. I actually did very little PP aside from small adjustments to contrast, exposure and sharpening. I wish these were sharper, but just not sure what changes to make to achieve that result.

    Any comments or criticism's are most welcome, plus any suggestions/recommendations on how to improve them next time I visit the old carriage.

    Mike
    Last edited by Dizzy; 10th August 2011 at 07:34 AM.

  2. #2
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: The Old Rail Car

    Mike

    As you say - wonderful subject material.

    I don't know if you've ever done any converting to black & white. This, I think, is a subject just made for that.

    The other thing is that getting a good composition of the whole carriage, particularly with all those trees around is always going to be very difficult. But in the last one, you've shown the potential for getting in close and concentrating on some of the details.

    Is it possible to get inside? If so, that would open up a whole lot more opportunities.
    Last edited by Donald; 10th August 2011 at 02:34 PM.

  3. #3
    RockNGoalStar's Avatar
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    Re: The Old Rail Car

    Hey Mike,

    That really is an interest subject to photograph and you're very lucky to have it on your doorstep.

    Have a think about the time of day you are taking these shots as well. Perhaps go there during the 'golden hour' before or after sunset / sunrise and see the difference some nice golden light will add to the scene (Don't forget your tripod!).

    Cheers,

    Tom

  4. #4
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    Re: The Old Rail Car

    Hi Mike,

    I would definitely go inside as Donald suggests. Who knows what waits you there! It is a subject that really intrigues me.

  5. #5
    Dizzy's Avatar
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    Re: The Old Rail Car

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald View Post
    Mike
    As you say - wonderful subject material.
    I don't know if you've ever done any converting to black & white. This, I think, is a subject just made for that.
    The other thing is that getting a good composition of the whole carriage, particularly with all those trees around is always going to be very difficult. But in the last one, you've shown the potential for getting in close and concentrating on some of the details.
    Is it possible to get inside? If so, that would open up a whole lot more opportunities.
    Hi Donald: I had actually written a full reply to this thread earlier this morning, but when I hit "Submit" I found there was no site there to post to.. (server was down for a bit?)

    I'm glad you mentioned the B&W, as I had the same thought but just wasn't sure it would work well. I even posted a B&W image from that shoot to one of the mini-comp's., but believe I could have done much better.

    Come winter all those leaves will be gone, and it will take on a new look, and with the Sun being so low to the South in those months, it should offer a whole new perspective to the photo's.

    Giannis, I agree with you and Donald as there has got to be some interesting "stuff" inside. I spoke with my son-in law this afternoon about the history of the old carriage, and he is going to do some checking with his relatives and try to get permission to access the inside. Most of the windows are boarded up, and I am afraid that what I can see inside looks like piled up old junk that is unrelated to the train car, but that's just a small section of the car.

    Quote Originally Posted by RockNGoalStar View Post
    Hey Mike,
    That really is an interest subject to photograph and you're very lucky to have it on your doorstep.
    Have a think about the time of day you are taking these shots as well. Perhaps go there during the 'golden hour' before or after sunset / sunrise and see the difference some nice golden light will add to the scene (Don't forget your tripod!).
    Cheers,Tom
    Hi Tom,

    Our little town isn't very old by European standards, as it was settled about 1890, but it does have some interesting history and there are several old relics of the past laying around here and there about town. Most of the old equipment is logging or cement mining related, but I hope to photograph a number of them over the next year or so, as each has an interesting story to tell.

    Thanks for the tip about the morning/evening light giving things a different appearance. The carriage is oriented East/West, so the setting Sun would be the best bet for now, and I'll give it a try next sunny day (with the tripod in hand that was left at home last time.....)

    Mike
    Last edited by Dizzy; 11th August 2011 at 05:48 AM.

  6. #6

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    Re: The Old Rail Car

    Captivating shots,Mike.Inside would certainly be interesting too.I see you had 1/1000 sec.on the first one with ISO at 320. I think I'd have gone for f11 and whatever ISO gave a good exposure but when you take the tripod next time you'll have much better options and don't forget mirror lock-up and a cable release (or the timer)- every bit helps. What's good about that location is that you have the time to do these things.

    Be interesting to learn about it's history too.

  7. #7
    RockNGoalStar's Avatar
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    Re: The Old Rail Car

    Unfortunately the D90 doesn't have mirror lock-up. It's the only feature it doesn't have that I really want it to have

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