Nevada Northern Railway – Day 2 continued…

Due to the extreme weather conditions all morning (described in my previous post), our workshop facilitators did a wonderful job of getting the shots but also caring about the comfort of the participants. We split the outside shooting into a couple of sessions, allowing us to get inside more frequently and stay warm.

One of the great elements of this particular workshop is the lighting. Steve Crise has been a photographer for many years (no, I won’t tell you how many so you don’t guess how old he is!), and is a master of setting up a lighting system. His classroom sessions on lighting are wonderful, but then we got to put that information into practice. Because of the weather, he devised some lighting schemes inside the Machine Shop and Engine House to teach us more. For these sessions, he has each participant put the light controller on their hot shoe and control the shot.

We had a couple of scenes to shoot. This is one of the NNRY employees in the Blacksmith Shop. There were two strobe lights on him, and one strobe inside the furnace. The furnace strobe had a gel to create the yellow color.

Of course, once I got my turn at the strobe lights, my attention turned to other areas.

In the Machine Shop, a fun composition of one of the walls.
This is the NNRY’s Rotary Snow Plow. The machinery is probably 10 feet in diameter. I bracketed exposures and then had some fun playing with different filters in post processing. This is a yellowed filter in Nik Silver Efex.

When the light begins to fade, we settle in for the evening session. Our facilitators got very creative for this year’s evening session. I call it, “Fun With Fire!”

We’re all in the Machine Shop, in total darkness. We hear Steve say, “3…2…1…open shutters!” We open our shutters and several strobes fire, lighting up NNRY worker Ben who is standing on the front of Locomotive 81 making lots of sparks. After a few seconds, the shutters close and we repeat the process.

With the number of participants, space was a little tight in the Machine Shop so I looked for different places to stand. For this shot, I stood on the stairs to mechanical equipment in the ceiling and got this shot looking down.
We stopped and allowed everyone to change their view every few minutes. For this shot, I went low and perpendicular to the locomotive.
From the front of the locomotive, and I mistimed my shutter and missed the strobe light. In some ways, I think it’s better than other images I made. Note the wet floor – not for safety, but for lighting effect.
In automotive photography, this is called a 3/4 view because the front of the vehicle is about a quarter of the total image. I timed the strobe well, as I got great light in the scene. For these shots, I tried several different settings. I settled in at ISO 250, f/7.1, 2.5 – 4 seconds of shutter speed.
For this shot, I stood at the top of the landing for the exterior door. One of the early shots on the night, I overexposed and clipped the center of the spark shower. Not fatal, as this is still a nice composition.

And so, a day of challenging conditions and much learning for me. Shooting in a driving snow storm, followed by strobes and fun with fire – new experiences all day.

A quick note about post processing. I always shoot in RAW format, which requires that all image files are processed on a computer before being able to share them. For the snow images, I still had to tone down highlights and bring out the shadows. The interiors just needed some tone adjustments and filters. The FWF images were lots of fun. Due to the strobe lighting in some (but not all) combined with the bright sparks, each image file had to be processed independently to bring out the strengths of every image. I also use filters from the DxO Nik Collection or Topaz Studio, and I used both – sometimes together – to make the image really pop.

One more cold day in Ely, but it wasn’t snowing! Until next time – enjoy! PHOTOROGR

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s