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Old 11-03-2014, 06:40 PM   #1901
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Thanks for the link, Walt. I'll have to check it out
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Old 11-03-2014, 06:56 PM   #1902
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Another train shot. I gotta find operating steam locos like ggbutcher did. This one hasn't run in a while.

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Old 11-03-2014, 09:59 PM   #1903
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Another train shot. I gotta find operating steam locos like ggbutcher did.
Ronstar, yours is an interesting pic. Where'd you take it; I don't recognize the loco...

We're quite fortunate in that regard in Colorado. Back in the '90s, we didn't have a lot of time or money for a 'proper' vacation, so we took a series of long weekends and rode every steam train in Colorado. 5 at the time: 1) Durango Silverton, which I believe most know, 2) Cumbres and Toltec, which is where the shots I posted were taken; 3) Colorado Railroad Museum in Golden, they have a loop of track now, but back then it was just a half-loop; 4) Georgetown Loop, which runs over one of the more interesting elevation-gainers built in Colorado, and 5) Cripple Creek & Victor, which is really just a guy who collects 2-foot gauge locomotives and runs them on the old standard gauge Midland Terminal right-of-way.

We saw some really pretty parts of Colorado, and learned a whole lot of state history in the process. One of our more significant vacation experiences, but I may just be delusion-ed because Sherry and the kids humored me...

The pictures I posted are from a spur-of-the-moment trip to the Cumbres and Toltec Railroad a couple of weeks ago for their last weekend of the season (Thanks for understanding, Sherry...) I've shot a lot of pictures of a lot of different subjects in my time, but that was the most enjoyable shooting I've ever done. I woke up at oh-dark-thirty on the day of my ride and went down to the yard to follow the locomotive through it's preparation for the trip. If you look at the album, there's a bit of a story told, from the shop guys taking the loco from the shop to the ash pit, then the water tank, then to the coaling station, before they turn it over to the engine crew. I went back to the hotel that evening and edited, and was up till well past midnight picking and post-processing good shots.

I went and did the same thing next morning before I left to drive home. Either because the loco being prepped just did this, or the mechanic was showing off for the camera, but 488 would expel a prodigious amount of steam from the cylinders every time it started to roll, and that contributed to the 'action' conveyed in my posted shots.

I used a Nikon D50 with the Nikkor 18-200 VR zoom. That lens is not the greatest compared to a fixed focal lens, but the ability to shoot from wide-angle to full telephoto in a particular locomotive movement without changing lenses was crucial to getting good compositions. You'll also see a green spot in the telephoto shots, an artifact I'll just learn to love. The D50 is a rather low-resolution camera by today's standards, but I'd really rather have high dynamic range than resolution. Still, I tend to add contrast and sometimes saturation to my pictures in Picasa to compensate. I'm saving my pennies for a D7100...

Walt, I put the copyright notice in my album generator when other train photographers on another forum I follow complained about folks re-purposing their images without any sort of by-your-leave. I have yet to register any images (I have registered other works with the Copyright Office), but I do know that, if you want to retain any prayer of asserting your right, you need to declare your intent to claim copyright when you first publish the work, hence the watermark. That said, if anyone wants a the full-res version for a desktop background or somesuch, just send me a private message; I'm not doing this for compensation.
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Old 11-04-2014, 07:18 AM   #1904
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ggbutcher - your albums are fantastic. With great scenery as a background. Thanks for your story and the list of train hot spots. I sometimes drive through that area between Chicago and Phoenix. I'll have a to take a photo tour through there next fall.

My shot was of a loco in the scrap yard of the Illinois railway museum in Union, Illinois, about an hour northwest of Chicago. They store all of their good stuff indoors and I didn't get any good shots of that. The only train that moves there (at least when I was there) is an interurban trolley car ca1920. I had a great day taking shots there, but I need to go back.

I used a Nikon D5200 with Nikkor 10-24 VR zoom. I agree - the prime lenses produce a crisper photo, but they are tough to use for anything that's moving. I've since gone crazy and splurged on the D610.
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Old 11-04-2014, 08:37 AM   #1905
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Very nice albums. I like the shot of the engineer leaning out the window of 484 with the steam in the lower half of the shot. Most train shots do not feature the human element ... sets it apart.

We lived down the road from the Train Museum in Golden ... had a membership as the boys loved the place. Lots of pics from there over the years.
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Old 11-04-2014, 12:37 PM   #1906
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Congratulations Ronstar. I splurged too, got a D750. I don't think the sensor is much better but the focusing is suppose to be. Still, they reduced the price so the D610 is hard to pass up.
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Old 11-04-2014, 08:13 PM   #1907
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Sooo.... any speculation, informed or otherwise, on the Nikon D7200
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Old 11-04-2014, 09:10 PM   #1908
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Congratulations Ronstar. I splurged too, got a D750. I don't think the sensor is much better but the focusing is suppose to be. Still, they reduced the price so the D610 is hard to pass up.

Congrats to you as well! The D750 is an excellent camera. You won't need to upgrade that for a long long while.


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Old 11-05-2014, 09:59 AM   #1909
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Here's an interesting article that I find strikes a chord with me.

The author, IMHO, is mostly right. I have had a few photos that with some good cropping have become more interesting. But, I never had a blah photo turn into an exciting one due to time stored.

Quote:
I think Jay has it right. It would be better not to shoot than to shoot something you don’t care about. The best images from the best photographers are much more about passion than technique
.

http://photofocus.com/2014/11/04/if-...ou-dont-shoot/
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Old 11-05-2014, 10:47 AM   #1910
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I currently have the last verions of PhotoShop that was sold as a perpetual license (not the cloud) and Lightroom 5.x.

I am thinking that Adobe will soon move Lightroom to the cloud also requiring a subscription. I understand that if I have LR or PS on two computers I can even start work on an image one one computer, let the cloud synchronize it, and then finish it on the other computer. Has anybody done that. What are your experiences overall with Adobe' Creative Cloud system.

My other concern is that while the current price of $10 a month is reasonable, they will raise it later on.
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Old 11-05-2014, 10:52 AM   #1911
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Here are Thom Hogan's thoughts on a possible alternative to Adobe products. Anybody tried them?

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Aside (sort of): people looking for alternatives to Adobe solutions should really look at DxO a little more carefully. It’s a mature product with impressive capabilities, and it’s tailored pretty directly at the enthusiast market looking for bang for the buck. In some ways, DxO conversions are better than Adobe conversions (though not in all ways). I’ve found that you can get quite impressive conversions out of the product. Of course, DxO is mostly about conversion, so how would someone trying to leave the Adobe clutch deal with cataloging, key wording, and browsing? A reader recently pointed me to Photo Supreme (Macintosh and Windows), a product I hadn’t tried before. Impressively fast and seemingly complete, and yes, it integrates with DxO Optics. Until December 1st, there’s also a 20% discount on the US$100 product, so download the free trial and see if it solves your problems. I guess the point of this aside is that it pays to look at these alternative workflows. Both DxO Optics and Photo Supreme offer free trial versions. You might find a product that is less expensive and does everything you need.
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Old 11-05-2014, 11:47 AM   #1912
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I have not tried DxO. I use Lightroom (a lot) and Gimp(very little). I was thinking of graduating to Photoshop at some point, but I'm not at that level yet.

I have Lightroom on 2 computers. I haven't tried editing an image on one computer, synchronizing it, and then editing it on the other. Something like this would be very helpful to me, because I have separate LR libraries on each computer now
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Old 11-05-2014, 12:10 PM   #1913
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Being a bear of little brain, I started with Picasa to do cropping, contrast and saturation adjustment, and more recently, sharpening. When I stepped back and looked critically at this workflow, I determined that I was increasingly striving to squeeze performance from my D50 similar to what I saw peers getting from cameras with better dynamic range and, secondarily, better resolution when cropping. So, I'm going to spend my next dollars on a camera with a better sensor.

After that, my next need is to selectively control exposure, aka, "dodge 'n burn". I'm finding that GIMP's layer tools work well enough in that endeavor, no subscription, no $$. It also has a lens distortion filter plugin, important in that I use a zoom lens exclusively.
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Old 11-05-2014, 03:14 PM   #1914
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I haven't heard a word about a Nikon D7200. Hopefully a D810 is in my future a couple/three years from now.

I started with Photoshop Elements and went to the full version a few years later, Lightroom somewhere in between. I did that because of the extensive amount of books and online help available for those products and I have a low tolerance for software frustration, when I know a product can/should do something but I can't figure out how to do it.

When we bought our first digital camera ~4 or 5 years ago I didn't even know PS Elements existed and not knowing the full extent of what Lightroom and PS could do, I wasn't about to spend the money on them - especially the full version of PS - until I could see a clear reason why.
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Old 11-06-2014, 01:20 PM   #1915
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ggbutcher View Post
Being a bear of little brain, I started with Picasa to do cropping, contrast and saturation adjustment, and more recently, sharpening. When I stepped back and looked critically at this workflow, I determined that I was increasingly striving to squeeze performance from my D50 similar to what I saw peers getting from cameras with better dynamic range and, secondarily, better resolution when cropping. So, I'm going to spend my next dollars on a camera with a better sensor.

After that, my next need is to selectively control exposure, aka, "dodge 'n burn". I'm finding that GIMP's layer tools work well enough in that endeavor, no subscription, no $$. It also has a lens distortion filter plugin, important in that I use a zoom lens exclusively.

Nice head on train shots.

Yea. - a dynamic range of fourteen stops is nice lol. Another free Linux program is Darktable. You can guess which program it clones lol. Not sure if it's been compiled for windows yet. If you have an iPad, I'd recommend spending a couple of bucks for Photogene 4. Works with RAW file and does everything except layering. My version of Photoshop is from the 90s, I think, (photoshop 7) and I practically never use it. Practically everything I do is on the iPad


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Old 11-07-2014, 07:50 PM   #1916
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ImageUploadedByEarly Retirement Forum1415411319.191468.jpg

Strolling around Columbus with the AW1, wanting to test its low light capabilities. Set exposure for f5.6 @ 1/60, and let the camera choose the ISO. Generally around 3200

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Old 11-07-2014, 07:59 PM   #1917
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Old 11-07-2014, 08:11 PM   #1918
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Old 11-07-2014, 08:20 PM   #1919
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Old 11-08-2014, 10:04 AM   #1920
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San Sebastian, Basque Country (Not Spain!!)

I was told we were in Basque County and not in Spain.
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