Heavy Rail vs. Light Rail
Here are my comments / editing details that I would have entered if I had time during submission...
Note to DPC/SC: My camera's date/time is set to UTC; I had this approved by the SC when I first joined dpchallenge.
Finding this place was a bit of luck and on a whim of an excursion to find something to shoot for this challenge. I was looking for something to shoot on the actual railroad, from ground-level of the rails themselves, disappearing into the distance. (Although I think there might be plenty of those entered already...) When I realized the only time I could shoot for this was late Monday night, I thought I'd try to get some interesting city lights or such on the horizon, etc. On my way to a reasonable-easy access-point to the railway, I walked right past this and thought "WOW -- I bet THAT would make for some interesting photographs!" Sho'nuf, it did.
I was mortified to find that my brand new D90 doesn't accept my cable remote I had used on my D80 for years. Of course, I had left my D80 at home and just brought the D90. I tried to stop down and take longer exposures in bulb, but even with the tripod, I kept slightly moving the camera during the exposure and just couldn't keep sharp. So, I resorted to leaving it on 30' and opening the lens up to f/8 and bumping the iso up a bit. I still can't believe I can't use my cable remote. Grr -- gotta find a new one now.
Anyway, after a few setup shots, I knew I was on to something. From my point of view, the left bridge was almost pitch black. I'm amazed and pleased how well it turned out, illuminated solely from the reflected light from the light ropes on the bridge on the right.
"Just submit it."
Shot on tripod; Nikon 17-55/2.8 lens at 31mm, iso 200, 30s and f/8.0.
Took lots of shots at 17mm, which I really loved, but they had a number of distracting elements at the bottom left and right of the frame, and I decided to go with this closer shot.
Didn't have time to play with processing much at all.
Without further adue, here's how to over-process and suck the life out of a really lovely shot:
RAW/NEF -> Lightroom
WB Temp -> 2900 (as shot)
WB Tint -> -2 (as shot)
Exposure -> +0.70
Recovery -> 45
Fill Light -> 35
Blacks -> 6
Clarity -> +30
Vibrance -> +35
Saturation -> +30
Point Curve: Strong Contrast
Green Hue -> +13
Blue Hue -> +100
Purple Hue -> +21
Orange Sat -> -22
Purple Sat -> +28
Magenta Sat -> +9
Amount -> 0 (to be done in Noise Ninja)
Luminance -> 0 (to be done in Noise Ninja)
Round-tripped to Noise Ninja...
Back in LR, now with TIFF from Noise Ninja...
WB Temp -> -31 (should have done this first, but didn't notice how much it improved the colors)
WB Tint -> +13 (should have done this first, but didn't notice how much it improved the colors)
Fill Light -> 10
Orange Hue -> +32
JPEG, 80 quality, sRGB, constrained 640x640, minimize metadata