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Sliding Boxcar Doors
Sliding Boxcar Doors

Photograph Information Photographer's Comments
Challenge: Doors (Basic Editing)
Camera: Pentax K10D
Lens: Pentax DA 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AF
Location: Lansing, MI
Date: Aug 17, 2008
Aperture: f/8
ISO: 100
Shutter: 1/2 sec
Galleries: Transportation
Date Uploaded: Aug 18, 2008

This abandoned train was sort of a spur of the moment shot. I wanted to do a door shoot that would hopefully be unique from all the other entries. I stopped at a couple of cemeteries to take a few pics of some mausoleum doors, but they didn't hit me as anything special. I was losing light anyways and decided to hit the road.

As I was driving near my office, I remembered this old abandoned train - the same one where I used the track for a Centered challenge. I figured these boxcars would have doors. A big plus was that the sun was setting and the sky was giving off some great color.

I didn't have much of my camera gear with me (no grad ND) and had to improvise. With the setting sun, I could only expose for the sky or the train. Well, of course I needed both somewhat so I exposed for the sky and locked it in, pulled out my flash, set my 12 sec timer, walked over to a 90 degree angle to the train outside of the frame, waited for the shutter to trip, fired the flash during the 1/2 second shutter opening, and walked back to check and make sure the overall exposure would work. This took a few tries to get it right, but I didn't have to take very many shots - maybe 3 or 4.

Made some broad exposure/color/lighting changes. I tweaked the curves quite a bit - mainly for the sky. Adjusted the levels individually, and bumped the saturation a bit. A little contrast change for the shadows and highlights. Resize and usm to finish it off.

I even got a little word bonus on this shot. Just to the left of the doors, the wording ends with, "all [d]oors are open." It's kinda faded, but it is visible and readable. Hopefully the voters will see it too and vote accordingly. ;-) And no, I didn't open the boxcar doors. They were already like that when I walked up.

I think the shot is pretty solid. The only thing I can think of where a person would vote it down is due to the overgrowth in the lower left(something I could have knocked down but didn't really have time for). I'm sure someone will leave the obligatory "distracting" comment, but I honestly do not feel that it distracts from the overall shot.

6.7 would be my dream score. 6.3 is probably a little more realistic.

Place: 18 out of 156
Avg (all users): 6.2186
Avg (commenters): 7.3750
Avg (participants): 6.1698
Avg (non-participants): 6.2346
Views since voting: 1126
Views during voting: 340
Votes: 215
Comments: 10
Favorites: 2 (view)

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07/21/2010 12:56:19 PM
Beautiful shot. I love the color and the neat diagonal it creates.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/27/2008 11:02:34 AM
Congratulations on top 20. Your exposure work is great. Thanks for the detailed information as well. Most unique submission as this is the only box car doors in challenge. Thirty years ago I road boxcars from WI to CA so I can really appreciate your photo.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
 Comments Made During the Challenge
08/26/2008 07:49:34 PM
I like the originality of this... great POV and composition.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/26/2008 04:06:08 PM
One of the better ones this challenge. - 6
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/25/2008 03:07:37 PM
nice take on the challenge, great colors
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/25/2008 03:22:36 AM
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/24/2008 12:53:12 AM
beautiful colors
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/21/2008 10:21:37 AM
good job...nice
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/21/2008 09:50:49 AM
The sky makes this shot! I really like it!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/20/2008 05:55:56 PM
Love the colour, the lighting and COmposition here. One of the top images in the Chalenge
  Photographer found comment helpful.

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