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Midnight at Furnace Hill
Midnight at Furnace Hill

Photograph Information Photographer's Comments
Challenge: Free Study 2008-10 (Advanced Editing VII)
Camera: Nikon D200
Lens: Nikon AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8G IF-ED
Location: Orbisonia, PA
Date: Oct 10, 2008
Aperture: f/7.1
ISO: 400
Shutter: 15
Galleries: Transportation
Date Uploaded: Oct 20, 2008

AKA The Night Train 2... I like my first shot better but I went in purposefully trying not to overexpose the tender this time. Since you only get about 3-4 shots before the train crew drives her down the track and prime real estate is not exactly easy to come by for these shoots, I'm OK with how this came out. Just wish I had had more time for composition.

The East Broad Top has cemented itself as my favorite tourist railroad. I'm just hoping they can raise the money to open up more of the line (not likely) and restore the other 3 operable engines to the current regulations (at $400,000 per engine, also not likely). Still, hopefully the days of the quadruple header (they did it once!) are not gone forever.

All but a couple of the stars are real. Editing includes curves, color tones, dodging of stars, cloning (stars, removed power lines) Neat Image, resize, unsharp mask. I'm predicting this beats my last one by 0.1 points (6.1807)

Full Exif:
Nikon D200
2008/10/11 20:01:42.24
RAW (12-bit) Lossless
Image Size: 3904 x 2616
Lens: 17-55mm F/2.8 G
Focal Length: 26mm
Exposure Mode: Manual
Metering Mode: Multi-Pattern
15 sec - F/7.1
Exposure Comp.: 0 EV
Sensitivity: ISO 400
Optimize Image: Custom
White Balance: Manual
AF Mode: Manual
Flash Sync Mode: Not Attached
Color Mode: Mode III (sRGB)
Tone Comp: Less Contrast
Hue Adjustment: 0
Saturation: Normal
Sharpening: Medium high
Image Comment: c.2008 Benjamin Snyder
Noise Reduction: OFF

Place: 114 out of 394
Avg (all users): 5.9571
Avg (commenters): 7.5000
Avg (participants): 5.8515
Avg (non-participants): 6.2308
Views since voting: 636
Views during voting: 240
Votes: 140
Comments: 9
Favorites: 1 (view)

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11/12/2008 03:55:02 PM
Hello from the Critique Club.

Firstly, this was a photo that impressed be during voting for the FS, and I am pleased to be revisiting it to leave a fuller critique than my earlier comment.

The diagonal placement of the tracks adds a a sense of motion, despite the (apparently) stationary engine and the low viewpoint adds to the sense of it's imposing size, although at the cost of the inclusion of the foreground grasses - that said, whilst I don't feel they add anything positive, I don't find them as distracting as I did when I first viewed the photos. It is a shame that the modern suburban housing is so visible in the background, although reading your photographer's notes, I suspect this is something you cannot avoid.

I viewed your photo the Night Train, and could see why you wanted to try a re-shoot - and I am glad you did, because the exposure here is spot on. All of the train is well exposed, with the only burned out areas in the whitest and brightest part of the steam. The detail revealed in the train is really good; I wonder if you could capitalise on this even further with a little selective burning?

Focus and sharpness: Clearly good focus, with just the right amount of post-processing sharpness. The depth of field has allowed the entire train to remain in focus.

Monotone Conversion: There is a good range of tonal values from true black through to white.

Overall impression: A very well considered and taken photograph, with complimentary post-processing - I am surprised it didn't score above 6, as I thought it one of the stronger entries in this months FS.

  Photographer found comment helpful.
 Comments Made During the Challenge
11/07/2008 04:06:26 PM
Very nice use of mono....just an outstanding image, Nothing bad to say, 9 from me.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/06/2008 02:13:26 PM
Very sharp! Looks great with the dark background.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/04/2008 09:00:16 PM
Great shot.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/04/2008 12:45:13 PM
Not keen on the foreground grasses, but thoroughly impressed with the detail in the engine and the tonal range of the B&W conversion.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/03/2008 09:32:06 AM
Takes me back in time to when I was a child riding steam trains in Australia, then again when I lived in China. One of my favourites from this challenge. I look forward to reading more about the location and how you took the photo.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/02/2008 05:50:32 PM
Wow, the bright light and you still got all those stars!!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/01/2008 03:22:57 PM
This is awesome, puts me in mind of Starlight Express. Great sharpness and subject. Could maybe use a touch more contrast.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/01/2008 02:37:35 PM
Would have scored this higher, had you touched up the specs in the black sky, maybe their stars, just think it would look better all black.
  Photographer found comment helpful.

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