As Halloween will be here shortly we went hunting for the elusive ghost train.
A bit of long exposure light play at the trains station at South Queensferry. It’s a learning curve and we went out experimenting on Friday night.
So we stood at the end of platform 2 facing the Forth rail bridge and as trains went past tried to get the light trails working. After a struggle we eventually got some good shots.
Then it was onto trying to shoot the end of the train as it’s stationary and moving away. The only problem with this is the delay between trains arriving at the platforms. 15-20min wait and then a single photo. I have eventually decided to get my 2nd (my back up camera, I replaced the Canon 1D MKIII with another 7D) Canon 7D involved to increase the possibilities of some good shots. I had to use a camera backpack as a make shift tripod but will invest in another tripod for the future, I might even need another lens as the wide angle is a bit to short at times.
Here’s the results of us facing the Forth railway bridge:
And then moving to the back of each train working out how long to start the exposure before the train moves away to get
the illusion of transparency while having enough detail to see that it is a train.
Thanks you for having a look
Jacques le Roux
I have joined a photography club after meeting a member by chance while taking photos of the eclipse earlier this year. It’s been a very interesting experience so far and I would recommend it.
The club I have joined does 1 meeting a month as a sit down and the rest you are out taking photos and learning in the process. Best way to do it in my opinion and it’s so nice to be able to talk about photography with people that share the same interest.
So go out there and see what’s available in your area. Here’s one thing we tried at our 2nd meet up.
Photographs by Jacques …
Right after finishing off at Grangemouth I crossed the Forth looking for one of two piers I found using Google maps.
Arrived at Aberdour with 30min to go before sunrise. I was very lucky to have low tide as well which allowed extra potential photos.
Lots of long exposures photos followed using my tripod, remote trigger, ND filter, 24-105mm L F4 and Canon 7D. I thought I will give the 7D a try and if it goes well get rid of the 1D mark III (get another 7D as a backup camera). Finally left after midday feeling like I had some good fun and might have some great shots.
Here’s the 1st bunch taken around sunrise.
Photographs by Jacques …
I have been trying to get to the Speedway track for over 4 years. My old manager and I have talked about it but never got around to it, this time we were both available and it was a important meet. I was using it as a recce for possible future visits.
This isn’t the first time I have taken photos at a sport event, I normally cover motorcycle racing and motorcycle track days (www.TrackSidePics.com) but Speedway was something different from the norm for me.
I used a Canon 7D with a Canon 300mm F2.8 L and x2 converter. Using AI Servo and shooting at 1/400 of a second. With the converter and the x1.6 the 7D gave me I had 960mm to play with, if I worked it out correctly. I was standing at the other end of the track in the crowd and I was able to get a good reach from the lens. As the converter doubles up the aperture the lowest I could use was F5.6. This wasn’t a problem in the beginning but by the time the sun was down the ISO was pushed to maximum levels and the photos got grainier. The converter was taken off at sun down and aperture went to F2.8 but it made little difference in the end.
I enjoyed the evening and out of the 1000 photos I took I have 140 keepers, I’ll be able to whittle it down further but that not bad for the night in my eyes. You have to be realistic with your hit rate I feel, I took anything from 1-10 photos per corner, out of those I choose 1 maybe 2 keepers. As I won’t be selling these to anyone it works out well, if I was doing my normal racing and track day coverage I would be aiming for 80% keepers go give customers a variety to choose from.
There are a few things to be weary of when you decide to go to a sport event with a telephoto lens. The photographers track side either pays or are contracted to take photos, they don’t like it very much to see a big lens in the crowd taking photos. So find out beforehand if you are allowed to use a telephoto lens. In my case I found it out once a photographer track side spotted the lens I was using and sent a marshal over to tell me to stop taking photos, the marshal said the information was in the program. As I bought a program on the spur of the moment I checked the next day and there in small print on page 3 it states that no video, zoom or close range photography is allowed without prior accreditation. As I have public liability insurance of £5 million and already do track side photography I’ll try my luck to get permission for next time, however I don’t think I’ll hold me breath as track side is a very difficult place to get into.
The mascot of the Edinburgh monarchs.
Some practise starts by some of the riders. The power the bikes has easily lifts the front wheel upwards and the body position of the rider controls the height and direction the bike travels.
Some racing moments, sideways of course and with mud flying off the back tyre.
If you look at the left edge of the photo at the bottom of the yellow board you will spot a black patch, that is a track side photographer, as I edited the photo I thought I’ll keep a little bit of him to show how close they are to the action.Track side furniture gets in the way of good photos but sometimes that just can’t be helped. A rider removing a tear off, this clears the visor so he has a better view of the action.As half the track was in sunlight and half were in shadow it’s not always the easiest thing to balance, with 55-56 second races times you need to make quick adjustments if you want to cover both sides of the track. Sun was down by the time the rest of the photos were taken. You can see as the ISO climbs the quality drops.
ISO 1250, F5.6 F2.8, ISO3200
People standing in front of your perfect photo will happen from time to time, if the action is good enough to distract the viewer from the intrusion then I feel you can use the photo.F2.8, ISO4000 F2.8, ISO5000
Photographs by Jacques…
Night photosession at the Forth road and train bridges.
We haven’t been out for a while for a night photo session. After days of snow, rain and cloudy weather it was time to get out and get some photos done.
I used my Canon 1D Mark III with my new Canon 24-105 mm F4 L IS lens for this session. I think need to invest in a wide angle lens for photos like these in the future. At 24mm I didn’t get the whole of either bridges in the photos. Time to do some homework to see the best wide angle lens to use. I started at F22 to see how hard I can push it last night and settled on F10 with either 30 seconds, 15 seconds or 10 second exposure.
The wind plays such a big role in night photography. The photos looks great on the camera but once you get it on a large computer screen you can see what the wind has done to your ‘near perfect’ focus. Editing the photos afterwards gives you another level to change things if you aren’t 100% happy with the results.
It was great fun and I think I prefer night photography over day time. So much to do at night to force you to try new things to get the best out of the light and subjects. The best part of all is you can take almost anything that would be boring in daytime and transform it at night, having a famous and brilliant subjects like these on my doorstep is a extra bonus.
Probably the photo of the evening for me.
A few photos at different angles and spots of the train bridge.
A train decided to add some extra effects to the long exposure. Other than that it’s the same image as the 1st one.
I tried to cut the spotlights out to get a better image of the bridge, didn’t work to the extent I hoped but not that bad either.
One of the best scenes of the evening for me.
The road bridge at low tide.
From below the road bridge.
I hope you like these photos, I really enjoyed taking them.
Photographs by Jacques…
Night photos session:
Went out for the 1st test night photo session. Some good results, learnt a lot and can’t wait for the next session.
– Sturdy tripod
– If you can bring a beanbag that would be helpful
– A remote trigger
– If you can get hold of a torch that you can change the light strength on and that doesn’t have a central light spot take it with to paint things with light on long exposures
– Fresh air
– Nice moody photos can be achieved
– You will be surprised by the results of a long exposure
– If you don’t do some reading up about night/long exposure methods it’s trial and error till you start getting results
– A fish eye lens would have been helpful
– Any movement will make stars become a line, use a remote trigger on a sturdy tripod
Very rewarding experience when you start getting results but very frustrating as well. Use ISO 400-800 with exposure times from 5-30 seconds for night shots.
Photographs by Jacques …
Camera: Canon 7D
Lens: Canon 17-85mm F4-5.6