Saturday, February 12, 2011

Saturday afternoon piccie. . .

Somewhere north of Narrabri. . . an empty block of grain wagons bound for refilling at Moree wait out a cross with an up load during harvest season in the North-West, circa 1974. Two new WHX aluminum hoppers on the head end compete with the relatively clean 44 Class in reflecting the rising sun. All's quiet except the occasional stirring of the Alco 251 powerplant, the call of birds and the occasional hum of rubber tires on the parallel Newell highway.

Of course, all is not as it seems. It's a photo on the layout, of course, but taking advantage of "glinty light" helps pass it off a little more as the real thing. I had cleared off the Wee Waa section of the layout to paint track and base scenery and while leaving the room looked back and saw late afternoon light from a southern exposure window nicely lighting up the scene in something approximating the right at sunrise or sunset "glint" lighting I like so much.

With the usual fluorescent layout lights on, there's nothing special with the scene:

But with just indirect ambient light, there's definitely something to work with. Maximum depth of field (f29), a low camera angle, and long exposure (10 seconds, ei 200) with a 1 stop under-exposure EV value deepens the shadows and keeps the highlights from blowing out. There's not much color in this scene, but there's enough contrast to work with:

From here, it was all a matter of manipulating the color, cropping the scene, and merging the photo with an appropriate sunset view (for the record: Soldier Summit, Utah, 1979). I'm happy with the results. The harsh lighting goes a long way to hiding the fact that I've got no ballast or real sceney down yet. Actually, that's what I should be doing rather than making photos of the layout!


Ray P said...


Nice, very arty ;-)

All that gives it away are the thick RP25 110 wheels, but we all have problems with those.

Ray P

Colin said...

Yeah, get on with the ballasting! :-)

Seriously, nice pic! But do get on with the modeling... ;-)