Reflectors Glow

Discussion of photography and videography techniques, equipment and technology, and links to personal railroad-related photo galleries.

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Conrail1990
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Reflectors Glow

Post by Conrail1990 » Mon Sep 03, 2007 12:18 pm

I am having an issue with my camera where it highlights the reflectors on Locomotives and freights and pretty much anything that reflecs light.

Examples:

Image
Image

My camera is an Olympus Stylus 740. Any way I can change it so it dosent reflect the reflectors?
The master of the Penns Grove Secondary!

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MEC407
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Post by MEC407 » Mon Sep 03, 2007 12:36 pm

Turn the flash off.
MEC407
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Conrail1990
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Post by Conrail1990 » Mon Sep 03, 2007 1:13 pm

Tryed it. The picture is alot more blurry without the flash.
The master of the Penns Grove Secondary!

Orgnoi1

Post by Orgnoi1 » Mon Sep 03, 2007 1:20 pm

The flash is the main reason for the reflection. What you will need to do is not only turn it off... but see if there is a way to keep your shutter speeds to where you need them... that can be done a few ways... boosting your ISO (if available), manually setting your shutter speed (if available), or opening up your aperture (if available).

You can also try (and dont laugh) putting a piece of tissue paper over the flash if you cant get to any of the settings above... but quite frankly your shooting in daylight so if you cant get your shutter speeds up without the flash theres something wrong...

Conrail1990
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Post by Conrail1990 » Mon Sep 03, 2007 1:27 pm

My camera has an image stabilizer so I experimented with that. I turned the flash off and got a clear shot.
The master of the Penns Grove Secondary!

pennsy
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Post by pennsy » Mon Sep 03, 2007 3:23 pm

Ahhh, the miracle of Automatic Cameras that require no experience on the part of the photographer. Try reading the operating manual that comes with the camera.

RailBus63
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Post by RailBus63 » Mon Sep 03, 2007 10:13 pm

You need to learn how to use your camera without flash - it is dangerous to fire a flash in the face of an engineer or operator and potentially harm their vision while they are operating such a large vehicle.

For starters, most cameras have a shutter-priority mode which will allow you to maintain a shutter speed high enough to freeze motion - learn how to use this.

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RussNelson
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Post by RussNelson » Tue Sep 04, 2007 9:55 am

RailBus63 wrote:You need to learn how to use your camera without flash - it is dangerous to fire a flash in the face of an engineer or operator and potentially harm their vision while they are operating such a large vehicle.
What's the danger? Might they swerve and hit you? If a bright flash is dangerous, then why do trains run through a lightningstorm?

I suggest that the danger of taking flash photos is more one of annoying the engineer and creating an anti-railran.

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MEC407
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Post by MEC407 » Tue Sep 04, 2007 11:33 am

Well, regardless of the potential dangers or annoyances, there really is no reason to be using the flash in broad daylight. Some people occasionally use "fill flash" outdoors, which can be useful for portraits (especially if the subject is backlit), but most of the time, it's best to just leave it turned off when you're outside... especially with point-and-shoot cameras.
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RailBus63
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Post by RailBus63 » Tue Sep 04, 2007 2:37 pm

RussNelson wrote:What's the danger? Might they swerve and hit you? If a bright flash is dangerous, then why do trains run through a lightningstorm?

I suggest that the danger of taking flash photos is more one of annoying the engineer and creating an anti-railran.
Haven't you ever had someone take a picture of you with a flash camera? It's not uncommon to see spots afterwards - hardly the ideal situation for a railroad engineer who must look far down the track and respond to signal indications long before the train actually reaches the signal itself.

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RussNelson
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Post by RussNelson » Tue Sep 04, 2007 8:50 pm

That doesn't explain why railroads operate through a lightning storm ... or down trackage parallel to a road, where car headlights might ruin an engineer's night vision for a period of time.

The problem is exactly as I stated earlier: be polite to engineers, because they can either smile and wave, or scowl and give you the finger. There's no safety issue at all. If you're close enough for your flash to be a problem, you're probably trespassing (light diminishes as the inverse square of the distance). If flashes were a safety issue, O. WInston Link would have been taken out and shot. His philosophy was "Never use one flash when ten would do."

Ken W2KB
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Post by Ken W2KB » Wed Sep 05, 2007 1:54 pm

RussNelson wrote:That doesn't explain why railroads operate through a lightning storm ... or down trackage parallel to a road, where car headlights might ruin an engineer's night vision for a period of time.

The problem is exactly as I stated earlier: be polite to engineers, because they can either smile and wave, or scowl and give you the finger. There's no safety issue at all. If you're close enough for your flash to be a problem, you're probably trespassing (light diminishes as the inverse square of the distance). If flashes were a safety issue, O. WInston Link would have been taken out and shot. His philosophy was "Never use one flash when ten would do."
O. Winston Link had the cooperation of the railroads for his photos and the crews were well aware of the location. Car headlight issues for the most part are easily avoidable by not looking directly into them, and lightning flashes tend not to be that much of a concern unless very close. I've operated the speeder at night runs and in that respect it is not much different than driving an automobile.

However, a camera flash is essentially beamed directly at the engineer and the engineer has no warning to avert his eyes as can be done with other light sources. Indeed the engineer may be looking right at the photographer considering sounding the horn.

I've had my photo taken in the speeder at night, and that did have a substantially greater adverse impact than any other light source.
~Ken :: Fairmont ex-UP/MP C436 MT-14M1 ::
Black River Railroad Historical Trust :: [/url]

railohio
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Post by railohio » Wed Sep 05, 2007 10:02 pm

I hope you guys don't actually think the flash from a crappy little digital camera has any effect beyond ten feet. Even a shoe-mount flash in an SLR is rarely more powerful than 150 feet. If you're standing that close for your photos you've probably got bigger problems.

~BS
mmmmm pie!

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