Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Tuesday Test Shots

Went down to Saybrook to try out the homemade tripod some more . . .
Shot with my iPhone 6 - no regard to settings; Nikon Coolpix P4 on the tripod.
Unless otherwise noted:
 no flashlayout lights only, auto white balance
macro setting, auto focus
ISO 50 f7.6 @ 1/8th sec (self-timer)
8 megapixel 2448x3264 @300dpi
Exposure Bias -1 step
Exposure Bias -0.7 step
1/6th sec, Exposure Bias -0.7
1/7th sec, Exposure Bias -0.3
1/20th sec, Exposure Bias -0.3
I'm really pleased with how these came out - except for the last one, which came out too dark. I bracketed all my exposures starting at -0.3 (underexposed) and going darker by 1/3 EV (exposure value) down to -1. Doing so gave me at least one shot of each lot that I liked. Unfortunately, the best shot of the last image was the one I shot first - at -0.3. A normal exposure at 0.0 would have been better for that shot.

As I continue to learn I continue to covet your constructive criticism and guidance, as well as any tips you have to share. Of course, if you have any kudos/compliments to share that'd be encouraging as well!


  1. My favorite is the first photo - I think the scene composition works well there. I'd suggest experimenting with getting lower if you can, so that the lens is closer to the height of a scale photographer. Also, be careful about focus -- in the fourth photo the tracks are in focus but the station in the background is just out of focus -- I think that getting the station tack sharp would help.

    I wouldn't rule out your iPhone 6 -- both it and the Coolpix are 8 megapixel cameras, and the iPhone very likely has a better sensor, being released 8 years later. Additionally, you may find it easier to focus on part of the scene (by tapping on the screen), and it'll be much easier to get the iPhone's camera down lower if desired. (On the other hand it is trickier to get a good tripod setup for it, though there are products like the Studio Neat Glif.)

    Looking forward to seeing more!

    1. Thanks much for weighing in Adam! I know what you mean about getting lower - the iPhone could certainly do that better than the Nikon. And you make good points about the iPhone sensor being newer (though still smaller, I think) and easier to focus (by just touching the screen).

      But there are a few limitations with the iPhone that I can't seem to get around (though would love to find out if there's a way): 1) the inability to fix the aperture to it's smallest for best depth-of-field; 2) also, as you mentioned, it's tough to get it on a tripod - though I have a mount on the way (which, unfortunately, would likely keep it from getting down low to trackside); 3) I've found the iPhone's white balance to be a bit off, and unable to customize as I can with the Nikon and a gray card.

      That all said, I'd love to be able to use the iPhone exclusively - I'm just not sure at this point whether I can get publishable photos out of it. That's likely a limit on me rather than on the camera though...

    2. Hi Chris,

      You may want to look into shooting in RAW vs. JPEG and do some post processing. That is what I did on the photos I tool of your layout the last time I was there. You can really pull detail out of the shadows while keeping the highlights.

      Jim Fellows

    3. Thanks Jim! Unfortunately, neither the Nikon not the iPhone will shoot in anything other than jpg. But I did find a camera app for the phone which will shoot in TIF format, so I'll try that. And I have access to Photoshop so will try and learn that a bit. Just want to focus on shooting the best images possible in the camera before getting into post-processing. Sorry for the pun 😆