Keep the Light Over Your Shoulder Rant Hissyfit

Grey One Sep 9, 2021

  1. Grey One

    Grey One TrainBoard Supporter

    Advice from a man with limited vision - who really really knows how to use the sun because his life depends on it.
    In the past I never watched Youtube but I am now doing baby sitting for Step daughter #1. When the baby is asleep I have been bringing up train videos.
    I can't tell you how many videos are of trains in shade. A 90 minute video of a train in the shade backlit by the sun? Not happening. I'll give you 7 to 8 minutes and then? 'Exit'.

    Photography needs light, (hence the prefix; 'Photo' as in photons as in light.
    Video needs lots of light because there are lots and lots and lots of photos.
    I don't care how good your camera is you need to have the sun illuminating your subject.

    My solution:
    Plan ahead and calculate when the sun will be where based on the time of year and your location.
    You don't need algebra.
    Time of Sunrise?
    Where does the sun rise that time of year?
    Number of hours of Daylight?
    When will the sun be over head?

    I realize I should be grateful for the *free* content on Youtube. I am. No, really, I do appriciate all of the ime and effort folks have put into recording, editing and sharing these phenomenal videos. That is a ton of work. Make it count.
    I'm an olde codger and I don't have that many minutes left so if you want folks in general and me specifically to watch your video please have it illuminated.

    //End rant.
    Kurt Moose and Hardcoaler like this.
  2. Point353

    Point353 TrainBoard Member

    The interior of Horseshoe Curve faces east, and there are steep, tree-covered hills surrounding it on the north, west and south sides.
    Should no train videos be made there except during early morning hours?
  3. acptulsa

    acptulsa TrainBoard Member

    I took "...where possible" to be implied.

    Back after the 9/11 travesty, the UP decided a tour by the Challenger might be just what the doctor ordered for some of us. I went with a few elderly relatives and my camera, and picked out a likely crossing. There was a siding, occupied by a freight "in the hole". It was morning, and I crossed over to the east side of the tracks, which was where the freight was sitting.

    One of the engine crew kindly climbed down and told me I'd be happier back where I was. I mentioned the light, but he shook his head.

    "Management is concerned there might be an attack on the Special," he said. So I have orders to pull forward and block the crossing when it gets close."

    It wasn't the best pic I ever took, but it was more interesting than a shot of the middle of that freight would have been--well lit or not.
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  4. HemiAdda2d

    HemiAdda2d Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    I love a well-lit photo (I don't really do anything with taking video), and have gone to ridiculous lengths to achieve one, but I partially disagree, as a well-composed glint shot can have all the impact and then some, of a nicely lit photo.

    There's something to be said for a backlit, glinty shot of telegraph codelines and poles, glinting off strongly-angled sun, jointed rail and heavy exhaust really cranks that up a hundred notches. But for video, it's hard to make videos all the time composed like this. Lots of planning; where's the sun angle this time of year, time of golden hours, sun position relative to the track, etc. I'm nowhere near mastering it, and have just begun to dabble in it.

    A real master like Blair Kooistra is a classic example of glint to the maximum effect.
    Hardcoaler and acptulsa like this.
  5. Grey One

    Grey One TrainBoard Supporter

    @Point353 Your call. Still, best shot might be on a cold winter's morning. And, yes, I realize not everyone has the opportunity to take the best possible video moreover Youtube does not lend itself to single shots.
    @acptulsa Ya, I do agree, it can be rough to get that optimal shot. That said, was your video of it 10 minutes or 50?

    @HemiAdda2d I have long admired your phots thogh I don't recall seeing any videos. I am sure they are spectacular.
    Yes, I agree, a carefully planned and executed backlit shot of almost anything can be spectacular. I feel I've done quite a few myself. In fact, I'll try to get a new one of the MBTA at Rozzi station on the new bridge.
    60 to 90+ minutes of video of trains in the shade? Sure, I watched the first 8 to 20 minutes but after that? I either skipped forward or baled.

    So, yes, it is my call whether to watch it or not.
    It is the videographer's call as to where to / how to / and when to take the shot.

    Yes, I'll keep watching.
  6. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

    I find a lot of YouTube lacking and spend very little time there. My primary beef with too many prototype rail videos is that it takes ages for the train to appear. The viewer is expected to sit patiently as a pinprick of headlight finally appears and after another long wait, a horn is heard and finally the train comes to pass three minutes in to the feature. They somehow make trainwatching boring. I know I can advance ahead, but why? With all of the editing software available, I don't understand why people upload such stuff.
    BNSF FAN and Grey One like this.
  7. Grey One

    Grey One TrainBoard Supporter

    @Hardcoaler Ya, I usually use that time to check on the baby, get coffee and or ice water. ☻
    Hardcoaler likes this.
  8. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    Many folks with YT videos posted were at least having a good time while going about it. And there are times when the best lighting situation just is not possible. But choosing a filming location is just a part of it.

    Those I surf away from quickly tend to be the ill focused, the brainless invective filled narration types, and my number ONE gripe are where the DUNCE stands next to the video camera, and bangs away with their DSLR. Click, click, click, CLICK. This completely ruins the sounds of any captured action. YUCK!!!!!! Go away! :mad::mad::mad::mad::mad:
    Hardcoaler likes this.
  9. logging loco

    logging loco TrainBoard Supporter

    Oh no, you've started down a rabbit hole! Train videos are like the equivalent gateway drugs. See you already want more of higher quality.
  10. logging loco

    logging loco TrainBoard Supporter

    I hardly watch train or model railroading videos anymore. While working in the yard or at the workbench I listen to music, and OTR. Lately I've been watching on A Touch of Frost on YT while in the train room.
    Hardcoaler likes this.
  11. Grey One

    Grey One TrainBoard Supporter

    If you gave me a choice of
    An ounce of high quality dark chocolate
    5 pounds of cheap milk chocolate
    I'll take the dark chocolate.

    @BoxcabE50 Yes, many folks do it for the fun of it but then again there is serious money to be made with a popular YouTube channel. If folks want me to 'subscribe' and 'like' then they need to think about what they are doing.

    I know I have posted low quality photos here over the past many years.

    Yes, this started as a rant but ya know, I hope folks who are trying to make a living will get some expert advice.

    To paraphrase a paraphrase:
    "Life is too short to watch bad video."
    BoxcabE50 likes this.
  12. sidney

    sidney TrainBoard Member

    humm i find people are people they complain about anything and nothing thats just the way people are built. make one happy and the other is sad. im not perfect i have gripes too just like every body else i too complain. nature of the beast.
  13. Grey One

    Grey One TrainBoard Supporter

    @sidney I've made my point. I wish you the best.

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