Wednesday, July 8, 2009

"Black 5"

Click image to view at 1000 pixels wide

"Black 5" is a very famous locomotive: it used to draw Queen Victoria's train over a hundred years ago. It is preserved in immaculate condition at the National Railway Museum, York, UK, and makes for a very difficult photographic challenge. First it is a highly reflective black object, second it's stored in a museum whose internal lighting is a mix of full-frequency and fluourescent types, thirdly the object is too big to paint with flash, and lastly, the light level is even softer than at the RAF Museum at Hendon. It's dark in there, and upping the virtual speed may not have made all that much difference, going by more recent experiences with concert shoots. I held the camera steady any way I could and just kept shooting, sure something usable would be among the blur. This image was gamma-corrected to bring up mid-tones, then contrast and colour balanced to restore overall integrity, and sharpened for clarity. November, 2006. Fuji FinePix S5600, automatic. Image by Mike.

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