Signal Box – 154/365

Today I took a picture of the little Signal Box building on the tracks above Frodsham. My mum planted the seed that this might make a nice photograph, I think she was right, she normally is.

I also used the opportunity to practise some more at capturing details in my landscapes, and I paid particular attention today at capturing detail in the sky.

I went out about half an hour before sunset, so the sun wouldn’t be quite so bright, and there would hopefully be some nice tones and colours in the sky.

I took loads of shots just trying to get the exposure maxed out to capture as much detail as possible, by exposing the image as brightly as I could without blowing out the highlights.

It was tricky, because again I had a wide dynamic range to try and deal with, from some heavy shadows in the foreground, to the brightly lit sunset sky.

I was keen to also get the signal box half in silhouette and again retaining at least some detail.

I think today’s main picture is where it came together the best, the sky isn’t quite as wild, and the foreground has just enough detail to balance the image without drawing attention away from the main subject.

I also had a little play with a longer exposure too, to try and capture a car whizzing past whilst at the same time capturing the signal box in focus in the midrange, and the drama in the sky as the background.

It blew the whites out a little due to the long exposure time, but it’s kind of cool, and has a quirky style of its own.

Learnings – the exposure meter, that has been my recent “BFF”, doesn’t quite let me capture a full spectrum of highlights in a moody sky if I hit it bang in the middle. I’m am sure there are some other settings I need to be looking at, but for today I relied on taking the shot and looking at the image for that over/under exposed “flicker” in the highlights and shadows.

It works of course, reviewing the photo and then adjusting to compensate, but I’m sure it’s not the best way.

I think I’m going to have to bite the bullet, and have a go at taking several photographs of the same image with different exposures, and then merge them together to get that full range I’m after.

I might have to get the instruction book out……..

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