Advanced Composition – Railway Track

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    It’s strange that I just logged into the forum to submit this and saw that someone else has recently submitted a photo of a railway track. Let’s hope that great minds think alike!

    Anyway, it took a while to submit this because I wanted to capture the railway tracks just as the sun is going down and skimming off the rails, so it took a couple of visits to get the timing right. Similarly, it was hard to avoid the sun burning out in the corner of the image, so I spent some time playing with exposure and learning how to read the histogram on the camera, which I’ve found really interesting.

    So here it is. I know it has a spot of lens flare, but overall I’m pretty happy that I captured the essence of what I had imagined.

    And don’t worry about the trains! This line has about 1 train a month, and I had a lookout just to be sure 😉

    Duncan Rawlinson


    I thought I submitted a critique to this like 3 days ago?! I just logged in again this morning to see it hadn’t been posted. Looks like I hit the “save draft” button not the “submit” button.

    My bad!

    To the critique:


    My first thought was that the whole frame is crooked. Given this is advanced composition you should really be getting your horizon lines nice and straight.

    In a very static image and you should be using a tripod there is no need for such a high ISO. you shot this at ISO 2500. As a result there is lots of unnecessary noise in the image as you can see near the #2.

    I feel like the vine should either be more prominent or not there at all. You see the green leaves a few feet down the track? They would have been a nice foreground element. As it stands now the vine near the #3 is just a distracting element and you know how those are not good!

    This is a nice big interesting foreground element and it really sets a nice pattern. Just be careful not to have the only lens flare right over top of your main area of interest.

    The leading lines in this image are so powerful that it almost feels disappointing when you look down the tracks and don’t see anything. I want to see people, or trains, or a building or something at the end of these beautiful lines!

    The strongest and best element of this image the leading lines. They’re great. Just be careful because they can dominate so much that they lead peoples eye’s to nowhere as mentioned above.

    Here are some similar examples that you may find interesting:
    photo by marcygallery

    photo by pagedooley

    photo by mysza

    Note the interesting use of color, perspective, leading lines, and composition in these images.

    Overall you’ve done fairly well here Tom.

    Next time make sure you use a tripod, a low ISO, and really take a careful look at what makes it inside your frame.


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