Model Railroading – Strobist Style

My 580EX II arrived Friday, my Cactus trigger a few days before. I spent most of Saturday re-reading the Strobist.com blog and testing my knowledge of balancing ambient light with strobe light.

Sunday I decided to try my skills on this HOn3 model railroad diorama that Chick and I build in the early 1980’s. It has been waiting patiently for me to learn how to photograph it well.
“Repairing Roundhouse Diorama” by Introducing Nancy [?]
Repairing Roundhouse Diorama

I wanted to get 4 distinct lighting moods by using the placement of the lights and adjusting the white-balance in post-processing. In a couple of the shots, I replaced the “sky” area with another photo.

Mid-Day
“Big John the Blacksmith” by Introducing Nancy [?]
Big John the Blacksmith
This is the only shot with two lights. 580 creating the ambient upper right and a handheld Vivitar (very old flash loaned to me by a friend – used f-stop/asa setting to adjust its power) pointed directly into the shop.

Afternoon
“Taking a Break” by Introducing Nancy [?]
Taking a Break
580 high and to the right looking down through the tree.

Late Afternoon
“Track Repairs” by Introducing Nancy [?]
Track Repairs
580 low and to the right of the scene – warmed white-balance in post processing.

Night
“No 35 Lights the Yard” by Introducing Nancy [?]
No 35 Lights the Yard (2nd Edit)
580 placed low and streaming into the scene from the top/right. I also cooled down the color-temperature and desaturated a tad. I then added a tad of yellow filter only to the brighter areas using a Shadow Luminance mask.

I do not have notes on what power each photo was taken with – it was very much seat-of-the-pants, trial and error. I shot tethered to my computer which made evaluation after each shot much easier. There was very little ambient light and being so close to such a small subject a small f-stop was mandatory.

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