Recently a photo I posted on Instagram (and then on Facebook) gathered a fair amount of interest both in some comments and private messages, so I figured I’d break down how I did it since it’s something a little different than what we typically see in casual snapshots.
Here’s the finished photo:
Having made similar images in the past, I knew that with the right shutter speed and lighting scenario, I could capture the train moving past the camera but should still be able to make out some of the things behind the train. In this case, I originally was hoping to get some of the Oregon Clinic building in the background, but as I looked closer at the scene I realized there wasn’t any decent light on it, but that the platform on the other side of the tracks was fairly well illuminated.
If the timing worked out, I could create an image that didn’t just show the train going by, but also showed someone on the platform behind the train.
I made the image while standing on the platform making a connection between two light rail trains in Portland. It was about 8:00pm in December, so all the light was coming from the various light sources on the platforms and the train.
Here’s the image information as shown by Metapho.
The digital image began on my iPhone X, handheld and stabilized against a post.
To create the blurry trail of the train as it moved past, I needed to use a slow shutter speed. I used the Slow Shutter Cam app in the “Motion Blur” mode, with a shutter speed of 2 seconds.
Like many (most?) of my iPhone images, this one was edited first in Snapseed, an image editor originally created by Nik Software and now maintained and updated by Google. I gave it a bit of the HDR Scape effect to enhance the dynamic range.
I then pulled it into Instagram, applied the Juno filter and a fair amount of Lux, which was a bit out of the ordinary as I don’t typically use any of the Instagram filters (preferring to get my desired look before coming into the app) but for this one I liked the pop that came from the Juno look.
As part of the share, I captioned the image Awaiting the Train which gives the viewer a clue that there’s more than just the train as the subject. It helps them to pick out the individual on the far platform as a subject. I’ve learned a ton about image titles over the past few years of image competition with OPPA.
And that’s how Awaiting the Train came to be. Feel free to drop a comment if you have any questions about this or my iOS editing in general.