Friday, April 15, 2011

Which One?


I posted another version of this picture a few days ago.  I took several different exposures and really played around with this picture trying to decide what I liked the best.  When I took these shots, it was a spur of the moment thing.  The sunset was so gorgeous as I was driving home on the highway and I really wanted to capture it but knew the sun would be completely set by the time I got home.  So I thought about this grain elevator and the railroad tracks and decided to run over there real quick to capture just a piece of the sunset.  But when I got there, I realized what I really wanted to capture was the small town scene of the grain elevator and the tracks.  

So this exposure (as compared to the first one I posted) puts more emphasis on the grain elevator by illuminating and sharpening it much more than in the first picture.  But the colors of the sky still play a very important role in the background of the picture.  So my question to you is, which one do you prefer and why?  

Technical Notes:  Nikon D700, Nikkor 28-89mm f/3.3-5.6G, ISO 3200, Focal Length 80mm, f/10, 1/100, Auto White Balance, Spot Metering.


  1. This is a tough choice for me because:
    1. I love detailed pics (grain elevator emphasis) the sky makes the picture a little gloomier compared to the original.
    2. In the original, the color of the sunset is much more striking and creates a soft/happy mood.

    I will have to go with the original; the color of the sunset out weights the great detail on the grain elevator (But it all really depends where/what you're using the snap for).

  2. It is definitely a tough choice. I think I, too, prefer the original, but if the only one I had ever seen was this one, I'd still say "Wow, that's a great shot!" I think the darker colors & shadows lend more of an aged feel to the original photo, like it's truly the sunset of this little West Texas town. I also like how the railroad tracks really *glow* at you from the original photo. In the updated version, you can see too much of the railroad ties & gravel, so they don't jump out as much.

  3. I'm actually really surprised that both of you prefer the first photo. I do feel that each photo is of something completely different from the other. The first one is more a photo of the sunset. I like the glow of the railroad tracks and I love the colors in the sky. The grain elevator is obscured a bit in darkness but the photo is truly about the sunset in that picture.

    The second picture is about the grain elevator with the sunset simply being a unifying element. The railroad tracks are meant to draw you into the scene. The emotions evoked by the second picture are completely different from the first and I'm glad you guys confirmed that for me.

    What I really like is that two different exposures, taken within seconds of each other, can convey a completely different message. It just reminds me that how I meter the light and choose to expose the scene makes all the difference in how my thoughts are portrayed through the photograph. Thanks so much for your opinions! I really enjoy exploring photography deeper and I love when I have readers who will engage in that with me.