18 Tips for Shooting from a Train

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Getting successful images from a moving train can be quite tricky, and a real test of one’s patience and persistence. Recently, I had a chance to take what is considered one of the great train rides of the world, the Ferrocarril Chihuahua al Pacifico, better known as El Chepe, which winds through Barrancas del Cobre (the Copper Canyon), one of Mexico’s many natural wonders.

1 Chepe Train Car with Conductor - Copper Canyon, Mexico - Copyright 2011 Ralph Velasco.jpg

The canyon gets its name from the copper color of some of its 3,000 plus foot walls, which can be seen in all their glory from many vantage points along the route, not because of copper mining in the region, as some people claim. It’s been compared to the Grand Canyon in the United States, but my assessment is that it’s a cross between the sheer cliff walls and alpine vegetation of Yosemite National Park and the deep and layered gorges of the Grand Canyon, but with a convenient train ride between them.

Each day its complete route in the northwest of Mexico travels from the capital city of Chihuahua, in Chihuahua state, to Los Mochis, in the neighboring state of Sinaloa (a second train does the reverse route). I was on assignment to shoot the cultural and travel images for a cookbook on the regional cuisine of Mexico, and so the portion that I experienced went from Divisadero, Chihuahua, to El Fuerte, Sinaloa, which is often referred to as the most scenic part of the journey.

Some facts about this remarkable railway journey include:

  • 86 tunnels
  • 37 bridges
  • Length: approximately 400 miles (660 km)
  • Maximum altitude: 7,900 feet (2,400 meters) at Divisadero
  • Construction started circa 1900
  • Completed: 1961

What You Need to Know
There are many considerations to be aware of in order to get even acceptable images when shooting from a train, but of course the idea is to go beyond acceptable and to really capture the essence of what is likely to be a once-in-a-lifetime photo opportunity for most people.

The following are some tips that should help you to successfully capture impressive images from any moving train, but specifically El Chepe:

1. Watch Your Gear – First of all, and this should go without saying, but be sure that someone is watching your gear and other valuables back at your seat so that you can concentrate on getting great photos.

2. Don’t be afraid of traveling to Mexico in the rainy season (I’ve heard different estimates of this season, but it runs from approximately June to October). There are a number of advantages at this time of year, namely the trains, hotels and other places you’ll want to visit will be less crowded, but more importantly, you’re certain to have wonderful clouds and interesting weather that will add great dimension and interest to your photos (remember, rainbows only come out after it rains). Additionally, because of the rains, this otherwise hot, dry and brown part of the country turns an almost neon green with the abundant rains that pass through.

2 Rainbow and Canyon Landscape - Copper Canyon, Mexico - Copyright 2011 Ralph Velasco.jpg

3 Neon Green Foliage and Lake - Copper Canyon, Mexico - Copyright 2011 Ralph Velasco.jpg

3. Try to get a good spot to shoot from on the correct side of the train. On El Chepe, this was the left side in the direction of travel from Divisadero to El Fuerte, although, because the train was not crowded at all, I found myself going back and forth between both sides trying to capture the many potential shots that abounded. If there are other people vying for position where you are, better to stake a claim and not move, or you’ll certainly lose your spot.

4 Train Going Through Tunnel - Copper Canyon, Mexico - Copyright 2011 Ralph Velasco.jpg

4. Look to shoot from an open window, not through the glass from your seat (on El Chepe, this required moving to the compartments at the ends of the train cars, where there were open windows and unobstructed views. The windows at our seats didn’t have that capability).


5 Chepe Train Curving to Right - Copper Canyon, Mexico - Copyright 2011 Ralph Velasco.jpg

5. Try to be in the last car of the train so that you can shoot forward and show the whole train in the frame, including the engine, rounding a curve to that side (i.e. left side/left curve, right side/right curve). Because I was traveling off-season, our train was very short, consisting of just the locomotive, a cafeteria car and two passenger cars. To give the illusion of additional length I shot our train about halfway across this bridge (see below). Being in the last car may also give you the ability to shoot straight out the back of the train, which can offer another unique perspective.

6 Train On Bridge with Big Curve - Copper Canyon, Mexico - Copyright 2011 Ralph Velasco.jpg

6. Keeping Tips 3 and 4 in mind, look up the track for openings in the foliage that will allow you to anticipate when you’ll have a clear shot. On a number of occasions I’d be ready to shoot only to find that a large grouping of trees, telephone poles and wires, bushes or buildings blocked the view when I eventually pulled the trigger.

7 Landscape with Telephone Pole - Copper Canyon, Mexico - Copyright 2011 Ralph Velasco.jpg

8 Landscape with Red Girder in Front - Copper Canyon, Mexico - Copyright 2011 Ralph Velasco.jpg

9 Landscape All Clear - Copper Canyon, Mexico - Copyright 2011 Ralph Velasco.jpg

7. Caution Part 1: Be acutely aware when sticking your head out of open windows to shoot (or for any reason), especially when looking up track, in the direction of travel. Carefully look ahead for overgrown tree branches and other objects that can inflict severe injury, especially to the face and eyes.

10 Train with Tree Up Track - Copper Canyon, Mexico - Copyright 2011 Ralph Velasco.jpg

8. Caution Part 2: If possible, wear clear safety glasses, or even swimming goggles, to avoid not only trees, but bugs, dust and other debris that can fly into your eyes at high speed, which actually happened to me. I caught a bug in my eye and lost about 10 minutes of prime shooting time trying to clear it, although that was the least of my problems as it could have been much worse. Eyewear can also help against the high winds created by a fast moving train. Bonus: Sunglasses can be an option, but not if the sunglasses themselves are polarized and you’re using a polarizing filter, which I suggest in Tip 10. If this is the case then you’ll get all kinds of strange effects in the viewfinder and it can be difficult to really evaluate what the scene looks like. Again, I recommend clear goggles or safety glasses.

9. Caution Part 3: Don’t wear your camera around your neck, but use a loose hand strap or similar. The reason I suggest this is that again, those trees can be a real problem, and if your camera strap were to get caught around a tree branch as the train’s moving quickly down the line, well, I hate to think what could happen.

10. On sunny and partly cloudy days, use a polarizing filter to darken blue skies and make clouds really stand out. Be aware, however, that a polarizer will definitely give you slower shutter speeds, so when shooting in the shadows, when your camera will want to use a slower shutter speed, you’ll have to be keenly aware of maintaining a minimum shutter speed that will still allow you to handhold the shot (see Tip 13, and be sure to take off those sunglasses).

11 Canyon Clouds Polarized - Copper Canyon, Mexico - Copyright 2011 Ralph Velasco.jpg

11. Use a medium to long zoom lens allowing you to quickly shoot from wide landscapes to more detail shots, and everything in between. You’re not going to want to be changing lenses in these conditions or fussing with several camera bodies. If you only have wide (i.e. 18 – 55 mm) and long (i.e. 55 – 200 mm) lenses to choose from, err on the wide side, you’ll likely be shooting more big landscapes than close-ups.

12 Train Tracks on Bridge Wide - Copper Canyon, Mexico - Copyright 2011 Ralph Velasco.jpg

13 Train Tracks on Bridge Medium Zoom - Copper Canyon, Mexico - Copyright 2011 Ralph Velasco.jpg

12. Take advantage of the stabilization features built in to many cameras or lenses. This allows you to shoot at slower shutter speeds and can reduce the effect of the constant shake you’ll surely experience on a moving train.

13. Keeping Tip 11 in mind, be aware of maintaining a minimum shutter speed of 1/125 of a second or faster (Auto ISO comes in real handy here). Without getting into too much detail, this is especially important if zoomed in on your subject, so know the Reciprocal Rule (not to be confused with the Rule of Reciprocity) which states that in order to successfully handhold a shot you need to shoot at a shutter speed of 1/focal length of the lens or faster (assuming a full framed sensor. Multiply by your lens’ crop factor if using a cropped sensor). Example: If you’re zoomed in at 200 mm, technically you should have a shutter speed of 1/200 second or faster (1/300 second on a camera with a 1.5 crop factor), but using the stabilization features on your gear will help, as will adhering to the next tip.

14. Take care to minimize the movement of the train by keeping your arms loose so they cushion any bouncing or shake and act as a shock absorber for your camera. Conversely, brace yourself by maintaining a wide stature with your feet.

15. Exposure Tip 1: Because of the massive cliff walls and deep canyons, you’re likely to encounter very high contrast lighting conditions with deep shadows and bright sunlight. To address this, shoot with the matrix metering (a.k.a. evaluative or multi-zone) exposure setting so that your camera evaluates the whole scene when determining exposure and not a small portion of the scene. This should average out your exposure and offer great results.

14 Canyon with High Contrast Shadows and Light - Copper Canyon, Mexico - Copyright 2011 Ralph Velasco.jpg

16. Exposure Tip 2: Know how to instinctively use your histogram (I can’t stress this enough for better photography in general). Be keenly aware of proper exposure because you’ll likely be shooting images that include everything from dark shadows (where you’ll want to maintain detail and reduce noise) to extreme highlights (be aware of overexposure, especially of clouds and light colored canyon walls and other bright subjects).

17. Shoot RAW. RAW is a lossless format and so the image file includes all the information from the scene you’re shooting, that’s why the files are typically 2 to 3 times the size of JPEGs. Should the scene have extreme contrast, the advantage of this is that you’ll be able to recover slightly blown out highlights and/or bring back detail in the shadows (see image here with extreme shadows in blue and blown out highlights in red. The second shot shows the image after adjustment). There are a lot of other advantages, and just a few disadvantages, to shooting RAW, so I highly recommend that if your camera has this capability that you do so most, if not all, of the time.

15 Man Looking Out Window with Shadows and Highlights - Copyright 2011 Ralph Velasco.jpg

16 Man Looking Out Window Adjusted - Copper Canyon, Mexico - Copyright 2011 Ralph Velasco.jpg

18. Don’t forget to put the camera down. Take a minute every now and then to enjoy the scenery, and not by looking through the viewfinder of your camera, but by actually seeing with your eyes. I’m confident you’ll discover a whole new appreciation for whatever scene it is that you’re experiencing.

Shooting from a train – or car, boat, or other moving form of transportation – can be an extremely rewarding experience, but it can take considerable practice. Before you embark on your next railway journey, be sure to get out and practice in your hometown, where the stakes are likely not as high. If at all possible, I’d recommend taking a local train ride that presents similar conditions to what you’d expect on location, so that you’re not learning in the heat of the moment, when there may not be a second chance to get it right.

Oh, and bring plenty of memory cards, you’ll need them…

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Ralph Velasco

is a travel photography instructor and international guide who has led trips to Morocco, Bhutan, Nepal, Cambodia, Spain, Central Europe, Mexico and Egypt, plus ten fully-licensed People-to-People programs to Cuba. His latest eBook is called Essence of a Place: A Travel Photographer’s Guide to Using a Shot List for Capturing Any Destination. Ralph is the creator of the My Shot Lists for Travel app for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch®.

  • Arjun Bhadra Khanal

    Bernina Express, Switzerland

  • Arjun Bhadra Khanal

    Bernina Express, from Chur in Switzerland to Tirano in Italy

  • Arjun Bhadra Khanal

    One more from Bernina Express, Switzerland

  • Saurabh Jha

    How about videography, as in shoting a documentary in trains. Actually I’m planning on making one and I could really use the help. Any advice on that ?

Some Older Comments

  • Paul March 9, 2012 04:38 am

    Lovely photographs, looks like fun too :)

  • Vi February 7, 2012 03:32 am

    Another tip - you should buy a good insurance policy before you'll try shooting from the moving train or car.

  • Jools Stone December 3, 2011 12:09 pm

    Hey Ralph!

    This is so funny, I tried to view this post ages ago, but the referring post it was linked from had a broken link, and now I just found it by accident, just days after 'freinding' you on facebook too!

    Excellent tips of course, though prob rather too advanced for the likes of me (and my basic point n shoot camera) I fear. Actually I was on the Rocky Mountaineer not so long ago, out on the caboose taking some pics, and we narrowly saved one of our snap happy party from dashing her head against a tunnel wall while she was too fucussed on getting the shot, so these safety points are really important to stress I think.

    And of course the proof of the pudding is ehre for all to see in glorious technicolour, beautiful set!

    Cheers, Jools :)

  • Phoenix Photographer November 7, 2011 04:26 pm

    Indeed.

    :-D

  • Ralph Velasco November 6, 2011 12:41 pm

    P.P. (sorry, had to do it!), that's horrible, but I'm glad you brought up that point. Bathrooms on trains are notoriously foul, and in India they're designated something to the effect of "Indian Bathroom" and "Other." A great reason to bring along extra lens cloth...for cleaning your lenses, too!

  • Phoenix Photographer November 1, 2011 11:40 am

    Gorgeous shots.

    I would love to do that ride and spend some time hiking around.

    The summer of 2005 found me riding the Trans-Siberian Express across Asia. Somewhere in the Gobi desert of Mongolia; a fellow traveler and I were leaning out the window taking pictures when we both felt—what we each thought—was a sprinkle of rain. All of a sudden; looks of horror clouded both of our faces as we ducked back into the compartment, simultaneously realizing that there wasn't a cloud in the sky nor was it rain.

    Think about how "plumbing" works on a train and you too will realize our horror. ;-)

  • Yogeshwar Nath October 13, 2011 01:26 am

    Thanks for the lovely article. I have experienced shooting in continuous mode also helps. The advantage is when trees and wires appear from no where at least one shot is worth preserving and the scene is not lost.

  • C.B.UPARKAR October 10, 2011 03:17 am

    Thanks Ralph, for the tips, good info.

    Some tips, I do follow. particularly, shooting the train from last compatment. I am from India, hence taking photographs from open door is not a big issue, but have to be carefull when it is at high speed . We have a stretch of of 750 km, on west coast of India, where a line by the name " Konkan rail" runs. It will have some of the most scenic places during mosoon, The track have over hundred tunnels ( longest being 6.6km), tallest viaduct in India ( app. 100 mtrs) and over 600 bridges. Do come over during next monsoon, u will enjoy it.

  • RalphVelasco October 10, 2011 02:28 am

    Thanks for the great comments and suggestions everyone! Glad you've enjoyed the article, please look for more to be posted in the near future, and keep the tips and comments coming, everyone benefits.

    Best,

    Ralph
    http://www.RalphVelasco.com

  • Ruvin de Silva October 9, 2011 11:55 pm

    have a look...
    this is in sri lanka.
    http://www.behance.net/ruvin/frame/1670972

  • Cecilia October 9, 2011 08:07 pm

    Loved your article and photos. It has been one of my dreams to take the train through the Copper Canyons! Took my breath away! Thanks!

  • Giridhar Patnaik October 8, 2011 06:07 pm

    Dear Ralph,
    Very good tips, thanks for the same. However a footnote - please be absolutely alert about the grip on the foot board and hand grips. Many a time during train photography we forgot about this basic things and might result in serious consequences

  • EllenK October 8, 2011 02:53 am

    Being at the back of the train is great for the reasons you mention, but if you are traveling by train through an area that is likely to have wildlife, birds, etc., being near the front of the train is better because as the train approaches, the animals bound away or the birds take flight. Sometimes this is the only way you would get to see them. By the time the end of the train gets to the same spot, they are long gone.

    Regarding the issue of having the lens flush against the glass or at an angle, a docent at an aquarium once told me that a 15% angle is best for shooting through glass.

    And finally, if you are riding on the lower level and shooting through glass, get out when the train stops and clean the outside of the glass. At least there will be fewer spots to remove in post-processing.

    Looking forward to my next train journey in a few weeks.

    EllenK

  • Ralph Velasco October 8, 2011 01:39 am

    Thanks for all the great comments everyone!

    Several people have mentioned some other great tips that I forgot, one of which is to be sure to have your IS (Image Stabilization - Canon) or VR (Vibration Reduction - Nikon), and there are others, on and ready to go (thanks, Dennis!).

    And Wes makes a good point about being sure to have at least a UV filter on to thwart bugs, branches and pebbles. I tend to have a UV or polarizing filter on all the time anyway, but this is good advice. BTW, never stack filters....take one off, then put the other one on.

    If you're interested, you can see more of my tips and subscribe to my blog at http://www.RalphVelasco.com. Keeping with the Copper Canyon theme, there's a brief video of me on the train under "Photo Tips: Photographing from a Train," and also look for "Same Scene, Different Time of Day," you may be jealous of the view I had from my hotel room over the canyon!!

    It'd be great if you Liked and/or Shared this article, too, much obliged...

  • Wes D. October 7, 2011 12:14 pm

    Another caution to be aware of is to have some sort of protective filter over your camera - either a UV Haze filter or something else. The same bug or small pebble that can damage your eye isn't healthy for your lens either! (experience speaking here).

  • Vera Kerr October 7, 2011 10:51 am

    wonderful photos, I have just done a much shorter train ride into the Tasmanian wilderness and have experienced the difficulties involved with exposure in crevasses and deeply wooded areas. I consider myself a novice in photography but managed a few nice pictures. I found camera shake a problem as the train rumbled along.

  • RJohnston October 7, 2011 04:59 am

    When shooting from a train, if the only choice is a closed window, and you put the lens against it, having a RUBBER lens hood on the lens can help reduce vibration....

  • akila venkat October 7, 2011 04:49 am

    I have my album on facebook though.

  • akila venkat October 7, 2011 04:47 am

    That was one learning session Sir! I have clicked innumerable pictures with my DSLR. I wish to share them and get critiqued. I do not own any website yet sir. Is it possible to getmy work critiqued in any possible way thats safe and secure?

    Thank you for the guide! :)

  • Dennis Zito October 7, 2011 04:35 am

    Hi Ralph,

    Great article! My wife and I took the Canadian Mountaineer Train ride Through BC and Alberta Canada in May. We had a Great time and I actually followed 90% of your tips! :-) One thing I did was to set my camera to rapid fire as well as having the IS system working. That way I knew I'd get one good photo out of the shot. Then at night in the hotel I would remove the blurry ones. Worked great! Also, I would set the shot then pan to compensate for the train moving. That help a lot also.

    Again, Great article!

    Dennis

  • Gordo October 7, 2011 03:16 am

    I work as a conductor running through the Fraser Canyon between Vancouver BC and Boston Bar BC and have the good fortune to have some of the most scenic views imaginable. From the lush rainforest to rich farmland in the Fraser Valley flood plane to the sheer rock walls of the canyon itself. Unfortunately, I spend much of my time looking for the perfect shot only to get snookered by power lines, trees popping up at the last second etc. Because we typically move from 25-55 mph (and I have a job to do while I am looking for a shot) I shoot in burst mode and hope for the best. Every once in a while, I find I have captured something quite interesting. Having 10+ years before I can retire, time is on my side!

  • ccting October 6, 2011 04:16 pm

    "Oh, and bring plenty of memory cards, you’ll need them…" - shoot in burst mode.. LOL

  • Bob October 6, 2011 05:36 am

    While flying back home to San Francisco from Oregon I noticed the sky was unusually very clear, giving a great view of the San Francisco Bay and both the Golden Gate and San Francisco/Oakland Bay Bridges. Trying to use a polarizing filter proved futile because of moray patterns caused by polarized windows. I removed the filter and angled to camera to capture a really nice shot. Point? Don't lock yourself in to only one way to shoot.
    Ralph,, I'm not surprised but totally delighted with the scope and thoroughness of your article. Thanks for another great set of tips!

  • Ralph Velasco October 6, 2011 05:03 am

    A polarizing filter can help with glare on glass, such as in a store window or a diorama at a museum or historical site, that's for sure. You'll see this effect most if you shoot at an angle to the glass and spin your polarizer to see reflections come and go, both with and without reflections can have their purpose in your photography.

    However, when shooting through glass on most forms of transportation, as I mentioned, those windows are typically polarized, too, and you'll get a really strange "rainbow" effect, that's the only way I can explain it. Look thru a car's polarized window wearing a pair of polarized sunglasses and you should see what I'm talking about. This can make for an interesting abstract image, but rarely results in a good representation of the scene you're shooting.

    Hope that helps.

  • Chuck Kuhn October 6, 2011 04:56 am

    2005 I photographed a train ride from Hanoi to Saigon. 70-200 f4 L Canon lens through a open window on train. The ride was 36 hrs. One point is the ability to pan. Freedom to move and don't forget the interior and exterior climate. It was 90 plus degrees in the train car (no air). Lens can fog or mist up on you. I like the suggestion being in the last car if possible, makes sense. Check out 2005. I also agree the blur in my pictures are the natural result of moving at 35 to 40 mph hour. Cheers
    http://www.pbase.com/ckuhn55/vietnam_by_train

  • Natasha McEachron October 6, 2011 12:55 am

    Thanks Ralph, I'll search around to see if I can find a copy.

    To avoid glare, I've heard from others that you can try a polarizing filter or fiddling with aperture and focus. I shot a few holiday windows a while back (http://nnmportfolio.com/photography/fashion-holiday-windows-2009) and ran into this problem, I found in some cases taking a few steps back or standing slightly at an angle helped reduce glare.

  • Jason October 6, 2011 12:15 am

    Excellent information. I really like the angles you use in several of the sample shots. I haven't done much with trains in the past but after reading this I just might try to take on doing more.

  • Roger Johansen October 5, 2011 06:10 pm

    Or, use use slow shutter speed and take photos like these "Speedscapes":
    http://phototutti.com/gallery/Speedscapes/

  • Karun October 5, 2011 04:32 pm

    great tips.. thank u very much... i cant apply them at the moment though. we have trains with un-openable windows and even worse two layers of glasses in them...

  • Ralph Velasco October 5, 2011 03:39 pm

    Drew, yes, chances are about 100% that if you brace your camera, arms or upper body against the train itself, while it's moving, you're going to get serious vibration.

    Natasha, I've done the Myrdal to Flam (sp?) train ride in Norway, that's a gorgeous one, as is the Interlaken to Grindelwald in Switzerland and so many others in those countries. I'm sure if you Google great train rides a ton of options will come up. I even remember a PBS (U.S. public television station) series called something like Great Train Rides of the World, you can probably rent it from the library.

    Barry, that's a LOT of shooting...

  • Natasha McEachron October 5, 2011 02:17 pm

    Wow, great post! Very informative. I saw an article a while back that made me think about taking a train ride as part of a vacation. Absolutely beautiful pictures you have here so I'll definitely have to give it some serious thought. Do you know of any other great train rides that also offer great photo opps?

  • Andrew October 5, 2011 02:12 pm

    When trying to take pics from a train (or plane), you often have no choice but to shoot through a closed window - the internal reflections can kill your shots. What to do? I've found that you can at least try to stick the camera lens directly onto the window to remove reflections. This somewhat restricts your shooting options (you can then only shoot at 90. angle to the direction of the train) but it's better than nothing ...

    Andrew
    Lausanne, Switzerland

  • Barry Cunningham October 5, 2011 11:45 am

    Just did some photography from a train on the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad, a narrow gauge railroad from Chama, New Mexico to Antonito, Colorado, a couple of weeks ago. Kind of figured out most of the tips then & others did not really apply. Got lucky and got the best seat on the train, the last seat on the last car, by the rear platform, on the side of the train with the best views. Filled up 4 16G CF cards with over 2100 pix. Still have not processed them all, but I do have a short HD video on Flickr of the train crossing a trestle:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/cunningba/6183204782/

  • PhotographyTalk October 5, 2011 07:22 am

    Absolutely fantastic points and some amazing shots. So to be clear, you are suggesting not to brace your hands or camera to avoid the vibration of the train going through your body?

    Thanks,

    Drew

  • Mario October 5, 2011 07:04 am

    Dear Ralph,
    thanks for clarifying the motion blur! I never noticed this rainbow effect you are talking about. Next time I am in the situation I will take a closer look.

  • Carol October 5, 2011 06:35 am

    I never would have thought that such a blog post would be so informative! There's a lot to shooting from a train. I hope I get to try it soon, although I'm pretty sure the trains I will be on won't have windows that open. I'm going to check out that app - if it's half as helpful as this it is well worth .99 :)

  • Brian Fuller October 5, 2011 03:24 am

    Would love to try shooting from a train sometime soon. Why is it that being in or around trains make such fantastic pictures?

    flickr: http://bit.ly/oufr4c

  • Ralph Velasco October 5, 2011 02:48 am

    Thanks, John, good point.

    And Mario, yes, I was trying to show motion blur in the foreground of some shots by using a slower shutter speed (1/80 or 1/125 sec.) because I wanted to give the feeling of being on a moving train instead of all static landscapes (the distant landscapes are sharp). But I'm glad you brought up that point, could have been Tip #19 to do both and give yourself options, so thanks for pointing that out.

    One thing I'll say about your comment on using a polarizer to shoot through windows is that if the window itself is polarized, as many train, car and plane windows are, it may be difficult to get a clear shot as the images can have a "rainbow" effect, which is usually not good. It's like looking through a polarized car window with polarized sunglasses. That's why I suggested taking off sunglasses when using a circular polarizer (I tell my students to take them off when shooting anytime, actually), but it's all a matter of taste.

    Thanks again for taking the time to comment, much obliged.

  • Mario October 5, 2011 01:57 am

    I noticed that most of the pictures in the article show motion blur. Maybe it was intended by the photographer but personally, i try to avoid it.
    A good way to take non-blurred shots out of a train is to stay in shutter priority and use shutter speeds faster than 1/500s (also depending on the speed of the vehicle, of course).
    A polarizer is also very helpful to actually shoot through the window and keep reflections minimal.

  • John King October 5, 2011 01:40 am

    Very nice article. Great tips. Makes me want to take a train ride. Sometimes its not about the destination, its about the journey.

  • Jean-Pierre October 5, 2011 01:20 am

    Wow, lots of fantastic information. Will apply these when I get to travel on a scenic train ride. I have a couple of photos I made when on a vintage train. More street photography looking than your beautiful landscapes, though. Thanks!

    http://jeanpierrevazquez.tumblr.com/post/10279040227/shadows

    http://jeanpierrevazquez.tumblr.com/post/10554525152/outsider-woman-sitting-across-from-us-on-the

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