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danielpertovt
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marcbaechtold May 13
great composition with nice colors and good contrast, keep shooting!
PRO+
 
marcbaechtold May 13
great composition with nice colors and good contrast, keep shooting!

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Jun, 2017
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Old Helensburgh station



The abandoned railway platform at Helensburgh showing the Metropolitan Tunnel entrance.
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Won Peer Choice AwardNovember, 2017

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Behind The Lens

Location
The tunnel is a decommissioned railway tunnel in Helensburgh, New South Wales. Where the sign is located is the old platform for the station, but both the railway line and the station have been relocated within the suburb. A volunteer group got the money together to re-lay about 50 meters of railway line to bring back an authentic feel - a feel that is strong enough that walking in to the tunnel, knowing the tracks went nowhere made me nervous about trains. Inside the tunnel there are some glow worms on the ceiling, which is what first attracted me to the site, but the tunnel and tracks is what kept me there, and got me thinking about how to shoot it.
Time
This was shot early in the morning, at about 7:30am. The light is nice and diffuse because it is coming through many layers of foliage. It had been raining so there was a lot of water pooled on the tracks, as well as some dripping inside the tunnel. Shooting inside the tunnel was quite eerie with a soundtrack of water drops. Helensburgh is a very quite area south of Sydney, and at that time of day there was essentially no outside noise. There is essentially no walk in either, I parked the car, and walked about 40 meters to arrive where I took this shot.
Lighting
The lighting outside the tunnel was quite diffuse as I outlined above. It was a cloudy day which meant that the light was further diffused by the clouds.
Equipment
I used a Nikon D800 with a Tokina 17-35mm F4 lens at 35mm. I had the camera on a tripod (Manfrotto 055XPROB with a 498RC2 ball head), and it was all natural light.
Inspiration
I had wanted to shoot some images of glow worms in a tunnel, and there are two locations out of Sydney that have them. The Helensburgh tunnel is closer so I thought that I would start there, get my technique sorted and then head to Newnes for the second location. When I got there, I was just blown away by the scene - I am a massive fan of trains, and the view as I walked around the corner just hit me. As I got closer and closer the view changed, and I got so many ideas for shots while I was there. It took a while to actually get in the tunnel and try to shoot the glow worms. It's amazing that sometimes you go to a location with an idea in mind for a shoot (especially if you haven't done any previous scouting), and you end up shooting something totally different to your original idea. Its one of the joys of photography.
Editing
Post-processing was very minimal for this shot, with some minor tweaks in Lightroom to adjust contrast, etc. I did add a slight black vignette to the image to draw attention to the tunnel.
In my camera bag
I usually carry everything I own when I go out, and given I don't own that much it's fairly easy to do. The Nikon D800, a Nikon 50mm f1.8, a Nikon 70-200mm f2.8, and the Tokina 17-35mm f4. I like to take my tripod obviously (Manfrotto 055XPROB with a 498RC2 ball head), as well as two flashes - an SB-910 and an SB-600. All of this in a Lowepro Fastpack BP 250 - all except the tripod, my version of the bag doesn't carry it :-( My go to setup though is the D800 with the 50mm f1.8. I shoot by far the majority of my keepers with this setup.
Feedback
For an external shot like this I think that early in the morning is best for a few reasons - the light is better, there are less people around to get in the way, and you get the dripping water from the dew in the morning. This is a very enclosed area (literally about 4 meters across) so anyone else there is going to be in your way (and you in theirs!). A tripod is also essential because the light is not going to be strong and you (probably) won't be able to handhold the shots. Obviously a wider lens is going to help more in a restricted area like this, unless you are trying to get some portraits... ???? If it has been raining it is also very wet so you need to have good footwear, but also something to lay your bag on for changing lenses, etc.

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