Went on my my first real field trip after shoulder surgery. Carried my bag and camera for several hours without a problem! Visited the California State Railroad Museum located in Sacramento. Any rail buff owes it to himself (or herself) to visit this nicely done facility. The rolling stock is displayed to great advantage, with nice sight lines for photography. The lighting is a little challenging, so bring a fast lens and crank up the ISO, or use fast film. These were all shot at ISO 1600 using a Rikenon XR f2.8 wide open using aperture priority on my Canon 20d. All were handheld, mostly at 1/30 or slower!
This is 1,051,200 pounds of Cab-Forward Baldwin 4-8-8-2 articulated locomotive, the largest and heaviest locomotive ever used by Southern Pacific. This is the last remaining example of the awesome beast. I can remember watching and listening to these things come through my home town when I was a lad.
By way of contrast, this little guy is displayed about 20 feet away from its behemoth relative. It is the smallest locomotive ever used by SP. It is the genuine article, not a museum replica. Displayed against a large glass window, it is a ---challenge-- to photograph. 3 stops backlight comp dialed in!
With film one was always instructed to expose for the shadows and the highlights would usually be acceptable. With digital the contrary holds true. Expose for the highlights and it is amazing how what appears to be hopelessly black shadows can still provide very good details and colours when corrected on the computer.
But Phil's advice about bracketing is the safest route and, unlike film, it costs nothing.