On the afternoon of Friday, 2 November 2012, I was only my way up to John Gunn’s Camera on Wexford Street in Dublin to buy a few rolls of film. (Yes, I still do that sort of thing). Gazing down Cuffe Street toward St Stephen’s Green, I noted a Green Line LUAS tram in a new advertising livery heading to its terminus. While most of Dublin’s Alstom-built Citadis tram fleet are painted in a metallic lavender with yellow safety stripe, from time to time LUAS dresses a tram or two in a full wrap advertising. In recent months, an attractive blue tram has been frequenting the Red Line route advertising a television service. Friday’s sighting caught my attention, since it’s the first time I noted this new livery. Sometimes these advertising trams can be very short lived, and I like to catch them on camera when I can. Although I was a bit tight on time, I diverted via Harcourt Street, where the Green Line passes nicely restored Georgian terrace houses. Normally a tram will turn around in about 5-10 ten minutes from St. Stephen’s Green, so I knew I wouldn’t have long to wait.
Unfortunately, during my short wait, the wind kicked up, the sky darkened, and a deluge ensued; in other words it was a typical Dublin afternoon. I held my ground, despite the difficult weather, which not only dampened my day, but knocked my exposure down about 8 stops. As always, I carried my Lumix LX3 digital camera (see: Installment 3: Lumix LX-3—part 1 An Everywhere Camera). While normally I use its lowest ISO setting of 80, the gloom didn’t permit this, and I bumped up sensitivity to ISO 200. Within a few minutes the tram was whirring down Harcourt Street allowing me to expose a sequence of images. My favorite is this pan view made at f2.8 at about 1/60 of second. Since lighting conditions were rapidly changing, I used the camera’s built in ‘A’ (Aperture priority) setting, which allowed me to set the low f-stop. By panning the tram, I kept it relative sharp while putting the Georgian houses and street into a sea of blur. If time allows, I’ll try to catch LUAS 5008 again on a brighter day.
Reminder: Brian Solomon will be giving an illustrated talk titled Ireland from an American Perspective 1998-2003 at the Irish Railway Record Society’s Heuston Station premises in Dublin at 7:30pm on Thursday November 8, 2012. Admission free.
Here’s the Apple iBookstore link to my iPad eBook ‘Dublin Unconquered’: http://itunes.apple.com/us/book/dublin-unconquered/id548794442?mt=11&ign-mpt=uo%3D4