View from Philadelphia’s Laurel Hill Cemetery, January 2, 2013

Schuylkill River Bridge, Laurel Hill
Canon 7D with 28-135mm AF lens set at 135mm; ISO 200 f6.3 1/640 second. Image was adjusted slightly in Photoshop to increase saturation.

For several years I’ve been eyeing the view from Laurel Hill Cemetery as a place to make a railway photograph of the former Reading Company bridges over the Schuylkill. I was intrigued by combination elevation and the complexity of the scene. My brother Sean and I scoped this out last winter, but the light was dull and trees blocked the angle I wanted for a southward train. Recently the view was improved as a result of extensive tree removal around the river-side of the cemetery. Yesterday, Sean, Mike Scherer and I investigated photographic views from Laurel Hill. Our timing was right; I made this image of CSX’s symbol freight Q439 rolling across the bridge at 2:22 pm. I’m pleased with this effort, since catching a train here has been a challenge and the angle is a new one for me, yet I see room for improvement. Finding a train here an hour or two earlier in the day might offer better light on the side of the locomotives, while a slightly longer lens would tighten my composition.

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5 comments on “View from Philadelphia’s Laurel Hill Cemetery, January 2, 2013

  1. ken fox on said:

    as usual plenty going on in the photo

  2. Sean Solomon on said:

    This multi-faceted, historically layered setting provides a great context for the train, passing through its place and time. So interesting is this picture!

  3. Scott Marsh on said:

    Interesting shot, Tons of old and new for the eye ball to scan.

  4. Mark Healy on said:

    So who did you get to cut the trees down? 😉 Now if you could only remove the two motorway bridges in the background!

  5. Brian Jennison on said:

    That’s a lot of work to put into a cluttered, mundane location. This might have been a nice shot 50 years ago, but it isn’t worth shooting today, IMO.