DAILY POST: New England Central at Night


November Moonlight.

Last Friday evening, November 16, 2013, I stopped by New England Central in Palmer, Massachusetts on my way to meet friends for dinner.

The moon was nearly full and a venerable GP38 was resting in the yard. Here was an opportunity for a photograph (or two)!

Lumix LX-3 photograph: exposed for 30 seconds at f2.8 at ISO 80. Notice my shadow at far left.
Lumix LX-3 photograph: exposed for 30 seconds at f2.8 at ISO 80. Notice my shadow at far left.

I’ve made numerous images of New England Central 3855, since this locomotive arrived with the creation of the railroad nearly 19 years ago. So why bother make more, especially on a chilly November evening?

My short answer: because it was there to photograph.

The long answer: the moon was out casting a surreal glow across the Palmer yard and the mix of moonlight and sodium vapor street lights inspired me to expose some long time exposures.

I positioned my Lumix LX3 on my large Bogen tripod and manually set the camera. I carefully avoided direct light by using tree branches and nearby buildings as natural lens shades. I also minimize the effect of street lamps in the photograph, while aiming skyward to catch the twinkle of evening stars. (On the full-sized un-scaled RAW file, the stars are very clear in the sky. Unfortunately the scaled and compressed images do not translate as well as I’d hoped.)

Lumix LX-3 photograph: exposed for 15 seconds at f2.8 at ISO 80. The best part of this image is the tree shadow on the locomotive side.
Lumix LX-3 photograph: exposed for 15 seconds at f2.8 at ISO 80. The best part of this image is the tree shadow on the locomotive side.

Using long exposures require a very steady tripod. Also to minimize noise I selected the lowest ISO value. For more on my ambient light night photo technique see earlier posts including: Friday Night in Palmer, Massachusetts, July 12, 2013; and Lumix LX-3—part 2:  Existing Light Digital Night Shots

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2 thoughts on “DAILY POST: New England Central at Night”

  1. You are spending way to much time in Ireland:

    Last Friday evening, November 16, 2013, I stopped by New England Central in Palmer, Massachusetts on my way to me friends for dinner.

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