Streamliner Noir

On the Darker Side of Spencer!

Part of the attraction of North Carolina Transportation Museum’s Streamliners at Spencer event was the pre-arranged night photograph sessions. Large industrial scale flood lamps were arranged to provide roughly even lighting on locomotives that had been arranged and spotted specifically for photography.

A look at the darker side of night photography! A view of Spencer shops exposed with a Lumix LX-7.
A look at the darker side of night photography! A view of Spencer shops exposed with a Lumix LX-7.

I’ve often worked on the darker side of photography, and this was no exception. While I took advantage of the ‘arranged’ lighting to make standard views of the equipment. I made a special effort to go beyond the obvious.

Here I worked in the shadows, using the lights in a more interpretive way. I sought out scenes of the shops and facilities that were part of the background.

Crime scene or photoline?  The local constabulary provided security at the event. Exposed with a Canon EOS 7D.
Crime scene or photoline? The local constabulary provided security at the event. Exposed with a Canon EOS 7D.
This view of Norfolk & Western 611 caught my eye. At the time there must have been 75 people with tripods set up for the 3/4 angle. Exposed with a Lumix LX-7.
This view of Norfolk & Western 611 caught my eye. At the time there must have been 75 people with tripods set up for the 3/4 angle. Exposed with a Lumix LX-7.
Rain made for a nice shiny gloss but made the difficult process of making photos in the dark even more complicated. Keeping water off lenses in the dark isn't easy. At least with digital photography, instantaneous feed back allowed me to know when droplets had spoiled a clean view (or added an extra effect). Exposed with a Canon EOS 7D.
Rain made for a nice shiny gloss but made the difficult process of making photos in the dark even more complicated. Keeping water off lenses in the dark isn’t easy. At least with digital photography, instantaneous feed back allowed me to know when droplets had spoiled a clean view (or added an extra effect). Exposed with a Canon EOS 7D.
Silhouettes with Lackawanna painted F3s. Lumix LX-7 photo.
Silhouettes with Lackawanna painted F3s. Lumix LX-7 photo.

The challenge was trying to stay out of the way of the photo lines to avoid the ire of those with a front-lit view.

On one of the evenings there was a thunderstorm, which made matters extra challenging!

After I made this image, I relaxed on the bench. Fortunately there weren't many people set up on my side of the light. Lumix LX-7 photo.
After I made this image, I relaxed on the bench. Fortunately there weren’t many people set up on my side of the light. Lumix LX-7 photo.
This angle reminded me of a Jim Shaughnessy photo exposed in the 1950s. Lumix LX-7 photo.
This angle reminded me of a Jim Shaughnessy photo exposed in the 1950s. Lumix LX-7 photo.
Here I was mostly working with the ordinary sodium vapor lights, with the lights for the night photo event only providing secondary illumination by coloring the sky. Lumix LX-7 photo.
Here I was mostly working with the ordinary sodium vapor lights, with the lights for the night photo event only providing secondary illumination by coloring the sky. Lumix LX-7 photo.
Hard glint on the Norfolk Southern business train. Keeping the lights out of the frame is part of my technique. Lumix LX-7 photo.
Hard glint on the Norfolk Southern business train. Keeping the lights out of the frame is part of my technique. Lumix LX-7 photo.
Spencer round house.
Spencer round house.
Ghostly view of the old shops.
Ghostly view of the old shops.
Spencer, North Carolina—the village across the street from the old Southern Railway shops.
Spencer, North Carolina—the village across the street from the old Southern Railway shops.

See my Streamliners at Spencer page for more photos of the event.

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One comment on “Streamliner Noir

  1. Scott on said:

    Great shots, Every shot makes me mad I didn’t go.