And, just in case you’re wondering: no I did not drop the filter in the puddle.
Early Spring can be an interesting time to make photos in New England. Warmer days and melting snow can result in a muddy sloppy mess, especially around railroad yards. However, the days are longer and the trees are still without leaves, so it can be a good time to explore.
On March 8, 1987, my friends and I visited Boston & Maine’s Lawrence Yard in the northeast corner of Massachusetts. Honestly, this can be an ugly place even on the nicest days.
I found this Boston & Maine GP9 and made several images. At the time, a blue and white B&M GP9 seemed like a fairly prosaic piece of equipment. Yet, I decided to make the most what I had to work with.
Using my father’s Rollei Model T with super-slide (645 size) insert, I exposed this view by holding the camera sideways. The puddle in the yard allowed for a nice reflection. To compensate for the inaccurate tonal rendition of blue by my choice of black & white film, I used an yellow filter. This allowed for superior tonality in the sky and placed the B&M shade of blue more in line with its expected black & white tonality. Without the filter B&M blue tended to appear too light.
Now, nearly 28 years later, a few old B&M GP9s are still working for Pan Am Railways. I saw one the other day dressed in Maine Central green and gold as the ‘Maine Central heritage locomotive.’
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