High-speed AVE Train from Above.

I exposed this unusual angle of a RENFE high-speed AVE train at the modern Cordoba Station in September 2001.

Cordoba, Spain. The reflection on the front of the train adds a crucial highlight to the image.
Cordoba, Spain. The reflection of the station skylight on the front of the train adds crucial highlights to the image.

The train was paused. The challenge was using my Rolleiflex Model T to look over the railing and down on the train.

The Rollei is a twin-lens reflex. Normally to compose an image you look down into the camera through a mirror and lens arrangement which projects on an interior screen.

If holding the camera at waist-level and looking down doesn’t suit the situation, there’s also a field-finder—which is just a window the helps you gauge the rough limits of the image area.

Neither of these tools were of any use to me when facing railing about six feet tall and my subject below me.

So, I held the camera above me and looked up into to it. Composing a scene in reverse (as is always the case when looking in the Rollei) is difficult enough, but doing this while craning my neck was especially tricky.

I made one exposure and a moment later the train accelerated away toward Seville.

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