Classic Kodachrome: Metro-North Waterbury Branch

I made this non-conventional view of the Waterbury Branch shuttle on November 16, 1992.

NH painted FL9 on Waterbury Branch Nov 16 1992 by Brian Solomon 232045

Using my F3T with Nikor 200mm lens mounted on a tripod, I aimed away to catch the train trailing in order to feature the New Haven painted FL9 locomotive working in push-mode at the back of the consist.

I worked with the ‘around the corner’ lighting that emphasized the textures of the sides of the locomotive and cars, the frost covered ground, while making for a gossamer-like background of trees and electrical wires.

In this composition, I’ve carefully included the electrical pole at top right. It would have been easy enough to crop this out, but I’ve left it in because it serves as an important visual element.

The insulators and wires atop the pole catch the light and draw the eye away from the main subject, while putting context to the network of wires behind the train and so adding a degree of depth to the whole photograph.

Too often, subtle compositions like this one have been cropped by philistines. Simplifying the image doesn’t necessarily make for a better photograph. If I wanted a tighter simpler view, I would have exposed it that way.

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