F59PHI in Low Sun.

The tide was in. The sun was low and rich. The train was on time. I was poised at the popular overlook at Pinole, California. Dozens of scheduled Amtrak trains pass this point everyday, so on one level this was akin to ‘shooting fish in a barrel.’

Yet, the ease of photography here, facilitated by great weather, open varied scenery, and frequent operations, makes for a perfect opportunity to experiment and exposed different angles.

Exposed on Fujichrome Film.
Exposed on Fujichrome Film.

In this case, I’ve opted to make a clean, yet dramatic vertical image. Notice how I’ve left ample room on top for a magazine title, and space all around for cover blurbs (left or right) and the requisite bar code (typically located at lower right).

When I was working at Pentrex Publishing in the 1990s,  we’d often reject potential dramatic photos as not suitable because there wasn’t room for the cover blurbs. But an absolute killer (that is, no chance for cover placement) was in situations where the bar code would fall on the front of a locomotive. Bar code placement was non-negotiable.

Would this make a good cover photo? I can’t say, but I was looking to fit the format when I exposed this slide in 2008.

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