Central Vermont Alco RS-11s Cross the Palmer Diamond.

I made this photograph on April 13, 1984. It was a Friday, and I was then in my final months of my Senior year of High School.

My raw unmodified scan of the original 35mm B&W negative. This was exposed using my old Leica 3A with 50mm Summitar. The film was processed in the kitchen sink. I made a few proof-prints, then filed the negative away, not to be looked again for decades.
My raw unmodified scan of the original 35mm B&W negative. This was exposed using my old Leica 3A with 50mm Summitar. The film was processed in the kitchen sink. I made a few proof-prints, then filed the negative away, not to be looked again for decades.

If I recall correctly, in this instance I wasn’t ‘absent’ as Seniors were allowed to leave the school if they didn’t have a class, and there was an even greater freedom permitted on Fridays.

Anyway, I think the Palmer diamonds, where Central Vermont’s line crossed Conrail’s east-west Boston & Albany route was a better place for me to be on that Friday the 13th.

However, this negative was left in the ‘seconds’ file for many years. Not because of the subject matter, or any grave instance caused by the unlucky day. But rather because my processing skills were not yet up to par.

 

In addition to careless over-processing the negatives in Kodak Microdol-X (which in my view led to a grainy appearance coupled with slightly unpleasant contrast), I managed to add a few strategic scratches and water spots when drying them. Just basic poor handling on my part.

 

While the scene is fascinating to me now, as it reveals just how much Palmer has changed over the 31 year interval, at the time it was common. It was easier to return to Palmer and expose more negatives, than worry about correcting my processing faults.

 

Ultimately, I refined my black & white process. Today, using Lightroom, I spent some time to rid the flaws in the original negatives including spots, scratches, contrast, and put the image on level.

Nominal correction to remove spots, scratches and improve level.
Nominal correction to remove spots, scratches and improve level.
This represents more intensive correction to smooth out spots, minimize scratches, and make both localized and overall contrast adjustments.
This represents more intensive correction to smooth out spots, minimize scratches, and make both localized and overall contrast adjustments.
Here I may have over done it. What do you think?
Here I may have over done it. What do you think?

I’ve presented four variations beginning with the raw unmodified scan. The fourth represents the most amount of manipulation in post processing.

Which do you like the best?

Tracking the Light Posts Daily!

3 thoughts on “Central Vermont Alco RS-11s Cross the Palmer Diamond.”

  1. I bet that hopper is still running around.. Also, the absence of trees compared to the present.. where there are trees everywhere..

  2. I like the last image the best, Brian. Not “overdone” at all. It is the clearest, sharpest one. Maybe my age but I see it the best. Imagine those double tracks all the way to Springfield! it’s hard for me to remember that, I’m so used to the single track coming down the hill. 🙂

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