The Lost Slide File: Trams ala Baltic: Tallinn, Estonia 2001

It was a week before September 11, 2001. I’d taken the ferry from Helsinki to Tallinn. During my first couple of days I rode around on the tram exploring the city.

Comfort class on a Tatra. Exposed with my Contax G2 rangefinder on Sensia 100 slide film.
Comfort class on a Tatra. Exposed with my Contax G2 rangefinder on Sensia 100 slide film.

In short 2001 was a very intensive year photographically. A week after ‘9-11’, I’d headed off to Spain in search of General Motors diesels and TALGO trains.

When my Estonian slides came back from the processing labs, I’d quickly picked out key images and the rest were filed away, largely unedited along with a host of other trips from the same year.

For years, I wondered what had happened to the Tallinn tram photos. I recalled riding the trams, but the slides were not mixed in with my other Estonian photos.

Trams by the Baltic sea at the Kopli terminus. Contax G2 rangefinder photo exposed on Sensia 100 slide film.
Trams by the Baltic sea at the Kopli terminus. Contax G2 rangefinder photo exposed on Sensia 100 slide film.

Complicating matters, I returned to Estonia a year later for an even more extensive trip and many of my photos of railway operations around Tallinn were exposed in 2002.

Last week, I found these images along with the photos I made in Spain, Finland, and Ireland, plus those along New York’s Southern Tier, northern and central Pennsylvania, the Berkshires of Massachusetts, Philadelphia, Washington DC, Charlottesville, Virginia and Vermont, all of which were exposed over an 8 week span.

They didn't paint cars like this in Soviet times! Contax G2 rangefinder photo exposed on Sensia 100 slide film.
They didn’t paint cars like this in Soviet times! Contax G2 rangefinder photo exposed on Sensia 100 slide film.
Near the main railway station. Contax G2 rangefinder photo exposed on Sensia 100 slide film.
Near the main railway station. Contax G2 rangefinder photo exposed on Sensia 100 slide film.
Contax G2 rangefinder photo exposed on Sensia 100 slide film.
Contax G2 rangefinder photo exposed on Sensia 100 slide film.

I’m glad I kept notes to sort it all out!

Tracking the Light Takes Many Angles on Photography!