Tracking the Light Reads the Rules of Railroad Photography.

(And ignores them).

Back in the day, a long long time ago (1906, I think), a self-appointed man of knowledge carved into stone the rules of good railroad photography. When translated these read something to the effect:

To take a good train picture you must:

  • Always use a standard lens;
  • Expose on bright sunny days;
  • The sun should be at least 30 degrees above the horizon and over your left shoulder positioned for an evenly lit three-quarter view;
  • Keep shadows off all railroad rolling stock;
  • Minimize or eliminate all wires and poles;
  • Refrain from including people;
  • Always select a vantage point that allows for a clean view of locomotive wheels;
  • Select a fast enough shutter speed to stop the action;
  • Avoid distracting or complicated backgrounds.
  • Keep trees and fences in the distance.
Amtrak ACS-64 652 leads Keystone train 648 east at Trenton, New Jersey in a December 2015 downpour. Digitally exposed using a Lumix LX7.
Amtrak ACS-64 652 leads Keystone train 648 east at Trenton, New Jersey in a December 2015 downpour. Digitally exposed using a Lumix LX7.

Tracking the Light has no Rules.

 (Although every effort is made to post daily!)

3 thoughts on “Tracking the Light Reads the Rules of Railroad Photography.”

  1. Could it have been Lucius Beebe and his “wedge of Brie” compositions, or perhaps nearly all the images on trainorders.com? I’m glad you break the rules and that Ted Benson and Richard Steinheimer did too!

Comments are closed.