A 30-year Old Gem; Amtrak Pan, New Cars on the Move.

One of the advantages of making a panned photograph is the ability to instantly transform a dull scene into a dynamic photograph.

I made this photograph of an eastward Amtrak train under wire on the old New Haven Railroad near New Haven, Connecticut at 9:38am on December 27, 1986.

Amtrak's Material Handling Cars (MHCs) were some of the newest equipment on the move in 1986.
Amtrak’s Material Handling Cars (MHCs) were some of the newest equipment on the move in 1986.

At the back of the train was a pair of relatively new Material Handling Cars, which where then allowed in high-speed service.

Rather than simply expose a flat light photo of the cars on the back of the train, I selected a slow shutter speed and kept the camera in constant motion with the train to make this panned view.

Aiding my ability to make this pan photograph was the Leica M3 camera that had a very soft shutter release. My exposure was 1/25th of a second at f5.6 on Kodachrome 25 slide film.

I’d be willing to wager that there are very few panned photos of new Amtrak MHC cars under wire!

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