Amtrak Montrealer Hours Late—An Example of a Captioned Photograph.

 

Not my finest print, but it was the best I capable of at the time. Today, what I find interesting is the effort I made at captioning the old print, which has preserved the spirit of the day and the relative significance of the image. Information distinguishes the train pictured from a generic move to a specific train on a specific day and highlights the relative importance of the image.
Not my finest print, but it was the best I capable of at the time. Today, what I find interesting is the effort I made at captioning the  print, which has preserved the spirit of the day and the relative significance of the image. Information distinguishes the train pictured from that of a generic move to a specific train on a specific day and highlights the relative importance of the image.

Here’s an old print. I exposed this years ago. It shows an Amtrak train in the snow someplace. If I had to guess, I say it was made somewhere in New England in the mid-1980s/early 1990s based on the equipment.

Except I don’t need to guess. I know that it was exposed on the morning of January 16, 1984 and shows Amtrak’s late-running Washington D.C. to Montreal Montrealer passing South Deerfield, Massachusetts.

 I chose this photograph because it has a decent caption on the back. My language skills weren’t fantastic, but all I was trying to do was convey the vital information relating to the photograph. I typed this up on label using an IBM Selectric typewriter (which imprinted letters with a rapidly rotating ball) and pasted that to the back of the print.

I chose to display this photograph because it has a decent caption on the back. My language skills weren’t fantastic, but all I was trying to do was convey the vital information that related to the photograph. I typed my caption up on label using an IBM Selectric typewriter (which imprinted letters with a rapidly rotating ball) and pasted it to the back of the print.

In the caption I was trying to do was convey the vital information.  At the time, I’d hope to send this to a magazine. Catching the Montrealer in daylight was a real coup! (Or so I thought at the time.).

I find this photograph interesting for other reasons too. As regular viewers of Tracking the Light may be aware, I’ve made several recent views of Amtrak’s Vermonter at this same highway crossing (North Hillside Road) and so this makes for an interesting comparison view.

The primary reason I’ve posted this today is to provide an example of how a simple caption can solve many mysteries. Instead of a generic image of an Amtrak train kicking up snow, we instead know many of the crucial details; what, when where and why.

These details make the photo more relevant, and potentially more valuable as a record.

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