The backyard is always a good place to experiment with a new lens:
See familiar territory in a new way; if something goes wrong, nothing is lost. If you succeed, you’ll know your new equipment’s strengths, but if something isn’t right, you’ll learn how to work around the problem before setting out to photograph less familiar places.
On St. Stephen’s Day, I took a drive up the Quaboag Valley along the old Boston & Albany route and made some photos with my FujiFilm X-T1 fitted with a new Carl Zeiss 12mm Touit super wideangle lens.
These are some of the digital images I exposed with my new camera-lens combination. I adjusted image contrast in post processing to maximize shadow and highlight detail for internet presentation.
Are these elements insidious intrusions or compositional aids?
The other day I was inspecting a nature photography magazine. Each and every photograph featured a stunning landscape free from the hand of man. Waterfalls and luscious skyscapes, arctic views and verdant forests.
Nowhere were there poles, wires, or tarmac roads. This magazine had portrayed a world free from industry, electricity, commerce, and railways!
Fear not good citizen! Tracking the Light will fill these photographic omissions!
Take for example these images of Pan Am Railways/Norfolk Southern’s intermodal train symbol 22K, photographed in November 2015 near its Ayer, Massachusetts terminal.
A ruinous landscape? Just imagine this scene free from roads, wires, and the hand of man. What would be left to photograph?
I exposed these views of Pan Am Southern symbol freight 28N at Gardner, Massachusetts on the old Boston & Maine Fitchburg mainline.
Dark Clouds on the Horizon.
Heavy wintery clouds were rolling in from the west, yet a few shafts of sun remained. The contrast between the bright sun and billowing churning clouds allowed for dramatic lighting; ‘storm light’.
I was traveling with Bob Arnold and Paul Goewey. Our bonus on this day was catching one of Norfolk Southern’s recently acquired former Union Pacific SD90MACs (a large General Motors model, built to accommodate a 6,000 hp diesel, but in this case powered by GM’s more reliable 16-710 engine with a more conservative rating).
Pan Am’s 28N is a autorack train that drops cars at Gardner and Ayer, Massachusetts. At Gardner Providence & Worcester interchanges, and often P&W’s WOGR (Worcester-Gardner) arrived about the same time as an eastward Pan Am freight.
By the time the P&W arrived at Gardner, the dramatic light had faded, yet the sky was still full of texture.
My photo at Shirley offers the hope of safe journey in 2016, but also a reminder to photographers that 2016 will see the decommissioning of many old signals such as these old General Railway Signal searchlights.
Tracking the Light has been Posting Daily since 2013!