Long Hood at the Old Station; Baraboo, Wisconsin in Black & White—July 2016.

 

I exposed these three photos last week on Wisconsin & Southern at Baraboo, Wisconsin using my old Leica 3A loaded with Ilford Pan F black & white film (ISO 50).

In its heyday, Baraboo was a division point on Chicago & North Western’s Chicago-Madison-Twin Cities main line.

Its glory days are now more than a century past; decline began in the early twentieth century, when this route was augmented by C&NW’s low-grade Adams Line (via Milwaukee), which became a preferred route for through freight and fast passenger expresses.

It was severed as a through line in the 1980s.

As mentioned in an earlier post, on this July 2016 day John Gruber and I were following Wisconsin & Southern’s Madison to Reedsburg freight.

Some photographers might object to the railroad’s choice of motive power: an SD40-2 operating long-hood first. I recall the wisdom of my late-friend Bob Buck who reminded me once many years ago, ‘The railroad isn’t operated for your benefit.’

(In other-words; if a long-hood forward SD40-2 is on offer, that’s what there is and so make the best of it.)

Compare these images:

In this view the harsh overhead light characteristic of 'high sun' was briefly soften by a passing fair weather cloud. Some photographers might cringe at the thought of a cloud, but here if offered opportunity for a variation on the scene. I adjusted the contrast of the image in post processing.
Photo 1. In this view the harsh overhead light characteristic of ‘high sun’ was briefly soften by a passing fair weather cloud. Some photographers might cringe at the thought of a cloud, but here if offered opportunity for a variation on the scene. I adjusted the contrast of the image in post processing.
Bright sun again; so with this photograph I used my rangefinder to focus on the trackside weeds instead of Wisconsin & Southern 4008.
Photo 2. Bright sun again; so with this photograph I used my rangefinder to focus on the trackside weeds instead of Wisconsin & Southern 4008.
John Gruber looks on while Wisconsin & Southern 4008 switches at Baraboo. Exposed on Ilford Pan F using a Leica 3A rangefinder camera fitted with a Nikkor f3.5 35mm lens.
Photo 3. John Gruber looks on while Wisconsin & Southern 4008 switches at Baraboo. Exposed on Ilford Pan F using a Leica 3A rangefinder camera fitted with a Nikkor f3.5 35mm lens.

In one, I’ve adjusted the contrast to compensate for a cloud that momentarily softened the noonday sunlight. In the second, I’ve worked with depth of field and focused on trackside weeds instead of the locomotive. In the last, I’ve included fellow photographer John Gruber to add in a human element.

Which do you like the best?

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2 thoughts on “Long Hood at the Old Station; Baraboo, Wisconsin in Black & White—July 2016.”

  1. I have to go with photo 1. The cloud diffused that bright sun for a more even exposure. Photo 3 is good also but #1 is a better balance of composition, nothing against John of course!

  2. We visited this site a few months ago – got the same picture without a train in sight. I like the first image as it shows more of the building. I’ve ridden the line to the south (in the 80s on one of the Circus trains) but not to the north (darn!)

    Worth noting that the new home of the Lake States Railway Historical Association is in a new building directly south of the old depot. And the Circus World Museum is also close by. Both are worth visiting (especially the latter if you have kids!)

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