CSX at Warren, Massachusetts—27 August 2016.

A lesson in ‘turbo-flutter.’

It was a sunny Saturday morning and the old Boston & Albany mainline was quieter than a rural Polish branch line.

Finally about 10:30 am Mike Gardner and I heard distant stirrings of an eastward freight.

We made our way to Warren, Massachusetts.

The long days of summer have resulted in the B&A route becoming unfortunately brushed in. Much of the line is largely obscured by bushes, trees and undergrowth, which make railway photography difficult.

The old Boston & Albany station at Warren remains one of my favorite surviving structures on the line; it harks back to a time when the railroad was the principle corridor for commerce in the region. Recently it has been restored.

Here we made our photographs.

A few strategic shafts of sunlight illuminate the line. I set my FujiFilm XT1’s shutter release dial to ‘CH’ (continuous high—the setting I casually refer to as ‘turbo flutter’) and waited as the train approached.

When it neared the shafts of sunlight, I held the shutter down and exposed a rapid burst of digital images, knowing that at least of one of them would place the front of the locomotive in full sun.

This satisfied my desired composition to juxtapose CSX’s modern General Electric diesel with the 1890s-era railway station building.

To demonstrate the effect of ‘turbo flutter’ as a compositional exposure tool, I’ve displayed the below sequence of images. In practice my camera exposed about three times as many photos. (Frame numbers are sequential)

frame 3427
frame 3427
frame 3429
frame 3429
frame 3434
frame 3434
frame 3439
frame 3439
frame 3441
frame 3441

Since the real cost of making a burst of exposures is very small, in this situation, I’ll happily make as many images as I need to in order to produce the photo I want. Later, if I choose, I can throw away the unsatisfactory images to save space on my hard drives.

Tracking the Light is Daily.