Close and Closer—Compositional Considerations: New England Central at Vernon, Vermont.

Mike Gardner and I had driven up from Palmer, Massachusetts with a plan to intercept New England Central’s morning freight 611 that runs south weekdays from Brattleboro, Vermont to Palmer and back.

As we crossed the Massachusetts-Vermont state line at East Northfield, we heard 611 approaching.

Having photographed trains here before, we opted to make our first set in a farmer’s field right off the road.

I exposed these two views with my FujiFilm X-T1 with 18-135mm adjustable zoom lens.

On this morning I was delighted to find a unified orange locomotive consist.

Of these two images, one closer than the other, I’ve strategically positioned the orange locomotives in the frame.

Almost a ‘stardard view’. Compare the relative size of the barn with the train.
This wide-angle view alters the perspective on the locomotives a bit.

Considering the various elements—locomotives, barn, fields left and right and a pastel sky above—Which of these photos do you prefer?

Tracking the Light posts daily



4 comments on “Close and Closer—Compositional Considerations: New England Central at Vernon, Vermont.

  1. The wide-angle view is more dramatic due to the distortion the lens introduces at this distance to the subject. Is this drama preferable to a more straightforward photo? Depends on your purpose in taking the photo.

  2. Anonymous on said:

    I like the bottom one except the old ties add clutter to the scene. Phil has a point about the sky.

  3. Tom Warger on said:

    I like the second photo, too. My reason: the stretched appearance (distortion) of the pilot on the lead locomotive gives more of a sense of motion and makes the photo more dynamic than the first one.

  4. Phil on said:

    My preference would be the bottom photo even the top shot would seem more overall balanced with various points of interest, (for lack of a better term) the barn, grass, sky and train.
    While you didn’t ask “why” I’ll volunteer: As noted, the top shot seems to be a more complete? “balanced” shot. The sky in the bottom shot is less defined compared to the top shot almost to the point of being possibly termed “washed out” which is easy to do on a “sky lit”? overcast day. The grass in the top shot seems quite dark or if someone really liked the shot, the grass would seem “richer” or more lush. The locomotive is more detailed or lighter so the color seems more vivid in the bottom shot and that would be my primary interest. Possibly contrast somewhere between the 2 shots might be better. Everything’s a compromise!
    “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder!”

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