MBTA Gritty in Ayer.

One of MBTA’s HSP-46 diesels leads a mid-morning westward commuter train approaching its station stop in Ayer.

Making effective Midday backlit shots requires challenging photographic techniques.

In this instance, I took an elevated view, slightly over exposed Kodak Tri-X to allow for greater shadow detail while completely cropping the sky to avoid the visual distraction from excessive highlight brightness.

Image exposed on Kodak Tri-X black & white film using a Nikon F3 with f1.4 50mm lens and custom processed to allow for maximum tonality.

Processing the film was my key for achieving better balance and rich tonality.

Working with Ilford ID-11, I used a  1 to 1 mix with water and lowered the recommended process time for Tri-X  from 11 minutes to 7 minutes 45 seconds (at 68.5 degrees F). This lowered the contrast and prevented excessive processing in the highlight areas.

After processing, I toned the negatives with a selenium solution, which give the highlights a slight silvery snap, just enough to make for richer tonality without blowing out all the detail.

My goal was to make the most of the reflections off the rails and the top of the train.

Tracking the Light Posts something new every day!



One comment on “MBTA Gritty in Ayer.

  1. Michael Walsh on said:

    It’s a great picture – full of interest, the undulating carriage roof level, the wagons in the distance and the array of switches. Lovely composition.

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