When Color Just Doesn’t Work—Norristown, PA.


On our SEPTA exploration January 2, 2019, we visited the Norristown Transportation Center, where we changed from the former Reading Company heavy rail line to the old Philadelphia & Western ‘High Speed’ line.

The elevated station for the old P&W route offers a stunning view of the trestle over the Schuykill River.

A grand view, yes, but the light was about as uninspiring as it gets; I was faced with dull, colorless January gloom.

I made a few photos of a Norristown-bound car scuttling across the bridge.

As color photos these are pretty hopeless.

This is a JPG created without adjustment from the Lumix LX7 camera RAW. There isn’t much color in this scene.

Working with the camera RAW, I de-saturated the image then adjusted the contrast to make the most out of the scene.

You might ask, ‘why didn’t I just make a B&W film photo?’

My answer is: ‘I was traveling light, and didn’t bring a film camera’

I think I’ll just need to return on a brighter day.

Tracking the Light Posts Every Day. Even when its dull and colorless.

5 thoughts on “When Color Just Doesn’t Work—Norristown, PA.”

  1. That’s why for those rare and historic photos I still shoot film–Just got my hands on the new EK. I wonder how it will turn out.

  2. In this digital age, what I miss most is rail photography with a Leica (or Kodak Retina III) and Panatomic X film. Yes, I know PanX had a very slow ASA rating, which precluded most low-light action shots. But when conditions were right, well-exposed images were breathtaking, even with the diaphragm wide open .

  3. The red in the color photo pulls my eyes into it. The B&W photo scatters my eyes all over the place.

  4. I have some “colour” pics of black steam locos in snow that are quite effective. The images are de facto “black and white”, but using tones of colour. Even though there’s no colour in the scene, the images are better in some ways than would have resulted from B+W film.

    Michael Walsh (Anonymous)

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