Oh No, A Conrail Dud!

Here’s another 1980s Conrail photo. Not one of my good ones. This was also in the ‘seconds’ file, and in my opinion is un-retrievable.

Poor show at Churchville, New York. I missed the focus when photographing this westward Conrail intermodal train in autumn 1987.

At the time, I made the photo I incorporated many of my favorite elements; signals, codelines, road freight blasting along through a curve. But, several things were amiss.

The sun went in at the wrong moment leaving me with flat lighting; I failed to level the scene which produced a cockeyed image; however worst of all, I missed the focus!

I was working with a 200mm lens mounted on a tripod and I didn’t pick the correct focus point. Poor show. No autofocus back then, so there’s no-one to blame but me. And unlike other flaws, focus isn’t easy to correct.

Fear not! I have thousands of better Conrail images, where the sun was out, the camera was level and the desired point of focus was achieved.

Tracking the Light is about process, not just obtaining perfect photos.