Tram said ‘Click It’—So I thought, yes, I’ll do that!

Tracking the Light is on ‘auto pilot’ while Brian is traveling.

Here’ the LUAS banana yellow advertising tram crosses the River Liffey in Dublin.

On the side of the car it says ‘click it’. Gosh, I’m glad I brought my Lumix!

Tracking the Light Posts Daily!

Northward Medway Freight, Pampilhosa, Portugal—A Lesson in Crossing Lighting.

Hopefully you see a full -colour landscape-orientation image of a Medway freight train.
This is a portrait-orientation view of a Medway freight train.


Here’s a visually challenging situation: a semi-gloss black locomotive with yellow lettering cross-lit by the afternoon sun.

‘Cross-lit’: when a train has the front lit by the primary light source (in this case the sun) while the side of the train remains on the ‘dark side’ (that opposite from the primary light source).

In certain situations cross lighting can be used for dramatic effect; in others it may be viewed as unfortunate or non-conventional.

At Pampilhosa, I found cross-lighting was a good way to show the scenery, the empty freight train, and the effects of overhead catenary.

But does this photo work?

Brian Solomon is traveling in Portugal and may not be able to respond promptly to questions or queries. Hopefully photos will display without difficulty.

Tracking the Light Posts Daily.

Stainless Steel and Sun at Porto Campanha—29 March 2019.

I made this view using my Lumix LX7 at Porto’s Campanha Station on Friday 29 March 2019. I’ve posted this using a wireless ‘hotspot’ connection from my MacBook to my iPhone. Apologies if the quality isn’t up to standards or if the photo doesn’t load quickly.

Porto Campanha, Portugal. (Normally there is a tilde over the second ‘a’ in Campanha.)
Porto Campanha, Portugal. (Normally there is a tilde over the second ‘a’ in Campanha.)

I’ve exposed hundreds of photos in Portugal over the last few days. It may take some time before I’ve had time to sort through every thing.

As I write this, I’m sitting on a hillside with fellow photographer Denis McCabe overlooking the supremely scenic Douro Valley awaiting the passage of an English Electric diesel-hauled passenger train, as per the recommendations of Tracking the Light reader Stephen Hirsch.

More to come!

Tracking the Light Posts Daily!

Frosty Evening at Byron, Wisconsin—January 2019.

Tracking the Light is on ‘Auto Pilot’ all week.

Two months ago I was traveling with Chris Guss and Trains Magazine’s Brian Schmidt.

It was below zero fahrenheit when I made this sunset view of a southward Canadian National freight on on the old Wisconsin Central at Byron, Wisconsin.

I exposed this view with my FujiFilm XT1. The cold weather was taking its toll on my hands and the camera performance. In the end I was luck to get results.

As I write this I’m in a warmer climate.

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Trains along the Royal Canal in Drumcondra.


This week Tracking the Light is on ‘auto pilot’ while Brian is traveling.

On 23 March 2019, I set up in Drumcondra along the Royal Canal on Dublin’s north side to photograph trains working the Newcomen Line.

Normally the visually intriguing Newcomen line trackage is only lightly used during midday with most moves scheduled for weekday rush hours.

Instead, Irish Rail typically routes trains on the parallel double-track line via Drumcondra Station; however on the weekend of 23-24 March 2019 works on that line resulted in diversions to the Newcomen Line.

I made these views using my FujiFilm XT1 digital camera.

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Portuguese Local Train on the Beira Alta at Trezoi—March 2019


Deep in a valley, far from main roads, Portuguese Railways’ Beira Alta line soars across the village of Trezoi.

This a quiet place and the rattle of the train on the bridge momentarily wakes the town.

Exposed using my FujiFilm XT1 with 27mm pancake lens.

Brian Solomon is traveling in Portugal.

Tracking the Light Posts Daily! 

Deep in a valley, far from main roads, Portuguese Railways’ Beira Alta line soars across the village of Trezoi.

Pendolino tilts at Pampilhosa!

I made this digital photo of a southward Portuguese Railways Pendolino train tilting through a curve at Pampilhosa using my FujiFilm XT1 with 27mm pancake lens.

This is trailing view looking south toward Pampilhosa Station. Portuguese track is textbook perfect.

Brian Solomon is traveling in Portugal so communication may be infrequent.

Tracking the Light continues to post daily.

Ordinary and Extraordinary.

DART at Blackrock.

Last Thursday I used my Lumix LX7 to make this view of DART electric trains serving Blackrock on the shores of Dublin Bay. Nothing remarkable here.

Except that this line opened in 1834 as the Dublin & Kingstown and represents Ireland’s oldest railway line and is considered as World’s first suburban railway.

Well that’s extraordinary, isn’t it?

Brian Solomon is traveling, but Tracking the Light still posts Daily!

Viaduct at Luso, Portugal—26 March 2019.

Yesterday afternoon, Denis McCabe and I arrived at the impressive viaduct at Luso, Portugal on the Beira Alta line that runs toward the Spanish frontier.

I made this view of Intercidades 513 crossing the bridge at Luso, Portugal on its way toward Guarda.

Traveling light on this trip, I only have three cameras with me and a mere four lenses.

More to come!

Brian Solomon’s Tracking the Light is on the road in Portugal.

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Elusive ‘Raccoon’ leads the RPSI Cravens Transfer at the Gullet.

I made this photo on the morning of 18 March 2019 using my FujiFilm XT1.

I’ll admit that if you’re not closely familiar with Irish Rail’s Dublin operations my title to today’s Tracking the Light post might seem cryptic.

Two of the Irish Rail 201 class General Motors diesels, 231 and 233, are painted in a minimalist silver, black and yellow livery. These are colloquially known in the enthusiast community as ‘raccoons’ (or ‘badgers’).

Engine number 233 has been shy lately and rarely seen out on the mainline.

RPSI stands for the Railway Preservation Society of Ireland.

RPSI owns an historic set of Cravens-built passenger carriages.

These are stored/maintained at Irish Rail’s Inchicore works (repair shops), and when they are required for an excursion, Irish Rail makes a transfer run across Dublin to deliver them to Connolly station for boarding.

The graded three-track line from Islandbridge Junction to Inchicore runs through a cutting along Con Colbert Road known as ‘the Gullet’.

While I’ve covered most of this previously, I figure it doesn’t hurt to review the esoteric every so often to avoid confusion.

Tracking the Light is on Auto Pilot while Brian is Traveling.

Irish Rail Sperry at Dublin’s North Wall

Tracking the Light is on auto-pilot while Brian is traveling.

Last week I exposed this view of Irish Rail’s Tara Mines train alongside the Sperry rail defect detection train at the North Wall yards in Dublin.

I was on a image-making wander with fellow photographers Mark Healy and Paul Maguire.

Exposed using my FujiFilm XT1 with 90mm prime telephoto.

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Lucky Morning at Islandbridge!

Just a little while ago I was passing the usual place at Islandbridge Junction in Dublin. Although mostly cloudy, I took a glimpse over the wall. A horn hooted from the Phoenix Park tunnel and an Enterprise 201 eased out onto the Liffey Bridge.

As locomotive 206 approached, running light engine toward Irish Rail’s Inchicore Works, the clouds parted and brilliant morning sun illuminated the junction.

Lumix in hand, I made these photos!

Lumix LX7 photo 25 March 2019.

Irish Rail 206; Lumix LX7 photo 25 March 2019.

Travel Notice: Brian will be traveling over the coming days and weeks, so Tracking the Light notices and responses may become infrequent. However:

TRACKING THE LIGHT WILL CONTINUE TO POST DAILY!

LUAS Yellow ad-tram at St Stephen’s Green.


Last Friday (22 March 2019), Mark Healy and I met in the Dublin city centre to seek out an elusive tram, recently dressed in a yellow advertising livery.

A steady rain was falling by the time we found it.

I made these photos with my Lumix LX7. In post processing, I adjusted the camera RAW files using Lightroom to improve colour temperature, make the contrast more appealing, and restore texture to the afternoon sky.

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Thirty Years Ago on Conrail’s former Erie—There’s more here than meets the Eye.

Please note: Although Brian will be traveling next week, Tracking the Light will continue to post articles every day.


It was Spring 1989 when I made this view of Delaware & Hudson’s westward EBBU at West Middlebury, New York on Conrail’s former Erie Railroad line from Hornell to Buffalo.

This was during New York, Susquehanna & Western’s operation of D&H, after it left the Guilford system and before it was acquired by Canadian Pacific.

Leading the train is a Delaware & Hudson locomotive still wearing Guilford colors but lacking the big ‘G’ on the side.

West Middlebury was a preferred location to catch mid-morning westward trains because the alignment of the railroad favored the morning sun as actually it ran southwest-northeast before curling around to get over Attica Hill.

I was still studying photography at the Rochester Institute of Photography, and typically worked with my antique Leica and Rolleiflex cameras. However for this image, I owe the generosity of my college roommate, Bob, who lent me his Hassleblad 503C for the day. I loaded this with Kodachrome 64 120, which offered superb sharpness and color rendering.

The camera’s 80mm Zeiss Planar lens was among the sharpest lenses available.

To demonstrate this fantastic combination of camera and film, I’ve offered three versions of this photo. The first is the uncropped image; the others show degrees of cropping to demonstrate both the versatility of the Hasselblad’s square format and the ability to crop in while retaining detail and sharpness.

Uncropped 120 K64.
Slight crop to offer a superior balance and correct the level.

Tight crop to better feature the train. Normally I disapprove of cropping, however I’ll make a rare exception for this circumstance where I feel nominal cropping improves the photograph.

I made this view handheld, and unfortunately didn’t get the level 100 percent perfect, so for years this view sat in my ‘seconds’ file. You could make a wall size print from the original chrome and count the blades of grass.

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Blink of Sun at Derraghmore; Cosmic Moment on Bord na Mona.


The forecast had been for rain. And rain it did, as it often does in the Irish Midlands.

Paul and Jay Monaghan and I had been exploring Bord na Mona’s narrow gauge network centered on the Lough Rea generating station, but had taken a break to photograph Irish Rail.

We spied clearing in the afternoon sky, so resumed pursuit of the narrow gauge. Soon we found a pair of empty trains returning to the bog for loading.

At the level crossing in Derraghmore, County Longford the clouds parted and we made sunny images of the diminutive trains as these crossed the road.

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30 years ago today: Conrail Meet at Sunrise on the Water Level Route near Batavia, New York.


Looking at this Conrail photo makes me feel that March 23, 1989 wasn’t that long ago.

I’d left my apartment in Scottsville, New York before dawn and headed west on Rt33 in my white Toyota Corolla.

I knew I had a westbound climbing Batavia Hill—the nominal rise of the Water Level Route that ascended the Niagara Escarpment on the way toward Buffalo.

My Leica M2 was loaded with Kodachrome 200 ‘Fast Kodachrome’ (three stops faster than K25, which was my normal film in 1989).

I parked the car west of Batavia near CP406 (where New York Central’s 1950s track re-alignment to avoid downtown Batavia rejoined the historic railroad route). With time running short, I hike east beneath the code lines and set up my Leica with a 200mm Leitz Telyt telephoto on my Bogen 3021 tripod.

I could hear the slow moving westbound as the sun glimmered above the horizon. But then behind me fast moving eastward stack train blasted for Donahue Road. . .

The headlight of the westbound appeared and over the next few seconds I captured a running meet between the two Conrail trains. K200’s warm color balance and grain structure made for the perfect combination to distill the moment.

Rolling sunrise meet on Conrail’s Water Level Route west of Batavia, New York.

I’ve run this photo in various publications and it’s one of my favorite Water Level Route views.

I spent the rest of the day photographing along the former Erie Railroad, which was alive with trains. I remember it all as if it was yesterday.

Also see my earlier post: ‘The Curse of the Code Lines’ http://briansolomon.com/trackingthelight/2014/11/24/the-curse-of-the-code-lines/

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Conrail 1980s Flashback: Street-scene Cresson, Pennsylvania.


It was August 1987 and the last day of a ten epic adventure photographing trains in western New York, Ontario, and Pennsylvania.

My pal TSH and I had exhausted our film reserves and were getting ready for the big drive home.

I made this street view looking railroad-west on Front Street in Cresson, Pennsylvania using my dad’s Rolleiflex model T. I scanned this B&W negative recently using an Epson V500 and cleaned it up in Lightroom.

You can just feel the heat in the air. A trio of Conrail GP38s has just pulled by, probably for service on one of the secondary lines that radiated from the old Pennsylvania Railroad Main Line at Cresson.

We made a quick visit to MG Tower and Horseshoe Curve on the way down the hill.

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Irish Steam: RPSI at work with Great Northern Railway 85—18 March 2019.

Connolly Station.

Connolly Station.

Here are some more digital photographs from Monday’s (18 March 2019) Railway Preservation Society of Ireland steam trips behind Great Northern Railway 85.

Runs were scheduled to depart Dublin Connolly Station at 1100 and 1505 and operated between Irish Rail’s regularly scheduled trains.

RPSI’s trips were very well patronized.

Special thanks to everyone at RPSI and Irish Rail for a great railway experience!

Check out RPSI’s site for details about mainline steam and diesel trips in Ireland: https://www.steamtrainsireland.com/programme-of-public-trains

Maynooth.
Hi-tech adjustments at Maynooth.

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Tanks on the old Erie Railroad; Canisteo Valley New York 1987.


In March 1987, I made a trip to the scenic Canisteo Valley where I photographed trains on the former Erie Railroad.

I made this view at the Canisteo River Road crossing at West Cameron, New York of DODX 6-axle flats carrying tanks. This was an eastward Conrail BUOI (Buffalo to Oak Island) freight and it was rolling along at a healthy speed.

At the time, I was experimenting with my black & white process. Unfortunately, I should have experimented with film of subjects that wouldn’t have been so interesting to me 30 years after the fact.

This roll of 120 film has been largely unseen since the 1980s. My ineffective trial yielded uneven processing and negatives that were difficult to print with poor tonality.

Today, I think the subject matter is fascinating despite the inept process.

The irony was that I was adapting a formula recommended to me by former New York Central photographer Ed Nowak. The lesson here is don’t allow a New York Central photographer advise you on how to process photos of the Erie Railroad! (Railroad photography humor).

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Irish Rail’s Grand Canal Docks at Night and the Sperry Train.


—Some nocturnal views of Dublin suburban operations—

Working in the gloom of night has its challenges and benefits.

It’s especially challenging when the camera I intended to make film photos was suffering from a flat battery, again (so I thought).

One of my Nikon F3s was again showing signs of no electricity. Changing out the batteries on an railcar, I began to suspect something else . . .

Anyway, last week Paul Maguire, Jay Monaghan and I arrived at Pearse Station as a potential location to picture Irish Rail’s Sperry train that was making its run to Bray to inspect rail conditions.

We decided to try the next station down the line, and traveled on a DART electric train to Grand Canal Docks. With my Nikon dead in the water, I opted to work with my Lumix LX7 and FujiFilm digital cameras instead. This changed my perspective as I’d hope to make black & white film photos.

Grand Canal Docks viewed from Irish Rail’s station of the same name. Lumix LX7 photo.
DART at Grand Canal Docks. Lumix LX7 photo.
Irish Rail 29000 series CAF-built diesel train. Lumix LX7 photo.
A Howth-bound DART at Grand Canal Docks, FujiFilm XT1 photo.
Irish Rail 086 leads the Sperry detection train at Grand Canal docks. FujiFilm XT1 with 90mm f2.0 prime telephoto.

As we waited on the platforms for the Sperry train. I made photos of the DART and suburban diesel railcars, which dominate operations on this route.

Diesel haulage is the attraction of the elusive Sperry train; and on this evening Irish Rail 086 did the honors.

Tracking the Light Posts Daily!

Oh yeah, about the F3T’s battery problem. Later, I discovered that the plastic cartridge that holds the batteries appeared to have developed a short. Luckily, I have a spare F3 and swapped out the cartridge solving this difficulty.

RPSI The Midlander—excursions from Dublin to Maynooth 18 March 2019.


On Monday, 18 March 2019, Railway Preservation Society of Ireland operated its annual The Midlanderexcursions from Connolly Station along the Midland route following the Royal Canal to Maynooth.

This resulted in an uncommon visit by Great Northern Railway (of Ireland) engine number 85 to the  historic Midland Great Western route.

The trains were well patronized and reportedly sold out.

I both traveled and made photos line-side as two trips were operated; the first departing Connolly at 11am, the second just after 3pm.

Connolly Station.

Connolly Station.

Maynooth.

On the return run passing Claude Road in Dublin.

GNR 85 at Connolly Station.

See the RPSI’s site for details about mainline steam and diesel trips in Ireland: https://www.steamtrainsireland.com/programme-of-public-trains

More photos coming soon!

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Central Vermont at Palmer, Massachusetts—July 1986.


I exposed this view of Central Vermont GP9s on Kodak 120 Tri-X Professional, a film that came with an ISO rating of 320 compared with 400 for the off-the-shelf variety.

This was CV’s southward road freight number 444 which terminated at the Palmer yard, south of the crossing with Conrail’s former Boston & Albany.

I made this image on July 23, 1986; the previous day Conrail began its single track operation of the Boston Line by cutting-in CP83 and CP92, removing one track from service and thus ending directional double-track operation (rule 251) between those two points.

Close examination of this photo will show that the old westward main track is cut short of the CV crossing.

This is a much enlarged scan of the above photo to better illustrate the single-track section over the Palmer diamond.

This was one of many photos I made around Palmer during the single tracking of the B&A route. Today the CV route is operated by New England Central, and the Boston & Albany line is CSX. There were far fewer trees by the tracks back in 1986.

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Freight in the Mist; Irish Rail 082 Leads Containers in Co. Roscommon.

Brian Solomon Publishing’s Tracking the Light rail-photo blog post photos and stories daily with feeds to Facebook, Twitter and Tumbler.

Irish Rail’s old Midland Great Western line to Westport follows a rock and roll profile as it works its way across the Midlands.

This is one of Ireland’s busiest freight routes which handles both container and timber traffic.

On misty March afternoon we waited at quiet overpass at Slieve located north of the River Suck (yes, that’s its name) in rural county Roscommon railway-west of the old station at Donamon.

I’d traveled from Dublin with brothers Paul and Jay Monaghan, I navigated and helped locate this photo location.

The roar of Irish 082 could be heard for miles before it came into view leading the down IWT Liner that runs between Dublin and Ballina Co. Mayo.

I exposed this view on the south side of the line using my FujiFilm XT1 with 90mm prime telephoto.

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CSX SD40-2 on the old Erie: Delaware & Hudson Sealand Train, Attica, New York.


In September 1988, I was set up at Dixon’s on Conrail’s former Erie Railroad line over Attica Hill.

Roaring up the grade with a CSX SD40-2 in the lead was this Delaware & Hudson Sealand doublestack land-bridge train bound for Little Ferry, New Jersey. The New York, Susquehanna & Western had just been appointed designated operator of the D&H, and NYSW locomotives were common on many D&H road freights.

Land-bridge trains, such as this one, reached the east coast via Delaware & Hudson trackage rights over Conrail’s former Erie mainlines between Binghamton and Buffalo, New York, and NYSW’s rights on the old Erie east of Binghamton.

Catching a CSX painted locomotive was a rare find in western New York in 1988, and finding one leading on the Erie seemed like a special treat.

This represents window in time in the dynamic melting pot of western New York railroading in the late 1980s.

After exposing this black & white view using my dad’s Rollei model T, I followed the train east and exposed dozens of photos along the way.

Irish Rail: Thurles, County Tipperary at Night.


Two views exposed with my Lumix LX7 of a Rotem ICR (InterCity Railcar) running from Dublin to Cork that had paused at Thurles for its first station stop since departing Heuston Station.

Departing Thurles for Kent Station, Cork. Trailing view.

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July 30, 1987: Conrail SD45-2s downgrade at Bennington Curve.

Less often photographed than the famous Horseshoe Curve, is Bennington Curve further up the old Pennsylvania Railroad Main Line grade toward Gallitzin, Pennsylvania.

Back in July 1987, my pal TSH and I camped near the curve. I was kept awake by the roar of uphill diesels and the ear-piercing flange squeal of wheels in the curve. At sunrise I was track side to photograph the action.

One of my first images of the morning was this black & white view of a light helper set returning down grade toward Altoona to assist a westward freight.

In 1987 my choice film was Kodak T-Max 400, then a relative new emulsion. After about a year of work with T-max, I returned to using older emulsions such as Kodak Tri-X, which I felt produced better results.

At that time Conrail routinely assigned its 13 former Erie-Lackawanna SD45-2s as helpers based at Cresson near the top of the hill on the West Slope.

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Green Night in the Irish Capital: All Lit for the St Patrick’s Day Festival.


Below are a few more views of Dublin buildings coloured with green light for the 2019 St Patrick’s Day Festival.

Exposed digitally using my Lumix LX7 and FujiFilm XT1 cameras.

Trinity College at College Green.
Dublin’s Custom House.

Irish Rail’s Connolly Station on Amiens Street at dusk.

Loop Line Bridge over the River Liffey.

Brown Thomas on Grafton Street.
Harp shaped Becket Bridge in the Dublin Docklands.
LUAS Green Line at St. Stephen’s Green. Royal College of Surgeons at the right.

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Tracking the Light EXTRA: Bus-Tram Collision in Dublin 16 March 2019.


Radio media reported that a bus-tram collision occurred after 7am this morning (16 March 2019) at the intersection of Benburb and Queen Streets on Dublin’s north side.

A bus bound toward the City Centre on Queen Street collided with eastward Red Line tram (unit 3003) heading toward The Point.

The leading section of the tram was derailed and there was damage to both vehicles.

News media have reported eight injuries and that it may hours before the tram line is open to traffic.

Looking east on Benburb Street. Exposed with a Lumix LX7 .

I exposed these photos minutes ago.

I find this accident especially shocking since I’ve often watched trams pass at the adjacent pub, and I travel this route regularly, having been on a tram to Bus Aras just last night.

Benburb and Queen Streets were closed to road traffic.

I’ll post more photos to this site shortly. To make photos quicker/easier to load I’ve lowered the resolution. Hi-res images from my cameras are significantly sharper, but might slow down this site.

Tram 3003. View looking east on Benburb Street. Exposed with a Lumix LX7 .

Looking North on Queen Street, with Benburb Street and tram behind the photographer Bus was traveling southward toward Dublin City Centre. Exposed with a Lumix LX7 .
Looking south on Queen Street at the intersection of Benburb Street. View of the eastward section of tram 3003. City Centre toward the left. Photo at 0830 16 March 2019.

Looking east on Benburb Street. Exposed with a Lumix LX7 .
Looking south on Queen Street toward the intersection of Benburb Street. Damaged bus on right.
View of the eastward section of tram 3003. City Centre toward the left. Photo exposed at about 0830 16 March 2019.


Looking east on Benburb Street. Lo-res view Exposed with a FujiFilm XT1

Looking east on Benburb Street. Lo-res view Exposed with a FujiFilm XT1.

Damaged bus on Queen Street.

Looking south on Queen Street. Lo-res view Exposed with a FujiFilm XT1.


Looking west on Benburb Street. Lo-res view Exposed with a FujiFilm XT1.


Looking west on Benburb Street. Lo-res view Exposed with a FujiFilm XT1.


Looking north on Queen Street. Lo-res view Exposed with a FujiFilm XT1.

Brian Solomon’s Tracking the Light posts every day.

Greened Buildings at St Stephen’s Green, Dublin.


It’s become a ritual in Dublin to bathe famous buildings and bridges in green light for St Patrick’s Day.

Last night, I made a big walk around the City Centre to capture the atmosphere.

At St. Stephen’s Green, I photographed a LUAS Green Line tram paused for passengers adjacent to the Royal College of Surgeons.

Exposed using my FujiFilm XT1 digital camera with 90mm prime telephoto mounted on a mini Gitzo tripod.

More green to come!


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Pup on the old Boston & Maine: SW1 at Holyoke—August 1987.


Classic photo from my archives: In the late 1980s, I’d buy film from Frantek in South Hadley, Massachusetts. This was across the Connecticut River from Holyoke.

Typically on my way back with a fresh load of film, I’d seek out the Boston & Maine, which would often have a switcher working the Holyoke yard or on industrial sidings.

I made this photo on a bright August 1987 morning using my dad’s Rollei Model T with super slide insert. My film choice of the day was the recently introduced Kodak T-Max 400 in 120 format.


Guilford had just repainted this old Boston & Maine SW1 into its company livery and lettered it for its operating entity Springfield Terminal. The SW1 was colloquially known as a ‘Pup’ because it was a small switcher type.

The view is looking toward Springfield with B&M’s Connecticut River bridge just beyond the factories.

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Irish Narrow Gauge and an Amazing Sky.


A week ago, Friday 8 March 2019, toward the end of our exploration of Bord na Mona’s Lough Rea narrow gauge network near Lanesborough Co. Longford, the sky grew textured and glowed with evening magnificence.

I made this view of an empty Bord na Mona train crossing the bog on its way to reload.

The trick making this photo work was to expose for the sky while letting the train go relatively dark. I was working with Ilford HP5 black & white film, and during processing, I used two developers followed by selenium toning of the negatives to extract the maximum shadow detail.

My intent was a moody and stark view of the train against the textured sky.

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Jay Tower at Sunset.

I was working with two Nikons that day, one loaded with Fujichrome the other with Ektachrome. If I were to guess, I’d say based on the color balance and saturation of this slide that it was made on Fujichrome.


March 14, 2003—Sixteen years ago—I made this sunset view at Long Island Rail Road’s Jay Tower on a visit to Jamaica, Queens with Pat Yough.

Jamaica is among the busiest junctions in the United States and serves hundreds of LIRR trains daily.

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Irish Rail 071s at Islandbridge Junction—Two Photos on 14 March 2019.


A little while ago I made this pair of photos at Islandbridge Junction in Dublin.

In a repeat of a few weeks back clouds were racing across the sky making for wild changes in the quality of light from moment to moment.

First up was today’s (14 March 2019) IWT Liner from Dublin’s North Wall to Ballina, County Mayo. This had 073 in retro orange. A few minutes later, Irish Rail 080 came around with an empty LWR (Long welded rail train).

The clouds foiled my first effort. But breaks in the cloud allowed for respectable telephoto view of the LWR. On the downside, my 50mm colour slide of same won’t be as impressive as the clouds quickly dampened the light again.

Such are the challenges of photographing moving trains in Ireland.

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Conrail at the Portage Bridge Letchworth Park, New York.


On the morning of May 9, 1987 I exposed this view of Conrail’s BUOI (Buffalo to Oak Island) easing across the former Erie Railroad Portage Viaduct over the Genesee River at Letchworth Park.

I was working with my father’s Rollei Model T that he purchased in Düsseldorf, Germany 28 years earlier. My film of the day was Kodak T-Max 400 (TMY).

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Broadstone Revisited—March 2019.


Sunday morning 10 March 2019, I paid another  visit to the old Midland Great Western terminus at Broadstone in Dublin.

You have to admit the name is cool. Broadstone just sounds like something substantial in a medieval way.

Anyway, this old Dublin railway terminal has served as a bus depot (garage) for decades, and in recent years has been nearly encircled by the new LUAS Green Line Cross City tram route.

Continued landscaping has much improved the grounds around the old railway station.

I made these photos using my Lumix LX7.

More soon!

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