Today, I offer this selection, all exposed using my FujiFilm XT1 with 16-55mm lens.
I converted my Fuji RAW files using Iridient X-Transformer and made adjustments to color and contrast using Adobe Lightroom. When I make contrast adjustments, I generally use the ‘highlights’, ‘shadows’, and ‘contrast’ slider controls.
Two years ago I made my first trip to Crawford Notch by road in 20 years.
I was on my way to the Conway Scenic Railroad at North Conway to write an article for Trains Magazine.
One thing led to another, and two years later Crawford is now a regular place on my visit list! I was up there again yesterday in HyRail truck TC-205 as part of a bridge inspection with Wayne Duffett of TEC Associates .
This photo was exposed on May 29, 2019 using my FujiFilm XT1 with a Zeiss 12mm Touit. I’ve posted two versions, one more saturated than the other.
This is my second installment of photo covering the private speeder trip on Conway Scenic Railroad over Crawford Notch. I acted as pilot on this rare opportunity to travel on the railroad using vintage Fairmont rail motorcars.
I was traveling in the lead car as part of a group of 15 vehicles.
We proceeded from the State Yard at Kearsarge on the Redstone Branch in North Conway, NH to Mountain Junction in Intervale, then continued west on the Mountain Division through Bartlett and up the mountain over Crawford Notch.
I made these images using my FujiFilm XT1 with 16-55mm lens. Camera RAW files converted to DNG format using Iridient X-Transformer and the adjusted for color, contrast, exposure and saturation using Adobe Lightroom.
On Saturday, May 22, 2021, Conway Scenic Railroad operated a retro-photo freight for railfan photographers.
Overseeing operations was the railroad’s Trainmaster Mike Lacey, whose long railroad career gave him decades of experience working with local freights. Adam Bartley was at the throttle of GP7 573.
The train originated at North Conway and proceeded timetable East to Conway to collect ballast hoppers stored in the sidings there. After meeting the regularly scheduled Valley passenger train, the freight ran west, running through North Conway without stopping all the way to Second Iron on the Mountain Division.
I exposed the photo below for the company archives and publicity using my FujiFilm XT1 with 16-55mm zoom lens.
Working with the RAW file, I first converted the image to a DNG file, then imported that into Adobe Lightroom for adjustment. Among the changes were local contrast modification, warming overall color temperature, plus desaturation and shadow lightening to emulate a period color slide.
The eastward Boston section of Amtrak’s Lake Shore Limited is train 448. Typically referred to as ‘Four Forty Eight’.
On this day in 2012 (May 24, 2012), I exposed this digital image of the train on the final leg of its journey from Chicago to Boston as it rolled east of Palmer, Massachusetts near CP79. (Control Point 79, as measured in miles from South Station, Boston).
I was working with my Canon EOS 7D and the 28-135mm kit zoom lens that came with camera. I had the lens extended to 50mm, a focal length that with the sensor size equated to a slightly telephoto perspective. Color temperature and saturation were adjusted in post processing.
On Friday, May 21, 2021, I served as the pilot for a private speeder trip over the Conway Scenic Railroad.
The speeders were largely from a Pennsylvania-based group that consisted largely of various privately owned Fairmont cars.
I traveled in the lead car and made photographs of the trip as it progressed westward over Crawford Notch. This first batch features Conway Scenic’s Redstone Branch from the State Yard at Kearsarge to Mountain Junction in Intervale.
These photos are scaled JPGs from larger JPG files exposed with my FujiFilm XT1 using the Velvia color profile.
It was a beautiful, if unseasonably warm Spring day for a run over the former Maine Central Mountain Division.
In October 2016, Denis McCabe and I visited the Czech Republic seeking rail freight on the move.
The weather wasn’t brilliant, but we sure saw a lot of trains and a great variety of rail-operators and different types of locomotives.
One morning at Grygov, near Olomouc, we set up on the busy east-west electrified Czech mainline, and caught a procession of trains, including this RM Line Class 121 electric leading an eastward grain train.
Although the day was dull, the bright paint on the locomotive helped make for an interesting and compelling photograph.
On Saturday, May 22, 2021, Conway Scenic Railroad will operate its annual Railfan’s Photo Freight. This will board its passengers at 9am and wander up and down the line in the tradition of a mixed local freight from the 1950s and 1960s.
Yesterday, May 19, 2021, our train crew assembled the train in the North Yard using locomotive 573.
I made these photos using my FujiFilm XT1 for use in company publicity and advertising. To obtain superior digital output, I converted the files from Fuji RAW to DNG format using Iridient X-Transformer then made adjustments in Adobe Lightroom.
Last week I accompanied Bridge Inspector Wayne Duffett on his inspection of the unusual truss bridge on the former Maine Central Mountain Division at Fabyan, NH.
The bridge dates from the 1890s. It originally served the Boston & Maine’s branch to Mount Washington that had run parallel to Maine Central for a few miles. At some point decades ago Maine Central decided the old B&M span was superior to its own and traded places.
I made these photos using my Lumix LX7. Images processed digitally in Adobe Light room to improve contrast, color and color saturation.
Greater bridge inspections were undertaken down the line! Stay tuned . . .
In July 2015, I accompanied my friend Markku Pulkkinnen on tour of Finnish railways that included a visit to greater Helsinki.
At Tikkurila in suburban Helsinki, I made this photograph of a VR Group Pendolino on its way north toward Oulu.
Finland is one of my favorite European nations and a wonderful place to watch trains.
It is among the countries that I will feature today at 1pm in my Zoom presentation to the Virginia Rail Policy Institute titled “Optimizing shared-use rail corridors in Europe: How do rail freight and passenger operations co-exist”
It was a bright afternoon at Arth Goldau, Switzerland on April 24, 2017, when I made this photo of an FS (Italian State Railway) Pendolino on its run from Milan to Zürich over the Gotthard Pass.
I was on a week-long tour of Switzerland with fellow photographer Denis McCabe to make images and gather information for my guide book on European railways.
Tomorrow (Tuesday May 18, 2021) at 1pm, I’m giving a Zoom presentation to the Virginia Rail Policy Institute titled “Optimizing shared-use rail corridors in Europe: How do rail freight and passenger operations co-exist“
On this day, May 16, 2011, I exposed this telephoto image of a number 20 tram in Munich, Germany.
I was working with my Canon EOS7D with a fixed 200mm f2.8 telephoto.
Notice the unusual point-work on the tram track in the foreground.
Selective focus made possible by the relatively wide aperture with a long focal length lens helps direct the eye to the primary subject, allowing for other elements of the scene to remain slightly out of focus.
I made a brief visit to Stuttgart during a trip to Germany and Switzerland in 1999.
On my first afternoon in Stuttgart, I exposed this Fujichrome Sensia II (ISO 100) color slide of a classic tram ascending away from the city center. Notice the effects of cross lighting. (The sun is to the left of the camera).
At the time I was working with an N90s with 80-200mm zoom lens, my standard camera combination for the period.
I’ve found that different types of equipment lend to different sorts of compositions. I wonder what images I would have made in Stuttgart if I could have carried the Nikon Z6 that I own today?
Yesterday I traveled by road to the western reaches of Coway Scenic’s line at Hazens in Whitefield, N.H., with Wayne Duffett of TEC Associates.
At Hazens we set on the railroad to run east over the line to inspect bridges. This was the first leg in our latest adventure as part of the annual Conway Scenic bridge inspection.
I was a perfect day, sunny, warm and very pleasant.
I made these photos using my latest Panasonic Lumix LX7. Files were scaled from the camera-generated JPGs using the V (or Vivid) color profile. I made no alterations to color, contrast, exposure or sharpness.
The bridges got bigger as we worked eastward. More photos to come over the coming days.
As a follow up to my post from the other day featuring the old Mountain Division Bridge over the Ellis River at Glen, New Hampshire (ELLIS RIVER TRUSS AND EQUIVALENCE), I thought I’d offer this view of GP35 216 leading Conway Scenic’s Valley train over the same bridge.
In March 2007, Pat Yough and I made a visit to the abandoned former Lackawanna Paulins Kill Viaduct in western New Jersey.
I was researching a book on railroad bridges, and needed to fill some gaps in my photographic coverage.
This was one of several massive concrete bridges built by the Lackawanna in the early 20th century. It has been disused since Conrail abandoned the Lackawanna Cutoff in the early 1980s.
Since that time the line has been repeatedly studied for reopening.
Previously on Tracking the Light in Jan 2014 I featured color photos of the bridge exposed the same day as these B&W images.
I made these photos on Fuji Neopan 400 black & white film using my Contax G2 rangefinder with 28mm Zeiss Biogon lens. I processed the film in Rodinal Special mixed 1-32 with water at 68F for three minutes and 15 seconds.
A few minutes ago, this image came up in rotation on my screen saver.
I exposed it two weeks ago while on a bridge inspection with Wayne Duffett of the Ellis River truss at Glen, New Hampshire.
Reflections of the sun in the Ellis diffused by clouds bisected with the lattice girder bottom lateral brace of the bridge reminded me of a Minor White black & white print.
White, famous for his exquisite black & white technique expanded upon the concept of equivalence as delineated by his teacher Alfred Stieglitz.
In his later year years White taught at the Rochester Institute of Technology. A decade after White’s death, I studied photography at RIT, and among my professors was Owen Butler, himself a student of White’s.
My photo is both a bridge and of a bridge.
Here I offer two interpretations of the same digital image. One features lower contrast and superior highlight detail.
Tracking the Light explores Railroad photography Daily!
Yesterday, May 9, 2021, Richard Luckin of Luckin Productions traveled to North Conway, NH., to interview me about General Motors Electro-Motive Division diesels.
I gave him and his production crew a tour of the railroad’s facilities and spoke about our selection of EMD diesels, then answered a variety of questions about the role of EMD, the success of its locomotives, and other historical queries.
During the course of the interview, Conway Scenic’s Valley train was coming and going, led by locomotive 573—an EMD GP7 diesel.
It was a lazy late-summer evening in September 1990, when I hiked up to the tunnels at Cape Horn, east of Colfax, California on Southern Pacific’s Donner Pass crossing.
East and westward freights were converging upon me, and I wondered which would reach me first. Listening to my scanner, I knew the down hill train was close, when I hear the eastward freight roaring through Colfax below me, on its approach to Long Ravine.
In this telephoto view, I’m focused on the rear-end helper on the uphill eastward freight.
Among the most pictured locations on Conway Scenic’s former Boston & Maine Conway Branch is the wooden pile trestle at Moat Brook.
This stream is named for the Moat Mountains compass west of the railroad.
A few weeks ago during my bridge inspection with Wayne Duffett of TEC Associates, I carefully studied the bridge and its environs, considering how to best find a different angle on the bridge.
It occurred to me: while the bridge is often photographed, the stream itself is not. The reason is simple: much of the year there is very little water in the stream.
Last week Thursday and Friday were very wet. But Saturday was clear and sunny.
I walked the line and secured a new vantage point compass east of the famous bridge and along the swollen stream, where I captured the returning Valley train led by GP35 216 with engineer Tom Carver at the throttle.
These photos were exposed using my FujiFilm XT1 with 16-55mm lens,
I posted variations of these images on Conway Scenic’s Facebook page to assist with promotion of the popular Valley train on its Conway run.
May 1, 1971, Amtrak was born—Fifty years ago today.
I wrote about Amtrak’s 50th anniversary in my May 2021 Trains column.
To commemorate this half-century mark on Tracking the Light, I’m posting this scan of a color slide I that I exposed back in October 2000 of Amtrak P42 No. 1 crossing the Quaboag River at West Warren, Massachusetts.
At the time, I was working to fulfill a assignment for Mark Hemphill, then editor of Trains. Ultimately, Trains used a similar view of this same locomotive on this same bridge that I made a few days later. That photo showed P42 No. 1 panned using a slow shutter speed to convey speed.