On the Job with the SP Daylight

In August 1991, I made this image on Southern Pacific’s dime.

For three days I was commissioned by Southern Pacific to photograph the famous 4449 with Daylight train working excursions between Redding and Mount Shasta.

Fellow photographer Brian Jennison and I had traveled up from the Bay Area and had three days of glorious California sun.

Most of my photos of 4449 were exposed on Kodachrome 25 using my Nikon F3T, and these have been published in magazines, books, postcards and calendars over years. However, I was also working with black & white film, probably Ilford FP4, which I exposed using my old Leica M2 with 50mm Summicron.

My notes from the day show that I’d set the camera at f4.5 1/250. I’d used a yellow filter and processed the film in Edwall FG7 to give the photo a period appearance. My intent was to replicate the look of 1940s-era publicity of photos of SP’s Daylight.

The few B&W photos I made that day have never been published.

Redding, California August 31, 1991 11:05am

Tracking the Light Looks Back 31 years!