I traveled from Dublin to Brussels, Belgium on 30 March 2017. It was the first day of a grand railway adventure across central Europe during my research for my guide book on European rail travel. On the second to last day of the trip I twisted my ankle in Rome while making a photo a tram passing the Colosseum.
I began my rail journey with a trip on SNCB’s Zaventem Airport train into central Belgium and I made these photos on the platform of Brussels Nord using my first Lumix LX7.
These images are JPG’s created from Lumix RAW files that were adjusted using Lightroom.
Part of my strategy for Conway Scenic Railroad’s Spring ad campaign has included placement of large ads and articles in a variety of magazines.
Bus Tours Magazine is an industry publication for tour operators. This is significant because my introduction to Conway Scenic nearly 25 years ago was with bus/train tour group Great Trains Escapes.
The March/April 2023 issue arrived in my office yesterday which features my short lead in article about the railroad, complete with a photo I made a couple of years ago with my Canon EOS7D with 200mm lens of GP9 1751 leading the Mountaineer at Crawford Notch. On the opposite page is a variation of Conway Scenic’s standard ad for the Mountaineer.
Last night, I interviewed some of my friends at the Berkshire Scenic Railroad via Zoom for an article I’m planning for Trains Magazine.
Among the items on the agenda was a bit of history behind SW8 8619.
Kris and I photographed this historic former New York Central locomotive last May on a trip with the New York Central System Historical Society.
I made this image on Ektachrome slide film with my vintage Nikon F3 during a planned runby at Zylonite, Massachusetts on a vestige of the former Boston & Albany Adams Branch operated on weekends by Berkshire Scenic.
This is one of three former New York Central SW8s that I photographed last Spring!
The other day, Conway Scenic Railroad’s Buildings & Grounds crew coated the North Conway, New Hampshire station lobby floor with a glossy polyurethane protective finish. I made a few photos for the company’s social media.
The resulting images reminded me a photo that I made at Washington Union Station back in May 2022. In that image, I preserved Daniel Burnham’s classical architecture using a Zeiss Hologon flat-field super-wideangle lens fitted to my Contax G2 rangefinder.
In both photos I used the same visual technique: to maximize the effect of a reflective floor, I placed the horizon relatively high in the frame, while keeping the camera close to the floor.
Looking out at the mounds of melting snow from my office in the North Tower of Conway Scenic Railroad’s North Conway Station, and surveying a bleak, gray, wet landscape, I couldn’t help but think back to Spring in Dublin.
Twelve years ago, I made this selection of digital photos with my Canon EOS7D. The Canon lenses have a rich soft color to them that suits Spring well.
On 24 March 2011, I was focused on Irish Rail’s freight an permanent-way trains.
Thirty-five years ago today, March 23, 1988, at 8:16am, I exposed this Kodachrome 25 slide of Conrail’s TV-300 roaring east on the former Erie Railroad mainline east of Adrian, New York in the Canisteo River Valley.
I was perched upside a hill with my Leica M2 fitted to a Visoflex with Leitz 200mm Telyt lens mounted on a tripod.
I’d driven down in the early morning from my apartment in Scottsville, New York, having scoped out this spot several weeks before.
I arrived about 10-15 minutes ahead of the train, which I could hear from several miles away; the rolling thunder of the stack wells behind a classic throbbing of EMD diesels.
A little more than a decade later, I returned to this place with photographer Mike Gardner and repeated the exercise with an eastward CP Rail freight. By that time Conrail had reduced the old Erie to single track.
Twenty-Five years ago, I was exploring Irish Rail, and seeing this amazing railway for the first time.
Dublin’s Pearse Station impressed me. The capacious Victorian train shed with a mix of electric and diesel trains reminded me of Philadelphia’s great termini; Broad Street and Reading Terminal.
But also because it was the oldest big city station in continuous use. The station opened in 1834 and although greatly altered over the decades, this had always served as a Dublin hub.
Today, it is rare to find a diesel here, except on permanent-way trains, and more rarely on RPSI diesel tours. Yet, back in 1998, it was a common sight to find a 201-class General Motors diesel-electric working a push-pull Mark3 set in suburban service. The sound of the big GM was amplified under the shed.
I made this photo on Fujichrome Sensia (100 ISO) using a Nikon F3T with 24mm Nikkor wide-angle lens. Looking at this photo today, it amazes me how few people were on the platform.
Yesterday, Kris and I were driving around South Deerfield, Massachusetts.
I knew Amtrak train 55, the southward Vermonter was getting close, so I used my iPhone to check the ASM.Transitdocs.com App. This is a train locater and revealed that the train had just departed Greenfield. I knew we had about 5 minutes before it passed, so we drove to the grade crossing at Pleasant Avenue in South Deerfield.
Working with my Lumix LX7, I made this view of the train approaching the crossing and framed by some classic rural American mailboxes. I was delighted to discover that the train was led by Amtrak P42 number 100 wearing distinctive navy heritage paint to celebrate 50 years of Amtrak service!
This file was adapted from the camera RAW image using Adobe Lightroom to correct color balance and adjust highlight and shadow detail.
Working with a 1960s era Nikkor f2.8 135mm lens on a Nikon F3T, I made this view of DB passenger trains from beneath the arched trainshed at the Köln Hauptbahnhof (Cologne, Germany).
It was a hot day in August 1998. The camera was loaded with Fuji Sensia 100 color slide film, an emulsion that I found to be well suited to the soft light of German summer. This rendered the colors well, especially DB red, while handling the extreme contrast.
The slide was scanned using a Nikon LS5000 slide scan powered by VueScan 9.7.99 software. Set at: 64 bits per pixel (64 bit RGB), scan resolution 4000 dots per inch, fine mode, color profile ‘white balance’ and output as a TIF file. Minor corrections were implemented in post processing using Lightroom version 5.5.
On March 10, 2015, I was at my old favorite location at ‘the box’ along the St. Johns Road in Dublin looking down at Islandbridge Junction.
I’d been waiting for locomotive 084 to come around leading a permanent way train.
The lighting conditions were perfect. The train came to a stop in front of me. I made a burst of photos with my Fujifilm XT1. And somehow I ended up with substandard images.
In one view, I’d held the camera off-level, in most of the others I’d committed a Phoenix Park Faux Pas by clipping the top of the Wellington Testimonial—that enormous obelisk otherwise known as ‘the monument’.
I don’t always get it right but I thought I’d share this pair of flawed photos as a lesson in paying attention.
Friday, March 3, 2023, Conway Scenic operated a plow extra from North Conway to Attitash.
The sky was a clear azure dome; the snow a blazing white blanket. I exposed my photos using Nikon Z-Series cameras.
Establishing correct exposure was tricky, especially when the plow was backlit against a dark wall of leaf-less trees.
For the most part I handled exposure by placing the exposure setting dial in automatic-aperture priority (‘A’ mode) then manipulated the +/- exposure compensation control to make adjustments. The challenge was retaining detail in the snow while maintain good overall exposure.
In post processing, I adjusted the RAW-NEF file to maximize highlight and shadow detail in order to display greater amounts of infomation than exhibited by the in-camera Jpg.
Images edited for contrast and exposure in Lightroom.
In June 2010, I stood atop a bluff in the Mississippi Palisades Park at Savanna, Illinois and made this photo of a westward BNSF intermodal train working west along the former Chicago, Burlington & Quincy. A Mississippi River barge was working up river and in the distance is a highway bridge and beyond is the former Milwaukee Road, now operated by Canadian Pacific.
I was using a Canon EOS-3 loaded with Fujichrome Provia 100F and fitted with a 100-400mm zoom. Hazy summer light led to a predominant blue cast.
After scanning the slide to create a RAW file, I imported the photo into Adobe Lightroom where I made color and contrast corrections to result in a more natural looking and better balanced image.
Below are the uncorrected scan and the scan following post processing.