All posts by brian solomon

Author of more than 50 books on railways, photography, and Ireland. Brian divides his time between the United States and Ireland, and frequently travels across Europe and North America.

Making the Most of the Rain

In October, I had had just three days in Vienna and the only time I saw the sun was on the plane as we breached the clouds on the flight back to Dublin.

My first morning dawned dark, windy and wet. I’d used most of my last roll of black & white film in the Czech Republic and was largely getting by with digital photography. Perhaps on a later date I’ll present some of those results.

While taking a spin on the number 2 tram in Josefstadt, I spotted a traditional camera shop with rows of old Leicas in the window.

Times have changed; finding film isn’t as simple as it was once. I called into the shop and they had just one suitable roll of film for sale; Ilford FP4. It came with an apology regarding supply.

Loading my Canon EOS-3, I set out making rainy-day photos.

The real trick is in my exposure and processing. FP4 is notionally rated at IS0 125. But I ignored the camera meter, and ritually overexposed by about half a stop.

 

Processing was more unusual. I returned to my older process using Agfa Rodinal Special (not to be mistake for the similar sounding Agfa Rodinal). This is a highly active a fine-grained developer that produces a rich black.

The recommended working dilution is 1 part developer to 15 parts water. But this tends to over-process the highlights, which is not what I wanted for a dull day. Instead I mixed it 1 to 30, and cut the time to about 3 minutes 15 seconds. Process temperature was 68F.

However BEFORE my main development, I soaked the film in a water bath with a trace of HC110 and a tiny bit of my main developer. This helps activate the process while letting the film swell before the shock of the primary developer.

After fixing, washing, hypo-clear, and more washing, I then toned the negatives in a selenium solution. This allows met to put an edge on the highlights that I’ve deliberately under-processed.

The end results are some very thin appearing negatives but with great amounts detail in shadows and highlights, which provides rich dark tones without excessive contrast. For me this arrangement suited the dark wet Vienna day.

I wonder if this image sample will translate for presentation in the digital world?

Exposed with a Canon 40mm pancake lens.
Exposed with a Canon 40mm pancake lens.
Exposed with a Canon 40mm pancake lens.
Exposed with a Canon 40mm pancake lens.
S-Bahn. Exposed with a Canon 40mm pancake lens.
S-Bahn. Exposed with a Canon 40mm pancake lens.
Window with a view: Exposed with a Canon 100mm telephoto lens.
Window with a view: Exposed with a Canon 100mm telephoto lens.
Exposed with a Canon 40mm pancake lens.
Exposed with a Canon 40mm pancake lens.
Exposed with a Canon 40mm pancake lens.
Exposed with a Canon 40mm pancake lens.

Tracking the Light posts Daily.

 

A Classic Traditional City Terminal

My recent visits to Prague Masarykovo Nadrazi reminded me of other traditional railway terminals.

This Czech station  harks of Boston’s South Station as I remember it in the 1970s. It also bears similarities with  Hoboken’s Lackawanna Terminal and Chicago’s Dearborn Station.

Here we have ground level platforms, street level station buildings serving a mix of passenger trains.

Prague Masarykovo Nadrazi is a suburban station with an old shed over the concourse. Prague’s main station is only a 10-minute walk away.

I made this selection of images digitally using my Lumix LX7 and FujiFilm X-T1 cameras.

Prague Masarykovo Nadrazi, Lumix LX7 photo.
Prague Masarykovo Nadrazi, Lumix LX7 photo.
Prague Masarykovo Nadrazi, Lumix LX7 photo.
Prague Masarykovo Nadrazi, Lumix LX7 photo.
Prague Masarykovo Nadrazi, Lumix LX7 photo.
Prague Masarykovo Nadrazi, Lumix LX7 photo.
Prague Masarykovo Nadrazi, FujiFilm X-T1 photo.
Prague Masarykovo Nadrazi, FujiFilm X-T1 photo.
City Elefants at Prague Masarykovo Nadrazi, Lumix LX7 photo.
City Elefants at Prague Masarykovo Nadrazi, Lumix LX7 photo.
Prague Masarykovo Nadrazi, Lumix LX7 photo.
Prague Masarykovo Nadrazi, Lumix LX7 photo.
Telephoto view: Prague Masarykovo Nadrazi, FujiFilm X-T1 photo.
Telephoto view: Prague Masarykovo Nadrazi, FujiFilm X-T1 photo.
A diesel hauled train departs Prague Masarykovo Nadrazi, FujiFilm X-T1 photo.
A diesel hauled train departs Prague Masarykovo Nadrazi, FujiFilm X-T1 photo.
Prague Masarykovo Nadrazi, Lumix LX7 photo.
Prague Masarykovo Nadrazi, Lumix LX7 photo.

Tracking the Light posts regularly.

Diesel Classics; Czech Goggles.

Among the European diesels with the most distinctive styling are the Czech class 750 (and related classes 753/754/755).

These are colloquially known as ‘Goggles’ because of their extended cab profile.

Last month (October 2016), I was pleased to find a variety of Goggles working freight and passenger services, many of them in fresh paint.

CD Cargo 'Goggles' at Kralupy nad Vitavou. FujiFilm XT1 digital photograph.
CD Cargo ‘Goggles’ at Kralupy nad Vitavou. FujiFilm XT1 digital photograph.
CD Cargo 'Goggles' at Kralupy nad Vitavou. FujiFilm XT1 digital photograph.
CD Cargo ‘Goggles’ at Kralupy nad Vitavou. FujiFilm XT1 digital photograph.
CD class 750 at Zebreh, Czech Republic.
CD class 750 at Zebreh, Czech Republic.
CD class 750 at Zebreh, Czech Republic.
CD class 750 at Zebreh, Czech Republic.
CD class 750 at Zebreh, Czech Republic.
CD class 750 at Zebreh, Czech Republic.
Pushing an empty passenger train in Prague. FujiFilm XT1 digital photo.
Pushing an empty passenger train in Prague. FujiFilm XT1 digital photo.

Tracking the Light posts daily.

 

Tracking the Night

(Thanks to Stephen Hirsch for the title suggestion.)

Last week I passed my 50th milepost, so on Saturday evening some friends and I gathered at Nancy Hands pub on Parkgate Street in Dublin.

The Irish railways fraternity was well represented.

I was dressed as the Ghost of Isambard K. Brunel, the famously eccentric, highly regarded Victorian engineer and polymath.
I was dressed as the ghost of Isambard K. Brunel— the famously eccentric, highly regarded Victorian engineer and polymath.

 

Thanks to everyone who dropped by! Special thanks to Paul Dowd for helping to organize the event. Extra special thanks to Helen Collins who created my costume!

These photos are a sampling of images exposed with my Lumix LX7. Some were made by me, others were exposed by various friends at the event.

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Tracking the Night Celebrates Halloween and Brian’s 50th mile mark.

An hour and a half at the Station.

Often when I seek places to photograph, variety is a goal. In other words, I’m not just looking for a steady parade, but also lots of different kinds of trains.

Railways in Czech Republic offer great variety. One of my favorite lines is the route that connects Děčín (in the northern part of the country near the German frontier) with Kolin (an important junction 60 kilometers east of Prague).

This secondary route bypasses the Czech capital and serves as a reasonably busy freight corridor. I’d photographed this line at various locations in 2009 using color slide film

On 14 October 2016, Denis McCabe and I re-visited the line and spent an hour and half at the rural station in Stará Boleslav, located in the Labe River Vallay across from Brandys nab Labem.

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The building was a tired but classic structure with lots of character. In addition to mainline action we were entertained by a man unloading some coal wagons for local delivery.

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We arrived by local passenger train and departed with the next scheduled eastward local.

Below is a selection of images I exposed digitally with my FujiFilm X-T1 and processed with Lightroom to improve contrast, color balance and color saturation.

4:05 pm a westward local paused for a station stop with a specially painted electric.
At 4:05 pm a westward local paused for a station stop with a specially painted electric.
4:06pm. Car loads of coal were being unloaded for local delivery.
4:06pm. Carloads of coal were being unloaded for local delivery.
4:16 pm. A westward CD Cargo coal train glides through.
4:16 pm. A westward CD Cargo coal train glides through.
4:20pm. The coal train was immediately followed by this IDS Cargo tank train with an ancient but colorfully painted electric.
4:20pm. The coal train was immediately followed by this IDS Cargo tank train with an ancient but colorfully painted electric.
At 4:24 pm, on the heals of the tank train was this CD Cargo train of new automobiles.
At 4:24 pm, on the heals of the tank train was this CD Cargo train of new automobiles.
4:32pm another westward local passenger train makes its stop.
4:32pm another westward local passenger train makes its stop.
Czech Railways use a blue light for 'stop' on their shunting signals.
Czech Railways use a blue light for ‘stop’ on their shunting signals.
5:01 pm, a diesel powered maintenance train rattles by eastbound.
5:01 pm, a diesel powered maintenance train rattles by eastbound.
5:14pm an electric in one of the older CD liveries leads a coal train eastbound.
5:14pm an electric in one of the older CD liveries leads a coal train eastbound.
5:34pm, our local train approaches as the station master looks on.
5:34pm, our local train approaches as the station master looks on.

Tracking the Light posts everyday!

 

 

 

Classic Lines Marred by Graffiti—Rostoky.

Czech Republic is an amazing place to watch, experience and photograph railways in action.

The mix of traditional architecture, a great variety of trains combined with heavy traffic made for lots of visual opportunities. Over the coming weeks I’ll present samples of my most recent Czech photos on Tracking the Light

On 14 October 2016, Denis McCabe and I visited the station at Rostoky, located northwest of Prague.

Among the attractions of this location is that it is a termini for some electric suburban services that still use the classic streamlined Ceski Drahi (Czech Railways) class 451 electric multiple units.

Unfortunately, one of the arriving  451s had been unofficially decorated which marred its classic lines. Undaunted, I made my photographs none-the-less.

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I made these images with my FujiFilm X-T1 fitted with 18-135mm lens.

Tracking the Light Posts Daily.

Pan Am’s Wabash Dome Crosses the Connecticut.

Yes, that’s what this is all about.

Should I translate?

Exposed using a FujiFilm X-T1 digital camera. Why is a 'digital camera' use film in its name? Not sure, but it certainly causes confusion. And no, there was no film exposed in the making of this image.
Exposed using a FujiFilm X-T1 digital camera. Why does a ‘digital camera’ use ‘film’ in its name? Not sure, but it certainly causes confusion. And no, there was no film exposed in the making of this image.

Ok: Pan Am Railways (which takes its name from the old Pan Am Airways, the name that the railway’s parent organization acquired some years back) bought an old Wabash Railroad stainless steel dome.

Wabash was neither acronym nor a monicker.

Back in the day (before 1964 when the company was melded into the Norfolk & Western), the Wabash Railroad Company operated a Midwestern North American network that connected Buffalo, Detroit, Chicago, St. Louis, Omaha and Kansas City gateways.

The Connecticut is the north-south river that bisects New England, and which forms the boundary between New Hamshire and Vermont while crossing the states of Massachusetts and Connecticut. (Sorry, I don’t know if the state was named for the river or vice versa).

I made this photograph from the west bank of the river at East Deerfield, Massachusetts last August (2016.)

Hopefully that clarifies any confusion!

Tracking the Light posts everyday.

Lumix Views: Railway Preservation Society of Ireland’s The Western Explorer—Part 3.

Not one, not two but three cameras served as my visual capturing arsenal last Saturday.

I had so many files to download that it’s taken me a few days to finally get this selection ready for review.

Is more better?

As with my FujiFilm X-T1 photos, with my Lumix I was interested in capturing some of personalities on Railway Preservation Society of Ireland’s The Western Explorer.

Getting the right angle at Connolly Station before the trip. Saturday 22 October 2016.
Getting the right angle at Connolly Station before the trip. Saturday 22 October 2016.
Saturday 22 October 2016.
Saturday 22 October 2016.
Documenting the down run.
Documenting the down run.
Washboard sky at Monasterevin. Saturday 22 October 2016.
Washboard sky at Monasterevin. Saturday 22 October 2016.
Saturday 22 October 2016.
Saturday 22 October 2016.
Gort. Saturday 22 October 2016.
Gort. Saturday 22 October 2016.
Gort. Saturday 22 October 2016.
Gort. Saturday 22 October 2016.
Ennis, County Clare. Saturday 22 October 2016.
Ennis, County Clare. Saturday 22 October 2016.
Ennis, County Clare. Saturday 22 October 2016.
Ennis, County Clare. Saturday 22 October 2016.
Irish Rail station building at Ennis. Saturday 22 October 2016.
Irish Rail station building at Ennis. Saturday 22 October 2016.
Limerick. Saturday 22 October 2016.
Limerick. Saturday 22 October 2016.
Limerick. Saturday 22 October 2016.
Limerick. Saturday 22 October 2016.
Limerick. Saturday 22 October 2016.
Limerick. Saturday 22 October 2016.
Limerick. Saturday 22 October 2016.
Limerick. Saturday 22 October 2016.
Limerick. Saturday 22 October 2016.
Limerick. Saturday 22 October 2016.
Limerick. Saturday 22 October 2016.
Limerick. Saturday 22 October 2016.

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Back at Connolly!
Back at Connolly!

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Tracking the Light posts daily!

Tram Noir—Olomouc, October 2016.

 

A brisk autumnal wind blew through cobblestone streets in Olomouc, Czech Republic.

I wandered with camera in hand, making images of trams grinding along in the dark of night.

These images were exposed on Fuji Neopan 400 using a Canon EOS-3.

I processed the film using Kodak HC-110 diluted 1-64 with water, with an extended pre-soak featuring an extremely dilute developer to help process shadow areas.

By design, my results are grainy and heavily textured to accentuate the effect of harsh lighting on the cobblestones and ancient buildings of the old Moravian capital.

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olomouc_trams_15-oct_2016_bw-at_night_brian_solomon_331635olomouc_trams_15-oct_2016_bw-at_night_-brian_solomon_331650Tracking the Light posts daily.

25 October: 50 Photos to Mark the Day

All 50 photos were exposed on 25 October, albeit in different years.

Shamokin, Pennsylvania; October 25, 1959. Photo by Richard Jay Solomon
Shamokin, Pennsylvania; October 25, 1959. Photo by Richard Jay Solomon
Port Clinton, Pennsylvania; October 25, 1959. Photo by Richard Jay Solomon
Port Clinton, Pennsylvania; October 25, 1959. Photo by Richard Jay Solomon
Reading Ramble in Pennsylvania; October 25, 1959. Photo by Richard Jay Solomon
Reading Ramble in Pennsylvania; October 25, 1959. Photo by Richard Jay Solomon
Reading Ramble in Pennsylvania; October 25, 1959. Photo by Richard Jay Solomon
Reading Ramble in Pennsylvania; October 25, 1959. Photo by Richard Jay Solomon
Palmer, Massachusetts October 25, 1985.
Palmer, Massachusetts October 25, 1985.
Palmer, Massachusetts October 25, 1985.
Palmer, Massachusetts October 25, 1985.
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Palmer, Massachusetts October 25, 1985.
Palmer, Massachusetts October 25, 1985.
Palmer, Massachusetts October 25, 1985.
Newark, Delaware, October 25, 1991.
Newark, Delaware, October 25, 1991.
Marcus Hook, Pennsylvania, October 25, 1991.
Marcus Hook, Pennsylvania, October 25, 1991.
Near Eddystone Pennsylvania, October 25, 1991.
Near Eddystone Pennsylvania, October 25, 1991.
Near Eddystone Pennsylvania, October 25, 1991.
Near Eddystone Pennsylvania, October 25, 1991.
D-Tower Grafton, West Virginia Near Eddystone Pennsylvania, October 25, 1992.
D-Tower Grafton, West Virginia, October 25, 1992.
East Grafton, West Virginia, October 25, 1992.
East Grafton, West Virginia, October 25, 1992.
Amtrak's Capitol Limited approaching Cumberland, Maryland on October 25, 1993.
Amtrak’s Capitol Limited approaching Cumberland, Maryland on October 25, 1993.
Amtrak's Capitol Limited approaching Cumberland, Maryland on October 25, 1993.
Amtrak’s Capitol Limited approaching Cumberland, Maryland on October 25, 1993.
CSX near Falls Cut, Pennsylvania on October 25, 1993.
CSX near Falls Cut, Pennsylvania on October 25, 1993.
CSX near Falls Cut, Pennsylvania on October 25, 1993.
CSX near Falls Cut, Pennsylvania on October 25, 1993.
Conrail near Middlefield, Massachusetts on October 25, 1996.
Conrail near Middlefield, Massachusetts on October 25, 1996.
Conrail near Middlefield, Massachusetts on October 25, 1996.
Conrail near Middlefield, Massachusetts on October 25, 1996.
Conrail west of Chester, Massachusetts on October 25, 1996.
Conrail west of Chester, Massachusetts on October 25, 1996.
Vermont Rail System equipment on passenger special over New England Central near Stafford Springs, Connecticut, October 25, 1998.
Vermont Rail System equipment on passenger special over New England Central near Stafford Springs, Connecticut, October 25, 1998.
Cincinnati Union Station on October 25 2002.
Cincinnati Union Station on October 25 2002.
Cincinnati Union Station on October 25 2002.
Cincinnati Union Station on October 25 2002.
Cincinnati Union Station on October 25 2002.
Cincinnati Union Station on October 25 2002.
Sunrise at Palmer, Massachusetts October 25, 2009.
Sunrise at Palmer, Massachusetts October 25, 2009.
Sunrise at Palmer, Massachusetts October 25, 2009.
Sunrise at Palmer, Massachusetts October 25, 2009.
East Brookfield, Massachusetts, October 25, 2009.
East Brookfield, Massachusetts, October 25, 2009.
CSX Q264 at East Brookfield, Massachusetts, October 25, 2009.
CSX Q264 at East Brookfield, Massachusetts, October 25, 2009.
CSX Q264 at East Brookfield, Massachusetts, October 25, 2009.
CSX Q264 at East Brookfield, Massachusetts, October 25, 2009.
CSX Q168 at Charlton Depot, Massachusetts, October 25, 2009.
CSX Q168 at Charlton Depot, Massachusetts, October 25, 2009.
Islandbridge Junction, Dublin, Ireland on 25 October 2011.
Islandbridge Junction, Dublin, Ireland on 25 October 2011.
Islandbridge Junction, Dublin, Ireland on 25 October 2011.
Islandbridge Junction, Dublin, Ireland on 25 October 2011.
CSX empty ethanol train near Brookfield, Massachusetts on October 25, 2013.
CSX empty ethanol train near Brookfield, Massachusetts on October 25, 2013.
CSX empty ethanol train near Brookfield, Massachusetts on October 25, 2013.
CSX empty ethanol train near Brookfield, Massachusetts on October 25, 2013.
Old Boston & Albany yard at East Brookfield, Massachusetts on October 25, 2013.
Old Boston & Albany yard at East Brookfield, Massachusetts on October 25, 2013.
Amtrak train 71 at Hyde Park, Massachusetts on October 25, 2014.
Amtrak train 71 at Hyde Park, Massachusetts on October 25, 2014.
Amtrak train 71 at Hyde Park, Massachusetts on October 25, 2014.
Amtrak train 71 at Hyde Park, Massachusetts on October 25, 2014.
MBTA's Matapan-Ashmont line on October 25, 2014.
MBTA’s Matapan-Ashmont line on October 25, 2014.
MBTA's Matapan-Ashmont line on October 25, 2014.
MBTA’s Matapan-Ashmont line on October 25, 2014.
MBTA's Matapan-Ashmont line on October 25, 2014.
MBTA’s Matapan-Ashmont line on October 25, 2014.

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MBTA's Matapan-Ashmont line on October 25, 2014.
MBTA’s Matapan-Ashmont line on October 25, 2014.

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Amtrak 449 at Auburndale, Massachusetts on October 25, 2014.
Amtrak 449 at Auburndale, Massachusetts on October 25, 2014.
Amtrak 449 at Auburndale, Massachusetts on October 25, 2014.
Amtrak 449 at Auburndale, Massachusetts on October 25, 2014.

And a final four exposed today, 25 October 2016:

Irish Rail 231 departs Heuston Station with the 0900 to Cork. 25 October 2016.
Irish Rail 231 departs Heuston Station with the 0900 to Cork. 25 October 2016.
Irish Rail 29000-seres train passes Seapoint, Dublin on 25 October 2016.
Irish Rail 29000-seres train passes Seapoint, Dublin on 25 October 2016.
Irish Rail training special passes Seapoint, Dublin on 25 October 2016.
Irish Rail drivers training special with preserved Cravens passes Seapoint, Dublin on 25 October 2016.
25 October 2016.
25 October 2016.

Tracking the Light is Daily.

 

Railway Preservation Society of Ireland’s The Western Explorer—Part 2.

 

Yesterday, I presented scaled camera JPGs of Railway Preservation Society of Ireland’s The Western Explorer, which operated from Dublin’s Connolly Station on 22 October 2016.

Today’s selection, are photos made using my FujiFilm X-T1 digital camera, but using the Camera RAW files and manipulating the data in Lightroom to present a more pleasing image.

Using contrast controls, I’ve maximized detail in highlights and shadows while adjusting colour saturation and exposure to produce more refined final images.

The day of trip featured fine weather and fluffy/lacey clouds decorated a largely blue sky. To bring in sky detail, it was necessary to locally adjust exposure and contrast using a digitally applied graduated filter.

In other instances, I manually lightened shadow areas, that without such adjustment would appear too dark and lacking in necessary detail.

I was especially impressed with the sky at Tullamore, Co. Offaly. Although I had my graduated neutral density filter kit in my camera bag, the hasty nature of photo stops was conducive to using it. Instead, I've had to make due with digital adjustment in post processing.
I was especially impressed with the sky at Tullamore, Co. Offaly. Although I had my graduated neutral density filter kit in my camera bag, the hasty nature of photo stops was not conducive to using it. Instead, I’ve had to make due with digital adjustment in post processing.
Athlone.
Athlone.
A little contrast control goes a long way. By lowering the highlights and brightening the shadow areas, I was able to make for a much more pleasing image.
A little contrast control goes a long way. By lowering the highlights and brightening the shadow areas, I was able to make for a much more pleasing image.

 

Wide angle view of RPSI's the Western Explorer at Athenry, County Galway.
Wide angle view of RPSI’s the Western Explorer at Athenry, County Galway.
Gort features a modern footbridge that uses thick sheet-metal meshes. The effect of the holes in the mesh distorts the light resulting in some peculiar patterns. The patterns are not the result of digital image processing.
Gort station features a modern footbridge that uses thick sheet-metal meshes. The effect of the holes in the mesh distorts the light resulting in some peculiar patterns. The patterns are not the result of digital image processing.
Another view at Gort.
Another view at Gort station.
Photographers were looking for angles at Ennis, County Clare. The station shadow made for a challenging used of light.
Photographers were looking for angles at Ennis, County Clare. The station shadow made for a challenging used of light.
At Dromkeen, the special crossed an ICR on its way to Limerick.
At Dromkeen, the special crossed an ICR on its way to Limerick.
I made a series of views from the train windows. This one was exposed using my FujiFilm X-T1 with Zeiss 12mm Touit lens.
I made a series of views from the train windows. This one was exposed using my FujiFilm X-T1 with Zeiss 12mm Touit lens.
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A view with the Zeiss 12mm Touit lens

Tracking the Light Posts Daily.

RPSI’s The Western Explorer, 22 October 2016—Part 1 with Dozens of JPGs.

Yesterday (22 October 2016) the Railway Preservation Society of Ireland in cooperation with Irish Rail operated a diesel-hauled excursion making a circle trip from Dublin’s Connolly Station.

Among the goals for the tour was a fundraising effort to help restore RPSI’s 1960-era class 121/141 General Motors diesels to traffic.

To emphasize the roll of heritage diesels,  Irish Rail locomotive 071 (class leader) wearing the retro 1970s ‘Super Train’ livery worked from Dublin to Limerick, with engine 084 (in modern gray and yellow) bringing the train back up to Dublin.

My interest was in capturing the spirit of the day. In addition to photographs of the equipment, I focused on people; Irish Rail employees, RPSI volunteers and organizers, and passengers.

My cameras were busy all day. I made more than 500 digital images; so I’ll be editing my files for some hours yet.

This first round of photographs is a selection of camera-JPGs from my FujiFilm X-T1 digital camera. Since the JPGs don’t require much work (except for scaling) these are easier to put up quickly. Later I’ll present a selection of images made from Camera RAW files, and finally a few views with my Lumix LX7.

As is often the case, I also exposed some 35mm slides, but those remain latent for the moment.

071 at Gort.
071 at Gort.
Irish Rail 071 detailed view FujiFilm X-T1 digital photo using the Velvia colour profile.
Irish Rail 071 detailed view FujiFilm X-T1 digital photo using the Velvia colour profile.
Fields of enthusiasts at Athenry.
Fields of enthusiasts at Athenry.

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Attymon, County Galway. Telephoto view from the road bridge.
Attymon, County Galway. Telephoto view from the road bridge.
Athenry, County Galway.
Athenry, County Galway.
Tullamore. Gosh, where's the old cement train?
Tullamore. Gosh, where’s the old cement train gone?
In the spirit of the day.
In the spirit of the day.
Ennis, County Clare.
Ennis, County Clare.
Detailed view of Irish Rail class 071, a 1976 built General Motors six-motor diesel.
Detailed view of Irish Rail class 071, a 1976 built General Motors six-motor diesel.
Discussing logistics.
Discussing logistics.
Noel Enright poses with 071 at Athlone.
Noel Enright poses with 071 at Athlone.

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Checking the football scores.
Checking the football scores.
Getting the shot.
Getting the shot.
Running for the train at Thurles.
Running for the train at Thurles.
Happy Birthday Tina!
Happy Birthday Tina!

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Old 084 at Limerick.
Old 084 at Limerick.

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Tracking the Light Posts Daily

Praha Hlavani Nadrazi by Night

Last week, I made these photos at Prague’s Main Station using my Lumix LX7.

To make this view, I used one of the station shed supports to position my Lumix LX7 and hold it steady during the length of the exposure.
To make this view, I used one of the station shed supports to position my Lumix LX7 and hold it steady during the length of the exposure.
Among the station's architectural attractions are its arched entryway and domed waiting room. Since my visit in 2000 this dome has been restored to its former glory. Lumix LX7 view looking up.
Among the station’s architectural attractions are its arched entryway and domed waiting room. Since my visit in 2000 this dome has been restored to its former glory. Lumix LX7 view looking up.
A CD passenger train waits under the twin span arched train shed. This angle was made by placing the Lumix on the station platform to hold the camera steady during the relatively long exposure. To minimize camera shake I used the self timer (set to 2 seconds).
A CD passenger train waits under the twin span arched train shed. This angle was made by placing the Lumix on the station platform to hold the camera steady during the relatively long exposure. To minimize camera shake I used the self timer (set to 2 seconds).
A double-deck suburban electric multiple unit decorated to commemorate an anniversary of Czech Railways basks in the evening glow at the south end of Prague's Main Station. Lumix LX7 photo.
A double-deck suburban electric multiple unit decorated to commemorate an anniversary of Czech Railways basks in the evening glow at the south end of Prague’s Main Station. Lumix LX7 photo.

I featured : Praha Hlavani Nadrazi (Prague Main Station) in my recent book Depots, Stations & Terminals published by Voyageur Press.

See: https://www.quartoknows.com/books/9780760348901/Railway-Depots-Stations-Terminals.html

Here’s and excerpt of my text:

In 1919, Prague main station was renamed Wilsonova Nádrazi in honor of American president Woodrow Wilson. The name was dropped after German annexation and occupation during World War II, and appears to have been forgotten during the postwar period of Soviet influence that prevailed until the Czech Velvet Revolution in November 1989. The name change was the least of the station’s problems. During this dark period of Czech history, the station was allowed to deteriorate and by the mid-1990s was a dismal shadow of its former glory.

Tracking the Light Aims to Post Daily.

 

Tracking the Light is Back On Line!

After an unanticipated outage (known in some circles as an ‘Outrage’), Tracking the Light is back on line.

As I’ve previously reported here, I’ve been traveling and without regular email access. During this time the inevitable occurred.

Perhaps the best way to describe the situation is: a fellow named ‘Murphy’ formerly of the legal department (for which his work is infamous) appears to have transferred his creative activities to Information Services, and with predictable results.

Yesterday: OBB was having a more reliable day than Tracking the Light. I made this view at Amstetten, Austria on the Westbahh, about the time that I learned of the Tracking the Light outage. Lumix LX7 photo.
Yesterday: OBB was having a more reliable day than Tracking the Light. I made this view at Amstetten, Austria on the Westbahn, about the time that I learned of the Tracking the Light outage. Lumix LX7 photo.

Any way, after  some phone calls, and the efforts from my dad, Richard J. Solomon, Tracking the Light seems to be again working as intended.

However, If you are still experiencing difficulties, you may need to clear your browser’s cache or history in order to remove yesterday’s defective link.

Sorry about the difficulty and delay.

Typically Tracking the Light Posts Daily.

 

Underground in the Los Angeles Subway with a Lumix LX7.

Los Angeles subway as seen in August 2016.
Los Angeles subway as seen in August 2016.

I violated various rules of composition in this candid view exposed in the Los Angeles Subway.

Ok, maybe not ‘rules’, but certainly common compositional conventions that encourage gratuitous blandness and unnecessary repetition of vision.

Tracking the Light tries to post everyday, even while Brian is traveling.

Summer Sun and Stainless Steel—July 2016.

Long Island Rail Road's Hudson Yards on the westside of Manhattan.
Long Island Rail Road’s Hudson Yards on the westside of Manhattan.

Funny how the internet’s autocropping tends makes a mockery of my composition. Be sure to click on Tracking the Light to see the photo as I intended to present it.

I exposed this view of Long Island Rail Road suburban trains at Manhattan’s Hudson Yards using my Lumix LX7. Thin cloud with a hint of air pollution makes for soft brown-tinted light.

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

Sun on the old Southern Pacific Coast Line—July 28, 2016.

Last summer, I spent a pleasant afternoon exploring the old Southern Pacific Coast Line between Simi Valley and Moorpark, California.

At CP Madera, I ascended this cutting and made a series of digital photographs of passing passenger trains.

This was not what I expected: an Amtrak 'Cabbage' (a former F40PH diesel converted as a cab-car with baggage compartment) and single-level Horizon cars with a Genesis diesel pushing at the back. A far cry from the typical Pacific Surfline consist with an F59PHI and Bilevel cars. File converted from a Camera RAW using Lightroom to adjust contrast and lighten shadow areas.
This was not what I expected: an Amtrak ‘Cabbage’ (a former F40PH diesel converted as a cab-car with baggage compartment) and single-level Horizon cars with a Genesis diesel pushing at the back. Amtrak A790 was far cry from the typical Pacific Surfliner consist that features an F59PHI and Bilevel cars. File converted from a Camera RAW using Lightroom to adjust contrast and lighten shadow areas.
Trailing view of Amtrak Pacific Surfline A790 at CP Madera, near Simi Valley, California.
Trailing view of Amtrak Pacific Surfline A790 at CP Madera, near Simi Valley, California.
I made this photo with the camera set in the 'Velvia' colour profile.
I made this photo with the camera set in the ‘Velvia’ colour profile.
A few minutes after Amtrak A790 rolled past, Metrolink 117 from Los Angeles came the other way. Here I've used a telephoto perspective to make the most of the setting.
A few minutes after Amtrak A790 rolled past, Metrolink 117 from Los Angeles came the other way. Here I’ve used a telephoto perspective to make the most of the setting.
As the train approached, I used the zoom lens, pulling back my focal length to a slight wide angle view.
As the train approached, I used the zoom lens, pulling back my focal length to a slight wide angle view.
The view looking west into the evening sun was exceptionally contrasty. So in post processing I lightened the shadows, darkened the sky and lowered the contrast in a effort to produce a more pleasing image.
The view looking west into the evening sun was exceptionally contrasty. So in post processing I lightened the shadows, darkened the sky and lowered the contrast in a effort to produce a more pleasing image. Also, on site I’d shaded the front element of my lens with my notebook. If you look carefully, you can just see the fringe of my notebook cover in the sky. I’ve left this imperfection in, rather than crop it out, so that you can get a sense for what I was doing. 

These were exposed using my Fujifilm XT1 with 18-135mm zoom lens. I calculated the light using the camera’s center weighted meter and set aperture and shutter speed settings manually. Although bright, exposures can be tricky, especially when dealing with flat white locomotives.

It was a real pleasure to make photos in the warm California sun. (As recall, while sitting in Dublin on damp evening composing ‘Auto Pilot’ posts for Tracking the Light!)

Tracking the Light Posts Daily!

Southern Pacific Coal Train Descends Donner Pass—July 1992.

On July 19, 1992, Southern Pacific's SNTA-C descends the west slope of Donner Pass near Midas, California.
On July 19, 1992, Southern Pacific’s SNTA-C descends the west slope of Donner Pass near Midas, California.

I exposed this trailing view of Southern Pacific’s SNTA-C (Skyline Mine, Utah to Trona, California—coal) on its descent of Donner Pass using my Nikon F3T with a Nikkor 200mm lens.

Kodachrome 25 was my film of choice. It performed very well under bright California skies.

Tracking the Light is on Autopilot while Brian is traveling.

 

 

Amtrak’s Maple Leaf on an Arctic Canadian Morning in February 2010.

Amtrak's Maple Leaf near Sunnyside in Toronto on the first leg of its journey to New York's Pennsylvania Station.
Amtrak’s Maple Leaf near Sunnyside in Toronto on the first leg of its journey to New York’s Pennsylvania Station.

on a frigid February 2010 morning, I exposed this view  on Fujichrome using my Canon EOS-3 with a 100-400mm zoom lens.

This was one of dozens of action photos I made while traveling with Chris Guss and Pat Yough that day.

One of the great challenges in working in sub-zero temperatures is short battery life. While my Canon film camera faired reasonably well, my poor Panasonic Lumix LX3 digital camera did not. By noon two of my three batteries had gone flat.

Tracking the Light continues to post Daily while Brian is on the road.

Postcards from Prague—Trams at Night.

You know you’re having a photographically productive trip when you have a week’s worth of keepers after the first evening out.

Prague, Czech Republic is among the world’s great tram cities.

It’s hard to beat for its variety of cars and paint liveries, combined with stunning urban scenery, a large of number of routes and extensive route mileage (kilometerage?), plus intensive frequency of operation.

I’ve visited before, but I’m still stunned by observing the incredible number of trams gliding through the streets. This is among the most interesting urban railways, anywhere.

Here’s just a few photos from my Lumix LX7 exposed on a rainy evening in Prague.

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tram_at_night_prague_p1530022Tracking the Light Posts Daily!

NI Railways: Castlerock Semaphore Finale—October 2016. Six Photos.

Among the last active installations of ‘somersault’ signals has survived on NI Railways at Castlerock, County Derry, Northern Ireland.

The somersault is an antique variety of two-aspect semaphore where the signal arm and spectacle (lens) frame are separate pieces and move in opposite directions when the aspect changes. The name stems from a description of the signal motion.

Earlier this month Denis McCabe, Stephen Hirsch and I traveled from Dublin to pay a final visit to this classic signal installation and make photographs of modern NI Railways railcars with the antique hardware.

New NI Railway’s signalling is underway on this section of the Coleraine-Derry line. It is my understanding that in early November, NIR plans to close Castlerock’s cabin (signal tower) and the signals will be removed from service as part of a larger re-signalling scheme that will also eliminate this station as a passing point.

The starting signal to Derry has been cleared by the signalman at Castlerock.
The starting signal to Derry has been cleared by the signalman at Castlerock.
This rear view of the same signal provides a sense for how the signal works. Unlike the more common semaphore arrangement, the arm and lens housing are separate pieces, but interlocked for coordinated movement.
This rear view of the same signal provides a sense for how the signal works. Unlike the more common semaphore arrangement, the arm and lens housing are separate pieces, but interlocked for coordinated movement.
An NIR railcar from Derry to Belfast approaches Castlerock. I've intentionally focused on the old signal, rather than the NIR railcar. Fear not railcar enthusiasts, I have sharp photos of NIR railcars on the move! Exposed using my FujiFilm X-T1 digital camera.
An NIR railcar from Derry to Belfast approaches Castlerock. I’ve intentionally focused on the old signal, rather than the NIR railcar. Fear not railcar enthusiasts, I have sharp photos of NIR railcars on the move! Exposed using my FujiFilm X-T1 digital camera.
Looking toward Belfast at Castlerock from the down platform. Soon this view will be forever altered, as the platform I'm standing on will no longer be served and the signals will be removed.
Looking toward Belfast at Castlerock from the down platform. Soon this view will be forever altered, as the platform I’m standing on will no longer be served and the signals will be removed.
A Derry-bound NIR railcar approaches Castlerock as viewed from the footbridge.
A Derry-bound NIR railcar approaches Castlerock as viewed from the footbridge.
A trailing view of the Derry-bound train. Exposed using my FujiFilm X-T1 digital camera.
A trailing view of the Derry-bound train. Exposed using my FujiFilm X-T1 digital camera.

Although, I’d visited Castlerock previously, it had been a few years since I last photographed these old signals at work.

Special thanks to Colin Holliday reminding me of the pending changes to Castlerock signaling!

Tracking the Light posts Daily.

Vestiges of Irish Rail’s Youghal Branch—ten new photos!

The old Youghal Branch is still there if you know where to look for it. It’s a vestige from another time, which makes it all the more fascinating to me.

A few years back Irish Rail rebuilt and reactivated the line from Cobh Junction to Midleton, Co. Cork, but beyond there the line is dormant. The last move east of Midleton, occurred in 1988. And prior to that trains were—at best—infrequent.

Earlier this month, Ken Fox gave me a detailed tour of the old railway, much of which is now heavily overgrown.

To the untrained eye (no pun intended) there’s little to see in most places. You could easily miss the railway altogether.

Yet, below the weeds, bushes and detritus are rails and sleepers. It more than just track; signal cabins still stand at Killeagh and Youghal, as do the old stations at Mogeely and Youghal.

Mogeely has been cleared, and there’s plenty to explore around the old station area.

The old signal cabin at Youghal is covered up and forlorn, its bells ring no more. Exposed using a Fujifilm XT1 with Zeiss 12mm Touit lens.
The old signal cabin at Youghal is covered up and forlorn, its bells ring no more. Exposed using a Fujifilm XT1 with Zeiss 12mm Touit lens.
Irish Rail's station at Youghal hasn't seen a regularly scheduled passenger service in more than 50 years, although specials worked the line into the 1980s. Lumix LX7 photo.
Irish Rail’s station at Youghal hasn’t seen a regularly scheduled passenger service in more than 50 years, although specials worked the line into the 1980s. Lumix LX7 photo.
Ken Fox and I explored the hillside on the northeast side of the old yard. I'd seen photos from this hillside back when the line was still active and I hoped to find this angle. Lumix LX7 photo.
Ken Fox and I explored the hillside on the northeast side of the old yard at Youghal. I’d seen photos from this hillside back when the line was still active and I hoped to find this angle. Note the position of the station and signal cabin. Lumix LX7 photo.
Killeagh is easily missed. The line is almost complete overgrown, yet the old cabin survives. Lumix LX7 photo.
Killeagh is easily missed. The line is almost complete overgrown, yet the old cabin survives. Lumix LX7 photo.
Irish Rail signal cabin at Killeagh. The line is to the left of the cabin. Believe it not, the tracks are still there!  Exposed using a Fujifilm XT1 with Zeiss 12mm Touit lens.
Irish Rail signal cabin at Killeagh. The line is to the left of the cabin. Believe it not, the tracks are still there! Exposed using a Fujifilm XT1 with Zeiss 12mm Touit lens.
An old rail serving as a post at Killeagh.  Exposed using a Fujifilm XT1 with Zeiss 12mm Touit lens.
An old rail serving as a post at Killeagh. Exposed using a Fujifilm XT1 with Zeiss 12mm Touit lens.
The area immediately around the station at Mogeely has been cleared of brush and debris.  Exposed using a Fujifilm XT1 with Zeiss 12mm Touit lens.
The area immediately around the station at Mogeely has been cleared of brush and debris. Exposed using a Fujifilm XT1 with Zeiss 12mm Touit lens.
Mogeely looking west toward Cork.  Exposed using a Fujifilm XT1 with Zeiss 12mm Touit lens.
Mogeely looking west toward Cork. Exposed using a Fujifilm XT1 with Zeiss 12mm Touit lens.
Mogul looking east. Hard to believe its been 28 years since a train last traveled these rails.  Exposed using a Fujifilm XT1 with Zeiss 12mm Touit lens.
Mogul looking east. Hard to believe its been 28 years since a train last traveled these rails. Notice the old signaling rods. Exposed using a Fujifilm XT1 with Zeiss 12mm Touit lens.
I made this view at Mogeely using my Lumix LX7.
I made this view at Mogeely using my Lumix LX7.

I made these photos using my Lumix LX7 and Fujifilm XT1. Any favourites?

Tracking the Light is on autopilot while Brian is traveling.

Tracking the Light on Tracking the Light.

Just a word or few on this blog:

For more than three years I’ve made an effort to post something new, each and every day.

If you are not already subscribed, have you considered subscribing? There is no cost: the primary advantage to a subscription is that an automatic notice is sent out with each and every post. This is more reliable than feeds via Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus, and even my own Email notices.

I prepare posts in advance and put them in a queue on Word Press. I’ll assign to each posting a date and a time when it is supposed to appear on the web.

Sometimes owing to a technical fault, posts may miss its scheduled posting time. When that happens, I have to manipulate the system and post manually. (Post is both a noun a verb).

I like to keep the site timely, but it’s not intended as an up to the minute news source.

Although I often write daily, I tend plan post schedules so that photos  appear several days after I make them. This is by intent.

That said, sometimes when I find something of immediate interest (such as Monday’s IWT Liner), I’ll make an effort to get the subject out there quickly for public consumption. (Thus Tracking the Light’s ‘Extra Posts’).

In other situations, I’ll capture something unique (or at least very unusual) but opt to hold that back for future presentation.

For every photo I’ve displayed on Tracking the Light, I have dozens more waiting for their day in the sun (metaphorically). The very best have yet to be seen!

For the next few days I’ll be traveling and may not have regular access to the internet. As a result, Tracking the Light will be coasting ‘autopilot.’

This means, I’ve placed a large batch of posts in the queue so that you should see something every day while I’m on the road.

If for some reason, a post misses its posting time, I may not be in a position to fix it right away.

Fear not, new material is being exposed! On digital, and with film.

Stay tuned!

An Amtrak Empire Service train led by a dual-mode GE Genesis diesel makes for a modern silhouette along the Hudson at Castleton, New York in 2004. Exposed on Fujichrome using a Contax G2 rangefinder with 28mm Zeiss Biogon.
An Amtrak Empire Service train led by a dual-mode GE Genesis diesel makes for a modern silhouette along the Hudson at Castleton, New York in 2004. Exposed on Fujichrome using a Contax G2 rangefinder with 28mm Zeiss Biogon.

 

Downhill, Co. Derry, Northern Ireland—Shafts of Light with some Ocean Side Cliffs (and a wee NIR railcar down below).

Some of Ireland’s finest rail-side scenery is in the North. At Downhill, Co. Derry massive vertical cliffs rise high above the Belfast-Derry line, with the great expanse of the North Atlantic beyond.

In October, lighting can be a bit tricky, as the same cliffs that make the scene and offer elevation also block the sun much of the day.

One trick: filtered sun (that is with thin cloud) makes for a less contrasty scene. By carefully exposing for the shaft of light at the center of the image, and then impose a digital graduated neutral density filter at the top of the frame, I was able to produce a balanced over-all image.

A distant view where the subject is but a spec in a vast scene.
A distant view where the subject is but a spec in a vast scene.
Using my 18-135 zoom, I've remained at the same cliff-side vantage point, but pulled back the focal length. Here the NI Railways 4001-series railcar is more prominent.
Using my 18-135 zoom, I’ve remained at the same cliff-side vantage point, but pulled back the focal length. Here the NI Railways 4001-series railcar is more prominent.
The photographer's quandary: with a wide view, you can include the ocean, but the cliffs seem smaller relative to the whole scene.
The photographer’s quandary: with a wide view, you can include the ocean, but the cliffs seem smaller relative to the whole scene.

The other afternoon, I made these photos with Denis McCabe and Stephen Hirsch which feature a Derry to Belfast NI Railways railcar. While I worked primarily with my FujiFilm X-T1, I also exposed a few 35mm colour slides using my old Canon EOS-3 with 100mm lens.

 

As of this posting, those slides remain latent (exposed, but unprocessed), so we’ll need to wait to see if I got my exposure correct. (My notes read f7.1 at 1/250th of a second, which is consistent with the reading from my Minolta Mark4 handheld light meter, but a bit on the dark side for the camera meter).

 

Tracking the Light Posts Daily!

Tracking the Light Extra: Polish Steam in Freight Service-April 2002.

Note to Tracking the Light readers: The most effective way to receive Tracking the Light daily is to Subscribe!

PKP Ty45 works tender first at Stefanowo, Poland on 25 April 2002.
PKP Ty45 works tender first at Stefanowo, Poland on 25 April 2002. Exposed on Fujichrome using a Nikon N90S.

Look back 14 years to a visit to Poland:

Iridescent grass, steam and semaphores, how can you go wrong?

I realize that someone might complain that the engine is working tender first. If so, they can complaint to PKP for their lack of turntables: Keep in mind this is a real revenue freight using an engine based at the roundhouse at Wolsztyn, Poland.

Tracking the Light posts daily with feeds to Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, Tumblr and other social media. 

 

Today’s International Warehousing & Transport Liner Identified on the Loco—10 October 2016.

For the last week, Irish Rail class 201 number 231 has been working the International Warehousing & Transport Liner (Dublin North Wall to Ballina, Co. Mayo) with IWT identification marks on the Ballina-end and the sides of the loco.

Photographically this is a boon because it positively distinguishes the IWT liner from other trains.

While last week, I’d either been busy or out of position when 231 worked the train; but this morning I made the effort to catch it from my usual location at Islandbridge Junction in Dublin.

Do I have too many photos from this spot? Undoubtedly, but it’s better to have a publishable image of a distinctive train from an identifiable location, than not to have a photo of the train at all. So, for the sake of a 5-minute walk, I’ve got the IWT Liner looking the part.

For more on IWT see: http://iwt-irl.com

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Irish Rail's IWT Liner with 201-class diesel 231 decorated for IWT passes Islandbridge Junction at 9:49am on 10 October 2016.
Irish Rail’s IWT Liner with 201-class diesel 231 decorated for IWT passes Islandbridge Junction at 9:49am on 10 October 2016.
Irish Rail's IWT Liner with 201-class diesel 231 decorated for IWT passes Islandbridge Junction at 9:49am on 10 October 2016. Exposed with a FujiFilm X-T1 digital camera.
Irish Rail’s IWT Liner with 201-class diesel 231 decorated for IWT passes Islandbridge Junction at 9:49am on 10 October 2016. Exposed with a FujiFilm X-T1 digital camera.

Tracking the Light Posts Everyday!

CSX Intermodal catches the First Rays of Sunshine—Middlefield, Massachusetts.

Last May (2016), I made this view of an eastward CSX stack train descending the old Boston & Albany grade over Washington Hill.

I was just east of the old Middlefield Station (long defunct), where my late friend Bob Buck had exposed some classic images of B&A’s A1 Berkshires.

A hill behind me blocks the rising sun, until after 6:30am in May. I could hear the train descending as the first rays of sun tickled the iron. Morning clouds waft across the sky making for inky shadows.

Exposed using a Fujifilm X-T1 digital camera.
Exposed using a Fujifilm X-T1 digital camera.

Brian Solomon’s Tracking the Light is on auto pilot.

Tracking the Light attempts to post daily! (even when plagued by technical faults, internet outages, and an ambitious travel schedule).

 

Irish Rail 2616 at Kent Station-Two Views 17 Years Apart.

Here’s a variation on the then-and-now theme. The same rail car, with the same semaphores, on the same track, but viewed more than 17 years apart!

Irish Rail 2616 at Kent Station, Cork in August 1999. Exposed with a Nikon on Fujichrome Sensia II.
Irish Rail 2616 at Kent Station, Cork in August 1999. Exposed with a Nikon on Fujichrome Sensia II.
Same railcar, same spot, exposed on Sunday 2 October 2016 using a Fujifilm X-T1 digital camera. Who would have thought back in 1999 that those mechanical semaphores would still be in place!
Same railcar, same spot, exposed on Sunday 2 October 2016 using a Fujifilm X-T1 digital camera. Who would have thought back in 1999 that those mechanical semaphores would still be in place!

Only see one photo? Well you’ll need to visit Tracking the Light‘s original post to get the comparison. Click on the link below.

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http://briansolomon.com/trackingthelight/2016/10/05/irish-rail-2616-…s-17-years-apart/

Tracking the Light attempts to post new material every day.

(Even when the WiFi doesn’t work, and Brian Solomon is sitting atop a bus en route to someplace with WiFi that does work. Just saying’)

 

Tracking the Light Special Post: LUAS Green Line Service Suspension—7 October 2016

Today (7 October 2016), Dublin’s LUAS Green Line was out of service owing to an unspecified disruption.

Mark Healy and I were exploring progress LUAS Cross City works near the St. Stephen’s Green, where we found no-less than four Alstom Citadis trams inoperable and parked.

As of 2:45pm, LUAS was reporting that Green Line service remained suspended.

More recent reports indicate it could be Saturday morning before service resumes.

See: https://www.luas.ie/travel-updates/

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LUAS tram 5002 appears to have a pantograph tied down with a blue cable/securing device.

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I exposed these photos of the stalled trams using my Lumix LX7.

Tracking the Light Posts Daily

Curves and Catenary; Dublin’s DART at Dalkey.

Autumn sunlight nicely filled the cutting.

Working within the confines of lines, I did my best to frame up this southward DART electric train at Dalkey.

I exposed this view on Ilford HP5 using my Nikon F3 with an f2.0 135mm lens.
I exposed this view on Ilford HP5 using my Nikon F3 with an f2.0 135mm lens.

Brian Solomon is Traveling; Tracking the Light posts daily

Waterford Greenway-old railway viaduct at Kilmacthomas.

The other day, Ken Fox and I inspected the recently opened Waterford Greenway on the old railway line between Waterford and Dungarvan.

The viaduct at Kilmacthomas is especially impressive.

I made these views using my FujiFilm XT-1 with Zeiss 12mm Touit lens.

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Tracking the Light attempts to Post Daily, but is on auto pilot for the next few weeks.

Great Photo Tricks: Pull a Rabbit out of your hat.

—Metaphorically, of course.

Here’s another view I made on Irish Rail’s former Great Northern line at milepost 25 near Mosney. I published a digital colour view of the Grand Hibernian the other day from this same vantage point.

Irish Rail’s 29000-series diesel rail cars are common trains on this route. They do their job well and travel up and down the line all day long. Many photographers ignore them because they are common.

Add in some dull light and tangent track, and the photography threatens to be, well, boring.

Expose on Ilford HP5 using a Nikon F3 with 24mm lens and red filter. Film processed in Kodak HC110 (Dilution B, 1:32 with water) for 3 minutes 30 seconds at 68F (20C).
Expose on Ilford HP5 using a Nikon F3 with 24mm lens and red filter. Film processed in Kodak HC110 (Dilution B, 1:32 with water) for 3 minutes 30 seconds at 68F (20C).

Here’s what I did to make an interesting image; I worked with the texture of the scene. Rather than make a digital image, I used my old Nikon F3 fitted with a 24mm Nikkor lens and a dark red filter.

The red filter alters the way the film interprets the colours in the scene. Specifically, it allows for better detail in the sky, while darkening the greenery.

I also added a sense of depth by including the vines growing along the bridge parapet. This is a little trick I’ve used on many occasions in Ireland, and it helps to have a wide angle lens to make it work.

So while the train isn’t the most exciting on the rails in Ireland, I’ve used these old-school methods and created an interesting scene by working with the natural textures.

Tracking the Light posts every day!

 

 

 

 

Reflecting on reflections-Selenium dip.

I noted this scene the other evening while walking by the Dublin Bus Conyngham Road bus depot.

Historically this facility was a tram depot for the Dublin & Lucan tramway.

What caught my eye were the reflections in the bus windows that make for array of abstract patterns.

An impressive line-up of road vehicles at the old Conyngham Road Depot in Dublin. The premises of the Irish Railway Record Society is located just beyond the buses on the south side of the River Liffey near Heuston Station.
An impressive line-up of road vehicles at the old Conyngham Road Depot in Dublin. The premises of the Irish Railway Record Society is located just beyond the buses on the south side of the River Liffey near Heuston Station.

I exposed this view on Ilford HP5 using my Nikon F3 with an f2.0 135mm lens. My processing was a bit complicated. After a three minute water bath with a very small amount of HC110 to start the processing, I used a dilute developer solution (HC110 1 to 64 with water) at 68 degrees F for 4 minutes.

After a full fix, hypoclear, and wash cycle, I then toned the negatives in selenium at a ratio of 1 to 9 with water for 8.5 minutes with regular agitation. (Please note: selenium solution is poisonous and exceptional care should be considered when working with it.)

The effect of the selenium toning is to accentuate the brightest highlights which produces a silvery glow. A secondary effect is greater longevity: the selenium solution produces an ion exchange with a portion of the silver in the film and selenium offers great stability long term.

Tracking the Light Discusses Photography Daily.

Tracking the light will be on ‘Autopilot’ for the next couple of days, but will continue to display new material every morning.

Irish Rail Out-takes from Tonight’s Slide Program.

Tonight (Monday 3 October, 2016)- I’ll be presenting a variation of my slide program Irish Railways Looking Back Ten Years to the Cork Branch of the Irish Railway Record Society at 8pm in the Metropole Hotel in Cork City.

During 2005 and 2006, I exposed thousands of colour slides of Irish Railways. Fear not, I will not attempt to present all of these slides this evening!

Among my out-takes is this sequence exposed in summer 2006 of Irish Rail 201 diesels with passenger trains at the top of Ballybrophy Bank.

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Tracking the Light Explores Photography Every Day!

Tracking the light will be on ‘Autopilot’ for the next couple of days, but will continue to display new material every morning.

On Irish Rail’s 0830 train to Tralee (Change at Mallow)—2 October 2016.

I’m traveling to Cork on Irish Rail’s 0830 Dublin-Heuston to Tralee scheduled train.

Tomorrow (Monday October 3, 2016.), I’ll be presenting a variation of my slide program Irish Railways Looking Back Ten Years to the Cork Branch of the Irish Railway Record Society in the Metropole Hotel in Cork City at 8pm.

Here are a few views exposed with my Lumix LX7 at Heuston Station and on the train-posted LIVE from the train thanks to Irish Rail’s WiFi.

Sunrise at Heuston Station exposed with my Lumix LX7. Where's John Gruber's nun?
Sunrise at Heuston Station exposed with my Lumix LX7. Where’s John Gruber’s nun?

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Exposed with my Lumxi LX7.
Exposed  at Heuston Station with my Lumix LX7.
Exposed with my Lumix LX7 from the train at Heuston Station.
Exposed with my Lumix LX7 from the train at Heuston Station.
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Irish Rail ICR at Heuston Station on Sunday morning.
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Crossing the Curragh in the fog, Lumix LX7 Photo.
The Medium is the Message—My laptop on the train as I'm producing this post-the file was downloaded directly from the card to WordPress.
The Medium is the Message—My laptop on the train as I’m producing this post-the file was downloaded directly from the card to WordPress.
There's my Lumix next to the Apple. Exposed with my FujiFilm XT1 passing Templemore.
There’s my Lumix next to the Apple. Exposed with my FujiFilm XT1 passing Templemore.
10:30am: Reflections at Limerick Junction. Lumix LX7 Photo.
10:30am: Reflections at Limerick Junction  That’s the Limerick-Limerick Junction shuttle that’s parked on the adjacent platform ‘out of service’.. Lumix LX7 Photo.
View near Killmallock, County Limerick. Lumix LX7 photo.
View near Killmallock, County Limerick. Lumix LX7 photo.

By the way, just in case anyone is curious; Irish Rail 071 in the retro ‘super train livery’ is at the yard in Portlaoise with a spoil train.

Tracking the Light is Daily!

Tracking the light will be on ‘Autopilot’ for the next couple of days, but will continue to display new material every morning.