About 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.

Worcester, Massachusetts: Long History, Long Days.

I’ve spent a lot of time researching railroads in Worcester. It was the site of one of the earliest North American railway junctions and was perhaps the first significant railway gateway city.

Yet, for all its history, Worcester can be a difficult place to make satisfying railroad photographs, owning in part to a massive grade separation project a century ago that raised the tracks above the city streets and effectively partitioned the city.

So much of what’s good and bad about Worcester are direct effects of its railroads.

CSX Q423 assembles its train at the west end of Worcester Yard. The passenger platform at Worcester Union Station offers a decent view of the CSX yard, however most of the year this is lit from the south, which make photography challenging. Exposed with a Fujifilm X-T1 Digital Camera.

CSX Q423 assembles its train at the west end of Worcester Yard. The passenger platform at Worcester Union Station offers a decent view of the CSX yard, however most of the year this is lit from the south, which make photography challenging. Exposed with a Fujifilm X-T1 Digital Camera. The multistory building to the right of the train is the old Osgood-Bradley building.

I could title this photo, 'The Grand Partition'—it is where two primary transportation corridors cross; I-290 spans the former Boston & Albany line. Both partitions (corridors) have facilitated traffic through Worcester, but disrupted the fabric of the city beyond comprehension. Worcester is a city of contrasts; fascinating, and frustrating.

I could title this photo, ‘The Grand Partition’—it is where two primary transportation corridors cross; I-290 spans the former Boston & Albany line. Both partitions (corridors) have facilitated traffic through Worcester, but disrupted the fabric of the city beyond comprehension. Worcester is a city of contrasts; fascinating, and frustrating.

On the long days of summer. The sun swings far to the north and makes for nice afternoon light at Worcester Union Station. Near the Summer Solstice, I made a few photos of CSX symbol freight Q423 (Worcester-Selkirk, NY) with one of the remaining AC6000CWs wearing its as-built ‘Bright Future’ paint.

Tracking the Light posts new material every morning.

Please share Tracking the Light!

http://briansolomon.com/trackingthelight/

Just the Tracks!

Ok, and some overhead catenary.

I exposed this view of the infrastructure at Helsinki in September 2001. This is some impressively engineered and perfectly maintained track structure.

Exposed on Fujichrome Sensia II (100 ISO) slide film using a Nikon F3T with 105mm lens.

Exposed on Fujichrome Sensia II (100 ISO) slide film using a Nikon F3T with 105mm lens.

At the end of July, I’ll be revisiting Finland and expect to ride and photograph Finnish railways during my journey! Stay tuned!

Tracking the Light posts new material every morning.

Please share Tracking the Light!

http://briansolomon.com/trackingthelight/

Trans-Europ-Express

The train inspired a film, a song, an album.

The train is gone, but here are some of the old TEE stainless-steel cars departing Brussels Midi on a damp day, May 25, 1996.

Exposed on Fujichrome with a Nikon F3T with Nikkor f2.8 135mm lens.

Exposed on Fujichrome Provia100 with a Nikon F3T with Nikkor f2.8 135mm lens.

Tracking the Light posts new material every morning. 

Subscribe today!

Middlefield, June 2015.

Years ago, the former Boston & Albany ‘West End’ was among my favorite places to photograph. The cosmic qualities of the railroad’s east slope of Washington Hill seemed to offer unlimited vantage points.

This can be a serene place, especially in the early morning.

B&A's Washington Hill  grade near milepost 130.

B&A’s Washington Hill grade (1212 line relocation) near milepost 130.

On one of the longest days of the year, I made my way trackside, and revisited places that I haven’t been to in several years.

At Middlefield, I met fellow railroad photographer Don Pasquarelli and we compared experiences.

Looking east.

Looking east.

In the pre-dawn glow, I watched CSX Q293 change crews at Palmer. More than two hours later it was climbing toward Washington Summit. Fujifilm X-T1 photo.

In the pre-dawn glow, I watched CSX Q293 change crews at Palmer. More than two hours later it was climbing toward Washington Summit. Fujifilm X-T1 photo.

These days, the old B&A route is not as busy as I recalled it from Conrail days in the 1990s. Back then a traffic swell had the railroad alive with trains in the morning. Based on my old photo notes, I’d expect to see as many as ten trains between dawn and lunch time.

By contrast, on this June morning we saw five moves over the railroad, which was two more than I expected. But today’s trains are only part of the story. For me, the B&A West End is now more about the place than about what passes through it.

The sound of the lead SD70MAC's dynamic brakes preceded the passage of CSX Q022 by several minutes. Exposed with my Fujifilm X-T1 digital camera.

The sound of the lead SD70MAC’s dynamic brakes preceded the passage of CSX Q022 by several minutes. Exposed with my Fujifilm X-T1 digital camera.

On the westend it helps to know your locations. Over the years I've learned that in the long days of summer, there's nice light on this tangent in the morning.

On the westend it helps to know your locations. Over the years I’ve learned that in the long days of summer, there’s nice light on this tangent in the morning. It also helps to have goat-like agility to get into position ahead of the train.

Hours pass between trains. Shortly before the noon-hour, CSX Q-264 with more than a mile of autoracks in tow.

Hours pass between trains. Shortly before the noon-hour, CSX Q-264 came east with more than a mile of autoracks in tow.

CSX_Q264_traling_at_Middlefield_DSCF0916

Tracking the Light posts new material every morning.

Please share Tracking the Light!

http://briansolomon.com/trackingthelight/

Pan Am in Color—Connecticut River Bridge—part 2, Colors revealed! Which is best?

In yesterday’s post [Tracking the Light’s Panchromatic Pan Am] I alluded to the various color profile presets available on my Fujifilm X-T1 digital camera that emulate film types.

Here I’ve displayed several images all exposed individually within a few minutes of each other as a means of exploring the effect of each of the color profiles. Other than scaling for internet presentation, I have not altered the color, contrast or sharpness of these images and the effect is essentially how it appears in the camera-produced Jpg file.

Which do you like best?

Provia color profile.

X-T1—Provia color profile.

X-T1—Velvia color profile.

X-T1—Velvia color profile.

X-T1—Astia color profile.

X-T1—Astia color profile.

X-T1 Color Neg 'Hi' color profile.

X-T1—Color Neg ‘Hi’ color profile.

X-T1—Pro Neg standard color profile.

X-T1—Pro Neg standard color profile.

Tracking the Light posts new material every morning.

Please share Tracking the Light!

http://briansolomon.com/trackingthelight/

Tracking the Light Special Update—Amtrak Acela 2253 at New Haven

Reporting live from Amtrak train 54, The Vermonter, on June 27, 2015. During our engine change at New Haven—electric locomotive 914 was replaced with Genesis diesel 102—I made photos of Amtrak’s Boston-Washington Acela Express, train 2253 arriving at New Haven.

No engine change needed for the Acela express! The total elapsed time on the platform was just two minutes.

Amtrak Acela Express train 2235 with power car 2106 at New Haven. Lumix LX7 photo.

Amtrak Acela Express, train 2235, with power car 2006 at New Haven. Lumix LX7 photo.

Broadside of the Acela Express at New Haven.

Broadside of the Acela Express at New Haven.

Amtrak Acela Express, train 2235, at New Haven. Lumix LX7 photo.

Amtrak Acela Express, train 2253, at New Haven. Lumix LX7 photo.

Old Amtrak AEM-7 914 heads for New Haven motor storage. A few weeks ago sister locomotive, Amtrak 915 was sent to Strasburg, Pennsylvania for preservation. How much longer will the old AEM-7s work? Lumix LX7 photo.

Old Amtrak AEM-7 914 heads for New Haven motor storage. A few weeks ago sister locomotive, Amtrak 915 was sent to Strasburg, Pennsylvania for preservation. How much longer will the old AEM-7s work? Lumix LX7 photo.

Vermonter passengers watch the New Haven engine change.

Vermonter passengers watch the New Haven engine change.

Imagine the time savings for the Vermonter if it ran with a dual-mode diesel-electric—electric, such as the Bombardier locomotives used by NJ Transit!

Photos exposed with my Lumix LX7.

Tracking the Light post new material every single day! 

 

Tracking the Light Special—Live from the Vermonter—Penn Station, New York.

I traveled up on NJ Transit, met my father at Penn Station, and now we are traveling northward on Amtrak’s Vermonter—Train 54. Every seat on the train is occupied.

Photos exposed with my Lumix LX7 and uploaded with Amtrak’s WiFi.

Richard J. Solomon and Pat Yough at Penn-Station on June 27, 2015. Lumix LX7 photo.

Richard J. Solomon and Pat Yough at Penn-Station on June 27, 2015. Lumix LX7 photo.

Richard Solomon with Vermonter at Penn-Station on June 27, 2015. Lumix LX7 photo.

Richard Solomon with Vermonter at Penn-Station on June 27, 2015. Lumix LX7 photo.

 

An veteran of many years service—Amtrak AEM7 914 at Penn-Station on June 27, 2015. Lumix LX7 photo.

A veteran of many years service—Amtrak AEM7 914 at Penn-Station on June 27, 2015. Lumix LX7 photo.

Tracking the Light posts new photos everyday.

New York City Subway—prelude—June 25, 2015.

A large portion of the New York City ‘Subway’ is elevated above street level. On June 25, 2015, my dad, Jack May, Walter Zullig and I took a whirlwind tour of New York City rail transit, during which I made dozens of photos from myriad locations.

Broadway Junction on June 25, 2015. Exposed with a Fujifilm X-T1.

Broadway Junction on June 25, 2015. Exposed with a Fujifilm X-T1.

New York City’s rail transit, including the subway, is undoubtedly one of the most visually complex transportation systems in North America, and presents endless possibilities for photography.

I’ll plan a series of posts featuring photos from this trip over the coming weeks.

MTA_logo_DSCF1079

Tracking the Light posts photographs everyday!

 

Tracking the Light’s Panchromatic Pan Am.

Color. This posting is about color.

Back in the day, Kodak used the term ‘Panchromatic’ to distinguish its latest black & white films from the older ‘orthochromatic’ emulsions.

Standard black & white setting with Fujifilm X-T1 digital camera. Pan-Am's POED (Portland to East Deerfield) is stationary allowing ample time for comparisons images.

Standard black & white setting with Fujifilm X-T1 digital camera. Pan-Am’s POED (Portland to East Deerfield) is stationary allowing ample time for comparisons images.

Today, we might take for granted that a photographic medium will reproduce all the colors as we see them, but old black & white emulsions were really pretty limited and some colors were not reproduced accurately (or at all), leading to a variety of unusual imaging effects.

Orthochromatic plates were largely sensitive to blue light. Among other effects of this limited spectral sensitivity was the tendency to overexpose the sky in relation to the rest of the scene. So, instead of the appropriate shades of grey, sky-blue tended to appear white. This is why so many glass plate photos appear to have been made on cloudy days. It is also one reason why sunset ‘glint’ photos were much harder to expose.

FACT: There are very few 1900-era glint photos of 4-4-0s.

‘Panchromatic’ means a film with full-spectrum sensitivity. But, I’m using the term in regards to my Fujifilm X-T1 Digital Camera. This, of course isn’t a film-camera at all, despite being the only camera I’ve ever owned that had the world ‘film’ in printed bold letters on the view-finder.

One of the great things about the X-T1 is its built in color profiles that emulate Fuji’s classic film types: Provia, Velvia, Astia, and some color print films.

It also has several black & white pre-sets, that offer the effects of using green, yellow and red filters and the appropriate spectral response.

Black & white with 'Red' filter setting. This alters the end result which among other things make the locomotives appear slightly darker. (No physical filter was used in the exposing of this image).

Black & white with ‘Red’ filter setting. This alters the end result which among other things make the blue  locomotives appear slightly darker. (No physical filter was used in the exposing of this image).

This image was made with the 'Provia' color profile, which I've included for point of comparison. Tomorrow's post (June 6, 2015) will feature more color profiles.

This image was made with the ‘Provia’ color profile, which I’ve included for point of comparison. Tomorrow’s post (June 6, 2015) will feature more color profiles.

On May 24, 2015. I had the good fortune to arrive at the Boston & Maine Railroad bridge over the Connecticut River at East Deerfield shortly after freight POED (Portland to East Deerfield) paused here at a perfectly picturesque position on the span.

I used this opportunity to run through the gamut of color profiles and black & white settings on the X-T1. I also made a few panoramic composites, which could lead to the title for a posting ‘Panchromatic Pan Am Panorama,’ but I read somewhere that gratuitous alliteration is considered poor writing.

I realize that some pundits may argue about my application of ‘panchromatic’ to a digital image. So just for the record, I’d also exposed some Fuji Provia 35mm film at this same scenic setting. Satisfied? Super!

Stay tuned for more, tomorrow . . .

Tracking the Light posts new material every morning.

Please share Tracking the Light!

http://briansolomon.com/trackingthelight/

Hooray for Volcanic Ash!

Not really. In 2010, the massive eruptions of a volcano in Iceland brought havoc to air-travel across Europe. Personally, I was seriously inconvenienced on several occasions.

But the ash did make for some stunning sunsets!

Stockholm_Metro_at_Dusk_P1170083

I made this view of the Stockholm Metro on May 6, 2010 using my Lumix LX3.

Tracking the light posts EVERY DAY!

Don’t miss out, Subscribe! 

Tracking the Light Special: Change at New Haven—June 25, 2015; 6 photos!

Amtrak’s Springfield-Hartford-New Haven shuttle, train 495, arrived in New Haven. We had just a few minutes to make photos before train 95 (Boston-Newport News) arrived early behind new ACS-64 624.

Amtrak 495 with a push-pull set on track 4 in New Haven. Lumix LX7 photo.

Amtrak 495 with a push-pull set on track 4 in New Haven. Lumix LX7 photo.

Amtrak 495 at New Haven. Lumix LX7

Amtrak 495 at New Haven. Lumix LX7

On an adjacent track, a set of old Metro-North multiple units were ready for their final journey.

These old MUs have served for many years, but will carry passengers no more—fair the well old MUs! Lumix LX7

These old MUs have served for many years, but will carry passengers no more—fare-thee-well old MUs! Lumix LX7

Amtrak 95 arriving at New Haven Fujifilm X-T1 photo.

Amtrak 95 arriving at New Haven Fujifilm X-T1 photo.

Richard J. Solomon with 611 shirt at New Haven, Connecticut at 8:41 am on June 25, 2015.

Richard J. Solomon with 611 shirt at New Haven, Connecticut at 8:41 am on June 25, 2015.

WiFi on the train allows for uploads to Tracking the Light on the go! Fujifilm X-T1 digital photo.

WiFi on the train allows for uploads to Tracking the Light on the go! Fujifilm X-T1 digital photo.

Tracking the Light posts new photos every day!

Check: http://briansolomon.com/trackingthelight/

Tracking the Light Special: Live from Amtrak 495!

It is 8:00 am on Thursday, June 25, 2015 and my father and I are riding Amtrak 495 toward New Haven, Connecticut where we’ll change for train 95 from Boston.

We are on our way to New York City for an expert tour of the New York subway system.

Amtrak 495 arriving at Windsor Locks on June 25, 2015. Lumix photo.

Amtrak 495 arriving at Windsor Locks on June 25, 2015. Lumix photo.

Richard J. Solomon on board train 495. . Lumix photo.

Richard J. Solomon on board train 495. Note 611 T-shirt. Lumix photo.

Richard J. Solomon checks Tracking the Light on his smart phone. Live from Amtrak 495! Lumix photo.

Richard J. Solomon checks Tracking the Light on his smart phone. Live from Amtrak 495! Lumix photo.

Tracking the Light posts new photos every day!

An Evening At Mansfield—Low Light and High Speed—10 Photos.

Friday nights trackside represents a tradition going back more than three decades. Back in the day, Bob Buck would hold court at his Tucker’s Hobbies in Warren, Massachusetts, then we’d head down to Palmer for dinner and afterwards convene at the old railroad station to watch trains pass in the night.

I’d make photographs.

A group of us have maintained the tradition and still meet in Palmer some Fridays. However, a few weeks back Rich Reed offered a suggestion, “Lets do something different. How about we meet in Worcester, and I’ll drive everyone to Mansfield where we can watch the Acela blast by at 150mph.”

We opted for one of the long days of June, and proceeded to plan.

Mansfield, Massachusetts has a long history with the railroad. This mural features a classic 4-4-0. Exposed with a Fujifilm X-T1 digital camera.

Mansfield, Massachusetts has a long history with the railroad. This mural features a classic 4-4-0. Exposed with a Fujifilm X-T1 digital camera.

Nearing its top speed Amtrak's Acela Express, train 2166, races toward Boston. Exposed with a Fujifilm X-T1 digital camera. Shutter set at 1/1000th of second.

Nearing its top speed Amtrak’s Acela Express, train 2166, races toward Boston. Exposed with a Fujifilm X-T1 digital camera. Shutter set at 1/1000th of second.

Panoramic composite of the MBTA station at Mansfield, Massachusetts. Exposed with a Fujifilm X-T1 digital camera.

Panoramic composite of the MBTA station at Mansfield, Massachusetts. Exposed with a Fujifilm X-T1 digital camera.

As we all recalled later on, even this idea had originated with Bob Buck. Back in the 1980s, Bob would take a summer evening and drive a group of us to the old New Haven Shoreline route.

Sometimes Bob would bring us to Readville, other times Mansfield, or Attleboro. We’d variously meet with locals, including Dave Clinton and Bob Karambelas, who’d show us new locations and share railway information. On at least one occasion we visited Edaville and traveled on the narrow gauge.

In the glow of dusk, a Boston-bound MBTA accelerates away from the station at Mansfield. The locomotive is one of the new HSP-46 diesels built by MPI at Boise, Idaho and features GE major components. Exposed with a Fujifilm X-T1 digital camera.

In the glow of dusk, a Boston-bound MBTA accelerates away from the station at Mansfield. The locomotive is one of the new HSP-46 diesels built by MPI at Boise, Idaho and features GE major components. Exposed with a Fujifilm X-T1 digital camera, photo altered digitally in post processing to balance contrast.

Our group has been watching trains on Friday evenings since the 1980s (perhaps earlier). This day we opted for Mansfield, rather than Palmer. Something new, something different. Exposed with a Fujifilm X-T1 digital camera.

Our group has been watching trains on Friday evenings since the 1980s (perhaps earlier). This day we opted for Mansfield, rather than Palmer. Something new, something different. Exposed with a Fujifilm X-T1 digital camera.

The automated voice came on: 'Please stand behind the yellow line'. Exposed with a Fujifilm X-T1 digital camera.

The automated voice came on: ‘Please stand behind the yellow line’. Exposed with a Fujifilm X-T1 digital camera.

MBTA train 828 arrives at Mansfield. Lumix LX7 photo.

MBTA train 828 arrives at Mansfield. Lumix LX7 photo.

MBTA engine 1126 pauses at Mansfield with train 828. LX7 photo.

MBTA engine 1126 pauses at Mansfield with train 828. LX7 photo.

Overhead catenary at Mansfield. Exposed with a Fujifilm X-T1 digital camera.

Overhead catenary at Mansfield. Exposed with a Fujifilm X-T1 digital camera.

MBTA 825 arrives at Mansfield. LX7 Photo.

MBTA 825 arrives at Mansfield. LX7 Photo.

At the end of this June 2015 evening we made a toast to the memory Bob Buck—the man who brought us all together and for years shared the railroad with us.

Tracking the Light posts new material every morning.

Please share Tracking the Light!

http://briansolomon.com/trackingthelight/

Harrisburg Station in the Details; 14 photos!

Earlier this month on my visit to Harrisburg, I made the opportunity to photograph the Harrisburg Station, now officially the Harrisburg Transportation Center.

Harrisburg is one of America’s last active stations with a traditional train shed over the platforms.

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania June 3, 2015. Fujifilm X-T1 digital photograph.

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania June 3, 2015. Fujifilm X-T1 digital photograph.

The last time I photographed this station was back in the summer of 1989 with my friend TSH on one of our big two-week long Pennsylvania-centered photo adventures. Back then we’d timed our visit to intercept Amtrak’s Broadway Limited. Hard to believe but its been about 20 years since Amtrak ceased running that classic train.

These photos were exposed on June 3, 2015 using my Fujifilm X-T1 and Lumix LX7 digital cameras. Back then I’d been using Kodachrome 25. For me, what is interesting is that in both instances the lighting conditions were about the same.

Fujifilm X-T1 digital photograph.

Fujifilm X-T1 digital photograph.

Fujifilm X-T1 digital photograph.

Fujifilm X-T1 digital photograph.

Fujifilm X-T1 digital photograph.

Fujifilm X-T1 digital photograph.

Fujifilm X-T1 digital photograph.

Fujifilm X-T1 digital photograph.

Fujifilm X-T1 digital photograph.

Fujifilm X-T1 digital photograph.

Fujifilm X-T1 digital photograph.

Fujifilm X-T1 digital photograph.

A westward Norfolk Southern autorack train passes the Harrisburg passenger station. Exposed with my Fuji X-T1.

A westward Norfolk Southern autorack train passes the Harrisburg passenger station with the Savanna & Atlantic heritage locomotive. Exposed with my Fuji X-T1.

Fujifilm X-T1 digital photograph.

Fujifilm X-T1 digital photograph.

Fujifilm X-T1 digital photograph.

Fujifilm X-T1 digital photograph.

Fujifilm X-T1 digital photograph.

Fujifilm X-T1 digital photograph.

Amfleet_at_Harrisburg_DSCF8293

Lumix LX7 photo

Lumix LX7 photo 16:9 aspect ratio.

Lumix LX7 photo.

Lumix LX7 photo.

Tracking the Light posts new material every morning.

Please share Tracking the Light!

http://briansolomon.com/trackingthelight/

Forty Five Minute Exposure at Old Gorge on Kodachrome 25

Forty Five Minute Exposure at Old Gorge on Kodachrome 25

Back in the day, I’d attempt to make long exposures on Kodachrome 25. I was facing a nearly insurmountable wall of diminishing returns, because of this film’s reciprocity curve it suffered very poor low-light sensitivity. In extremely low light (when minimum exposure times were calculated to be longer than about 5 minutes), K25’s effective ISO rating approached zero.

SP_at_Gorge_105mm_45min_exposure_KM_Brian Solomon 234642

This view was made on the west slope of Donner Pass using my Nikon F3T fitted with an f1.8 105mm lens (opened to f1.8) and firmly mounted on a Bogen 3021 tripod. I opened the shutter to allow for the passing of westward SP freight. The head-end headlights and oscillating lights helped illuminate the setting, while the light streaks were largely the result of the helper at the back.

At the left, you can see the lights of Sacramento, California, more than 50 miles away and some 2,000 feet lower. What’s missing is the tremendous sense of elevation and the vast depth of the American River Canyon at the left. Here we have empty black space.

The scene was cosmic. The sound show was sublime. My slide? Not so great. In a situation like this one, Provia 100F would have performed much better, but it didn’t exist then. Today’s Digital cameras would be vastly superior. Compare this view, to the images I made at State Line Tunnel back in February.

See: State Line Tunnel by the Light of the Moon.(<—This is a link, click it to see great night photos!)

Tracking the Light posts new material every morning.

Please share Tracking the Light!

http://briansolomon.com/trackingthelight/

Tracking the Light’s New Photo at an Old Place: Palmer Monochrome Panorama.

Over the years I’ve made a lot of photos at the Palmer diamond, where CSX (ex Conrail, nee Boston & Albany and etc) crosses New England Central (ex Central Vermont.) at grade.

The other day I decided to take a completely new angle on this well-photographed spot and I set my camera to monochrome (ex black & white) with a red filter adjustment (applied digitally and is among the Fuji X-T1 preset ‘color profiles’) then set the camera to make a panoramic composite.

I hold the shutter button down and sweep the camera laterally, the camera automatically exposes a burst of images and then sews them together internally. In this case, I set the sweep from right to left.

Fuji X-T1 panoramic composite. This is a digitally combined image made from more than two dozen photos exposed in rapid succession and stitched together in-camera.

Fuji X-T1 panoramic composite. This is a digitally combined image made from more than two dozen photos exposed in rapid succession and stitched together in-camera.

If you look carefully, there’s a stationary New England Central GP38 on the north-side of the diamond crossing.

A tightly cropped view showing the New England Central-CSX diamond crossing.

A tightly cropped view from the above panorama showing the New England Central-CSX diamond crossing.

This is essentially the same type of function/option now offered by many smart phones. However, I’m exposing the images using my Fujinon 18-135mm lens (which allows me to set the focal length of the pan) and the end file is about a 17mb JPG, which produces fairly detailed image.

I’ll post more panoramic composites over the coming days/months.

Tracking the Light posts new material every morning.

Please share Tracking the Light!

http://briansolomon.com/trackingthelight/

Father’s Day Special—Part 2

  • Trolling through my slide archives the other day I came across a series of images  made back in August 1996.Back then, I was working at my desk at Pentrex Publishing in Waukesha, Wisconsin when Doug Riddell and his family walked into the office. At that stage, Doug was our columnist for Passenger Train Journal, and  I’d been working with him for two years, but this was my first time meeting him face to face. We all enjoyed a memorable meeting.It’s important to have a camera at the ready. I exposed this series of Fujichrome slides with my Nikon F3T with an external Vivitar flash.
  • Dick Gruber and Doug Riddell in August 1996. Exposed on Fujichrome with a Nikon F3T with Vivitar flash.

    Dick Gruber and Doug Riddell in August 1996. Exposed on Fujichrome with a Nikon F3T with Vivitar flash.

    Doud and Ryan Riddell with Carl Swanson—editor of Passenger Train Journal. Exposed on Fujichrome with a Nikon F3T with Vivitar flash.

    Doug and Ryan Riddell with Carl Swanson—editor of Passenger Train Journal. Exposed on Fujichrome with a Nikon F3T with Vivitar flash.

    Doug_and_Ryan_Riddell_in_Waukesha_Aug1996_MOD1_Brian_Solomon©_268296

  • I especially like the photos of Doug with his son Ryan. Back then Doug was an Amtrak Engineer; today he is retired, but his son carries on the family tradition.Two weeks ago, it was Ryan’s birthday, and so Doug, Pat Yough and I, made a point of photographing Ryan working Amtrak’s Silver Star, train 92. (see: Tracking the Light Special Post: Happy Birthday Ryan Riddell!)
  • Ryan and Doug RIddell.

    Ryan and Doug Riddell June ’15.

  • I think the photos here help put Ryan’s Birthday post in better context! Happy Father’s Day to Doug! And to all the fathers and sons working for the railroad!
  • http://wp.me/p2BVuC-2VT
  • Tracking the Light posts new material every morning.

  • Spread the joy, share this post! 

    Subscribe today!

Tracking the Light Father’s Day Special-Part 1.

  • In April 1997, I traveled with my father to Japan for an intensive few days of photography and railway exploration. In that time I managed to expose 85 rolls of film. (Not all of railways).To my shock, it turned out that bringing Fujichrome to Japan, was akin to bringing ‘coal to Newcastle’. Not only was slide film plentiful, but it was substantially cheaper than in the USA. However, just to make my mark, I also brought some Kodachrome.
  • Streetcar in Okayama exposed on Fujichrome with a Nikon N90s. April 1997.

    Streetcar in Okayama exposed on Fujichrome with a Nikon N90s. April 1997.

    Richard J. Solomon with our friend Asao in the mountains southwest of Tokyo, April 1997.

    Richard J. Solomon with our friend Asao in the mountains southwest of Tokyo, April 1997.

    Shinjuku, Tokyo on April 19, 1997, exposed on Fujichrome using a Nikon N90S with 28mm lens fitted on a Bogen tripod.

    Shinjuku, Tokyo on April 19, 1997, exposed on Fujichrome using a Nikon N90S with 28mm lens fitted on a Bogen tripod.

    A Kodachrome 25 slide exposed in Tokyo, Japan. Streetcars are not common in Tokyo, but there is one long line, and I spent a morning documenting this. Buying a ticket wasn't as easy as I hoped!

    A Kodachrome 25 slide exposed in Tokyo, Japan. Streetcars are not common in Tokyo, but there is one long line, and I spent a morning documenting this. Buying a ticket wasn’t as easy as I hoped!

    A Kodachrome 25 slide exposed in Tokyo, Japan. Streetcars are not common in Tokyo, but there is one long line, and I spent a morning documenting this. Buying a ticket wasn't as easy as I hoped!

    Hiroshima.

  • This has been among my father’s favorite railway trips and he’s always asking me to post the Japanese photographs on Tracking the Light.

    Happy Father’s Day Pop!

  • Richard Jay Solomon makes a photograph of a Series 400 Shinkansen train on the platform at Fukushima, Japan on April 19, 1997. Exposed on Fujichrome film.

    Richard Jay Solomon makes a photograph of a Series 400 Shinkansen train on the platform at Fukushima, Japan on April 19, 1997. Exposed on Fujichrome film.

  • One of the 400-Series Shinkansen trains at Fukushima, Japan. Exposed on Fujichrome.

    One of the 400-Series Shinkansen trains at Fukushima, Japan. Exposed on Fujichrome.

  • Quiet morning in Tokyo on April 18, 1997.

    Quiet morning in Tokyo on April 18, 1997.

    JR signal at Osaka, April 1997.

    JR signal at Osaka, April 1997.

    Bozo View at Shinjuku Station, Tokyo on April 23, 1997.

    Bozo View at Shinjuku Station, Tokyo on April 23, 1997.

    JR suburban train in Tokyo on April 18, 1997.

    JR suburban train in Tokyo on April 18, 1997.

    Osaka, Japan on April 24, 1997.

    Osaka, Japan on April 24, 1997.

    Richard J. Solomon with newspaper waiting on a railway platform in Tokyo on April 23, 1997.

    Richard J. Solomon with newspaper waiting on a railway platform in Tokyo on April 23, 1997.

  • Tracking the Light posts new material every morning.

  • Spread the joy, share this post! 

    Subscribe today!

Virginia Railway Express: Streamlined Contrasts—Three photos.

On June 6, 2015, I made a series of images contrasting a modern commuter train with a famous steaming visitor at Manassas, Virginia. (Hint: the crowds are not out for the diesel.)

Exposed with a Fujifilm X-T1.

Exposed with a Fujifilm X-T1.

Exposed with a Fujifilm X-T1.

Exposed with a Fujifilm X-T1.

1940-styling meets 2000-styling. (Keep in mind when the 611 was built its design was already a decade old.) Exposed with a Fujifilm X-T1.

1940-styling meets 2000-styling. (Keep in mind when the 611 was built its design was already a decade old.) Exposed with a Fujifilm X-T1.

Tracking the Light posts new material every morning.

Please share Tracking the Light!

http://briansolomon.com/trackingthelight/

Amtrak 67 with the Richmond Skyline.

  Exposed with a Fujifilm X-T1 digital camera with 18-135mm lens at 135mm.


Exposed with a Fujifilm X-T1 digital camera with 18-135mm lens at 135mm.

This train originated in Boston the night before. I recall in the 1980s, when this run used to be named the Night Owl. Back in those times it ran Boston-Washington and carried a sleeping car.

At some point it was re-named the Twilight Shoreliner and carried a Viewliner. These days it’s the nameless train 67, which runs from Boston to Newport News, Virginia., sans Viewliner.

It’s a pity there’s no Amtrak sleeping car service overnight on the Corridor anymore.

Doug Riddell provided this location for Pat Yough and me during our Virginia-tour in early June. Eleven years earlier, Doug and I photographed a CSX coal train from nearly the same spot.

Yesterday’s post (see: A Thoroughbred versus a Heron) featured a series of photos of a Norfolk Southern freight on the lift bridge in the foreground that were made just a few minutes before I exposed this image.

Tracking the light posts EVERY DAY!

Don’t miss out, Subscribe! 

Tracking the Light Schedule.

Freshly painted Irish Rail 087 leads the container pocket wagons working as the DFDS Liner on April 3, 2015. The old signal cabin at Cherryville Junction is many years out of service.

Freshly painted Irish Rail 087 leads the container pocket wagons working as the DFDS Liner on April 3, 2015. The old signal cabin at Cherryville Junction is many years out of service.

Tracking the Light posts new material everyday! 

Daily Posts are typically available by about 3am Eastern Standard Time (specific posting times vary). Extra posts may be sent out at any time. Many posts feature two or more photos.

In addition there are feeds to Brian Solomon Publishing on Facebook, and also to Tumbler, Google Plus, and Twitter.

Subscribers should receive an alert by Email.

If you do not receive a new post alert you can always check the Tracking the Light home page at: http://briansolomon.com/trackingthelight/

Please share: Tracking the Light!

PRR_Budd_car_blowing_off_DSCF8623

A Thoroughbred versus a Heron.

Exposed with a Fujifilm X-T1.

Exposed with a Fujifilm X-T1.

I’d spotted the Heron standing on the old Southern Railway lift-bridge at Richmond’s Great Ship Lock Park, before I heard the low throb of the 645 diesel.

“There’s a train coming.”

Doug Riddell was giving Pat Yough and me a thorough tour of the area, and we were looking for an angle to photograph Amtrak 67 on the nearby Chesapeake & Ohio viaduct.

I focused on the bird. Would it stay still long enough to catch it with the locomotive?

Southern_Railway_Bridge_w_Heron_Great_Shiplock_Park_Richmond_DSCF0030

Here my zoom lens was invaluable. I made tight angle of the heron, and then pulled back to include the scene.

Exposed using a Fuji X-T1.

Exposed using a Fuji X-T1.

The SD40-2 eased around the bend. I kept my eye on the bird. How long would it stand there? Finally as the train drew closer the bird raised its wings and with a squawk took flight. I exposed a short burst of images. The tightest is a cropped view.

Crop2_Southern_Railway_Bridge_w_Heron_in_flight_Great_Shiplock_Park_DSCF0039

This is the full-frame un-cropped image.  In the blink of an eye the Heron took flight and was gone.

This is the full-frame un-cropped image. In the blink of an eye the Heron took flight and was gone.

Next on the program: Amtrak 67 to Newport News.

Tracking the Light posts new material every morning.

Please share Tracking the Light!

http://briansolomon.com/trackingthelight/

Tracking The Light Presents: a Clear Morning waiting for Amtrak’s Autotrain—Seven Photographs.

 

Amtrak’s Autotrain (trains 52/53) is one of America’s most unusual daily services. This runs non-stop between Lorton, Virginia and Sanford, Florida and is designed as a passenger/auto ferry.

It is Amtrak’s longest and heaviest train. It is one of the only trains that is regularly scheduled to use the older 800-series General Electric Genesis diesel-electrics (model P40).

Because of its length and unusual motive power, it makes for an interesting subject, provided you can find a place to photograph it that conveys these attributes.

On Monday, June 8, 2015, Doug Riddell met Pat Yough and me at Ashland, Virginia. Among our goals for the day were to photograph Amtrak 52 (the northward Autotrain).

The old passenger station at Ashland, Virginia at dawn on June 8, 2015, looking south. Fujifilm X-T1 photo.

The old passenger station at Ashland, Virginia at dawn on June 8, 2015, looking south. Fujifilm X-T1 photo.

The old passenger station at Ashland, Virginia at dawn on June 8, 2015, looking north. Fujifilm X-T1 photo. (White balance set to 'daylight' rather than 'auto' to enhance the effect of sunrise).

The old passenger station at Ashland, Virginia at dawn on June 8, 2015, looking north. Fujifilm X-T1 photo. (White balance set to ‘daylight’ rather than ‘auto’ to enhance the effect of sunrise).

Doug elaborates on his book Santa Trains. Lumix LX7 photo.

Doug elaborates on his book Virginia’s Legendary Santa Trains. Lumix LX7 photo.

Based on our experience a few days earlier (see: Tracking the Light visits Ashland, Virginia—June 4, 2015) where we’d photographed the southward Autotrain in the rain, I’d suggested Ashland because of the long tangent and accessibility. Doug concurred and suggested a favorite spot near Patrick Street.

Amtrak number 53, the northward Autotrain, led by locomotives 831 and 816 at Ashland, Virginia. This train was running a on a 'limited clear' aspect behind a northward CSX intermodal freight. Fujifilm X-T1 with 18-135mm lens set to 135mm (telephoto). Notice the unusual grade crossing signal with the bracket arm at right.

Amtrak number 53, the northward Autotrain, led by locomotives 831 and 816 at Ashland, Virginia. This train was running a on a ‘limited clear’ aspect behind a northward CSX intermodal freight. Fujifilm X-T1 with 18-135mm lens set to 135mm (telephoto). Notice the unusual grade crossing signal with the bracket arm at right.

Amtrak number 53, Exposed with a Fujifilm X-T1 with 18-135mm lens set to 34mm . Notice the unusual grade crossing signal with the bracket arm.

Amtrak number 53 is the longest passenger train consist in America, Exposed with a Fujifilm X-T1 with 18-135mm lens set to 34mm . Notice the unusual grade crossing signal with the bracket arm.

And so we waited. Good things come to those who wait! The morning was clear, and although 52 fell down a bit (it was running behind schedule), its delay benefited us greatly. Not only were we treated to a steady parade of northward trains with soft June sunlight, but the light gradually improved.

 

Auto_Train_autorackDSCF0009

Auto_train_Reservations_DSCF0011

Tracking the Light posts new material every morning.

Please share Tracking the Light!

http://briansolomon.com/trackingthelight/

Riding the Tide: Norfolk, Virginia’s Light Rail.

  • In the last couple of decades, a number of North American cities have adopted light rail as a preferred mode of public transport.Personally, I don’t make distinctions between light rail lines, streetcar lines, interurban electric lines, and/or trolley lines, since all use essentially the same technology with minor variations in the way they are adapted.
  • Exposed with a Lumix LX7.

    Exposed with a Lumix LX7.

  • Ground level view along Plume Street in Norfolk. Exposed using my Fujifilm X-T1 which has an adjustable rear display that facilitates holding the camera at a very low angle without requiring a chiropractic visit afterwards.

    Ground level view along Plume Street in Norfolk. Exposed using my Fujifilm X-T1 which has an adjustable rear display that facilitates holding the camera at a very low angle without requiring a chiropractic visit afterwards.

    In early June, in between other Virginia-based rail-events, Pat Yough and I made a brief visit to Norfolk, Virginia to take a spin on that city’s new light rail system, which is cleverly called ‘The Tide.’

    Nice Siemens trams (light rail vehicles) glide along on regular intervals. Part of the route is built on an old railroad right of way. It is my understanding that plans are in the works to extend the route east toward Virginia Beach.

  • For four dollars you can Ride the Tide all day, and, if you so choose, take a bus ride too.

    For four dollars you can Ride the Tide all day, and, if you so choose, take a bus ride too.

    A map of the Tide in downtown Norfolk. Lumix LX7 photo.

    A map of the Tide in downtown Norfolk. Lumix LX7 photo.

    The Tide taking the turn on Bank Street. Fujifilm X-T1 photo.

    The Tide taking the turn on Bank Street. Fujifilm X-T1 photo.

    Lumix LX7 photo.

    Norfolk, Virginia is a tidy city. Plume Street. Lumix LX7 photo.

    At least one of the trams was dressed in a special livery. Lumix LX7 photo.

    At least one of the trams was dressed in a special livery. Lumix LX7 photo.

    At the east-end of the line. Old railroad tracks continue beyond this point and may someday carry the Tide further east.

    At the east-end of the line. Old railroad tracks continue beyond this point and may someday carry the Tide further east.

    Tide rules. Lumix LX7 photo.

    Tide rules. Lumix LX7 photo.

    Riding the Tide. Lumix LX7 photo.

    Riding the Tide. Lumix LX7 photo.

    Tide seats. Lumix LX7 photo.

    Tide seats. Lumix LX7 photo.

  • Tracking the Light posts new material every morning. 

    Subscribe today!

White River Junction, Vermont on June 15, 1985.

It was 30 years ago today that I made this photograph on the platform at White River Junction, Vermont.

The conductor on Central Vermont freight 447 is waiting for his train to pull forward so that he can get on the caboose.

Exposed with a Leica 3A on black & white film.

Exposed with a Leica 3A on black & white film.

That morning T.S. Hoover and I met Ed Beaudette on the platform. Ed supplied us with a line-up, and we made good use of the information. (Thanks Ed!)

After chasing CV 447 north, we returned to White River Junction and followed a southward Boston & Maine freight toward Bellows Falls.

At the end of the day we met George C. Corey at Springfield Union Station (Massachusetts) on the Boston & Albany and photographed the Conrail Office Car Special that was in town for Superintendent E.C. Cross’s retirement.

Tracking the Light posts new material every morning.

Please share Tracking the Light!

http://briansolomon.com/trackingthelight/

CSX Sand Cars Cross the old RF&P at Doswell, Virginia.

Last week, Doug Riddell and I made a visit to the diamond crossing at Doswell, Virginia where the old Chesapeake & Ohio line (now operated by Buckingham Branch but hosts CSX traffic) crosses the former Richmond, Fredericksburg & Potomac mainline.

We arrived just in time to catch an eastbound train. I was fascinated by these short CSX sand hoppers rattling across the diamond.

Exposed with a Fuji X-T1.

Exposed with a Fuji X-T1.

Tracking the Light posts new material every morning.

Please share Tracking the Light!

http://briansolomon.com/trackingthelight/

Railroad Publishing Fiction—Three Stories From The Trenches

For Tracking the Light, I thought I’d prepare some practical tips on how to improve your odds of getting photos published.

As a prelude, I wrote these three short fictional episodes. The characters are all completely made-up, and the scenarios are all imagined. However if you read between the lines, you might find useful a hint to the reality of the matter . . .

Episode 1

Glinty_LUAS_tracks_P1180414

In the Editorial Offices for Über-Art & Railway Journal, the phone rings:

Editor-in-chief, Hello production office, ÜA&RJ enterprises.

Contributor 1, Yo! You need rail pics? I’ve got tons of rail pics.

Editor, Well, we only do one issue a year, and we’re all set through 2018, but what do you have in mind?

Contributor 1, I’ve got lots of wedgies! Every kind of wedgie you’d ever want from the greater Tri-State area!

Editor, Which states are those?

Contributor 1, What? You don’t know? I thought you guys knew it all! The three Biggies! If you want wedgies from the Biggies, I’m your guy.

Editor, We really haven’t had a lot of call for that sort of thing. Maybe you have some glinting rails at sunset?

Contributor 1, Hell no! Don’t waste pixels on that sort rubbish!

Editor, Ok, well, maybe some abstract architectural images?

Contributor 1, No way. Just Wedgies Mac. Three-Quarter Wedgies. That’s what I’ve got. Only the best.

Editor, Right, right, ok so, maybe some pastoral scenery in the background?

Contributor 1, Nope. I crop that stuff out.

Editor, Hmm, well, I think we’re all set. Lots of photos here already. And did I mention, we’re all set through 2028? Oh my, look at the time! Thank you for calling ÜA&RJ enterprises!

 Episode 2

CV Ry Alco S4 at Palmer Jul 13 1986 loco enroute to Boston for NRHS convention Brian Solomon 662720

At the Paste-up desk for All-Engines Magazine.

Art Director, We’ve got issues here! Page 67 needs an effin’ picture and alls we got here is words!

Junior Assistant Editorial Intern, I’m on it boss. I’ll get you a picture right a way. What do you want.

Art Director, Don’t be pestering me with trivia Boy! Just get me an effin’ picture, pronto!

Junior Assistant Editorial Intern, On it boss! Not to worry.

Assistant Layout Artist, Try calling that guy that was around last week, he has all kinds of pictures.

One minute later, down the hall, phone wedged in his ear;

Junior Assistant Editorial Intern, Hey Bud, are you the fellow that has all the Engine-pics?

Contributor 2, Um, well I prefer the term Photographs, but yeah.

Junior Assistant Editorial Intern, Great! Well Bud this is your LUCKY day. Here at A-E Magazine we are looking for your shi . . I mean Photographs. Can you Email me a photo of an engine ASAP. Might use it . . . like on the cover, or something.

Contributor 2, Really? Wow! That’s great! I’ve a shot of an old Norfolk & Western 4-8-0 making lots of steam in front of the Strasburg depot, will that do?

Junior Assistant Editorial Intern, Hold the line Bud, lemme find out . . .

Hand covering phone, the JAEI shouts down the hall, I’ve a got a guy with some-kind of steam engine pic near a station someplace, will that work?

Assistant Layout Artist, See if he has a diesel. Something a bit wedgie-like.

Junior Assistant Editorial Intern, Hey Bud, that steam ain’t gonna cut it, got any diesels?

Contributor 2, Diesels. Oh yes, I’ve got those. A great shot of a Conrail C32-8 bursting out of the State Line . . .

Junior Assistant Editorial Intern, He’s got a Conrail!

Assistant Layout Artist, Get it here, like yesterday!

Junior Assistant Editorial Intern, Hey Bud, that Conrail, that’s what we here at A-E Magazine are looking for. Send that over ASAP! Thanks Bud!

  Episode 3

An Email Exchange:

From: AspiringTrainPhotographer671@SuperRwyDude.dpn

To: Editorinchief@railwayremember.publishing

Dear Sir,

I’m inquiring as your needs and requirements for submission to your publications. I have in my collection a wide range of railway images from across South America, Mongolia, and Iceland, plus a complete photographic roster of every extant railway bridge on the former Cork, Bandon & South Coast. I love your magazine. Last month’s article on the Mallets of Mexico was by far the best treatment on the subject I’ve ever read! Kudos on a job well done. I look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,

ATP671.

From: Editorinchief@railwayremember.publishing

To: AspiringTrainPhotographer671@SuperRwyDude.dpn

Cc: Editorinchief@SouthernHemisphereRails.publishing

Dear ATP,

You timing is perfect. We are preparing a story on railway bridges in Cork for our September 2016 issue. Please send a sample of your material as soon as you can. If you have any vertical views of the Chetwynd Viaduct please send them along, we might find space for those. Also, I’ve forwarded your contact details to the editor of our sister magazine, Southern Hemisphere Rails. You may wish to send them a sample of your work at your leisure.

Yours Truly,

James P. Ledger, Esquire.

The Chetwynd Viaduct, Cork.

The Chetwynd Viaduct, Cork.

Tracking the Light posts new material every morning.

Please share Tracking the Light!

http://briansolomon.com/trackingthelight/

SEPTA Update: Route 15 Trolley Service to be Bustituted!

Twelve New Color Photos!

On Wednesday June 10, 2015, my brother Sean and I took a spin on SEPTA’s PCCs that work Route 15 along Girard Avenue in Philadelphia.

SEPTA PCC passes the Philadelphia Zoo. Exposed with a Lumix LX7.

SEPTA PCC passes the Philadelphia Zoo. Exposed with a Lumix LX7.

Amtrak ACS-64 619 rolls across Girard Avenue on its way toward Philadelphia 30th Street Station. Exposed with a Lumix LX7.

Amtrak ACS-64 619 rolls across Girard Avenue on its way toward Philadelphia 30th Street Station. Exposed with a Lumix LX7.

SEPTA 15 Trolley near the Philadelphia Zoo. Exposed with a Lumix LX7.

SEPTA 15 Trolley near the Philadelphia Zoo. Exposed with a Lumix LX7.

Service notice on-board a SEPTA PCC. Exposed with a Lumix LX7.

Service notice on-board a SEPTA PCC. Exposed with a Lumix LX7.

The cars and stops featured service-notices advising passenger of a scheduled bus replacement due to begin on Sunday June 14 to September 5th.

The reason for this service alteration is necessary track work on approximately two miles of line.

While the cars were running, we made a variety of photographs.

PCC from the PCC. Exposed with a Lumix LX7.

PCC from the PCC. Exposed with a Lumix LX7.

Looking west on Girard Avenue in the smoky afternoon light. Exposed with a Lumix LX7.

Looking west on Girard Avenue in the smoky afternoon light. Exposed with a Lumix LX7.

Photo of an eastbound 15 Trolley exposed with Sean's  Canon SX120.

Photo of an eastbound 15 Trolley exposed with Sean’s Canon SX120.

I noticed a gauzy rosy quality to the afternoon light, which I assumed was typical urban pollution. As it turns out there were wildfires burning in Canada and the smoke had spread across the eastern United States. This was especially noticeably in the late afternoon.

View of a PCC from the standee window on a eastbound car.  Lumix LX7 Photo.

View of a PCC from the standee window on a eastbound car. Lumix LX7 Photo.

Sean watching the trolleys as we take a corner. Lumix LX7 Photo.

Sean watching the trolleys as we take a corner. Lumix LX7 Photo.

Lumix LX7 Photo.

Lumix LX7 Photo.

At the turning loop near the casino. Lumix LX7 Photo.

At the turning loop near the casino. Lumix LX7 Photo.

An outbound PCC catches the smoke-tinted glint. Lumix LX7 Photo.

An outbound PCC catches the smoke-tinted glint. Lumix LX7 Photo.

SEPTA’s Token.

In Philadelphia you can still buy tokens for a reduced fare on public transport. The regular cash fare is $2.25, but tokens are just $1.80 each, or five for nine dollars.

SEPTA token exposed with a Lumix LX7 on June 11, 2015.

SEPTA token exposed with a Lumix LX7 on June 11, 2015.

It’s best though, if you don’t lose the tokens before traveling.

How many other American cities still use this quaint system of fare collection?

Tracking the light posts EVERY DAY!

Don’t miss out, Subscribe! 

Norfolk & Western 611 at Speed.

Sometimes its nice to imply location in a photograph. Here, I was really just interested in making a dramatic image of the equipment. It’s not often you get to experience a modern 4-8-4 roaring at you at 40 mph!

Exposed with a Fujifilm X-T1 digital camera with 18-135mm Fujinon lens set at 116.1mm, f7.1 at 1/500th of a second, ISO 400.

Exposed with a Fujifilm X-T1 digital camera with 18-135mm Fujinon lens set at 116.1mm, f7.1 at 1/500th of a second, ISO 400. The locomotive is eastward near The Plains, Virginia.

Thanks to Pat Yough and Vic Stone for their assistance in finding this location along the Southern Railway.

Tracking the Light posts new material every morning.

Please share Tracking the Light!

http://briansolomon.com/trackingthelight/

Steam in the Window: Palmer Hobbies opened One Year Ago Today

It was one year ago today that Palmer Hobbies on Main Street in Palmer, Massachusetts opened for business.

Palmer_Hobbies_Silo_DSCF7643

Exposed with a Fujifilm X-T1 digital camera.

The other day I stopped in to buy a magazine and I made this photograph of a steam locomotive in the store window.

That’s Main Street beyond.

See: www.palmerhobbies.com

 

Tracking the Light posts new material every morning.

Please share Tracking the Light!

http://briansolomon.com/trackingthelight/

 

Norfolk & Western 611 and its 18 car consist—June 7, 2015 in 20 Photographs!

I was looking for an angle. Actually I saw this view on my first pass through town with Pat Yough on the previous morning.

There were hundreds of folks trackside, dozens up on top of the parking garage, but no one along Grant Avenue in Manassas, Virginia.

Although impressive from every angle, I find that the 611 looks great in profile. Also, I wanted to photograph its train which consisted of several interesting heritage passenger cars.

Vic Stone dropped me on the corner, and I exposed this ordered sequence of images in downtown Manassas using my Fuji X-T1. The exposure was tricky owing to the dark locomotive and the bright morning sky.

Image of 1 of 20.

Image of 1 of 20.

Image 2 of 20. N&W 611's water car.

Image 2 of 20. N&W 611’s water car.

Image 3 of 20.

Image 3 of 20.

Image 4 of 20.

Image 4 of 20.

Image 5 of 20.

Image 5 of 20.

Image 6 of 20.

Image 6 of 20.

Image 7 of 20.

Image 7 of 20.

Image 8 of 20.

Image 8 of 20.

Image 9 of 20.

Image 9 of 20.

Image 10 of 20.

Image 10 of 20.

Image 10 of 20.

Image 11 of 20.

Image 11 of 20.

Image 12 of 20.

Image 12 of 20.

Image 13 of 20.

Image 13 of 20.

Image 14 of 20.

Image 14 of 20.

Image 15  of 20.

Image 15 of 20.

Image 16 of 20.

Image 16 of 20.

Image 17 of 20.

Image 17 of 20.

Image 18 of 20.

Image 18 of 20.

Image 19 of 20.

Image 19 of 20.

Image 20 of 20.

While I anticipated the eventual need to adjust the image of 611, these photos were scaled directly from the in-camera Jpgs. I have reversed the order to convey the sense of the train moving forward.

Do you think I should have started this presentation with the tail car?

Tracking the Light posts new material every morning.

Please share Tracking the Light!

http://briansolomon.com/trackingthelight/

Richmond, Fredericksburg and Potomac: Train 94 June 9, 2015.

Rolling along on the old RF&P Amtrak 94 was gradually losing time as heat and slow orders conspire to ensure I get more train ride for my money.

At Washington D.C. I had to opportunity to stretch my legs and exercise my Lumix LX7 while engines were exchanged; 155 for 636.

On board Amtrak 94.

On board Amtrak 94.

Spotting a friend on the platform at Ashland! Hey Vic!

Spotting a friend on the platform at Ashland! Hey Vic!

Passing Amtrak P42 number 172 on the old RF&P.

Passing Amtrak P42 number 172 on the old RF&P.

Train watchers at Fredericksburg.

Train watchers at Fredericksburg.

Lorton, Virginia where the Auto Train is loaded.

Lorton, Virginia where the Auto Train is loaded.

Alexandria, Virginia as seen from Amtrak 94.

Alexandria, Virginia as seen from Amtrak 94.

DC Metro at King Street, Alexandria, Virginia.

DC Metro at King Street, Alexandria, Virginia.

Private cars at Washington Union Station.

Private cars at Washington Union Station.

Amtrak's ACS-64 610 at Washington Union Station.

Amtrak’s ACS-64 610 at Washington Union Station.

Now north of Washington, flying along under wire!

Tracking the Light posts every day!

 

 

Working on the Roll: Amtrak Train 94

I’m between Richmond and Ashland, Virginia, sorting out hundreds of digital photos exposed over the last few days in Virginia on the way to my next series of destinations.

The great thing about digital photography is the ability to review your results during the trip. The bad thing is the desire to look at your pictures instead of the scenery out the window.

Through the miracle of on-board wi-fi I can post my photos nearly as I make them.

Amtrak 95 June 9, 2015. Exposed with a Lumix LX7.

Amtrak 95 June 9, 2015.
Exposed with a Lumix LX7.

  • Tracking the Light posts new material every morning. 

    Subscribe today!

Significant Images of Railroading—from The Center for Railroad Photography & Art.

 

©_268280

This is a new soft cover book that features a wonderful selection of vintage railroad photographs from the Center’s collection.

There’s a nice mix of dramatic action views of locomotives and trains, sunset silhouettes and glint images, human interest, architecture and scenic panoramas.

While my photography isn’t represented, I am listed among the credits for helping with the book. I’ll admit my participation was fairly minimal, but some years ago I helped scan photographs from the Wallace W. Abbey, Perry Frank Johnson and Leo King collections.

Also, back in 2010, I helped with the driving on a road trip with John Gruber to Minneapolis to collect some of the Abbey collection.

It’s nice to get a mention, and I’ve enjoyed looking at the photographs. Thanks to Scott Lothes, Jack Holzhueter, and Jordan Radke for a job well done!

If you have any interest in railway photography, I think you’ll like this book, and you may be surprised by some of the images within! At $19.95 it’s a bargain. Buy two copies and share the joy.

See: www.railphoto-art.org

 

Tracking the Light Special Post: Happy Birthday Ryan Riddell!

  • Doug Riddell, Pat Yough and I set up near Stony Creek, Virginia to photograph Amtrak’s Silver Star, train 92.
  • Amtrak train 92, the Silver Star north of Stony Creek, Virginia.

    Amtrak train 92, the Silver Star north of Stony Creek, Virginia.

    My aim was to catch Doug waving at his son. Doug Riddell is a retired Amtrak engineer and his son has followed in his footsteps.

  • Ryan and Doug RIddell.

    Ryan and Doug Riddell.

  • On this day 31 years ago, I was preparing for my high school graduation. Where were you?

    Exposed using a Fuji X-T1.

  • Tracking the Light posts new material every morning.

  • Spread the joy, share this post! 

    Subscribe today!