Category Archives: digital photography

Girard Ave—January 21, 2014.

On this day seven years ago, a snow storm hit Philadelphia.

My brother and I went out into the snow to photograph SEPTA’s No. 15 trolley on Girard Avenue and run a few errands.

I made this image using my Canon EOS 7D with 200mm fixed Canon telephoto lens.

f4 at 1/500 sec with 200mm f2.8 lens. Photo adjusted from Canon camera RAW (CR2) using Adobe Lightroom.

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Honk! Honk! —A flock of Wild Geese.

Yesterday, November 25, 2020, we brought a light engine to Conway, NH to help decorate Conway Scenic Railroad for the holiday season.

At Conway, as we were finishing our decorating, I set up to capture the scene with my FujiFilm XT1 with 16-55mm lens, I heard the characteristic honk!-honk!-honk! of migrating geese . . .

I quickly repositioned and readjusted my zoom to incorporated the V-formation of the birds.

After I arrived back in North Conway, I downloaded the files to my MacBook Pro and adjusted this one to post it on Conway Scenic Railroad’s Facebook page and for transmission to the Conway Daily Sun for an up-coming article.

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Photo Freight Crossing the Swift River—Slide Scan

Among the hundreds of 35mm slides returned to me from the processing lab the other day was this Kodak Ektachrome E100 slide of Conway Scenic Railroad 573 and 4266 leading the 2020 Railfan’s Day photo freight that I helped organize.

September 5, 2020 was a perfect clear day with rich blue sky and warm late-summer sun. 

In addition to a great number of digital photographs, I also exposed color slides for slide shows and to keep for posterity.

With slides I get the best of both worlds; analog archival material and a scannable transparency that is easily digitized for internet presentation.

I scanned the slide using a Nikon Super Coolscan5000 scanner, set to 4000 dpi and a ‘White Balance’ color profile.

Below I’ve attached the VueScan control window that shows my various manual settings; the RAW uninterpreted scan of the slide, and the adjusted scan after I altered shadow and highlight contrast and other parameters in Adobe Lightroom.

Hamrick Software’s VueScan work window.

E100 slide, ISO 100 exposed with a Canon EOS3 with 40mm pancake lens. This the un-adjusted scan file. Except for scaling, I made no changes to the slide image.

Adjusted scan; shadow areas were lightened, highlights were lowered, edges of the image were cropped. Plus fine adjustments to color temperature and color balance.

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Boston & Maine 4268 in the Sun: FujiFilm JPG versus Iridient Processed RAW

Last week, Conway Scenic Railroad temporarily evicted former Boston & Maine F7A 4268 from stall 4 at the North Conway, NH roundhouse where the locomotive has been undergoing an operational restoration by the 470 Club (that also owns sister F7A 4266 which is operational at CSRR).

Saturday morning (November 21, 2020) brilliant late-autumn presented excellent light to photograph this relic of mid-20th century dieselization. B&M 4268 was originally an EMD demonstrator and features the builder’s less-common ‘passenger pilot’, which makes it distinctive among B&M’s F-unit.

I made these photos using my FujiFilm X-T1 with recently acquired 16-55mm Fujinon lens. After exposure, I converted the camera-RAW files to DNG format using Iridient X-Transformer software, which does a more effective job of transforming these files for conversion by Adobe Lightroom, than either Lightroom itself or other image processing software.

After conversion, I imported the DNG files into Lightroom and made some minor adjustments to color temperature, contrast, and highlight/shadow detail plus saturation.

Below are examples of the in-camera FujiFilm JPG (using Velvia color profile, and a comparison DNG file converted from RAW using the Iridient software.

All photos were then scaled and exported using Lightroom. 

Scaled and watermarked but otherwise un-modified JPG file exposed with the Velvia color profile using my FujiFilm XT1.
Camera RAW file converted to a DNG file using Iridient X-Transformer and then imported into Lightroom for adjustment to color temp, contrast, and exposure)
Scaled and watermarked but otherwise un-modified JPG file exposed with the Velvia color profile using my FujiFilm XT1.

Camera RAW file converted to a DNG file using Iridient X-Transformer and then imported into Lightroom for adjustment to color temp, contrast, and exposure)

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Final 2020 Mountaineer

Saturday, November 14, 2020, Conway Scenic Railroad operated its final Mountaineer of the 2020 operating season. As scheduled, this ran from North Conway to Crawford, Notch, New Hampshire and return.

Historically CSRR ceased operations over Crawford Notch earlier in the season.

I used this rare late-season move over the former Maine Central Mountain Division to make some unusual photos. Bare leaf-less trees allow for views that are unobtainable during the summer and early autumn.

During the course of the operating season, I’d made several head-end trips and Hyrail inspections of the line to look for angles. Some of the finest locations I found are a long way from public highways. 

For this photo of eastward train 162, I climbed to an elevated point, and used my FujiFilm XT1 with 12mm Zeiss Touit lens.

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Mansfield—Then and Now—Two Photos, 34 years.

My recent visit to Mansfield, Massachusetts led me to recall visits there back in the mid-1980s.

Thursday evening, I started digging through my negative6s from 1985-1988, of which there are thousands.

I ritually worked with a Rollei Model T, exposing 120 size B&W roll film with a ‘Super Slide’ adapter that gave me 16 645-size negatives per individual roll.

On August 19, 1986, photographer Bob Karambelas and I visited Mansfield on a whirlwind rainy day tour of south eastern Massachusetts.

This was more than a decade before the North East Corridor was electrified, and a dozen years prior to the demise of Conrail.

I’ve included a digital photo from my earlier post ‘Purple Trains’ and a single frame from a roll of Kodak Tri-X exposed on that day. I processed the Tri-X in Kodak D76.

Mansfield, Massachusetts on August 19, 1986.
Almost the exact same location in November 2020.

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Sunbursts at Buzzards Bay.

After departing Cape Cod in early November, we paused near the massive lift bridge and old station and signal tower at Buzzards Bay, Massachusetts.

The railroad was quiet, but I made a few photos of the structures there using my Nikon Z6 mirrorless digital camera.

Setting the aperture to its smallest position—f22—allowed me to make sunbursts silhouetts with the midday sun.

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MBTA at Walpole.

In conjunction with line works on the west end of MBTA’s Franklin Branch, weekend trains were terminating at Walpole, Massachusetts with bus connections to Norfolk, Franklin and Forge Park.

The old passenger station is still in use at this location.

Here, the Franklin Branch crosses the former New Haven Railroad Old Colony line that runs between Mansfield and Framingham, Massachusetts on a traditional diamond.

More than 30 years ago I visited Walpole on several occasions to photograph trains passing the steam era semaphores that still protected the diamond.

These photos were made in November 2020 using my Nikon Z6 mirrorless digital camera.

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Working on the Franklin Branch.

It’s been a long time since the White Train passed this way.

At one time, many years ago MBTA’s Franklin Branch was the New York & New England main line, which was then a double track line through Norfolk, Massachusetts.

When Kris Sabbatino and I paid a visit to Norfolk a week ago, Keolis track crews were busily working on the line installing a second main track.

So, I wonder, when will the line be extended west to restore the Inland route via Blackstone, Putnam and Willimantic to New Haven?

Photos exposed with a Nikon Z6.

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Eight Photos! Special Mountaineer—November 9, 2020.

On November 9, 2020, Conway Scenic Railroad operated a special Mountaineer for the benefit of its employees and their guests. This used a foreshortened consist and departed earlier than normal, It proceeded west under clear sunny skies where it made a stop at Bartlett, NH to pause for passengers and to collect catered meals.

Upon arrival at Crawford Station, GP35 216 ran around, while we had the opportunity to make photos. After this short stop, the special then proceeded eastbound and made a second stop at the site of the Mount Willard Section House­-onetime home to the famous Evans Family.

Here I made a number of unusual photos while the train was tied down on the Willey Brook Bridge.

Bartlett, NH.
Westbound near mp83.
Running around at Crawford.

Crawford.

Willey Brook Bridge near the old site of the Mount Willard Section House (seen to the right of the train)
Panoramic composite at Willey Brook Bridge.
Willey Brook Bridge.

All photos were exposed using my FujiFilm XT1 digital camera.

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Evening Light on an FL9 and an RDC

Last week was warm with sunny skies. Unseasonably warm.

One evening while exploring Cape Cod, Kris Sabbatino and I paid a visit to the Cape Cod Central at Hyannis where I made these views of a former New Haven Railroad FL9 (painted to resemble its as-delivered appearance) and an old RDC built for Boston & Maine.

In an earlier Tracking the Light post, I speculated if Conway Scenic Railroad’s former New Haven Railroad RDC 23 Millie ever visited the NHRR line that once extended to Provincetown.

So far my investigations have determined that while NHRR 23 almost certainly visited the New Haven stations at Hyannis and Woods Hole, which were regular destinations for NHRR’s RDC runs, it is far less likely that it strayed as far as Provincetown, because NHRR RDCs rarely went that far.

In a similar line of inquiry: did the former B&M car pictured here ever work Boston & Maine’s North Conway Branch? Many of B&M’s cars had visited North Conway over the years, and some even worked over Crawford Notch!

I’m curious to know more.

Exposed digitally using a Nikon Z6 mirrorless digital camera and processed with Adobe Lightroom.

Exposed digitally using a Nikon Z6 mirrorless digital camera and processed with Adobe Lightroom.

Tracking the Light Posts Daily!

Millie at Work!

During the relatively quiet days mid-week in November, Conway Scenic has assigned RDC 23 Millie to work Valley Train runs to Conway and Bartlett. This will continue Monday-Thursday until Thanksgiving.

This former is former New Haven RDC 23, that later worked for Penn Central, Amtrak, Metro-North, and Susquehanna

Working with my FujiFilm XT1 digital camera, I made these views on Tuesday November 10, 2020 while the car was in service at North Conway, New Hampshire.

As I’ve been digging through my older photos, I’ve searched for photos of Mille working for one of its former owners, but so far have only found photos of its sister cars.

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Vestiges of the New Haven Railroad on Cape Cod

At one time an extension of the New Haven Railroad’s Old Colony Division reached all the way around Cape Cod to the historic fishing village at Provincetown, Massachusetts.

Last weekend my girlfriend and fellow photographer, Kris Sabbatino brought me to Pamet Beach in Truro, where the railroad had once crossed the Pamet River on a trestle (near the site of the former Truro Station).

Pamet River, Truro, Massachusetts. Exposed with a Nikon Z6 mirrorless digital camera.
Pamet River, Truro, Massachusetts. Exposed with a Nikon Z6 mirrorless digital camera.
The old New Haven Railroad right-of-way compass south of the old Truro station location.

We made photos of the vestiges of the right-of-way and did our best to trace the line.

At Conway Scenic Railroad, our Budd RDC ‘Millie’ is a former New Haven car. This was built in 1952, several years before the line to Provincetown was abandoned. Standing on the beach in the fading light of sunset, I wondered if Millie ever crossed the trestle at Pamet?

Sunset at the Pamet River, Truro, Massachusetts. Exposed with a Nikon Z6 mirrorless digital camera.

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Yellow Cars-Gold Line

Using my FujiFilm XT1, I made this photo on First Street when visiting Los Angeles in August 2016.

I was pleased to catch then-new cars working the Metro Rail Gold Line light rail line.

Below are two variations. The top is the in-camera JPG, using the ‘Velvia’ color profile. The second view I converted from Fuji RAW to DNG format with Iridient X-Transformer (a specialized 3rd party software aimed at producing superior results with Fuji RAW files) before importing into Lightroom for final adjustment.

In-camera JPG using ‘Veliva’ color profile.
DNG file converted from Fuji RAW using Iridient X-Transformer.Notice the superior shadow detail.

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Purple Train in November Sun

As a follow up to yesterday’s Tracking the Light post, here’s a photograph at the same location exposed a few minutes later of a northward MBTA commuter train from Providence, Rhode Island, passing Mansfield, Massachusetts.

I exposed this photo with my FujiFilm XT1 moments after the train made its Mansfield Station stop. The HSP46 diesel-electric locomotive is at the back of the push-pull consist.

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Amtrak at 150 mph!

At Mansfield, Massachusetts, Amtrak’s Acela Express trains are allowed up to 150 mph.

The other day, Kris Sabbatino and I stopped by the former New Haven Railroad Shoreline Route to witness these high-speed trains in motion.

We caught Amtrak train number 2167 (Boston -Wash D.C.) approaching maximum speed.

This gave a short blast before passing the MBTA station platforms, which provided a few seconds advance warning.

Working with my FujiFilm XT1 set for ‘Turbo-flutter’—what I call the fast motor drive ‘continuous high’ setting—I exposed a burst of three digital images as the train raced by.

My shutter was set to 1/2000th of a second.

I converted the RAW files using Iridient X-Transformer image conversion software that makes these into DNG files for adjustment by Adobe Lightroom.

Below are the three closest images in sequence.

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November Work Extra—Six Photos

Yesterday, November 3, 2020, Conway Scenic Railroad operated a work extra on its Conway Branch.

I followed this train by road and exposed photos along the way using my FujiFilm XT1 with 16-55mm Fujinon lens.

Working with the camera RAW files, I used a program called Iridient X-Transformer to convert the files to a DNG format before importing these into Adobe Lightroom for adjustment.

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NOVEMBER 4, 2019—Nearly ONE YEAR AGO.

How a year goes by! November 4th last year sticks in my mind as one of the best nights for rainy night photography in a very long time.

I’d caught up with fellow poor-weather nocturnal photographers, Jay Monaghan, Paul Maguire and Kevin O’Brien at Drumcondra in Dublin to catch the elusive Irish Rail ‘HOBS’ (ballast train) hauled by General Locomotives diesel 075.

It was cold and sluicing rain.

After catching the ballast passing Drumcondra station, we nipped across town by rail to Sandymount, where we waited in the rain for another shot.

Working with my Fujifilm XT1 I made these memorable images.

Now, armed with Iridient X-Transformer, I went back to last year’s success and re-interpreted some of my favorite images from that damp Irish evening, which now seems so distant.

Tracks in the rain at Drumcondra, Dublin.
Irish Rail 075 leads the HOBS at Drumcondra on November 4, 2019.
A DART suburban train pauses at Sandymount, Dublin.
Irish Rail’s HOBS against the backdrop of the Lansdowne Road stadium.
The low resonating road of the 12-645E3 diesel fading into the gloom concludes Irish Rail’s HOBS passage at Sandymount on the evening of November 4, 2019.

Tracking the Light Publishes Daily!

[Note: my intent was to publish this on November 4, 2020, but when composing the post I accidentally posted it immediately. My efforts to reschedule the post had the net effect of disrupting the link. So I’ve reposted it this morning (Tuesday November 3).]

Frankenstein on Halloween!

Where better to photograph a train on Halloween than Frankenstein trestle?

This afternoon, Kris Sabbatino and I ventured to this iconic landmark to catch the eastward Conway Scenic Mountaineer.

Mount Washington seen to the right of the train was covered in fresh autumn snow.

The bridge is named for the nearby cliffs, which were named not for the characters of Mary Shelley’s fictional story, but rather for the family of German artists that painted landscapes of the Mount Washington Valley in the 19th Century.

Exposed using my FujiFilm XT1 with 16-55mm lens.

Tracking the Light Posts Daily

Something Spooky for Halloween!

Lost in the woods of northern New Hampshire is this relic of an era—all but lost to time.

The long-abandoned Maplewood Station served resort traffic on Boston & Maine’s Bethlehem Branch, a short railway built as narrow gauge in the late 19th century and later converted to four foot eight and a half inches.

By the 1920s, New England railroading was already in decline, and this branch was one of the earliest class I abandonments. Yet the old station building survived.

On the advice of Wayne Duffett, Kris Sabbatino and I made a foray into the forest to find this hollow spectre of railroading, languishing like a sad old ghost, and soon to crumble back into the earth.

I made these digital photos variously using my FujiFilm XT1 with 12mm Zeiss Touit and Nikon Z6 with 24-70mm Nikkor zoom.

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Wanders With Millie

Old Millie is Conway Scenic’s Budd RDC. This car is a former New Haven Railroad RDC built back in 1952.

Earlier this week Millie had finished its 92-day inspection and needed to go for a test run before she enters service next week on the Valley run.

My parents were visiting from Massachusetts, so a group of us including Kris and Sharon Sabbatino and Conway Scenic’s Train Master and Road Foreman of Engines, Mike Lacey, went for wander with Millie down the Conway Branch.

We stopped on the way down and again on the way back.

If all goes to plan, Mille will be working the 1115 Conway and 1245 Bartlett trains Monday – Thursday up until Thanksgiving.

I made these photos using my Nikon Z6 Mirrorless camera.

Moat Brook Bridge.
Moat Brook Bridge.
photo by Kris Sabbatino.
Conway station.

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Belfast, Maine—1980-1997-2020

I wasn’t prepared for what I saw last month when Kris Sabbatino and I re-visited Belfast, Maine.

In 1980, my father and I paid two visits to Belfast, one of which involved a train ride to Burnham Junction and back on the Belfast & Moosehead Lake freight. On those trips I made photos of B&ML’s yard and roundhouse on black & white film using my Leica IIIA.

In August 1997, I revisited Belfast, and found the B&ML yard intact, but ghostly quiet.

I’d read that the good citizens of Belfast despised the railroad yard and its environment and that they had evicted the railroad that the city had once owned.

I was shocked of how completely this quaint delightful compact railroad yard along the Belfast waterfront had been so totally erased from the scene. It has been replaced with a sandy parking lot.

I was unprepared because I had not brought with me the photos from my earlier visits. I found it very difficult to recall exactly where I had stood. The landmarks I knew existed only in my head.

The tracks, the structures, the trains and the character of the environment that I seen in my earlier visits were now gone.

Sadly, I’ll need to return again with my earlier photos in hand and attempt a more accurate series of ‘then and now’ images.

The views below are looking north. My attempts to recreate the roundhouse scenes looking west are not good enough to reproduce here.

August 1980
August 1997
September 2020
September 2020

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Helsinki Airport Train—three digital interpretations.

Going back over my Fuji digital files from 2015, I’ve selected this image of a VR Group Stadler railcar working the then-new Helsinki Airport train at Leinelá, Finland.

Below are three interpretations of the same image exposed using my FujiFilm XT1. The first is the In-camera JPG without color correction or alteration except for scaling and watermark.

The second is the Fuji RAW file imported and adjusted strictly using Lightroom.

The third is the Fuji RAW file first converted using Iridient X-Transformer and then imported into Lightroom where I implemented the same color and contrast corrections.

One minor difference with this Iridient interpretation is that I turned off the the feature that automatically corrects for lens distortion, chromatic aberration, and vignetting. So this gives a slightly less invasive digital interpretation and a truer sense of the visual information as recorded by the sensor.

FujiFilm X-T1 in-camera JPG.
Fuji RAW file interpreted by Lightroom with my color and contrast adjustments.
Fuji RAW file converted to a DNG file using Iridient X-Transformer and then imported into Lightroom. Same color and contrast adjustments as the Lightroom converted RAW file above (2nd photo). However there are no digitally applied corrections for lens distortion, chromatic aberration, and vignetting. Iridient will correct for these lens characteristics but I opted to turn the correction feature off for this comparison.

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Swiss Stadler at Champery.

The ability to improve my interpretation of Fuji RAW files using Iridient X-Transformer made me curious to re-examine some of my Fuji photos from years gone by.

I selected a photo that I made on trip to Switzerland with photographer Denis McCabe in April 2017. This image was made at the Champery terminus of a TPC branch that extends into the Alps from Aigle. 

Here I’ve presented a comparison between the Lightroom interpreted RAW (scaled and converted to JPG for internet presentation) and the same file converted into a DNG file using Iridient X-Transformer. Since it is difficult to appreciate the improved sharpness when viewed on a small scale, I’ve enlarged a portion of each image that focuses on the LED lamps and rivets on the then new Stadler railcar.

The final image was derived from the Iridient converted DNG and involved nominal adjustments to color balance, color temperature, contrast and saturation that are aimed a making a more pleasing final photograph.

Unmodified Fuji RAW file imported into Lightroom and exported as a Jpg.
Enlarged crop of the above Fuji RAW file.

This image is derived from the same Fuji RAW file but converted into a DNG file by Iridient X Transformer before being scaled as a JPG file in Lightroom. There were no changes to color, contrast or level.
Enlarged detail of the Iridient converted file. Notice the improved clarity around the lights, rivets and small writing on the side of the railcar as compared with the Lightroom interpreted RAW above.

Final processed photograph using the DNG file converted from Fuji RAW and then adjusted for color balance, color temperature, contrast, saturation and level in Lightroom before being outputted as a JPG for internet presentation.

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Fujinon 16-55mm X-Mount Lens

Last month my 18-135mm Fujinon zoom for my XT1 digital camera suffered a failure.

To replace this lens, I’ve bought a secondhand 16-55mm f2.8 Fujinon X-mount zoom.

Although it has a shorter range, this is a better lens overall,

It arrived last Friday (October 23, 2020).

I’ve been testing it over the last few days, and thus far I’m very pleased with the results.

I’ve found it to be very sharp throughout the range. It has excellent color and seems largely free from aberrations. It has manual aperture control and is easy to control.

Below is a selection of images that I’ve made with it of Conway Scenic’s Valley Train.

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Nature with the Nikon Z6

Over the last few weeks I’ve been experimenting with my new Nikon Z6.

Last weekend, Kris Sabbatino and I spent the afternoon photographing along the headwaters of the Saco River in Crawford Notch, New Hampshire.

Among the useful features of this camera is the adjustable rear display and touch screen, which combine with easily adjustable focus points makes low angle close focus photography.

Below is small selection of my nature photos from last weekend.

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Pan Am POED Five Years Ago

On this day five years ago (October 23, 2015), I photographed Pan Am symbol freight POED crossing the Connecticut River at East Deerfield, Massachusetts.

I was working with my first FujiFilm XT1 with 18-135mm Fujinon zoom.

This image is scaled from the in-camera JPG exposed using the Velvia color profile—designed by Fuji to emulate the color palette and contrast of its popular color slide film of the same brand name.

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Bord na Mona—October 2019

October is my favorite time of year for photography. Relatively low sun with rapidly changing weather, and rusty foliage help make it a continually changing canvas. It is a time of change, when summer fades and winter begins.

I was reviewing my photos exposed just about a year ago on a visit to the Irish narrow gauge Bord na Mona with photographers Mark Healy and Aidan Vickers. This was one of several autumnal explorations of the peat hauling railways in the boglands of Ireland last year.

On this one day I made photos on both the Lanesborough and Shannonbridge networks.

At the time the Bord na Mona was enjoying an Indian Summer. We caught a variety of trains on the move, but the writing was on the wall for these once very active industrial lines.

Photos exposed using my FujiFilm XT1.

Mount Dillon, County Longford.
Empty train at Lanesborough, County Longford.

Dredging boat in the Royal Canal with Bord na Mona bridge north of Killashee ,County Longford.
Old Bord na Mona locomotive at Blackwater, County Offaly.
Old Bord na Mona locomotive at Blackwater, County Offaly.
Crossovers near Shannonbridge, County Offaly.

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SUN, SNOW AND AUTUMN LEAVES AT FABYAN.

Below are a few more photos from last Saturday’s 470 Club Special over the Maine Central Mountain Division.

Heavy early season snow made for a cosmic setting at Fabyan, NH where the locomotives ran around the train for the return run to North Conway.

Conway Scenic Railroad’s track patrol wasn’t as impressed with the snow as the passengers on the special. Prior to the train’s arrival at Fabyan, the members of the patrol had to remove numerous fallen trees which had succumbed to the weight of the early season snow.

Sun at Fabyan made for some interesting photo opportunities.

These images were exposed using my FujiFilm XT1. Fuji RAW files were converted to DNG format using Iridient X-Transformer and adjusted using Adobe Lightroom.

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First Snow!

The highlight of yesterday’s 470 Club Special Autumn Express to Fabyan, New Hampshire was the dusting of snow on late season foliage at Crawford Notch.

I arranged for a photo stop at the site of the Mount Willard Section House where we performed a photo ‘run by’ over the famous Willey Creek Bridge.

I exposed these photos using my FujiFilm XT1 with 27mm pancake lens.

RAW files were converted to DNG format with Iridient X-Transformer and then processed using Adobe Lightroom to adjust color temperature, saturation and contrast,

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Wednesday Work Extra

Last Wednesday, October 14, 2020, Conway Scenic operated a work extra to Conway to assist with preparations for the annual Pumpkin Patch event being held for the next three weekends.

The train was organized with relatively little advanced notice, and the only available locomotive was former Boston & Maine F7A 4266, owned by the 470 Club. Our other locomotives were out on passenger assignments or out of service awaiting repairs or maintenance.

Since the cab of the locomotive was facing railroad timetable west, the decision was made to use a caboose as a shoving platform and the train reversed from North Conway down the former B&M branch to Conway.

I made these photos using my FujiFilm XT1 with 27mm pancake lens. Fuji RAW files were converted to DNG files using Iridient X Transformer and then imported into Adobe Lightroom for final adjustment.

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Foliage at Mp79 and Iridient Comparison.

Yesterday, October 15, 2020, I made a late season foliage photo of Conway Scenic Railroad’s Mountaineer descending from Crawfords at milepost 79 near the Arethusa Falls grade crossing.

Working with my FujiFilm XT1 and 90mm prime telephoto, I set the ISO to 1000. I needed relatively high sensitivity because I was working in the shadows of the trees and mountain side and wanted a sufficiently fast shutter speed to freeze the motion of the train, while using a smaller aperture to minimize headlight bleed.

Then I imported the Fuji RAW files directly into Adobe Lightroom for processing, while making a comparison set of files by importing them first into Iridient X-Transformer which converts the files to a DNG format and then imported these into Lightroom.

As previously described on Tracking the Light, the Iridient software does a superior job of interpreting the Fuji RAW files.

See comparisons below.

Fuji RAW file processed by Adobe Lightroom and adjusted for color balance and saturation in post processing.
Fuji RAW file processed by Iridient X-Transformer and adjusted for color balance and saturation in post processing.
Close up of the Fuji RAW processed by Adobe Lightroom.
Close up of the Fuji RAW processed by Iridient X-Transformer. Notice the superior clarity of hard edges and better definition at the edge of the headlights.

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October Rainbow

Last week on my way to work at the North Conway, NH station, a magnificent rainbow graced the morning sky.

Rainbows are often fleeting, lasting only a few moments, yet this one hung in the sky for about a half an hour.

I made these photos using my new Nikon Z6 mirrorless digital camera.

After exposure I downloaded the camera and imported the camera RAW files (NEF) into Adobe Lightroom for processing.

I made nominal adjustments to color temperature, contrast and color saturation, then output the files as scaled JPGs while adding my watermark.

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Cobh Branch October 2014

Working with my Canon EOS7D, on October 7, 2014, I made these photos of a Cobh-bound Irish Rail 2600-series railcar pausing at Rushbrook, Co. Cork.

Irish Rail’s Ken Fox was giving me a detailed tour of the line.

I made my first visit to the Cobh Branch in 1999. The same 2600-series railcars worked it then, but in a bright orange, black and white livery.

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