Category Archives: black and white film

Monochrome Millie—Four Photos

Conway Scenic Railroad’s Budd Company RDC-1 is named ‘Millie’.

A month ago, I organized a training exercise and publicity trip with this single-unit self propelled car.

In addition to digital photos and video, I exposed a few black & white photos of the car in the yard at North Conway.

For these images I used Fomapan 100 Classic loaded in a Nikon F3 with f1.8 50mm lens.

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The Old Mountain at Steep Falls, Maine.

The former Maine Central Mountain Division across Maine is a disused, but largely intact relic of former times.

On Saturday, June 6, 2020, Kris Sabbatino and I inspected portions of this former main line on our return from Portland.

I made these photos at Steep Falls on Fomapan 100 Classic with a Nikkormat FT.

Route 113 crossing at Steep Falls.
Looking toward Portland, Maine.
Looking toward St. Johnsbury, Vermont.

I processed the film on Sunday using split development for maximum tonality: HC110 1-300 for 9 minutes at 71F followed by ID11 1-1 for 6 minutes 68F.

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Revisiting Rigby Yard in 2020

I made my first visit to Rigby Yard in Portland back about 1983 using directions provided to me by the late Bob Buck of Tucker’s Hobbies of Warren, Massachusetts.

Over the weekend, I traveled with Kris Sabbatino and retraced my steps to Rigby.

Working with a Nikkormat FT with 105mm telephoto, I exposed this view on Fomapan 100 Classic black & white film, which I then processed yesterday. To obtain a greater sense of depth and texture, I aimed through some tall grass in the foreground, while focusing on the Pan Am Railways EMD diesels in the distance.

Using split development with twin development bath, I produced negatives that were ideal for scanning.

My recipe: Kodak HC110 mixed 1-300 with water and a drop of Photoflo for 9 minutes at 70 F (with minimal agitation); then Ilford ID-11 1-1 with water for 5 minutes 30 seconds (agitating very gently for three inversions once a minute); stop, twin fix bath, rinse, perm awash, 10 minute wash, and final rinse in distilled water.

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Remnant of the B&H two foot Gauge at Harrison, Maine.

The common-carrier Maine two-foot gauge railroads vanished from the scene many moons ago.

A couple of months back, Dwight Smith pointed me to photo hanging on the wall of the North Conway ticket office that shows himself on a Bridgton & Harrison train. “That was taken of me eighty years ago when I was 15.” Well that sort of puts things in perspective!

So on a recent photography adventure with Kris Sabbatino, we paused at Harrison, Maine, the most northerly point on the defunct Bridgton & Harrison. Using my smart phone, I summoned a vintage USGS topographical map from the University of New Hampshire collection and used this to locate where the railroad had been.

We checked a few locations, before I spotted this old causeway and bridge abutments.

Exposed using my FujiFilm XT1.

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Southern Pacific at Troy, California—July 1991.

I’d left San Francisco in the wee hours of the morning and drove to the Sierra.

In the early hours of July 14, 1991, an SP eastward freight ascending Donner Pass had stalled near Alta. This resulted in a pair of following eastward freights being held; one at Colfax and one near Alta.

This was the second of two following freights, which developed its own difficulties at Gold Run when the train went into ‘emergency’.

I made the most of SP’s difficult time, by photographing the procession of trains at various points on The Hill (as Donner was known).

As the summer sun approached midday, I drove to Troy, where I’d previously scoped out this high vantage point with a commanding vista.

My project for the day was to find ways of suitably using the harsh high light in the Sierra, conditions that had been vexing me.

This was among my more successful images. Working with my old Leica M2 with 50mm Summicron, I exposed Ilford FP4 that I later processed using Edwal FG7 developer. At the back was a two unit helper. The sounds of EMD 645 diesels toiling in ‘Run-8’ (full throttle) was impressive and not soon forgotten.

Many of my other images from the day were exposed on Kodachrome 25, some using a circular polarizing filter as a means to mitigate the effects of Sierra high light. I’ll save those for another day.

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Mount Webster from the Time Before.

In August 1984, on my first solo visit to Montreal I spent an afternoon at Central Station hanging around in the tower and photographing train-movements in and out of this busy terminal.

Among the numerous fascinating photos I made that day was this view of CN multiple unit 6749 with a commuter train to/from Duex Montagnes, Quebec.

Today, old CN 6749 is Conway Scenic Railroad’s Mount Webster, a snack car known to employees as ‘the table’ car since it was retrofitted with tables and a snack counter.

I spent Monday measuring and mapping this same car to prepare seating charts for Conway Scenic’s 2020 season.

I never could have imagined on that August day so long ago that I’d be working with 6749 in New Hampshire.

Same car; different time.

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Conway Scenic 7470 Gone Retro—August 2019.

Last night, I was inspecting scans of some black & white negatives from last summer that are stored on my hard drive.

These are some photos from a Sunday morning in early August at North Conway, New Hampshire of locomotive 7470.

All of these are from a roll of Fuji Acros 100, exposed with a Nikon F3 with 50mm lens and processed with split-bath/multi-stage development using a weak bath of HC110 followed by Rodinal for primary development.

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An SD45 Emerges from the Mists of Time.

Just now I was searching for another photo, and I came across this scan from a 35mm black & white negative that I exposed in June 1989.

This was on a routine trip to East Deerfield. It was a foggy morning, as mists clung to the Connecticut River Valley and over Boston & Maine’s sprawling yards behind me.

I was standing at the famous ‘Railfans Bridge’ where countless thousands of photos were exposed over the years (and that’s just my personal collection, not to mention all the photos made by countless other photographers).

I was working with my father’s M3 fitted with a 90mm Leitz telephoto.

At the time, a long-hood forward SD45 at this common location probably didn’t rate my A-list. Yet any SD45 on the move would have warranted my attention.

Look at the old B&M phone box to the left of the locomotives.

When I revue my old photos, I am routinely surprised how the common has become cool.

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Genesee & Wyoming Alco RS-1.

Working with a Calumet 4x5in camera, I exposed this single frame of black & white film (probably Kodak Tri-X) at the Genesee & Wyoming shops in Retsof, New York on February 10, 1988.

The old RS-1 was stored out of service at the time in its bicentennial paint.

I tray processed the film in a diluted solution of Kodak D76.

Several years ago I scanned this image and dozens of other 4×5 black & white photos using an Epson V750 scanner.

This image, while scaled, represents the unadjusted 4×5 scan.

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Central Vermont at Palmer—May 17, 1985.

This was a common scene in the mid-1980s; Central Vermont’s southward road freight with a large collection of GP9s crossing the Palmer diamond.

What I find remarkable looking at this image is how few trees were around the tracks back then as compared with today.

At the bottom is a view of the New England Central at the same location a few weeks ago.

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Happy Birthday Conrail!

Conrail began operations on April 1, 1976.

On May 14, 1985, I photographed this Conrail GP10 with a former Pennsylvania Railroad caboose working as a local freight toward its interchanged with Pioneer Valley Railroad at Westfield, Massachusetts.

The location is just west of milepost 107 in Westfield. At the right is my father’s 1978 Ford Grenada, which was the car I drove a lot before getting my own set of wheels in 1986.

At the time of this photograph, Conrail rarely assigned GP10s to its New England Division locals, which makes this a relatively unusual photo in my collection.

My new book Conrail and its Predecessors published by Kalmbach Books will be available soon!

https://kalmbachhobbystore.com/product/book/01309

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Top of the Boston & Albany—May 1985.

In the mid-1980s, my friends and I would convene at Washington Summit on Conrail’s former Boston & Albany mainline.

Located in the Berkshires, several miles timetable east of the old station at Hinsdale, the summit offered a good view in both directions and a pleasant, quiet place to wait for trains.

On this May 1985 afternoon, the chugging of an eastward freight could be heard for several miles before it came into view. I opted to frame the train with the Top of the B&A sign.

This sign was replaced in the 1990s; Conrail was divided by CSX and Norfolk Southern in 1999; the old Bullards Road over bridge (seen in the distance) was removed in 2003; and the trees have grown much taller. So there’s not much left of this scene today, although the tracks are still there.

Exposed on black & white film using a Leica 3A with Canon f1.8 50mm lens.

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SPV2000 at Windsor Locks May 1985.

I made this photograph at Windsor Locks, Connecticut showing a southward Amtrak SPV2000 making its station stop.

The Budd SPV2000s only worked this Amtrak ‘branch’ for about six years and during that time they were rarely photographed.

Lets just say, I’ve seen more of my own photographs of these cars on the Springfield-New Haven run than all other published views of the cars. (And I only have a few photos).

It’s too bad. I thought the cars looked pretty cool. And they were fun to ride on. Plus, you never knew when one might show up hauled by an Alco RS-3 or some other locomotive!

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ALCO RS-3 Westfield, MASSACHUSETTS.

On May 14, 1985, I exposed this photo of Pioneer Valley Railroad’s stored RS-3 203 at the railroad’s Westfield, Massachusetts yard.

PVRR was one of the Pinsley-owned railroads.

In 1985, my photographic efforts were supported by a shoe-string budget. I’d buy bulk 100-foot rolls of 35mm black & white film to roll my own cassettes. At the time I was working with a 1938-vintage Leica 3A with a screw-mount Cannon f1.8 50mm lens.

I’d process the film at college using Kodak D76.

Three decades later I’d scan the negatives. I have hundreds of rolls from that era picturing thousands of scenes, most of which can never be repeated.

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O’Connell Street in the Rain.

Dublin November 4, 2019:.I was heading to Drumcondra to meet the lads for an evening of railroad photography.

At O’Connell Street, I needed to change from one bus to another.

It was dusk.

The swollen winter sky opened and a cold rain cascaded down like a tsunami.

Working with a Nikon F3 fitted with a 50mm lens and loaded with Rollei Retro 80S, I made a single exposure.

This is it.

There’s something about the split composition, the depth afforded by the exceptional glossy wet evening, the shadowy figures with umbrellas, and the looming bus that works for me like few photos emanating from my camera in a long time. 

Since mid-November, I’ve had this as the opening photo on my Facebook page.

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Monochrome: Steam in the Snow on Czech Film

During last month’s Steam in the Snow event at the Conway Scenic Railroad sponsored by the Massachusetts Bay Railroad Enthusiasts, I made a lot of digital photos and some video footage in my capacity as the railroad’s Manager, Marketing and Events.

But that wasn’t all.

Working with my Nikon F3 and a 50mm lens, I also exposed some Fomapan 100 Classic black & white film.

I first sampled this film on a trip to the Czech Republic in October 2016. I like the tonality and classic black & white appearance of this emulsion when processed in Ilford ID11 1-1. To boost shadow detail, I let the film pre-soak in a very weak bath of HC110 and Kodak Photoflo before primary processing.

Here’s a sample of my images.

Coming up soon, Conway Scenic will be running more trains in the snow. The railroad plans to run seven round trips a day from February 15th to 29th using Budd RDC number 23 Millie. The first trip departs North Conway at 730am and trains will run every 90 minutes to Attitash.

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Queens, New York April 1979—Seeking GG1s.

We were fascinated by the antique streamlined electrics.

Remarkably, in 1979 many of the steam-era former Pennsylvania Railroad behemoths were still in traffic.

Amtrak and New Jersey Department of Transportation both had GG1s on their active roster.

Sunnyside Yard was a great place to see these once magnificent machines.

Sunnyside Yard, Queens, NY April 1979.

Amtrak GG1 927 was dressed in platinum mist with a red stripe. Very 1970s.

Most fascinating was motor 4876, which on January 15, 1953 had led the Federal Express into Washington Union Station—a famously spectacular runaway that sent the GG1 crashing through the station; sinking through the concourse floor and into the basement of the station. The accident was pictured in newspapers across the nation. And in 1979, the old beast was awaiting assignment.

Here’s an adjusted scan from my original 35mm black & white negatives. Old 4876 was in a prominent position for photography.

I enlarged this scan to bring in the famous Twin Towers of the World Trade Center.

Working with my Leica, I exposed a variety of photos around Sunnyside yard on a visit with my family. Never mind Disney, I though Sunnyside Yard was the coolest place to be.

While I’ve run one or two of these photos previously, those images were taken from prints. I’ve recently located more the negatives from that day, nearly 41 years ago, and scanned them.

Notice the World Trade Center’s Twin Towers to the left of 4876. Kind of a cool juxtaposition.

Here’s another enlarged view that shows a Long Island Rail Road local switching. There’s a lot to digest in this view. Exciting stuff for a 13 year old obsessed by locomotives, epic urban city scapes, and post industrial settings.

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Conrail 6619 on the Boston & Albany.

I made this image while hiking the line toward Middlefield, Massachusetts from Chester. The freight was descending the grade near where the 1912-line relocation joined the original Western Rail Road alignment (seen to the left of Conrail 6619) at milepost 129 (as measured from Boston’s South Station).

Conrail’s ten General Electric C32-8s were delivered in September 1984 and in their early years largely work out of Selkirk Yard on the old Boston & Albany route.

GE assigned these unique pre-production DASH8  prototypes to Conrail for evaluation in preparation for wide-scale DASH-8 production that began a few years later. 

I had countless encounters with the C32-8s on the Boston & Albany during the mid-1980s, but never had the opportunity to travel on one.

Later this year Kalmbach Media will release my new book titled Conrail and its Predecessors.

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Ware River Branch—November 2019.

Last November, photographer Mike Gardner and I paid a visit to the Mass-Central and caught the northward freight on its journey over the Ware River Branch from Palmer to South Barre.

Among the photos I exposed was this view at Gilbertville, Massachusetts, working with a Nikon F3 loaded with Ilford HP5 film.

Over the years, I exposed countless photographs along this former Boston & Albany branch; on film, digitally; in color and in black & white.

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Final Frame

Would you believe I almost threw this away?

I processed two rolls of Ilford HP5 last week. The final frame appeared as a blank lightly tinted gray rectangle. I nearly cut if off the end of roll when putting the negatives into the sleeve.

It was only when I scanned the photos that I saw the ghostly locomotive fading into its own misty effluence.

Conway Scenic Railroad’s 7470 in December 2019.

This wouldn’t have been the first time I accidently threw away my own work!

I’m glad I noticed it before it was too late!

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Mexico City Metro—40 Years Ago.

My memories of riding the Metro City Metro with my uncle Mark 40 years ago contrast sharply with these photos that I made during that same visit.

Having grown up traveling on the New York City and Boston subways, I was astounded by the crush-loading in Mexico City.

I recall being swept along a platform holding my uncles hand as tightly as I could as we squeezed into an already sardine capacity train.

In reality, those conditions weren’t conducive for a 13 year-old Gringo to make photographs.

In retrospect, I’m amazed that I got anything at all.

Apologies for the relatively poor condition of these images. My negatives were hand processed without concern for archival concerns and stored in a paper envelope in an attic for the better part of four decades. I scanned them last month.

This isn’t how I remember the Mexico City Metro! I recall dense hurried crowds. Funny how memory works.
Although damaged, I like this photo because it shows Mexico City Metro’s rubber-tire propulsion, which is what I was trying to capture during my December 1979 visit.

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Three Views at Stafford Springs.

Yesterday I processed a month’s worth of black & white film; two carefully-exposed rolls of 35mm Ilford HP5.

Among the first images on the first roll were these three photographs at Stafford Springs, Connecticut on November 26, 2019.

I often work with multiple cameras, and previously on Tracking the Light, I posted a digital color view of New England Central 608 working northward at this same location.

My process is a specialized two-stage development formula aimed to maximize detail and tonal range.

Incidentally, Scott Hartley reminded me that Central Vermont/New England Central has referred to this location simply as ‘Stafford,’ a fact that dates back to New London Northern days.

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The Tragedy of my Missing Notes.

I scanned some negatives the other day. These were exposed with my Leica 3A on Ilford FP4 and processed in D76.

I’d driven to Chester, Massachusetts where I photographed several eastward Conrail trains on the Boston & Albany line. This was before Conrail single-tracked the route and it was still directional double track with automatic block signals under rule 251.

This view shows an eastward TV (trailvan) freight waiting for a green signal after crossing over from the westward to the eastward main. It had just come down the hill, against the current of traffic, on the westward main to Chester, while a test train led by SD50 6703 had worked east on the eastward main. (Parallel eastward moves).

Conrail’s GE-built C30-7A (6594) and C32-8 (6614) diesels were less than a year old.

The test train (not pictured) was a ballast train with caboose that provide a load for SD50 6703 equipped with flange lubricators which spent several months working back and forth on the B&A route.

So what’s the tragedy?

My negative envelope has minimal information; just the locations and ‘April 1985’. I have my notebook from 1985, but this trip isn’t mentioned. My photo album is also scant on the details from the day. I believe the specific note-page from this day has ‘gone missing’ and so I’ve had to recall the details from memory. This is a problem, since I cannot recall the exact date, and I’m unsure as to specifics such as train symbols.

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On this Day 40 Years Ago . . .

Christmas Day 1979, I embarked on a great adventure. At age 13, I flew unaccompanied from JFK in New York City to Mexico City to visit with my uncle Mark.

I exposed this view using a Leica 3A from my window on an Eastern Airlines L-1011 as it taxied for take-off at JFK.

My notes on the negative strip simply read ‘Airport 1979’.

I exposed hundreds of black & white and color photos on this trip, although not all of them remain in my collection. I also made detailed notes, of which only a few pages survive. After takeoff, I wrote:

“There was a really good view of New York City, New Jersey, etc. We flew past Philadelphia but I didn’t see much account of the clouds”

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State Line Hill: Another ‘Ugly’ Alco and a Caboose!—Three photos.

Following up on yesterday’s post ‘M420 and a diamond,’ here are three more photos from the same roll of black & white film exposed in June 1986.

These photos portray a northward Central Vermont local freight on State Line Hill at Stafford Hollow Road in Monson, Massachusetts.

Keep in mind that with each roll of 120 size film I obtained 16 frames by using a ‘super slide’ insert in my dad’s Rolliei Model T. 

The points here are: 

1)  I budgeted my film judiciously. 

2) MLW M420 diesels were a comparatively easy catch. 

3) Maybe I overstated my distaste for these ‘Ugly Alcos’.

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Window in Time: Lagrange Maine, 1984.

On August 5, 1984, my late friend Robert A. Buck gave me an unforgettable tour of the Bangor & Aroostook in central Maine.

Among the stops on our trip was a brief visit to the disused tower at Lagrange. If you look to the right you can see Bob and his famous green van through the weeds.

I exposed this photo on Kodak Plus-X using an old Leica 3A with a Canon f1.8 50mm screw-mount lens. I processed the film in Kodak Microdol-X and stored the negatives for 35 years in an envelope. Last month I scanned the negatives using an Epson V750 scanner.

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Sunny Morning at Sunnyside—Queens, New York c1978.

I was on bright morning in 1978 that I made these black & white photos with my old Leica 3A fitted with a Nikkor 35mm lens.

I was standing with my father and brother on a Long Island Rail Road platform near Sunnyside yard. I was about 12 at the time.

My subject was the graffiti covered Flushing Line subway train.

30 years earlier my father made photos of New Haven Railroad EP4 electrics and Pennsylvania Railroad GG1 electrics from near this same spot!

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Sound of Power: Conrail Ballast Train June 1984

Just imagine the roar! Conrail C30-7 6600 leads three former Erie-Lackawanna 20-cylinder EMDs!

So far as I can remember, this was the only time I caught an SDP45 (second unit) hard at work on the Boston Line.

I made these views of an uphill BAL (Ballast train) at Middlefield, Massachusetts on a day’s photography with my old pal TSH on a beautiful spring evening in June 1984. I was a week away from my high-school graduation.

My only regret is that I didn’t have better photography skills and better equipment.

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Fordham Road in THe Bronx—Looking back.

Another two black & white photos from the depths of my archive.

These scenes were captured with my old Leica 3A nearly 40 years ago.

Technically they aren’t great photos. But these distilled what I saw in the Bronx.

Fordam Road at Webster Avenue in the Bronx, circa 1980.

The view inside the Forham Road subway station was made when we were on our way downtown—to Manhattan. Can you hear the roar of the train as it approaches? I can.

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An RR Train on the Astoria Line.

It was April 26, 1984 when my brother and I embarked on big tour of the New York City Subway in Queens and Brooklyn.

Exposed using my old Leica 3A with 50mm Sumitar lens.

I made this view from the front of an outbound train on the Astoria Line. On the middle track was an RR train heading toward Queens Plaza and beyond. This was during the era when the subway was still covered in grafitti.

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The Bronx, New York—c.1980.

Using my Leica 3A, I made this view from a NYCTA city bus in The Bronx circa 1980.

I don’t have any notes at all from this trip.

In all likelihood, I was using a 35mm Nikkor lens with a screw-mount designed for the Leica 3 series cameras. This was a favorite of mine at the time because it required an adjustable external viewfinder that made it easier to compose than the tiny window on the camera body.

The primary subject of the photo was the subway train on what I think was the White Plains Road elevated line. At right is my brother Sean. We were traveling with our grandmother from Fordham Road toward Co-op City as part of a shopping trip.

This photo has been quietly hiding, unprinted and unseen in a glassine negative sleeve for nearly 40 years! (Try that with your favorite phone photo.)

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Taking A Ride on the A-train: New York City Subway

It was about 1980, when I made this interior view of an R10 subway car during a trip with my father around New York City. Pop thinks this was on the 8th Avenue line in Manhattan. It was one of three photos I made of the Subway that day .

The cars were not air-conditioned and the open fans intrigued me.

This was in that unsavory era on the Subway when the subway cars were decorated inside and out with graffiti.

Exposed on black & white film with my old Leica 3A 35mm camera.

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New York City Revisited.

Two weeks ago when in Dublin, I went to see the motion picture Joker, a dark film in a fictional New York City setting of the early 1980s, portrayed in classic DC Comics fashion as ‘Gotham’.

Story-line and characters aside, the film’s scenes, setting and lighting recreated New York City, especially the Bronx, as I remember it from visits with my grandparents in the 1970s and 1980s. Portions of the Joker were filmed in my father’s old neighborhood. My memories were of that stark gritty dark time when graffiti covered subway cars were the norm.

Since arriving back in the USA, I’ve delved into my collection of early photos from New York City, some of which embody that fascinating apocalyptic darkness conveyed in the film, yet were merely the products of exploration of New York with my family.

However, where the film portrayed misery, mental illness, anger and extreme violence in brilliantly crafted cinema-graphic excellence, my photos were the product of child’s view to capture an exciting, albeit dark place, filled with urban wonders, railways, and visually captivating scenes.

Like a muddy river, the chain link fence was both a feature and a barrier.

Some of my early NYC photos were exposed on color slide film, others were on black & white. Almost all were made with my vintage 1930s Leica 3A.

These views were exposed on a very gray day in 1981, when exploring the former New Haven Railroad lines in the Bronx, my dad drove my brother and me to the NYCTA’s Westchester Yards off the Pelham Bay Line.

This was on the flight path to Laguardia Airport, and as I photographed the subway trains, my brother spotted the planes landing.

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Narrow Gauge at Shannonbridge

Earlier this month, I traveled with some friends to Shannonbridge, County Offaly, Ireland to photograph the Bord na Mona’s narrow gauge operations.

Working with Kodak Tri-X in a Nikon F3 with 105mm lens, I made this view of a laden train crossing the River Shannon.

I processed the film using a twin-stage (split development) process: presoaked in Kodak HC110 mixed 1-200 for 5 minutes; then Ilford ID1 mixed 1 to 1 for 7 minutes 15 seconds at 68F with gentle agitation every minute for 10 seconds. After stop bath (30 seconds), twin fixer baths of 3 minutes each and extensive rinsing, I toned the still wet negative using a Selenium batch mixed 1-9 for 8 minutes 30 seconds.

In addition to this traditional black & white photo, I also exposed digital photos using my Lumix LX7 and FujiFilm XT1 cameras. Color and black & white, film and digital, yes I have most of formats covered.

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Central Vermont RS-11 at Palmer—October 1984.

Back in October 1984—35 years ago— I made this nocturnal view of Central Vermont RS11 3606 at the Palmer, Massachusetts yard.

With my Leica mounted on a tripod, I exposed this view using a mix of existing light and electronic strobe for fill light. I’d work with a large Metz flash that allowed me to control the quantity of light being emitted. To soften the blast, I’d squelch the emission to about 1/4th and wrap the flash head in a white trash bag. I’d then make a series of blasts from different angles while leaving the shutter open.

My old Leica 3A had a ‘T’ setting that would leave the shutter open indefinitely. An exposure such as this would require about 30 secs to a minute for me to make the blasts.

This was one of at least four frames that I exposed that October evening so long ago! My notes from the day have vanished, much to my disgust, as I tended to keep records of all my photography.

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Visit to Westport—June 25, 1986—Five Photos.

I was sifting through some old 120 black & white negatives yesterday and found these photographs from a morning’s photography along the old New Haven Railroad in Connecticut from June 1986.

I started the morning in South Norwalk, then moved down to Westport.

Most of the photos from the morning were exposed on Kodachrome slide film, but I made a few select images on Kodak Tri-X using my father’s Rolleiflex Model T using a 645-size ‘superslide’ insert to obtain a rectangular crop.

Amtrak 904 leads the eastward mail train at Westport at 9:18am on June 25, 1986. Kodak Tri-X with Rollei Model T exposed at f8/11 1/500 sec and processed in Kodak D76 at 68 degrees.

Most interesting to me now are the views of Amtrak’s eastward mail train behind AEM-7 904. This carried a group of baggage cars at the back including some from VIA Rail.

While I have detailed photographic notes from the day, what I don’t have recorded were my thoughts on the experience at the time. This was one of several similar trips I made to former New Haven electrified territory in the summer of 1986.

Amtrak mail train with a VIA Rail baggage car.
Catenary masts at Westport draw.

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