Chicago Transit Authority Trolley and Substation.

Recently I read a definition of photographic composition that said something to the effect of; ‘making order out of chaos.’ In railway photography, wires pose special compositional problems, and can lend for chaotic images if not handled carefully.

In this photo I exposed at the Illinois Railway Museum, a virtual sea of wires lace the sky and visually surround the streetcar.

As visual elements, wires typically appear as dark lines and unless they are carefully placed, they can disrupt a photograph by dividing up the frame and causing unwanted distractions. Yet, in many situations the wires are important part of the railway infrastructure.

Chicago Transit Authority streetcar at IRM, exposed with a Lumix LX3 in June 2010.
Chicago Transit Authority streetcar at IRM, exposed with a Lumix LX3 in June 2010.

In this case, I’ve carefully photographed the streetcar passing the electrical substation that is part of the network that supplies the car with juice, and so many of the wires pictured directly relate to the streetcar. No wires, no go.

Yet, I’m not entirely satisfied with the image. I think that if I’d played around with my angle and juxtaposition of the car, I may have been able to produce a more striking image.

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One comment on “Chicago Transit Authority Trolley and Substation.

  1. Nice a classic angle works best? Lights kind of hard nice for sharp contrasty photo’s but hides side of the trucks.

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