Irish Rail: Sun and HOBS.

A misty morning gave way to bright sun as Irish Rail 075 got the signal to depart the sidings at Dublin’s Heuston Station with an empty HOBS (high output ballast system) destined for Port Arlington.

I made this view with my Lumix LX7. Working with a slight telephoto, I aimed to bring in the Wellington Testimonial in Dublin’s Phoenix Park across the River Liffey from Heuston Station.

Although I’ve made countless images from this vantage point which is a mere five minute walk for me, its always nice to catch something relatively unusual on the move.

Tracking the Light Posts Every Day!

Postcards in Fullerton—November 2018.


Last November, on my trip to Southern California, I made this view of a westward BNSF double stack train passing Fullerton, California.

Large mural paintings portraying vintage picture postcard decorated the side of a multistory car park on the north side of the line.

Bright California sunshine and the juxtaposition between BNSF’s modern GE diesels and old color postcard made the scene for me.

Exposed using my FujiFilm XT1.

Tracking the Light Posts Daily!

Magic Foggy Night.


When I see a thick fog rolling in during the fading light, I see photo opportunities everywhere.

Fog is one my favorite photographic conditions, and the thicker, the better!

The fine thick mist has many benefits. It acts as a diffuser, which spreads the light, reducing contrast between the brightest highlights and shadows. It also tends to allow for photography in every direction, which opens up numerous angles and perspectives that I may not consider on a bright day. 

Most importantly fog adds depth and mystique to a scene, making  even the most mundane places intriguing, while masking unsightly elements such as garbage, graffiti and wires.

The other evening a thick fog settled over Dublin and I made my way to Connolly Station. Below are a few views from my Lumix LX7.

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New England Central and the Coast Guard Eagle—New London, Connecticut.


Mike Gardner and I made an epic chase of New England Central freight 608 on Halloween Day 1997.

Among my favorite views from that day is this color slide exposed from a footbridge along the Thames River at New London, Connecticut.

In the distance is US Coast Guard training ship Eagle.

Two years later I stood on the deck of the Eagleat the Irish port of Cobh in County Cork, having arrived by train from Cork city.

Tonight, February 28, 2019 at 730pm, I’ll be giving an old school slide show to the Irish Railway Record Society, located opposite the Heuston Station car park in Dublin. Among my featured railroads will be New England Central.

See: http://irishrailarchives.ie/index.php/meetings/upcoming/

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Heuston Sunset—February 2019.


On Tuesday, 26 February 2019, working with my FujiFilm XT1 with 90mm Fujinon telephoto, I made these digital sunset views from the windows of the Irish Railway Record Society near Dublin’s Heuston Station.

This evening 28 February 2019 at 730pm at these same IRRS premises, I’ll be presenting my traditional slide program General Motors Diesels in North America. Visitors are welcome!

JPG adjusted and produced from Fuji camera RAW file using Lightroom.
Camera JPG scaled for internet presentation without adjustment.

Tracking the Light Posts Everyday!

What’s Hiding Behind this Southern Pacific GP40-2?


A little while ago, I found this old slide-scan of GP40-2 when searching for an image to advertise my slide program tomorrow night: General Motors Diesels in North America.

I thought: you might not believe what’s lurking right behind this freshly painted EMD!

As a reminder: my program will held on Thursday 28 February 2019 at 7:30 pm at the Irish Railway Record Society premises near Heuston Station in Dublin. Visitors are welcome!

Step back to Septmeber 2, 1991, when I exposed this view at Mott-Azalea, California on Southern Pacific’s Shasta Route. I was on assignment for Southern Pacific and traveling with photographer Brian Jennison who lent me his 300mm Nikkor telephoto.

I set up Brian’s 300mm with my F3T loaded with Kodachrome on my Bogen 3021 Tripod, positioning it nearly at rail level to make a long sequence of the approaching train.

What train was this?

It was an SP excursion with borrowed Lima 4-8-4 4449 and Daylightpassenger train. The GP40-2 was added for extra-power and braking on the grade from Dunsmuir to Black Butte.

I’ve completely hidden the vintage train behind the freshly painted GP40-2!

The flags are a nice touch.

There’s something about the West. I wish I was standing there, right now, taking it all in. It was a memorable weekend all around. 

Tracking the Light Posts Daily!

Brian’s Morning View at Islandbridge: An Irish Rail ICR with Purple Doors?

About a week ago an Irish Rail ICR rolled past me. These parade by at such regularity that I often pay them little notice. Nice to travel on, but common.

Hey, wait . . . did that one have purple doors? (Since delivery in 2007-2008, these have been forest green).

It did. And I failed to even lift the camera to make a photo.

Shame on me.

So, the other day in nice light when an ICR approached, I was ready. And this one too had the purple doors.

Lumix LX7 photo.

I wasn’t out for the ICR, but rather for the down IWT liner (container train to Ballina, County Mayo) that was running late. Actually, I was on my way to buy batteries for my Nikon F3, which had failed the day before. The stop at Islandbridge Junction was a sideshow.

Lumix LX7 photo.

Reminder: Tomorrow night (28 Feb 2019 at 730pm) at the Irish Railway Record Society in Dublin, I will present my slide show on General Motors Diesels in the USA. The talk is open to the public. The IRRS Dublin premises is in an old brick and stone building along the Liffey near Heuston Station opposite the entrance to the public car park.

Tracking the Light Posts Daily!

TRAINS Podcast—Conversations with Brian Solomon: Interview with Brian Schmidt and Angela Pusztai-Pasternak


Amtrak’s Empire Builder blitzes Brookfield, Wisconsin on a snow Monday evening during my visit to Kalmbach.

Check out my most recent TRAINS Podcast—Conversations with Brian Solomon, where I engage in a lively spontaneous discussion with Trains Magazine editors Angela Pusztai-Pasternak. We talk about Amtrak, Norfolk Southern, CSX and other topics, often taking unexpected tangents.

We recorded this on my recent visit to Wisconsin.

To go directly this episode:

For a general finding aid for my Pod Casts see:

http://trn.trains.com/photos-videos/2018/09/conversations-with-brian-solomon

Tracking the Light Posts Daily!

Sunday Morning: LUAS Cross City near College Green.


A beautiful thing about Dublin on a Sunday morning is the relative lack of traffic.

Not so pretty is the rubbish, broken glass and other carnage that tends to litter the streets following a lively Saturday night.

To make the most of the scene on Westmoreland Street looking back toward at College Green, I used my FujiFilm XT1 with 90mm and made low angle view of a northward LUAS tram passing the 18thcentury façade of the Bank of Ireland (right).

Tracking the Light Posts Daily.

Film Test: Rollei 80S Retro.


Saturday, 23 February 2019, I tested a roll of Rollei 80S Retro 35mm black & white film.

This is a unusual emulsion: the film consists of a clear polyester base, which significantly alters the tonal range in scanning. This is a very fine grain emulsion that features high red light sensitivity, which makes red light appear much lighter. From what I’ve read, it also incorporates a degree of infrared sensitivity, which may be enhanced by the use of red filters.

Following recommendations by the manufacturer and various accounts published on the web, I processed my roll in Agfa Rodinal, which tends to yield a very rich black.

I exposed the entire roll in Dublin, while I made a few photographs around Heuston Station, for this exercise concentrated on views of the city. Once I feel I’ve mastered processing this emulsion, I may make some serious railroad photos with it.

The photos below are scanned using an Epson V500 flatbed scan and tidied up using Lightroom.

Tracking the Light Posts Daily!

EMD Diesels on Film! BIG Slide Show THIS Thursday in Dublin.

On Thursday 28 February 2019 at 7:30 pm, I’ll be giving my slide presentation on General Motors Diesel-Electric Locomotives in North America at the Irish Railway Record Society premises near Heuston Station in Dublin.

This venue is about a two to five minute walk from the station platforms opposite the car park.

See: http://irishrailarchives.ie/index.php/meetings/upcoming/

SD90MAC-Hs at East Salamanca, New York.

Metrolink F59PH at Simi Valley, California in August 2016.

This is a variation on the program I gave in Cork last October.

I’ll will present grand selection of REAL 35mm colour slides detailing General Motors Electro-Motive Division diesels at work and will cover numerous models on many different railroads, and feature some dramatic locomotive photography. 

Tracking the Light Posts Daily!

Double-Headed Meatballs at Bridgeport.


For me the AEM-7s will always be ‘meatballs’. This name is twice-removed metaphorical allusion. The AEM-7 was derived from the Swedish class Rc electric. The allusion to meatballs is a reference to ‘Swedish meatballs’ and thus shortened to just meatballs, with Sweden being implied.

On December 27, 1986, my old pal TSH and I paid a visit to Bridgeport, Connecticut on a tour of former New Haven Railroad properties.

I made this photograph using my father’s Rollieflex Model T with 645 ‘super slide’ insert.

In my mind the composition made perfect use of the rectangular window. I wonder what I would have come up with if I’d exposed the view as a square?

In my notes, I have a photographic log sheet with details from our December 27, 1986. This should include time, film-type and exposure information, as well as the train number/name. Unfortunately my notes are nearly 3,800 miles away!

In the days after exposing this photograph I made a large print, 11×14 or 16×20 in size, which has sadly vanished. Perhaps, someday I’ll make another.

Tracking the Light Posts Daily!


Bloody-Red Liffey Sunrise.

This morning (24 February 2019) saw a stunning bloody-red sunrise over Dublin.

I made a series of photos with my digital cameras.

It’s probably just as well I brought three cameras, since halfway through my photography with my Nikon F3 loaded with Kodak Tri-X, the button-battery in the camera ran out of juice.

And you say, ‘of course you brought a spare battery’.

No, no I didn’t.

And why was I photographing a blood red sunrise on black & white film anyway?

Tracking the Light Posts Daily!

Heuston Station Dressed in Red.

Before sunrise this morning (Sunday 24 February 2019) I photographed Dublin’s Heuston Station dressed in artificial red light.

In the past, Heuston Station has been variously bathed in white light, green for St. Patrick’s Day, or variations on the Irish Tri-Colour flag.

For these photos I worked with my Lumix LX7 mounted on a mini Gitzo tripod. I switched the image stabilizer ‘off’, and set the white balance to ‘daylight’. Exposures were calculated automatically with minor adjustment in-camera.

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Kildare Summer 1999.



In the summer of 1999, I was standing on the footbridge at Kildare station where I focused on Irish Rail 225 leading Mark3 carriages as it approached at speed.

My first Nikon N90S was loaded with Ilford HP5 and fitted with an old Tokina 400mm fixed focal length telephoto.

The train was common; my photograph was unusual. Working with extreme telephoto compression, I’ve framed the train in the arch of road-bridge, which has the effect of accentuating the pattern of the crossovers east of the bridge.

I recall the piercing Doppler squashed screech of 225’s horn as it neared the platforms, warning passengers to stand back.

The memory of that sound and the following rush of air as the train raced past puts me back in that place in time nearly 20 years gone. I know too well how I was feeling at the time. Strange how one photograph of a train can summon such memories and feelings.

Tracking the Light Posts Daily.

A Tired Looking Beast—Charlemont.


February 6, 2019, Paul Goewey and I traveled along the old Boston & Maine to Charlemont, Massachusetts to catch Pan Am’s AD-1 on its return west.

One car led by just one locomotive, a former New York Susquehanna & Western DASH8-40B in tired CSX paint.

It was a long way to go and the light was dull.

Was it worth it?


Tracking the Light Posts Every Day!

Lanesborough in Colour—more Bord na Mona narrow gauge.


Last Friday’s (15 February 2019) adventure on Ireland’s Bord na Mona at Lanesborough Co., Longford proved well-timed and we caught many narrow gauge trains on the move.

Below are some more of the digitally exposed colour photos made with my FujiFilm and Lumix LX7 cameras.

Any favorites?

Lumix LX7 photo.
FujiFilm XT1 photo with 18-135mm lens.

Also check out:

FujiFilm XT1 photo with 18-135mm lens.

FujiFilm XT1 photo with 18-135mm lens.

FujiFilm XT1 photo with 18-135mm lens.

Lumix LX7 photo.

FujiFilm XT1 photo.

FujiFilm XT1 photo with 18-135mm lens.

FujiFilm XT1 photo with 90mm lens.

Lumix LX7 photo.

FujiFilm XT1 with 27mm pancake lens.

Tracking the Light Posts Daily!

071 in Heritage Orange: Sun. cloud. SUN! Oh no! 4 photos.


Yesterday, 21 February 2019: A bright morning! A bright locomotive on the IWT Liner. And me at my regular place at Islandbridge Junction.

This is a lesson in getting ‘clouded’ (there are less polite ways of phrasing this.)

The liner rolled out of the Phoenix Park tunnel in bright sun. However as it a approached, a puffy white cloud intersected the sun—Twice!

Below is my sequence of photos.

In these, I’m displaying the in-camera JPGs without manipulation or adjustments (other than scaling for internet) so the effects of the cloud can be seen.

FujiFilm XT1 digital camera with 90mm lens.
FujiFilm XT1 digital camera with 90mm lens. Cloud nipped!

FujiFilm XT1 digital camera with 90mm lens. Now sun at 95 percent, but not for long!

Lumix LX7 photo. Clouded!

De ja vu? Yes, this HAS happened here before.

Tracking the Light Posts Daily!

One Week from Tonight: Irish Railway Record Society—Dublin, Brian Solomon Slide Presentation.


On Thursday 28 February 2019 at 7:30 pm, I’ll be giving a slide presentation to the Irish Railway Record Society in Dublin on General Motors Diesel-Electric Locomotives in North America.

The talk will be held at the IRRS Premises near Heuston Station in Dublin City. This is about a two to five minute walk from the station platforms opposite the car park.

See: http://irishrailarchives.ie/index.php/meetings/upcoming/

This is a variation on the program I gave in Cork last October.

LeRoy, New York: 1989: EMD GP40s lead the northward Rochester & Southern road freight by the old Buffalo, Rochester & Pittsburgh station.

I’ll will present grand selection of REAL 35mm colour slides detailing General Motors Electro-Motive Division diesels at work and will cover numerous models on many different railroads, and feature some dramatic locomotive photography. 

Thunder on Donner Pass: 645 diesels in run-8 work east at American—scanned Kodachrome 25 slide. I’ll be showing views like this one at my program.

There’s to be some surprises! (Different photos not previously presented)

Tracking the Light Posts Daily!

Two Liners; Two Locos; Two Liveries: One Day.


Yesterday, 20 February 2019, Irish Rail operated two Ballina-Dublin IWT Liners—container trains.

The first, running as K801, had the 071 class leader in the as-built heritage-livery.

I photographed this train at Memorial road in Dublin.

The second, running about two hours behind the first, had freshly painted Irish Rail 074 (in the current gray and yellow). I caught this one from above the entrance to Dublin’s Phoenix Park Tunnel off the Conyngham Road.

In both instances, I worked with my FujiFilm XT1 with 90mm Fujinon telephoto lens.

Tracking the Light Posts Daily!

Black & White on the Bog.


On Friday, 15 February 2019, during my visit with Stephen Hirsch and Denis McCabe to Bord na Mona’s operations at Lanesborough, I worked with three cameras to document operations.

My FujiFilm XT1 and Lumix LX7 were for exposing colour digital photos, while I employed a Nikon F3 to make classic 35mm black & white images.

I processed the film yesterday using custom tailored formulas.

The first roll was Ilford HP5 that I’d bought a couple of days earlier at John Gunn’s Camera on Wexford Street in Dublin. I processed this using a two stage development, starting with an extremely dilute solution of Kodak HC110 (roughly 1 part developer to 250 parts water) which used as presoak. The weak developer helps activate the chemical reaction and improves shadow detail without overdeveloping highlight areas.

The second stage of development involved Ilford Perceptol mixed 1-1 with water and heated to 71F. Based on past experience, I left the film in the developer for 12 minutes, then stop bath, 1stfixer, 2ndfixer, pre-wash, hypoclear, main wash (10 minutes) and final rinse in distilled water.

After drying, I scanned the negatives with an Epson V500 flatbed scanner and touched up the scans using Lightroom.

Stay tuned for more photos from the Bord na Mona!

Tracking the Light Posts Every Day!

Irish Narrow Gauge on the Roll!


Last Friday, Denis McCabe, Stephen Hirsch and I paid a visit to Bord na Mona’s (Peat Board) three-foot gauge industrial railway feeding the Lough Rea Power Station at Lanesboroughin County Longford.

My first visit to Lanesborough portion of the extensive Irish Bord na Mona network was back in 2013. This is my favorite Bord na Mona operation for a variety for a reasons. It’s the most accessible by road, by far the most scenic (as bog railways go), and has great variety.

See: http://briansolomon.com/trackingthelight/2013/10/16/bord-na-mona-lanesborough-october-2013-part-1/

On Friday, we hit the ground running, finding the elusive ash train on the move at Derraghan More gates.

So we were on the trail seeking empty and laden peat trains on the roll. It was a busy day and lots of photographs resulted! Stay tuned . . . 

Tracking the Light Posts Daily!

Irish Rail at Portlaoise—Two Night Views.


The other evening I made these two night photographs using my Lumix LX7 at Irish Rail’s station in Portlaoise.

Night photography involves compromises. My techniques sometimes seem counter intuitive.

In this situation, I was traveling light. To optimize the amount of information captured, I set the ISO to 200 and steadied the camera on available surfaces to minimize the effects of camera shake.

After exposure, working with Camera RAW files in Lightroom, I made various adjustments to shadows, highlights and over all contrast as a means of optimizing of the appearance of the final images.

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Connecticut Southern freight at Warehouse Point, Connecticut.


It was nearly two weeks ago that Paul Goewey and I intercepted Connecticut Southern’s northward road freight at Warehouse Point, Connecticut.

I made these tight views near the east-end of the big bridge over the river using my FujiFilm XT1 with 90mm telephoto.

Classic EMD diesels are among the attractions of Connecticut Southern’s freight.

Tracking the Light Posts Daily!

Under and Over in Dublin.


I made these views the other day on Beresford Place near Bus Aras in Dublin.

An outbound LUAS tram on the Red Line had stopped for traffic Gardner Street, while a southward DART suburban train rolled across the Loop Line Bridge on its way from Connolly Station to Tara Street.

Lumix LX7 photo.
Lumix LX7 photo.

This is the sort of common scene that is repeated hour after hour, day after day, and yet only rarely get recorded.

Tracking the Light Posts Daily!

Mass-Central at Palmer, Massachusetts.

In theory, on any given weekday you ought to be able to make a representative photograph of Mass-Central’s local freight arriving in Palmer.

This goes on duty in the morning at Mass-Central’s Palmer yard, makes its run up the Ware River Valley and returns, typically dropping its interchange for CSX and New England Central at CSX’s former Boston & Albany yard.

However, catching a locomotive with the cab-facing south and at the correct end of the train can be more difficult. It’s luck of the draw to get the locomotive facing south. And for operational reasons, the locomotive may be placed in the middle or at the end of the interchange when passing the old Palmer Union Station.

I was lucky a couple of weeks ago, when I made this view at CP83 with Mass-Central GP38-2 1750 leading the train. All that’s missing is the sun.

Exposed with a FujiFilm XT1 with 90mm telephoto.


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The New ‘Old Liffey Ferry’.


New and old are relative terms.

The ‘Old Liffey Ferry’ that had ended service back in 1984 has been revived by Dublin Port, and so now you can cross the Liffey again by boat in the Dublin Docklands.

Although advertised as the ‘Old Liffey Ferry’, it was a new experience for me.

Last Thurday it was bright and warm, and I met with Mark Healy for a photo wander in Dublin and we crossed the Liffey twice by boat.

The posted fare is 2 Euro and the crossing takes just a few minutes. This is a novel way of seeing the Dublin Docklands and offered a variety of photographic opportunities.

Tracking the Light Posts Every Day!

East Deerfield Classic.


There’s only a handful of locomotives left operational in the classic Guilford paint scheme.

Classic? Yes, this livery has been worn by New England locomotives for more than 35 years. So the other day, when I saw Maine Central 305 working the west end of East Deerfield, I thought it made for a great photo in the year 2019.

The first time I saw a locomotive in this paint scheme on the Boston & Maine was back in 1983, and that was from the windows of a Mystic Valley excursion to the Hoosac Tunnel.

I made this view using my Lumix LX7.


Hard to believe the old Boston & Maine yard tower still stands too.

Take nothing for granted.

Tracking the Light Observes Daily.

Irish Rail 217 River Flesk—A Lesson in Night Photography.


The other evening I made a few handheld photos of Irish Rail class 201 diesel number 217 River Fleskat Dublin’s Heuston Station.

217 was working a Mark4 set on the 2100 schedule to Cork.

There are myriad approaches to night photography. In this instance, I worked with my Lumix LX7 without a tripod.

I’m fortunate because I have an unusually steady hand. The Lumix further aids my efforts because it has image stabilization.

I set the camera to ISO 200, and working in ‘A’ (aperture priority) I manually set the lens aperture to its widest opening, which in this case is f1.8. The wider the aperture, the more light passes through the lens to reach the sensor, so having a ‘fast’ lens (one with a small maximum aperture number, such as my f1.8 lens) is a huge benefit.

This set up allowed me work with a 1/10 of second shutter speed, which is adequate speed for a static photograph.

Lumix LX7 photo f1.8 at 1/10th second hand-held, ISO 200, auto white balance. JPG adjusted from a camera RAW file using Lightroom.


Lumix LX7 photo f1.8 at 1/10th second hand-held, auto white balance

If I had been using my FujiFilm XT1 with the kit zoom lens, my widest aperture would have been about f4.5, which is nearly two full stops slower than f1.8, which means at ISO200, I’d require about ½ second exposure to obtain a comparable result, which is too slow for a sharp handheld image in most instances.

Another way of approaching this would be raise the ISO. So with the FujiFilm set up just described, I could increase the ISO setting to 800, which would boost the effective sensitivity of the sensor by two stops (bringing me back up to 1/10thof a second using f4.5). However, this would also boost the noise level and reduce sharpness.

Back in the old days, I would have used Kodachrome, and that would have required a tripod, and probably some filters to colour-correct for the artificial light. Today, digital cameras when set to ‘auto white balance’ do an admirable job of balancing the colour for fluorescent, sodium vapor and other forms of artificial light that tend to tint an image.

Normally for night work with the Lumix, I’d dial in a 1/3 over exposure compensation (+ 1/3 on the exposure compensation dial) however in this situation the relatively bright night sky where low cloud was illuminated by lots of artificial light combined with the silver body of the locomotive and bright platform lighting, obviated the need for boosting the exposure by 1/3 of a stop.

However, I did make some very subtle changes in post processing to help visually separate the roof of the locomotive from the sky.

Tracking the Light Posts Every Day!

Amtrak 490 Crosses the Connecticut River.

While the New CT Rail trains tend to capture most of attention on the Springfield-New Haven route (now branded as the ‘Hartford Line’), Amtrak continues to run its shuttles and through trains on the same route.

I made this view last week of Amtrak 490 working northward to Springfield, Massachusetts as it crossed the Connecticut River between Windsor Locks and Warehouse Point.

I like the distant vantage point, using a telephoto lens to feature the small train on the big bridge.

Tracking the Light posts Every Day!

Two Trains on the Move at Islandbridge Junction!


Monday, 11 February 2019 was bright and sunny in Dublin.

Although I was only just back across the Atlantic, I made use of the morning when I’d heard that Irish Rail 073 in heritage orange paint was working the down IWT Liner (container train operated from Dublin’s North Wall to Ballina, Co. Mayo).

As this exited Dublin’s Phoenix Park Tunnel approaching Islandbridge Junction, an Irish Rail ICR working the Hazelhatch-Grand Canal Docks service came the other way.

I hadn’t anticipated a ‘rolling meet’, but as luck had it I got two trains for the price of one.

This sequence of photos was exposed using my FujiFilm XT1 digital camera with 27mm pancake lens.

Tracking the Light Posts Every Day!

Thompsonville, Connecticut: CT Rail 4405 on the Roll!


Last week, Paul Goewey and I revisited Thompsonville, Connecticut, an old mill village along the former New Haven Railroad, just south of Springfield, Massachusetts.

I made photos here in the mid-1980s and late 1990s, but hadn’t scoped the location since the start up of CT Rail passenger services last year.

I’d been inspired to go back when I traveled on CT Rail a few days earlier.

These views were exposed using my FujiFilm XT1 of southward CT Rail train 4405 on its way to Hartford and New Haven. I worked from the road, making images from the ‘dark side’ of the train by using my telephoto to feature the train rolling though the curve.

Tracking the Light Posts Daily!

Dublin’s Pearse Station, Spring 1998.


Pearse Station features a capacious Victorian-era balloon-style train shed. Presently this is under-going restoration making for seen very different scene today than this one that I exposed 21 years ago.

I was very impressed by the Pearse Station shed and exposed a number views to make the most of the structure.

This is among my favorites. I’m standing near the south entrance to the shed, and the illumination effects resulting from combination of the broad southward opening and skylights produce an excellent effect on the train and platforms.

My composition is simple, yet clever. I’ve centered the DART train— which some photographers would frown upon, insisting instead on arbitrary placement using rules of thirds or other preconceived notions—and so made the most of the train shed, which is really the subject of my image.

By allowing for greater amounts of interior space to the right of the train, I’ve caused visual tension, while helping to expand the space in the photograph occupied by train shed. This draws the eye away from the train, while the lighting on the front of the train pulls the eye back. Placement of the rails to the lower right corner has another effect, allowing the eye to follow lines of perspective back to the north opening of the shed.

A novice artist might crop this image by cutting the space to the right of the train, moving the corner from the rails, and thus spoiling the intended effects while placing greater emphasis on the DART train, and in so doing ruining my intended composition. 

Tracking the Light Posts Daily

New England Central 608 Cross-Lit at Plains Road.

South of Stafford, Connecticut, the former Central Vermont Railway runs along Plains Road, before crossing it to continue its path along the Willimantic River.

This is a favorite morning location for me, but a week ago Tuesday I opted to catch the southward 608 in the last rays of winter sun.

These are 12mm wide-angle views exposed with the FujiFilm XT1 and 12mm lens.

Brian is Traveling but Tracking the Light tries to post Every Day!

CSX Q264 Meets Sunrise at East Brookfield.


This is a follow up to last week’s post: February Sunrise and Headlight on the Horizon. (see: http://briansolomon.com/trackingthelight/2019/02/06/february-sunrise-and-headlight-on-the-horizon/).

A week ago, on Wednesday February 6, 2019, Paul Goewey and I caught CSX’s Q-264 rolling through CP64, the interlocking at East Brookfield near the train’s terminus on the East Brookfield & Spencer Railroad (the local short line switching railroad that unloads the autoracks for regional distribution).

Working with my FujiFilm XT1 and 90mm lens, I exposed this view at ISO 800.

I also made a grab shot with my Lumix LX-7.

Tracking the Light Posts Daily.

New England Central 608 at Stafford Springs—Part 4.

Last Tuesday was another sunny afternoon, and so another opportunity to photograph 608 New England Central rolling through downtown Stafford Springs, Connecticut!

This time I worked with my FujiFilm XT1 with 12mm Zeiss Touit lens.

As the train eased through town I made my way to another location for an additional photograph. Stay tuned!

Tracking the Light Posts Daily!

Railway photography by Brian Solomon

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