This year, I opted to take the DART to Bray and hike the cliff-walk around the head to make these views.
Despite clear skies and warm spring weather, wafting sea fog made for a challenging photographic conditions.
I made a point of photographing DART electric trains and Irish Rail’s intercity diesel railcars while in position for the steam special.
Shortly before locomotive 461 emerged from the tunnels near Brandy Hole, a cloud of fog rose to add a bit of atmosphere.
In addition to these digital photographs, I exposed a series of 35mm colour slides on Provia 100F using my Canon EOS-3 with 40mm pancake lens. The mix of stunning scenery, wafting fog and bright sun made for a spectacular backdrop for the annual special.
Sunday Morning, March 22, 2015: I waited patiently at the Con Colbert Road near the top of the Gullet—the cutting west of Islandbridge Junction in Dublin.
In the distance I could see the smoke from the locomotive; it was blocked outside of Heuston Station waiting for a path.
Up and down regular passenger trains gave me an opportunity to check my focus and exposures.
Past experience photographing steam locomotives in contrasty light has taught me that auto focus systems can easily get confused by wafting steam and smoke. The last thing I need is for the camera to be ‘hunting for focus’ during the moment of peak drama.
I switched my Fuji X-T1 to manual focus and pre-selected a focus point. The beauty of a digital camera is the ability to inspect results on site.
If I planned this correctly, dappled light and direct backlighting would help illuminate the smoke.
Finally, the bark of the locomotive and a volcanic display of exhaust. The camera was set in ‘turbo flutter’ (continuous high) and as 461 worked its way up the Gullet I exposed several strategically timed bursts of images.
A perfect opportunity to photograph old and new together.
Both are commonly seen on Irish railways, but both are foreigners. The 461 was 1923 product of Beyer Peacock in England, while the ICR was built by Rotem in Korea. Where else can you see such an eclectic combination?
The steam locomotive was one of two built for the Dublin & Southeastern, and is one of only a few operating steam locomotives in Ireland. The ICR is Irish Rail’s standard type of train for intercity services. Do you think the ICR will still be around in 91 years?
Tracking the Light posts new material every morning.
Excursions are a great opportunity to make detailed photos of railway equipment. In addition to the traditional angles, I like to get close and focus on characteristic elements of locomotives and railway cars.
Locomotive 461 is an old favorite. I’ve been photographing it for more than 15 years, and I think it’s safe to say that I have a fair few photos of it. But that’s never caused me pause; I keep looking for new ways and new angles on this old machine.
Here’s just a few from The Marble City trip on August 25, 2013.
Today, Tuesday 6 November 2012, was another day of main-line trials with Railway Preservation Society Ireland locomotive 461; the locomotive departed from Inchicore and made its run to Portlaoise and return under mixed skies. Hugh Dempsey & I made a very productive day out catching the locomotive, IWT Liner and other trains at various locations. My Canon 7D was very active; its card is nearly full! Made use of the Lumix LX3, and exposed more than a roll of Provia 100F with the EOS-3. (What? Only one roll?! Yes yes, I know, but the digital cameras filled it where the film camera left off, or vice versa.) Here is just one of many photos from today’s very productive outing.
Brian Solomon will be giving an illustrated talk titled “Ireland from an American Perspective 1998-2003” at the Irish Railway Record Society’s Heuston Station premises in Dublin at 7:30pm on Thursday November 8, 2012. Admission free.