Yesterday (September 3, 2022), Kris and I stopped in at Conway, NH to observe the arrival of the morning train led by steam locomotive 7470.
This is the last weekend of regularly scheduled steam service for the summer season and I wanted to make a few photos and catch up with steam locomotive engineer Wayne Duffett.
I made these photos of the 7470 and crew at Conway using my Nikon Z6 with 70-200mm Z-series zoom. By working with the variable focal length telephoto I was able to quickly compose images of the crew and their locomotive.
All images were exposed in the NEF (RAW) format, imported into Adobe Lightroom for adjustment, and exported as JPGs for internet display.
When I started producing Tracking the Light a decade ago, my thought was to offer very detailed essays focused on photographic technique, processes, and how to make the most of specific pieces of equipment.
My format has since morphed into something less detailed and more visual.
I often carry my Lumix LX7 digital camera because it is compact, lightweight and yet has the ability to make exceptionally sharp photos that I can use in books and magazines.
Yesterday, I made these images with the LX7 of Conway Scenic steam locomotive 7470. I used some photos for the company Facebook page and hope to use them in advertising.
Although these photos were scaled, what you see here are the in-Camera JPGs without significant alteration to color, contrast, exposure or sharpness.
If I were working with a different digital camera system, how might that have changed my results?
Yesterday, I also exposed some Ektachrome of 7470 using my 30-year old Nikon F3 with f1.8 105mm lens.
Yesterday morning (July 23, 2022), Kris and I timed our visit to Allens Siding Road to perfectly coincide with the operation of Conway Scenic Railroad steam locomotive 7470 on the 915am Conway train.
I’d scoped this location out the day before (featured in yesterday’s post) just make sure it was the best place to picture the steam locomotive working.
We arrived a minute before the eastbound train passed. (Conway Scenic timetable 34 predicates all movements on a east-west axis. Conway being the further station East and Hazens being the furthest west, without consideration for the compass).
After the eastward train passed, we had about a 20 minute wait for the return.
Engineer Wayne Duffett made a good show climbing the grade west from the Swift River Bridge.
All photos were exposed using my Nikon Z6 with a 24-70mm Z-series zoom and adjusted for contrast and color balance using Adobe Lightroom.
Yesterday, July 1, 2022, I organized a broadcast at Conway Scenic Railroad by Lakes FM 101.5 and the Hawk 104.9 FM. In conjunction with this, I invited Ben and Danny of the band Eastwood Station to play some original music, and asked Conway Scenic general manager Dave Swirk if he could bring out steam locomotive 7470 to sound its whistle live on air.
It was a very successful day at North Conway!
In between radio spots, I made these photos with my Nikon Z6, some of which I put up on the railroad’s facebook, while recording the musicians and steam locomotive with digital video.
The railroad hopes to have the steam locomotive out of the roundhouse and under steam for display and training over the 4th of July weekend.
This morning (January 2, 2022) a fire started in the cab of Conway Scenic Railroad’s steam locomotive 7470.
At this point the cause is believed to have stemmed from a fault with the engine radio. The fire damaged a spring in the whistle valve that set off the engine whistle. The shrieking whistle alerted our steam locomotive mechanic who called 911.
I was called shortly after 6am and proceeded to the roundhouse where I made these photos in my capacity as Manager of Marketing & Events for Conway Scenic Railroad.
While there is minor damage to engine 7470’s cab and minimal damage to the 1874-built roundhouse, the situation could have been much worse. You could write a story: ‘The engine that saved itself!” Thanks to the North Conway Fire Department and everyone that assisted in preventing spread of the fire.
Conway Scenic’s ‘New Year’s Special to Sawyer River’ will proceed as advertised. Motive power will be former Maine Central diesels. Boarding is at 12 noon today (January 2, 2022).
On Saturday, January 2, 2021, I limited my photo arsenal to just three cameras.
For this view of the Conway Scenic Railroad’s Winter Steam crossing the Saco River at ‘Second Iron,’ I was used my Nikon Z6.
I made some nominal modifications to the camera raw file (NEF) using Adobe Lightroom. Specifically, I lightened the shadow areas, brought down the highlights, while whitening the whites to help separate the steam from the sky and keep the snow looking clean and fresh. I also slightly increased saturation since the RAW capture appeared a bit dull.
Locomotive 7470 was reversing over the bridge after making its first run-by for the photographers on the trip.
Yesterday, I presented images scaled directly from the Camera produced JPG files.
To make the most of the images presented in today’s post, I imported my Fuji RAW files into Iridient X-Transformer for conversion into the DNG format, and then imported the DNG conversions into Adobe Lightroom for adjustment.
As previously described on Tracking the Light Iridient X-Transformer does a superior job of interpreting the data captured in RAW by the Fuji X-series camera than simply importing the RAWs directly into Lightroom.
Using the Lightroom sliders I made nominal adjustments to contrast, color temperature, and exposure in order improve the interpretation of the photographs.
The book High Green and the Bark Peelers describes this then-new bridge (built c1949) which had replaced a traditional wooden covered bridge.
The other day, I walked along the banks of the Saco River in Conway, NH to make this view of Conway Scenic Railroad’s 7470 on its northward run in freshly fallen snow.
The original image was exposed as NEF (Raw file) with my Nikon Z6 mirrorless camera. I imported the file into Adobe Lightroom to make nominal adjustments to color, exposure and contrast. This allowed me to make the most of the directional winter lighting.
Although a largely monochromatic scenic, this is actually a full color photograph. Perhaps I should return one of these days with a film camera?
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.