Tag Archives: ATSF

DAILY POST: Santa Fe in the Tehachapis, 1993.

Warbonnets among Iridescent Rolling Hills.

Santa Fe Railway
The head-end of Santa Fe’s second 199 works Southern Pacific rails in the Tehachapis between tunnel 1 and 2 near Bealville, California at 7:45am on April 3, 1993. I exposed this photo on Kodachrome 25 slide film using a Nikon F3T with 35mm lens at f4.5 1/125 second. Here’s a secret: the F3T has a removable prism; and to make this image, I pre-focused then took the prism off and held the camera close to the ground. Incidentally this means I composed the image in reverse. At the time, my camera didn’t have a motor drive, so this was a one shot effort. Take careful notice of the lighting and focus points.

California’s rolling Tehachapi mountains south of Bakersfield is one of the West’s great places to watch and photograph trains. Here through creative use of scale, depth-of-field and backlighting, I’ve made a real railroad look like a model!

In the early 1990s, I made several productive trips there. In Spring 1993, Brian Jennison and spent a few great days making images of SP and Santa Fe trains. On this morning we were joined by local photographers Bruce Perry and the late David Burton.

On the morning of April 3, 1993, I climbed a grassy hill near Bealeville to make this  image of Santa Fe’s westward second 199 winding its way downgrade between tunnels 1 and 2.

Working with my Nikon F3T and 35mm PC lens, I played with focus and scale to make an image that looks like one exposed on a model railway. This was my way to cope with some difficult lighting on a photogenic subject and following in the California tradition, I’ve micturated on established ‘rules’ of conventional railroad photography.

I’ve always liked the purple lupin in the foreground.

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