Tag Archives: Baltimore & Ohio

CSX at Smithton, Pennsylvania: JPG versus RAW.

Here’s an archived digital view I made in the summer of 2011 at Smithton, Pennsylvania along CSX’s former Baltimore & Ohio mainline.

Bad luck, just as this eastward freight came into view, a fair weather cloud muted the afternoon sun. I made a sequence of photos with my Canon EOS 7D.

This is the un-manipulated camera JPG file, scaled for internet presentation. Notice the bluish color balance, the bleached looking clouds and sky, and relatively flat contrast on background trees.

Working with Lightroom, I re-worked the image starting with the camera RAW file. Unlike the camera Jpg which is compressed, the RAW file contains greater amounts of information than maybe immediately evident.

By making nominal adjustments in post processing, I was able to create a more pleasing photograph. I worked on the sky, locally bringing in highlight details in the clouds by moving the highlight slider control to the left, which scales back the relative brightness of the highlight areas.

On a global level (for the whole file), I brightened shadows, warmed the color balance, increased saturation and adjusted contrast.

Lastly, I focused on the train and made very slight (subtle) adjustments to the exposure by lightening and changing contrast.

For comparison, I’ve included both the unaltered in-camera JPG and two versions of the altered camera RAW file.

This is my first version of the adjust RAW file. I felt it was a bit too warm and still too dark, so I made further adjustments as seen in the my second version below.
Here’s my second version of the adjusted RAW. I made a few subtle changes to improve the overall appeal of the image.

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Looking Back on the End of an Era—Daily Post.

Lincoln Park, Rochester, New York, January 8, 1986. 

B&O GP30 works at Lincoln Park, Rochester, New York on 3:15pm January 8, 1986. Exposed with a Leica 3A rangefinder on Kodachrome 64.
B&O GP30 works at Lincoln Park, Rochester, New York on 3:15pm January 8, 1986. Exposed with a Leica 3A rangefinder on Kodachrome 64.

It was a cold afternoon with more than a foot of fresh snow on the ground. Soft wintery sun made for directional pastel lighting, ideal for railway photography.

I found this Baltimore & Ohio local freight working sidings adjacent to Conrail’s former New York Central mainline. At the time, what interested me was the GP30 still wearing B&O blue with the classic capitol dome on the nose, and the caboose. By that date both types of equipment were getting scarce.

Technically, CSX had been the umbrella over Chessie System (the marketing name for the affiliated B&O, Chesapeake & Ohio, Western Maryland railroads) for several years. But this didn’t seem important to me. I was blissfully unaware of CSX, or that it planned to soon sell B&O’s former Buffalo, Rochester & Pittsburgh lines to Genesee & Wyoming.

In fact, by summer, B&O operations would be conveyed to G&W’s newly created Rochester & Southern, and two years later remaining BR&P lines to G&W’s Buffalo & Pittsburgh.

Even more dramatic, in 1987 CSX would meld B&O into its new CSX Transportation; a system-wide rebranding that would soon affect all of CSX’s railroads. Ironically, one of the first locomotives I photographed in CSXT paint was a former B&O GP30!

See my new book North American Railroad Family Trees that traces corporate changes to railroading during the 20th century. Available now from Voyageur Press!

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Tomorrow: Continuing adventures on the Ballina Branch!

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