Tag Archives: Basel

Swiss Colour—Trams at the Basel Hbf.

25 April 2017, I spent a few minutes making photographs of trams at the transit hub in front of the Basel Hauptbahnhof (main railway station).

In the vertical view I’ve included some flowers in the foreground for colour and depth.

The railway station makes for a nice transportation  backdrop.

Exposed using a FujiFilm X-T1 with 18-135mm Fujinon zoom lens.
The flowers mimic the colours of the the trams.

 

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Striving for Tonality.

Last month I made this photo of a tram near its terminus in Basel, Switzerland.

To achieve deeper tones, I’ve adjusted my photographic process, shortening the development time, then boosting highlights by toning the negatives after development.

Working with my Nikon N90S with f2.0 35mm lens, I exposed a roll of Ilford HP5, rating it at 320 ISO. I processed the film in Agfa (formula) Rodinal Special (mixed 1-30 with water) for 3 minutes 25 seconds at 68 degrees F.

By design, this resulted in acceptable negatives, slightly on thin (light) side. Then, after fixing (two stage) and a thorough 10 minute rinse, I toned the negatives in selenium (using a 1-9 mix) for nine minutes with regular agitation.

Selenium toner is poisonous, so I wear latex gloves and perform the toning outside to avoid breathing the fumes, and pre-rinse the film prior to bringing it back inside.

Toning the negatives in this way boosts the highlights, giving the images a slightly silvery glow, while improving archival stability.

For this photo, I made some additional changes in post processing.

After scanning, I imported the file to Lightroom, and digitally lowered the contrast and highlight density of the sky-area in the top 1/3 of the frame.

My intent was to produce an image with a darker moody tonality and glistening highlights. I wonder if this will translate to the internet well?

 

Agfa Rodinal Special and selenium toners can be purchased from Freestyle in California, (see: http://www.freestylephoto.biz).

 

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Nocturnal Basel Tram Pan

Using my Panasonic Lumix LX7, I exposed this pan photograph of a city tram on the streets of Basel, Switzerland in April 2017.

I’d set the camera at ISO 250, and with the ‘A’ (aperture priority) mode set the aperture to its widest opening (f1.7), which allowed for a shutter speed of 1/8 of a second.

By panning (moving) with the tram, the relatively long shutter speed places the background in a sea of blur while keeping the tram car comparatively sharp.

Basel, Switzerland has a complicated narrow gauge tram system. Lumix LX7 photograph, April 2017.

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Take a Ride on SNCF.

On 21 April 2016, I had my First Class France Rail Pass Flexi validated at Basel, Switzerland.

My goal was by the first evening to reach Valenciennes (a city in northern France near the Belgian border) using only regional trains, rather than the TGV (plenty of opportunity for high speed travel later in my trip).

I found the challenge as in making local connections since these days SNCF focuses long-distance passengers onto high-speed routes. All very well, unless you want to experience secondary lines and ride trains off-the well-beaten path.

Thanks to Stephen Hirsch and Denis McCabe who helped with my planning, I traveled on a series of TER trains.

After four train-changes reached my destination 15 hours after I boarded the first train on the French side of Basel’s main station.

My first SNCF train was a loco-hauled push-pull service from Basel to Strasbourg. Exposed with my Lumix LX7.
My first SNCF train was a loco-hauled push-pull service from Basel to Strasbourg. Exposed with my Lumix LX7.
Among the benefits of SNCF's secondary trains are large windows, ample space for luggage, and no requirement for advanced reservations which allows for spontaneous travel.
Among the benefits of SNCF’s secondary trains are large windows, ample space for luggage, and no requirement for advanced reservations which allows for spontaneous travel.
I made good use of my pass, and proved a much better value than buying single tickets.
I made good use of my pass, and proved a much better value than buying single tickets.
Old school comfort. Proper 1st class railway travel. Lumix LX7 photo.
Old school comfort. Proper 1st class railway travel. Lumix LX7 photo.
Lumix LX7 photo; focus setting on 'manual'.
Lumix LX7 photo; focus setting on ‘manual’.
A rolling panorama of the French landscape.
A rolling panorama of the French landscape.
Plenty of locomotives and trains to be viewed from the window of the train.
Plenty of locomotives and trains to be viewed from the window of the train.

SNCF_View_from_train_at_Strasbourg_P1440869

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Trams in Basel, Switzerland; 21 April 2016.

On the morning of 21 April 2016, I had a few minutes to make photos of Basel’s trams using my Lumix LX7.

Low clear morning sun helped make my brief efforts a photographic success.

Perhaps on future visit, it would be nice to re-explore the Basel network to a greater extent.

This side-lit view favors the tram's modern profile.
This side-lit view favors the tram’s modern profile.
Sun and shadows in Basel on 21 April 21, 2016.
Sun and shadows in Basel on 21 April 21, 2016.
A modern tram waits for passengers at Basel's SBB Bahnhof.
A modern tram waits for passengers at Basel’s SBB Bahnhof.
Basel_tram_P1440819
Here I was aiming to feature the Swiss flag.

Basel_tram_w_Bahnhof_P1440827

Shadowed view offers different contrast.
This shadowed view offers different contrast than images in direct sun.

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