Changing trains on my way to Long Beach from LAX.
With my luggage, etc.
Fare price: $1.75.
Photos exposed with my Lumix LX7.
I was going to call this Boston Blue Line. But the “Train to Wonderland” sounded more evocative.
Boston’s Blue Line subway offers a great example of when to make good use of a digital camera’s ‘auto white balance’ feature. This is in contrast to yesterday’s post describing when to avoid ‘auto white balance’.
Auto white balance is a good tool when exposing photos under fluorescent lighting, where the color balance varies with the color temperature of the bulbs. With this setting the camera will automatically select a neutral white that avoids unnatural tints caused by color-spikes in the bulb’s spectrum. These artificial bias-tints are typically invisible to the eye but produce a strong color cast in photos.
I hadn’t explored Boston’s Blue since 1999, so the other day while waiting for a flight at Logan airport I took a spin over the length of the line.
The Blue Line has its origins with one of America’s most unusual suburban railways, the narrow gauge Boston, Revere Beach & Lynn. At one time, beyond living memory, this was operated using a fleet of Mason Bogie engines, a peculiar type derived from the English Fairlie.
Later the route was electrified.
Historic views posted in MBTA’s modern station and architectural details hint at this once wonderful railway.
It remains a peculiar operation because of its blend of third rail and electric overhead. At the airport station you can witness the transition between electrical systems.
I found train frequency excellent, with cars passing in both directions about every four minutes.
These photos exposed with my ever versatile Panasonic Lumic LX7.
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Pan Photography: Why and How.
I made this pan of a Blue Line light railcar on the streets of Long Beach, California while researching my book Railroads of California.
Panning is one of my preferred techniques for making a dynamic image while separating the subject from the background.
This can be especially useful on dull days where a lack of contrast makes for bland scenes, or in complex urban environments where the subject maybe lost in a tapestry of intersecting lines.
It’s also a great way to compensate for harsh lighting.
Some tricks for making successful pan photos: select a slow shutter speed (1/15 -1/60th of a second), aim for a broadside angle, and follow your subject while releasing the shutter as you move. Use smooth lateral motion. Do not stop panning once you release the shutter. Practice repeatedly.
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Tomorrow: An Iowa Interlude.