Tag Archives: Blue Line

Train to Wonderland; Auto Balance.

For real.

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’.

Lumix LX7 set in ‘A’ mode with ISO200 and 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.

Lumix LX7 set in ‘A’ mode with ISO200 and auto white balance.
Lumix LX7 set in ‘A’ mode with ISO200 and auto white balance.

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Brian’s Boston Blue Line Views

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.

History lessons are on display at many Blue Line stations.
History lessons are on display at many Blue Line stations.
Blue Line train at Airport Station.
Blue Line train at Airport Station.

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.

The connection from Blue Line's Airport Station to Logan involves one of these vehicles.
The connection from Blue Line’s Airport Station to Logan involves one of these vehicles.
A train to Wonderland arrives at the Airport Station drawing current from the overhead lines. I didn't meet Alice at Wonderland. No white rabbit either. However a few passengers could consider hatting as a trade.
A train to Wonderland arrives at the Airport Station drawing current from the overhead lines. I didn’t meet Alice at Wonderland. No white rabbit either. However, a few Blue Line passengers may consider  millinery (hatting) as a trade.
State Street Boston. A good service on the Blue Line. Not so good on the Orange Line, though.
State Street Boston. A good service on the Blue Line. Not so good on the Orange Line, though.
Nice new cars.
Nice new cars.
Beachmont Station incorporates visual elements that hark back to steam days on the BRB&L.
Beachmont Station incorporates visual elements that hark back to steam days on the BRB&L.

MBTA_Blue_Line_Beachmont_Station_details_P1280092

Beachmont.
Beachmont.
Someone somewhere is being cute: the Blue Line cars are in the 0700-series. This one is 0707. I also noted 0727, 0747, and etc. Funny these cars don't run to Riverside!
Someone somewhere is being cute: the Blue Line cars are in the 0700-series. This one is 0707. I also noted 0727, 0747, etc. Funny these cars don’t run to Riverside!
0707 at the Airport Station. I've a nice photo of an old Boeing at Rochester, New York. Perhaps for a future post.
0707 at the Airport Station. I’ve a nice photo of an old Boeing at Rochester, New York. Perhaps for a future post.

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Los Angeles Blue Line at Long Beach

Pan Photography: Why and How.

Exposed with a Canon EOS 3 on Fujichrome slide film.
June 2008. Exposed with a Canon EOS 3 on Fujichrome slide film.

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.

 

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