Tag Archives: Connecticut River

Vermonter Crosses the Connecticut at Windsor Locks

On the afternoon of November 14, 2018, I exposed this view from the east bank of the Connecticut River looking across toward Windsor Locks as Amtrak’s northward Vermonter crossed the circa 1906 New Haven Railroad-built bridge.

To help balance the contrast and better retain detail in the sky, I used an external graduated neutral density filter made by Lee Filter.

This is a 0.9ND or three stops grad filter.

In addition, I adjusted the camera RAW file to maximize highlight and shadow detail, control contrast and improve saturation.

Tracking the Light Posts Everyday!

 

Morning Freight on the old Boston & Maine.

On the morning of November 14, 2018, I made these views of Pan Am Railway’s EDPO (East Deerfield to Portland, Maine manifest freight) crossing the Connecticut River as it left it’s western terminus on the old Boston & Maine Railroad Fitchburg route.

This side-lit scene benefitted from diffused directional light and a textured sky.

FujiFilm XT1 set for Velvia color profile with 18-135mm zoom lens.
FujiFilm XT1 set for Velvia color profile with 18-135mm zoom lens.

I exposed the photos using my FujiFilm XT1 and processed the RAW files to reveal maximum shadow and highlight detail while emphasizing the rich morning light.

Tracking the Light is on Auto Pilot while Brian Solomon is Traveling.

Tracking the Light aims to Post new material Daily.

Hump-set in the Rain.

The sky opened up as the East Deerfield hump set was crossing the Connecticut River bridge at the east end of Pan Am Railway’s East Deerfield Yard.

I thought the effects of the cascading rain added atmosphere to the scene.

90mm Fujinon telephoto view.

Tracking the Light Posts Daily.

Pan Am Railways crosses the Connecticut; Old and Older and both Blue.

I had a late start the other day.

After intercepting Amtrak’s southward Vermonter on the Connecticut River Line, I drove to Pan Am’s East Deerfield yard(near Greenfield, Massachusetts)  to see if anything was moving.

Fortuity and patience combined enabled me to make photos of Pan Am Railways POED crossing the Connecticut River Bridge (immediately east of the yard).

In the lead was 7552, one of two (soon to be three) former CSX DASH8-40Cs wearing Pan Am Railways paint, plus one of the railroad’s last remaining 600-series six motor EMDs (619, that began its career as a Southern Pacific SD45) still in traffic.

Exposed with my FujiFilm X-T1 with 18-135mm lens.

Catching this pair of locomotives together is a coup. I’ve always found transition periods make for interesting photographs; during the last year, these second-hand GE’s have sidelined many of Pan Am’s older locomotives.

Will this be the last time I catch one of the 1980s era GEs working together with a 1960s era six-motor EMDs in Pan Am blue paint?

Tracking the Light Posts Daily.

Pan Am’s ED-4 Rolls Ballast on the Connecticut River Main Line.

For nearly 35 years, locomotives have worn Guilford gray and orange paint. The scheme is has been out of vogue since introduction of the new Pan Am liveries about ten years ago, yet a few of the locomotive are still working in the old paint.

I made these views of GP40 316 working local freight ED4 hauling state-owned ballast cars southward at Hillside Road in South Deerfield.

Is this tighter version a better photograph?

Exposed using a FujiFilm X-T1 with 90mm Fujinon telephoto lens. I opted for the ‘darkside’ angle in order to better feature the hills in the distance (that make this a distinctive location) as well as the tie-piles that indicate the improvement to the track is on-going.

Tracking the Light Posts Every Day.

Glistening Water—New England Central on the move at Brattleboro, Vermont.

At 8:08 AM on April 27, 2018, New England Central 611 was on the move south from Brattleboro, Vermont.

Bright hazy sunshine made for excellent conditions for photography.

Working with my FujiFilm XT1 with 90mm telephoto, I exposed this view looking across the Connecticut River backwater south of Brattleboro yard.

By cropping the sky, featuring the locomotives in the top third of the frame, and allowing the natural patterns of glistening water to occupy most of the image, I create visual tension that keeps your eye scanning the photo. I chose a broadside view to feature the locomotives, each of which is of a different length; SD40T-2, SD40, and SD45 (three of my personal favorites).

To make the most of this contrasty scene, I imported the Fuji RAW file into Lightroom and made minor adjustments to highlight and shadows to improve the appearance of the image, then slightly boosted saturation to make for a more pleasing photograph.

NECR freight  611 was on the move toward Palmer, Massachusetts and a bright morning on hand, so the chase was on!

More photos to follow!

Tracking the Light Posts Daily.

Connecticut River Crossing—Contrast Adjustment.

Last week I exposed this view of New England Central 611 (Brattleboro to Palmer) crossing the Connecticut River at East Northfield, Massachusetts.

New England Central 611 crosses the Connecticut River at East Northfields, Massachusetts. Exposed with a Fuji Film XT1.

To compensate for the back lit high-contrast scene, I made a few necessary adjustments in post processing.

Working with the Camera RAW file, I applied a digital graduated filter across the sky and locally lowered highlight density, while altering the contrast curve and boosting saturation.

I then made global adjustment to contrast and saturation across the entire image, while brightening the shadow areas. The intent was to better hold detail in the sky.

To make this possible, it was necessary to expose for the sky, and allow the train and bridge to become comparatively dark. I did this knowing I’d make adjustments after the exposure.

For more detail on this photographic technique see: Irish Rail 085 with Ballast Train at Sunset—lessons in exposure and contrast adjustment. 

Tracking the Light Posts Everyday!

Slug-Set on the Connecticut River Bridge

Call this one Telephoto and Wideangle contrasts.

In October I called up to one of my favorite places and made these two views of the GATX slug-set that Pan Am Railways uses to work the East Deefield hump.

During the course of its duties the East Deerfield hump engine routinely pulls cuts of freight cars out onto the Connecticut River Bridge, which makes for ample opportunity to expose photographs.

Sometimes one view doesn’t give you the full picture.

I like the old bridge in this bucolic setting, and this also a great place to picture equipment. I’ve photographed dozens of trains here over years.

One view was exposed with my 12mm Zeiss Touit (wide angle) lens; the other with my Fujinon 90mm telephoto. The wideangle view takes in the scene; the telephoto photo focuses more tightly on the locomotive. By presenting both you get a more complete picture.


In this 12mm wide angle view, notice how the effect of soft sunlight on the bridge helps direct your eye to the locomotive.
On my FujiFilm XT1, the 90mm lens approximates the angle of view offered by a 135mm lens on a traditional full-frame 35mm film camera.

Tracking the Light Posts Daily.

Vermonter north of Northampton, Massachusetts (and a hint of something to come).

Amtrak’s Vermonter passing an old Tobacco Barn in the Connecticut River flood plain north of Northampton, Massachusetts.

Sunday, June 25, 2017, Amtrak’s mobile App indicated that train No. 54, the Sunday Vermonter had departed Northampton about 7 minutes past the advertised.

Tim suggested we try the location pictured here (right off Massachusetts Route 5). It’s the same spot that about a month earlier we caught Pan Am Railway’s office car special returning from Springfield.

This setting reminds me of locations in Illinois and Iowa, looking across farm fields with old barns as props. In the mid-1990s, I made many photos along those lines.

Exposed digitally using a FujiFilm X-T1 at 1/1000th of a second.
While waiting for the train, I made this view of the barns on infrared black & white film using a Leica IIIa with 50mm Summitar lens fitted with a special dark red filter (designed for infrared photography). More on this project in a future post.

Tracking the Light Posts Everyday.

 

Pan Am’s Wabash Dome Crosses the Connecticut.

Yes, that’s what this is all about.

Should I translate?

Exposed using a FujiFilm X-T1 digital camera. Why is a 'digital camera' use film in its name? Not sure, but it certainly causes confusion. And no, there was no film exposed in the making of this image.
Exposed using a FujiFilm X-T1 digital camera. Why does a ‘digital camera’ use ‘film’ in its name? Not sure, but it certainly causes confusion. And no, there was no film exposed in the making of this image.

Ok: Pan Am Railways (which takes its name from the old Pan Am Airways, the name that the railway’s parent organization acquired some years back) bought an old Wabash Railroad stainless steel dome.

Wabash was neither acronym nor a monicker.

Back in the day (before 1964 when the company was melded into the Norfolk & Western), the Wabash Railroad Company operated a Midwestern North American network that connected Buffalo, Detroit, Chicago, St. Louis, Omaha and Kansas City gateways.

The Connecticut is the north-south river that bisects New England, and which forms the boundary between New Hamshire and Vermont while crossing the states of Massachusetts and Connecticut. (Sorry, I don’t know if the state was named for the river or vice versa).

I made this photograph from the west bank of the river at East Deerfield, Massachusetts last August (2016.)

Hopefully that clarifies any confusion!

Tracking the Light posts everyday.

Details Revaled: Slug Set over the Connecticut.

On June 15, 2016, I posted two views of Pan Am Railway’s leased Slug Set working in East Deerfield hump service and paused on the Connecticut River Bridge east of the yard.

I asked readers to voice an opinion on their preferred image, while explaining that one was exposed on black & white film the traditional way and the other exposed digitally as a monochrome image.

I’ve weighed the comments, email and Facebook messages and found that the response was more or less evenly split, with a slight leaning to the top image (film). One respondent voiced a dislike of both images (see comments).

Below are the two vertical images with details of how they were made.

Number 1; exposed on Ilford HP5 black & white negative film using a Leica 3A with Nikkor 35mm lens. Processed in Kodak HC110 developer.
Number 1; exposed on Ilford HP5 black & white negative film using a Leica 3A with Nikkor 35mm lens. Processed in Kodak HC110 developer.
Number 2. This digital image was made using my FujiFilm X-T1 in a monochrome mode. I altered the output through the addition of a digital 'red' filter, that slightly darkened the blue areas of the image including the locomotive on the bridge.
Number 2. This digital image was made using my FujiFilm X-T1 in a monochrome mode. I altered the output through the addition of a digital ‘red’ filter, that slightly darkened the green and blue areas of the image including the locomotive on the bridge. This adjustment was made in-camera, not in post processing.

Both images were scaled for internet presentation using Lightroom.

Tracking the Light publishes everyday.

You Judge—Slug Set over the Connecticut—Film versus Digital.

Below is a comparison between two photos; one exposed digitally and one made with film. (Hint: click on Tracking the Light to see both).

I made these the other day of Pan Am’s hump engine working on the Connecticut River Bridge at East Deerfield, Massachusetts.

I won’t bore you with excessive detail, but one was made as a black & white image with a digital camera . The other was exposed in a traditional manner on black & white film, processed chemically and then scanned and scaled.

Number 1
Number 1.
Number 2.
Number 2.

So: which image do you prefer? (number one or number two).

Oh, and by the way, it is up to you to decide which was made with film and which was not.

Tracking the Light has new concepts daily.

Pan Am in Color—Connecticut River Bridge—part 2, Colors revealed! Which is best?

In yesterday’s post [Tracking the Light’s Panchromatic Pan Am] I alluded to the various color profile presets available on my Fujifilm X-T1 digital camera that emulate film types.

Here I’ve displayed several images all exposed individually within a few minutes of each other as a means of exploring the effect of each of the color profiles. Other than scaling for internet presentation, I have not altered the color, contrast or sharpness of these images and the effect is essentially how it appears in the camera-produced Jpg file.

Which do you like best?

Provia color profile.
X-T1—Provia color profile.
X-T1—Velvia color profile.
X-T1—Velvia color profile.
X-T1—Astia color profile.
X-T1—Astia color profile.
X-T1 Color Neg 'Hi' color profile.
X-T1—Color Neg ‘Hi’ color profile.
X-T1—Pro Neg standard color profile.
X-T1—Pro Neg standard color profile.

Tracking the Light posts new material every morning.

Please share Tracking the Light!

http://briansolomon.com/trackingthelight/

Tracking the Light’s Panchromatic Pan Am.

Color. This posting is about color.

Back in the day, Kodak used the term ‘Panchromatic’ to distinguish its latest black & white films from the older ‘orthochromatic’ emulsions.

Standard black & white setting with Fujifilm X-T1 digital camera. Pan-Am's POED (Portland to East Deerfield) is stationary allowing ample time for comparisons images.
Standard black & white setting with Fujifilm X-T1 digital camera. Pan-Am’s POED (Portland to East Deerfield) is stationary allowing ample time for comparisons images.

Today, we might take for granted that a photographic medium will reproduce all the colors as we see them, but old black & white emulsions were really pretty limited and some colors were not reproduced accurately (or at all), leading to a variety of unusual imaging effects.

Orthochromatic plates were largely sensitive to blue light. Among other effects of this limited spectral sensitivity was the tendency to overexpose the sky in relation to the rest of the scene. So, instead of the appropriate shades of grey, sky-blue tended to appear white. This is why so many glass plate photos appear to have been made on cloudy days. It is also one reason why sunset ‘glint’ photos were much harder to expose.

FACT: There are very few 1900-era glint photos of 4-4-0s.

‘Panchromatic’ means a film with full-spectrum sensitivity. But, I’m using the term in regards to my Fujifilm X-T1 Digital Camera. This, of course isn’t a film-camera at all, despite being the only camera I’ve ever owned that had the world ‘film’ in printed bold letters on the view-finder.

One of the great things about the X-T1 is its built in color profiles that emulate Fuji’s classic film types: Provia, Velvia, Astia, and some color print films.

It also has several black & white pre-sets, that offer the effects of using green, yellow and red filters and the appropriate spectral response.

Black & white with 'Red' filter setting. This alters the end result which among other things make the locomotives appear slightly darker. (No physical filter was used in the exposing of this image).
Black & white with ‘Red’ filter setting. This alters the end result which among other things make the blue  locomotives appear slightly darker. (No physical filter was used in the exposing of this image).
This image was made with the 'Provia' color profile, which I've included for point of comparison. Tomorrow's post (June 6, 2015) will feature more color profiles.
This image was made with the ‘Provia’ color profile, which I’ve included for point of comparison. Tomorrow’s post (June 6, 2015) will feature more color profiles.

On May 24, 2015. I had the good fortune to arrive at the Boston & Maine Railroad bridge over the Connecticut River at East Deerfield shortly after freight POED (Portland to East Deerfield) paused here at a perfectly picturesque position on the span.

I used this opportunity to run through the gamut of color profiles and black & white settings on the X-T1. I also made a few panoramic composites, which could lead to the title for a posting ‘Panchromatic Pan Am Panorama,’ but I read somewhere that gratuitous alliteration is considered poor writing.

I realize that some pundits may argue about my application of ‘panchromatic’ to a digital image. So just for the record, I’d also exposed some Fuji Provia 35mm film at this same scenic setting. Satisfied? Super!

Stay tuned for more, tomorrow . . .

Tracking the Light posts new material every morning.

Please share Tracking the Light!

http://briansolomon.com/trackingthelight/

Amtrak Special at Windsor, Connecticut—Part II

Telephoto View of today’s Amtrak Special crossing the Connecticut River.

See my earlier post on Tracking the Light for a panoramic view of the same train. Half an hour before the special crossed the bridge there was sunlight, but by the time the train arrived the clouds had rolled in.

Amtrak 822 leads an inspection train with one of the Pan Am business cars behind the locomotive. Exposed with a 100mm lens fitted to a Canon EOS7D.
Amtrak 822 leads an inspection train with one of the Pan Am business cars behind the locomotive. Exposed on Wednesday November 12, 2014 using a 100mm lens fitted to a Canon EOS7D.

Amtrak_Special_Windsor_Ct_3_IMG_9693

Tracking the Light post new material every day!

 

 

 

Colorful Consist Crossing the Connecticut River.

July 10, 2014.

We were waiting for Pan Am Southern’s westward empty autorack, train 206. This was just the gravy: Earlier Mike Gardner, Brian Jennison and I, had already had a productive summer’s day following the Mass-Central and caught Amtrak’s Vermonter in perfect light at Millers Falls.

As we waited for 205, Pan Am’s dispatcher routed its eastward counterpart, loaded autorack train 206 (destined for Ayer, Massachusetts), through the yard at East Deerfield to get it around a track gang.

Pan Am Southern train 206 crosses the Connecticut River at East Deerfield, Massachusetts on the evening of July 10, 2014.
Pan Am Southern train 206 crosses the Connecticut River at East Deerfield, Massachusetts on the evening of July 10, 2014.

This was an unexpected bonus! The train was led by a colorful consist of General Electric diesels. A Union Pacific Evolution-series was up front, followed by a curious former Conrail and/or LMS DASH8-40CW lettered for Canadian National and sublettered for CN’s subsidiary Illinois Central. Trailing was a common Norfolk Southern DASH9-40CW.

It’s just as well I shot this as a digital image and not as a color slide. I couldn’t have fit all this information on the slide mount! (Although I did exposed a frame of black & white film).

We never saw Pan Am’s 205 that day.

Nor did we catch the following unit grain train with BNSF locomotives leading. You can’t win all the prizes.

Tracking the Light posts new material every morning.

Please share Tracking the Light!

http://briansolomon.com/trackingthelight/

Tomorrow: Union Pacific Sunset!

 

Happy Birthday to Tracking the Light!

It has been two years today (July 19, 2014) since Tracking the Light’s first Post (July 19, 2012).

The first installment featured this image on the Central Vermont Railway crossing the Connecticut River.

Kodachrome slide of a Central Vermont freight train at Windsor, Vermont.
Central Vermont Railway at Windsor, Vermont. Originally posted on July 19, 2012.

Click HERE to check out the inaugural post.

Tracking the Light has been posting daily since March 2013.

To date, the most popular item was posted January 20, 2013: TRACKING THE LIGHT NEWS FLASH: Photos of Philadelphia Schuylkill River Bridge Derailment. This alone received more than 800 views.

In the last two years of Tracking the Light, I’ve covered a variety of themes, posted thousands of images, and visited many places.

What was your favorite Tracking the Light story?

Tracking the Light posts new material daily.

Subscribe to Tracking the Light

Click the ‘reply’ button/go to the ‘Leave a Reply’ box at the bottom of the page; then tick the box: ‘Check here to Subscribe / notifications for new posts’.

Tracking the Light is a work in progress.

Check out: Brian Solomon Publishing on Facebook:

http://www.facebook.com/BrianSolomonAuthor

Mass_Central_near_Creamery_P1010055

 GCT_interior_P1050416

 

Trailing view at the Palmer diamond in the glinty evening light. A CSX westward intermodal train makes for a graphic subject. Canon EOS 7D with 200mm lens.
Trailing view at the Palmer diamond in the glinty evening light. A CSX westward intermodal train makes for a graphic subject. Canon EOS 7D with 200mm lens.

 

Four years ago today: John Gruber with his vintage Nikon F on a restored North Shore car at the Illinois Railway Museum. Exposed with a Canon EOS 7D.
Four years ago today: John Gruber with his vintage Nikon F on a restored North Shore car at the Illinois Railway Museum. Exposed with a Canon EOS 7D.
N&W 611 surrounded by the enemy.
N&W 611 surrounded by the enemy.

Photographers_at_night_PRR_and_C&O_at_night_sideview_P1030770Sou_WAB_DL&W_tight_night_100_IMG_6252

CSX Q423 (or L423) was working Palmer yard. In this view it pulls passed CP83 to double its train out of the yard. I exposed several telephoto views with the LX-7. By keeping the camera relatively low to the ground, I've minimized foreground distractions while allowing for a more dramatic perspective on the locomotives.
CSX Q423 (or L423) was working Palmer yard. In this view it pulls passed CP83 to double its train out of the yard. I exposed several telephoto views with the LX-7. By keeping the camera relatively low to the ground, I’ve minimized foreground distractions while allowing for a more dramatic perspective on the locomotives.
Exposed with a Nikon F3 with 85mm lens on Fujichrome Sensia 100 slide film.
Exposed with a Nikon F3 with 85mm lens on Fujichrome Sensia 100 slide film.

CN Tower at Night Toronto P1060978

Montague_Lane_IMG_5759

Irish Rail 220 leads Monday's Dublin-Ballina IWT liner seen west of Kildare, near Cherryville Junction. Exposed with a Canon EOS 7D with 100mm lens.
Irish Rail 220 leads Monday’s Dublin-Ballina IWT liner seen west of Kildare, near Cherryville Junction. Exposed with a Canon EOS 7D with 100mm lens.
A closer horizontal view with the same camera-lens combination. I adjusted the exposure by a one-third stop, opening to f8.0 to compensate for the lack of sky in the image. Locomotive 085 features a variation of the gray and yellow paint scheme introduced last year. This features the traditional three-digit locomotive number in larger fonts on the cab. This in addition to the recently introduced European multiple number printed in tiny type elsewhere on the engine.
A closer horizontal view with the same camera-lens combination. I adjusted the exposure by a one-third stop, opening to f8.0 to compensate for the lack of sky in the image. Locomotive 085 features a variation of the gray and yellow paint scheme introduced last year. This features the traditional three-digit locomotive number in larger fonts on the cab. This in addition to the recently introduced European multiple number printed in tiny type elsewhere on the engine.
This car works interlaced track where up-hill and down hill lines overlap. Canon EOS 7D.
This car works interlaced track where up-hill and down hill lines overlap. Canon EOS 7D.

Foggy_night_Porto_IMG_2517

Exposed with a Canon EOS 7D fitted with a 100-400 image stabilization zoom lens set at 135mm; f8 at 1/500th of second, ISO 200.
Exposed with a Canon EOS 7D fitted with a 100-400 image stabilization zoom lens set at 135mm; f8 at 1/500th of second, ISO 200.
Exposed on Fujichrome Provia 100 using a Nikon F3T with an f1.8 105mm lens. Exposure calculated manually.
Exposed on Fujichrome Provia 100 using a Nikon F3T with an f1.8 105mm lens. Exposure calculated manually.
Locomotive 461 works west along the Royal Canal near Enfield on March 23, 2014. Exposed with a Canon EOS 7D fitted with a 20mm lens and firmly mounted on a Bogan tripod. Focus and exposure set manually.
Locomotive 461 works west along the Royal Canal near Enfield on March 23, 2014. Exposed with a Canon EOS 7D fitted with a 20mm lens and firmly mounted on a Bogen tripod. Focus and exposure set manually.
I'd only had my Canon EOS 7D for a few weeks when I made this study of geometric shapes. Metra F40PHs at Harvard made for a colorful subject. Exposed with my Canon 200mm lens handheld at f13 1/250th of a second.
I’d only had my Canon EOS 7D for a few weeks when I made this study of geometric shapes. Metra F40PHs at Harvard made for a colorful subject. Exposed with my Canon 200mm lens handheld at f13 1/250th of a second.
The unusual curved York train shed was built between 1871 and 1877. A Virgin Cross Country HST pauses at York on 4 July 1999. This was led by one of the less-common varieties of the Class 43 power units that featured buffers. Exposed on Fujichrome Sensia using a Nikon N90S with 24mm lens.
The unusual curved York train shed was built between 1871 and 1877. A Virgin Cross Country HST pauses at York on 4 July 1999. This was led by one of the less-common varieties of the Class 43 power units that featured buffers. Exposed on Fujichrome Sensia using a Nikon N90S with 24mm lens.
16mm Hologon view of Cincinnati Union Station.
16mm Hologon view of Cincinnati Union Station.
Canon EOS 7D with 20mm lens. Amtrak ACS 64 number 600.
Canon EOS 7D with 20mm lens. Amtrak ACS 64 number 600.
Conrail
In July 1984, Conrail 6666 leads an eastward freight on the Boston & Albany at Washington Summit, Hinsdale, Massachusetts. This photograph is unpublished and previously unprinted. It was exposed on 35mm Tri-X using a 1930s-vintage Leica 3A with 50mm Summitar lens. Post processing allowed for localized contrast control to maximize the detail in the original negative.

NS_high_hood_GP38s_at_xing_IMG_4129

 

Here's the camera RAW file. This has not been interpreted by in-camera processing to conform to a pre-established 'picture style'. The result is perfectly exposed. I simply converted the file to a Jpg manually and scaled it for display here. I did not adjust exposure, contrast, or color. In other words its was an easy fix: there was never really a problem with the file, on with my perception of how the 'landscape' style Jpg had interpreted the image.
Here’s the camera RAW file. This has not been interpreted by in-camera processing to conform to a pre-established ‘picture style’. The result is perfectly exposed. I simply converted the file to a Jpg manually and scaled it for display here. I did not adjust exposure, contrast, or color. In other words its was an easy fix: there was never really a problem with the file, on with my perception of how the ‘landscape’ style Jpg had interpreted the image.
The dappled light on the trees and the dark shadowed hillside beyond made for a dramatic painterly back drop, while tree shadows on the foreground snow minimized the effects of glare and provided texture.
The dappled light on the trees and the dark shadowed hillside beyond made for a dramatic painterly back drop, while tree shadows on the foreground snow minimized the effects of glare and provided texture.

SEPTA_inbound_vert_IMG_4019

Market East. Canon EOS 7D photo.
Market East. Canon EOS 7D photo.
The Cement train crew gets off the engines after stabling the train in the sidings. After exposing these photos I boarded a train for Mallow and Tralee.
The Cement train crew gets off the engines after stabling the train in the sidings. After exposing these photos I boarded a train for Mallow and Tralee.
Cumbres & Toltec former Denver & Rio Grande Western three-foot gauge line, Colorado.
Cumbres & Toltec former Denver & Rio Grande Western three-foot gauge line, Colorado.

Please spread the word! Tell your friends about Tracking the Light!

DAILY POST: Maine Central Alco in the Rain at North Walpole, New Hampshire

Taking in the Whole Scene.

My father taught me to make railway scenes, and not merely images of equipment. I did just that on this cold, wet, rainy day, when I photographed Maine Central Alco RS-11 crossing Route 12 in North Walpole, New Hampshire.

Mountain Railroad on November 25, 1983. It was raining hard when I exposed this view of it crossing Route 12 in North Walpole, New Hampshire using my Leica 3A loaded with Kodak Tri-X. For me, the rain, the locomotive and the highway were all part of the scene. I’ve framed the locomotive in the grade crossing signals. To the right is theMountain Railroad on November 25, 1983. It was raining hard when I exposed this view of it crossing Route 12 in North Walpole, New Hampshire using my Leica 3A loaded with Kodak Tri-X. For me, the rain, the locomotive and the highway were all part of the scene. I’ve framed the locomotive in the grade crossing signals. To the right is Green Mountain's former Boston & Maine roundhouse
Maine Central 802, one of the railroad’s two Alco RS-11’s was on loan to Green Mountain Railroad on November 25, 1983. It was raining hard when I exposed this view of it crossing Route 12 in North Walpole, New Hampshire using my Leica 3A loaded with Kodak Tri-X. For me, the rain, the locomotive and the highway were all part of the scene. I’ve framed the locomotive in the grade crossing signals. To the left is Green Mountain’s former Boston & Maine roundhouse.

I’d traveled with Paul Goewey to Bellows Falls on the morning of November 25, 1983, specifically to photograph this locomotive. For reasons I can’t recall (if I ever knew), Green Mountain had borrowed Maine Central 802 to work its daily freight XR-1, that ran to Rutland over the former Rutland Railroad.

Despite the gloomy conditions this was something of an event, and I recall that several photographers had convened at Bellows Falls to document 802’s travels.

Green Mountain’s roundhouse is in North Walpole, just across the Connecticut River from Bellows Falls, and I made this image from the east bank as the engine switched cars.

With this image I was trying to convey that this locomotive was in an unusual place by putting it in a distinctive scene.

Once XR-1 was underway, Paul and I followed it toward Rutland. The weather deteriorated and rain turned to snow. By the time we reached Ludlow, the snow had become heavy; we were cold, wet, and tired, having been up since 4:30 am, and so ended the day’s photography.

Tracking the Light posts new material every morning.

Please spread the word and share Tracking the Light with anyone who may enjoy seeing it!

http://briansolomon.com/trackingthelight/

Tomorrow:

Discussion of a contemporary color slide featuring a Canadian National ethanol extra!

Enhanced by Zemanta

Pan Am Railways Crosses the Connecticut, October 17, 2013

Two Perspectives from the Same Vantage Point.

 

New England is famous for its autumn foliage. When making railroad photos in the season, are the leaves the subject, the setting or simply background?

On the morning of October 17, 2013, I made a series of photographs of Pan Am Railway’s (Pan Am Southern) westward freight symbol 190ED between Erving and East Deerfield. Leading the train were a pair of SD40-2s in the latest corporate scheme.

I made my way to the former Boston & Maine bridge over the Connecticut River where there was some very colorful foliage in the foreground and background. Incidentally, this is the location of the ‘icon photo’ used to introduce Tracking the Light.

Connecticut River Bridge with foliage.
Exposed with a Canon EOS 7D with 40mm pancake lens; f4 at 1/320 second ISO 200.

As the freight eased across the bridge, I had ample time to compose several images. Working with my Canon EOS 7D with 40mm lens, I exposed a non-conventional image focused on some foreground foliage, and used a low aperture to deliberately allow the locomotives to be out of focus.

I then changed my focus to the locomotives and bridge and exposed several more conventional images. I also had time to pop off a color slide with my dad’s Leica M4.

Freight train crossing river.
Pan Am 606 leads the westward symbol freight 190ED across the Connecticut River at East Deerfield, Massachusetts on October 17, 2013. Exposed with a Canon EOS 7D with 40mm pancake lens; f4 at 1/320 second ISO 200.

I realize that the image focused on the leaves won’t appeal to everyone. But I find it a bit evocative. It’s more about the foliage than the train, yet the train remains the subject. You cannot help but see the engine’s headlights, like evil eyes, peering from beyond the leaves.

As an aside, the lead locomotive interested me. Pan Am 606 is a variation of the SD40-2 produced with a longer than normal short-hood or ‘nose’ to house 1970s-era radio-control equipment. At this point in time this feature is a left over from an earlier time and its original owner. Pan Am neither has  a need to use such locomotives in mid-train remote service, nor is the locomotive like to remain so equipped. But it is a visually distinguishing feature that sets it apart from other locomotives on the railroad.

Tracking the Light posts new material daily.

See Thursday’s News Flash: Massachusetts Central’s Recently Acquired GP38 makes First Revenue Run

Please spread the word and share Tracking the Light with anyone who may enjoy seeing it!

http://briansolomon.com/trackingthelight/

Enhanced by Zemanta