For more than forty years my family has been visiting the Connecticut Trolley Museum at Warehouse Point in East Windsor.
I made these views last weekend.
I’ve always enjoyed the nostalgia of the trolleys and the leisurely ride through the forest. What’s interesting is that the trolleys I knew as a kid are largely inside and pending restoration, while today’s operable cars were largely out of service when I was younger.
In October 2014, I photographed this old MBTA (Boston) PCC car at the Connecticut Trolley Museum at East Windsor, Connecticut.
Just a rusty old ruin; but the car and its Kenmore destination board, brought me back to the early 1970s when my family lived a few blocks from MBTA’s Riverside Line at Newton Centre.
This route had been the Boston & Albany Highlands Branch, and was converted to a trolley line in 1960.
As young child, I was permitted freedom to wander around the neighborhood. My fascination with railways naturally brought me to the trolley line.
One afternoon, I’d been watching the PCC’s coming and going in front of the old B&A station. I’d often traveled on the cars with my parents, and I understood how the system worked.
Taking a chance, I quietly boarded one of the cars through the back door. I rode to Kenmore Square, where I boarded another car and returned to Newton Centre. I might have been five at the time. More than 40 years passed before I told anyone of this adventure. 🙂
This afternoon on the way to catch Amtrak 57, the southward Vermonter, my dad and I stopped in for a visit to the Connecticut Trolley Museum at East Windsor for old time sake.
Three cars were on the line today. We went for a spin on a vintage 1902 Brill-built open car.
These photos were exposed using my Lumix LX7, downloaded to my laptop on board Amtrak 57, manipulated in Lightroom, and then uploaded to Tracking the Light courtesy of Amtrak’s WiFi. From my camera to the world: a demonstration of the miracles of modern technology.
On October 20, 2013, I stopped by the Connecticut Trolley Museum near East Windsor and made a variety of photos. The day was perfect; warm and sunny with a cloudless clear sky. A bit of autumn color clung to the trees.
This was an opportunity to experiment with my cameras and I’ve displayed here three images of former a Boston Type 5 streetcar that was working the line.
I exposed the top image on Fuji Velvia 50 color slide film with my father’s Leica M4 fitted with a 35mm Summicron. The bottom images were simultaneous files made with my Lumix LX3 (which features a Leica Vario-Summicron lens).
The Lumix allows me to make both a camera RAW file and a JPG at the same time. The Lumix software has a variety of color profiles for the JPG files that alter the appearance of the image. Typically, I use the “Standard” profile such as displayed here.
Although I’ve scaled all of the files and processed them for internet display, I’ve not made major changes to contrast, exposure or content. The color slide required a nominal color balance adjustment to remove the inherent bias associated with this film.
I scanned the slide using my Epson V600 scanner.
My father has some nice views of Boston’s Type 5s in revenue service exposed on Kodachrome in the 1950s.
All things being equal, I wonder which photographs will survive the longest? The 50+ year old Kodachromes? My Velvia slides exposed in October? Or the digital files exposed the same day? All the digital files (including scans) are preserved on at least three hard drives. While the slides are stored in a dark, cool dry place.
The Lumix LX3 has a sliding switch above the lens that allows control of the camera’s aspect ratio (in other words the relative dimensions of the frame). This gives the photographer the ability to compose images using different proportional rectangles and easily change from one to another as it suits the composition.
I find this an extremely valuable tool when making railway images. There are three basic ratios, 4:3, 3:2, and 16:9 (popular as the HDTV video format), as well as a 1:1 square ratio (that must be accessed using the camera menu). Most of the time I use the 3:2 aspect because this makes maximum use of the sensor area.
The 16:9 aspect gives a broader rectangle that can be very useful in landscape style images. It is a good format for photographing railway locomotives and equipment broadside, and can be used to accentuate a variety of compositions.
Keep in mind, the aspect ratio simply determines the dimensions of the rectangle and does not affect the focal length of the lens (controlled separately).
Someone might ask, ‘why not just shoot everything with the sensor at its maximum and then crop later?’
I find that using the different aspect ratios in the field changes the way I see and thus allows me to compose images that I might not recognize otherwise. While I could certainly crop after exposure, having the ability to work on site produces a different photograph (and perhaps more intuitive) than one cropped later.
I’ve included a variety of 16:9 aspect images exposed over the last ten days. Along with a comparison between a 3:2 and 16:9 aspect of the same subject.
This pair of image demonstrates the relative dimensional difference between the 3:2 aspect ratio (top) and the 16:9 aspect ratio (bottom).