Tag Archives: Cork

Monochrome at Mallow—13 October 2018.

More monochrome film photos: Railway Preservation Society of Ireland’s autumn tour at Mallow, County Cork last Saturday.

These were exposed on Kodak Tri-X using my Canon EOS-3 with 40mm pancake lens and processed in Ilford ID11 developer.

Black & white film is well suited to making atmospheric images on dull days.

Mallow, Co. Cork.
Irish Rail’s Noel Enright at Mallow, Co. Cork.
Irish Rail’s Noel Enright gives the green flag at Mallow, Co. Cork.

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One Week Ago: RPSI Special Rolls through Cork’s Kent Station.

This day last week (13 October 2018), I traveled on and photographed Railway Preservation Society of Ireland’s autumn diesel tour called The Southwestern.

Damp dark weather may make it difficult to expose over the shoulder lit three quarter views, and it may ruin Lumixes (See: Final Frame? Lumix LX7 Coils Up), but it’s ideal for making black & white photos on film.

Working with my battle-worn Canon EOS-3 with a 40mm pancake lens, I exposed this view of the train at Cork’s Kent Station using Kodak Tri-X.

On Monday, I processed the film using Ilford ID11 mixed 1-1 with water. Following a presoak with exceptionally dilute HC110 to initiate development, I gave the film 7 minutes and 30 seconds in the ID11 at 68F (20C) with intermittent agitation.

I scanned the negatives using an Epson V500 flatbed scanner and made nominal contrast adjustments using Lightroom.

Kodak Tri-X view of Cork’s Kent Station on 13 October 2018.

More monochrome images to follow!

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Railway Preservation Society Ireland—Fall Tour: Ten Lumix Views.

I described the failure of my trusty Lumix LX7 in yesterday’s post:
Final Frame? Lumix LX7 Coils Up

https://wp.me/p2BVuC-5Rm

Despite its failure on the day of the tour, I’d made good use of the camera right up to the end. This versatile picture making device had been a staple of my camera bag for more than four years.

Below are a selection of photos from Saturday 13 October 2018 of RPSI’s The Southwestern rail tour that operated from Dublin Connolly to Cork, then via Limerick, Ennis and Athenry and back to Dublin.

On these rail tours I tend to focus on the people as much as the equipment.

Blocked outside of Mallow.
Operational discussion at Mallow.

 

Kent Station, Cork.

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Final Frame? Lumix LX7 Coils Up.

That’s a phrase that means ‘failed in service’.

In recent days, my faithful Lumix LX7 that I bought in June 2014 had developed quirky, unreliable traits.

Machines, including cameras shouldn’t develop irritable personalities. It’s an indication that the machine is broken.

On Saturday, 13 October 2018 the camera exhibited symptoms of failure. The weather had been exceptionally wet for two days in a row, and dampness is bad for electronics.

I made two  images  of Irish Rail 088 running around at Kent Station, Cork using LX7. Later in the day my efforts to turn the camera on resulted in an error message in the rear display.

My penultimate LX7 photo? One of the advantages of the LX7 is its small size enabled me to slide it through fences and gates to make images such as this one. The next frame was the last before the camera ‘coiled up’. It was one of three cameras I carried on 13 October, so I was able to continue making images.
I never would have guessed that this photo of Irish Rail 088 at Cork would be the last I exposed with my Lumix LX7. I wonder if I’ll be able to revive this camera? In its more than four years of service I carried it with me everywhere and used it to make more than 79,000 shutter releases.

Stay tuned . . .

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TONIGHT: Slide Presentation in Cork City on General Motors Locomotives in North America.

Tonight, Monday 8 October 2018 at 8pm, I’ll be giving a slide presentation to the Irish Railway Record Society in Cork on General Motors Diesel-Electric Locomotives in North America.

The talk will be held at the Bru Columbanus Meeting Rooms in Wilton, Cork City.

I will present a variety of colour slides detailing General Motors Electro-Motive Division diesels at work.

In June 1961, a Rock Island LWT12 with Aerotrain styling leads a TALGO-built consist at Blue Island, Illinois. Kodachrome slide by Richard Jay Solomon.

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From Brian’s Kodachrome Files: General Motors Diesels in the USA—To be Presented in Cork a week from today!

On Monday 8 October 2018 at 8pm, I’ll be giving a traditional slide presentation to the Irish Railway Record Society in Cork on General Motors Diesel-Electric Locomotives in North America.

This will feature many of my finest Kodachrome colour slides, along with some more recent material. In addition to previously published photos, I’ll be presenting rare gems, some of which haven’t been seen in many years.

The talk will be held at the Bru Columbanus Meeting Rooms in Wilton, Cork City.

I hope to see you there!

California Northern GP15-1 at Woodland, California in 1994. Kodachrome slide exposed with a Nikon F3T and 28mm lens.
Santa Fe light helper engines near Caliente, California on March 28, 1992.
Low angle on a rare bird: High Hood SD24 at Fond du Lac, Wisconsin in August 1996. Kodachrome slide with 28mm lens.
Drama on Donner Pass: Tunnel Motors exit Tunnel 41 on May 30, 1992. Kodachrome 25 slide with 200mm Nikkor lens.

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Two Weeks from Tonight: In Cork City, Brian Solomon Slide Presentation.

On Monday, 8 October 2018 at 8pm (20.00), I’ll be giving a slide presentation to the Irish Railway Record Society in Cork on General Motors Diesel-Electric Locomotives in North America.

The talk will be held at the Bru Columbanus Meeting Rooms in Wilton, Cork City. This is about a two to five minute walk from Wilton Shopping centre.

I will show a wide variety of colour slides detailing General Motors Electro-Motive Division diesels at work.

This will cover numerous models on many different railroads, and feature some of my most dramatic locomotive photography.

A Chicago Metra F40C at Tower A2 in Chicago.
Twin Cities & Western at Hoffman Avenue, St. Paul, Minnesota. January 13, 1994.

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Brian Solomon Slide Presentation: General Motors Diesel-Electric Locomotives in North America.

On Monday, 8 October 2018 at 8pm (20.00), I’ll be giving a slide presentation to the Irish Railway Record Society in Cork on General Motors Diesel-Electric Locomotives in North America.

The talk will be held at the Bru Columbanus Meeting Rooms in Wilton, Cork City.

Conrail SD40-2s work as helpers on a loaded coal train at Mineral Point, Pennsylvania in October 1992. Exposed on Kodachrome 25 colour slide film.

I will show a wide variety of colour slides detailing General Motors Electro-Motive Division diesels at work.

This will cover numerous models on many different railroads, and feature some of my most dramatic locomotive photography.

Vintage EMD six-motor diesels lead New England Central 611 at Millers Falls, Massachusetts in 15 November 2017. Exposed on Fujichrome Provia 100F using a Canon EOS 3.

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Irish Rail 216 in Ordinary Dress.

Today, Irish Rail 216 wears a one of a kind navy-blue livery and is seasonally assigned to Belmond’s luxury Grand Hiberniancruise train.

 This has become one of the most popular trains to photograph in Ireland and I’ve caught it here and there over the last few years.

For my 201 retrospective, I thought I’d present a few photos of 216 before it was blue.

Irish Rail 216 was among the first 201 class diesels I put on film. Here it is at Westport, County Mayo back in February 1998. Exposed on Provia100 with my Nikon F3T and 135mm lens.
In April 1998, I made this view of 216 at Heuston Station, back when the station shed was blue, but 216 wasn’t! 24mm view with Fujichrome Sensia.
Also in April 1998, 216 with a Mark3 set at Kent Station, Cork. A 135mm view on Fujichrome Sensia (100 ISO).
This seems unusual now: Irish Rail 216 in orange paint on the container pocket wagons (CPWs) then assigned to Dublin-Cork midday liner. Photographed at Islandbridge Junction in Dublin using a Contax G2 with 28mm Biogon Lens. Give me a good price, and I’ll sell you the lens. (I’m totally serious!) briansolomon.author@gmail.com
And there’s 216 in fresh green, yellow and silver paint, rolling through Cherryville Junction with a down Mark3 set on 20April2006. How things have changed!

Stay tuned for more soon!

Check out my new book: Brian Solomon’s Railway Guide to Europe, now available from the Kalmbach Hobby Store.

https://kalmbachhobbystore.com/product/book/01304

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Six Vintage 201 photos: Spring with Irish Rail 213!

Years past, I made many colourful photos of Irish Rail 213 River Moy on bright Spring days.

One of my first encounters was in May 1998 at Carlow. I’d arrived by bus (Shhh!!) and made photos of the down train (Dublin to Waterford) at Carlow station using my Nikon F3T loaded with Fujichrome Sensia 100.

View through the fence from the road using a 135mm lens.
213 side-on as it approaches the down starting signal at Carlow in May 1998.

Seven years later, in the Spring of 2005, I was keen to catch 213 on the move, since this was the first Irish Rail class 201 to wear the revised orange livery with bright yellow front end.

I saw this as a big improvement over the original 201 livery.

On 8 April 2005, I photographed 213 in fresh paint with my Contax G2 and 28mm lens on Velvia slide film.
Close up of 213 at Cork’s Kent Station using my Nikon N90S with telephoto lens and Sensia 100 film.
A month later on 8 May 2005, I made this view of 213 light engine at Heuston Station in Dublin. Anyone need a cheap shoe?

And because it fits the theme, I’ve also included a view from April 2006, of 213 descending Ballybrophy-bank racing toward Dublin.

It was on the evening of 17 April 2006 when I caught 213 with Mark3 carriages on the up-Cork passing milepost 62 1/2.

213 hasn’t turned a wheel in many a Spring now. It waits its turn in the sun in a deadline at Inchicore.

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My Photo of Kent Station Appears in Michael B. Barry’s New Book.

Michael B. Barry’s beautiful new book on Málaga makes the connection between two Kent Stations, one in Cork the other in Málaga. Both were named for politically active Kents who were related.

Michael’s book is available from Andulas Press.

My photo is at the bottom of page 80, and depicts Cork’s Kent Station. The top photo is of Victoria Kent Station in Málaga.
This is the cover of Michael B. Barry’s new book

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Irish Rail Sperry Train at Kent Station Cork.

A couple of weeks ago Irish Rail’s Sperry train made a visit to Cork.

This train is essentially comprised of the weed-spraying consist with the addition of a container that carries the Sperry ultrasonic rail-defect detection equipment.

I made these views of the unusual train under the train shed at Cork’s Kent Station. The spoil wagon in the consist was a novelty.

I’ve often photographed trains under Kent Station’s curved train-shed, which is one of the most distinctive locations on Irish Rail.

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Irish Rail at Glounthaune—Two Views.

Earlier this month I made a visit to Cork to present a program on railway photography to the Irish Railway Record Society.

Honer Travers and I spent an afternoon in Glounthaune where I made these photos on Kodak Tri-X using my Nikon N90S with f2.0 35mm lens.

My film processing was very traditional: Kodak D76 (mixed 1 to 1) for 7 minutes 15 seconds at 68F. I agitate very gently to minimize the effect of grain.

Routine operations, such as Irish Rail’s Cork suburban trains, offer great opportunity for creative railway photography. In both of these images, I’ve worked with foreground, middle-ground and background by using shallow depth of field to create a sense of depth.

An Irish Rail 2600-series railcar works toward Glounthaune from Kent Station, Cork.
A Cork-bound railcar accelerates away from its station stop at Glounthaune.

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Incidental Photographs from the Munster Double.

Rail tours offer the opportunity to make incidental photos of the railway.

I made these digital photos of Irish Rail while traveling on last weekend’s Railway Preservation Society of Ireland’s Munster Double.

Sunrise with the DART as v viewed from RPSI’s Munster Double Railtour departing Connolly Station on the morning of 14 October 2017. Lumix LX7 photo.
Irish Rail Mark4 departs Kent Station in Cork on October 17, 2017. FujiFilm XT1 photo.
Kent Station, Cork. Lumix LX7 photo.
Irish Rail ICR departs Tralee on 14 October 2017. FujiFilm XT1 with 28-135mm lens.

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RPSI’s Munster Double—Retro-Orange 071s on Parade.

Saturday 14 October was a great day out; Railway Preservation Society of Ireland operated its Munster Double Railtour from Connolly Station in Dublin to Cork and Tralee.

The attraction of this trip was the highly unusual multiple-unit operation of two class 071 diesels together. Both of Irish Rail’s 071s in heritage paint were selected for the trip, which was an added bonus for photographers.

Honer Travers and I joined the trip at Connolly Station and during the course of the day I made dozens of digital images. Below is just a small section.

Connolly Station, Dublin. Lumix LX7 photo.
Connolly Station, Dublin. Lumix LX7 photo.
Island bridge Junction, Dublin, looking toward the famous ‘box’ along the St. John’s Road where many of my sunny day photos are made. Lumix LX7 photo.
Kent Station, Cork. FujiFIlm XT1 with 28-135mm lens.
FujiFilm XT1 photo.
Mallow, County Cork. Lumix LX7 photo.
Mallow, County Cork. Lumix LX7 photo.
Mallow, County Cork. Lumix LX7 photo.
Irish Rail 073 detailed view at Killarney.
Killarney. County Kerry. Lumix LX7 photo.
Tralee. FujiFilm XT1 with 28-135mm lens.
Tralee. FujiFilm XT1 with 28-135mm lens.
Tralee. FujiFilm XT1 with 28-135mm lens.
Tralee. Lumix LX7 photo.
Tralee. FujiFilm XT1 with 28-135mm lens.
Paused at a red signal in Killarney, Lumix LX7 photo.
Connolly Station in the evening. Lumix LX7 photo.

Tomorrow I’ll focus on the passengers and people participating in operations.

 

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Monday, 9 October 2017—Railway Photography Program by Brian Solomon to be presented in Cork, Ireland.

Tomorrow (Monday, 9 October 2017), I’ll be presenting my program on Railway Photography to the Irish Railway Record Society in Cork.

This will be held at 8:00pm (2000) at the Bru Columbanus meeting room in Wilton, Cork City. (see Google Maps).

I’ll display a great variety of railway images exposed in Ireland and elsewhere, with an emphasis on photos of Irish Rail in counties Cork, Kerry, Tipperary and Limerick.

The program will be aimed at enlightening the audience on precisely I how I made images (with detailed technical explanations as required). I’ll take questions at the end.

Kent Station, Cork. Exposed on black & white film.
Cobh Junction at sunrise.
Semaphores at Kent Station, Cork. Digital photograph.

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Cork’s train shed in black & white—plus travel notice.

Tracking the Light will be on autopilot for a week while Brian is traveling. New material will continue to post everyday, but notices will be delayed. See the Tracking the Light home page at: http://briansolomon.com/trackingthelight.

Kent Station Cork:

For me there’s something about a Victorian train-shed that begs for black & white. I made this photo on my most recent trip to Kent Station in Cork on Kodak Tri-X using a Leica IIIA with 35mm Nikkor lens.

Kodak Tri-X processed in Agfa Rodinal Special (not to be confused with ordinary Ordinal) mixed 1:30 with water, 68 degrees F, at 3 minutes 15 seconds with 2 minute pre-soak (with a trace quantity of developer). After initial processing (dev, stop, 1st fix, 2nd fix, hypo clear, 10 minute wash), negatives were treated with Selenium toner for 7 minutes, then carefully rewashed in running water for 15 minutes). Scanned using Epson V500 flatbed scanner, and digitally processed using Lightroom.

Tracking the Light normally posts new material daily.

Irish Rail Mark4 in Verdant Countryside.

 

The most scenic portion of Irish Rail’s run from Dublin to Cork is the final stretch from Mallow to Kent Station Cork.

A few days ago, Ken Fox, Sean Twohig and I made a survey of this area of Co. Cork looking for locations to picture the Mark4 trains, which are among the only regularly scheduled locomotive powered passenger trains remaining on Irish Rail.

I exposed this view between Mourne Abbey and Rathduff. The lush greenery dotted with blossoming gorse makes for a bucolic scene.

Exposed using a FujiFilm X-T1 with 18-135mm lens set at 55mm; 1/500 second, ISO 1000.

 

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Kent Station, Cork—Three Evening views.

Irish Rail’s Kent Station in Cork City is a cool place to make photos. It’s unusual curved train shed, plus antique platform awnings and brick station buildings have a Victorian appearance that offer a contrast with the modern trains that now serve passengers here.

I exposed these views on 16 March 2017.

Digital image exposed using a FujiFilm X-T1 with Zeiss 12mm Touit Distagon.
Black & white film photograph exposed on Fuji Acros 100 with a Leica IIIa fitted with a screw-mount 35mm Nikkor wide angle lens.
2600 railcars bask under sodium vapour lamps at Kent Station Cork. Digital image exposed using a FujiFilm X-T1 with Zeiss 12mm Touit Distagon.

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Irish Rail 2616 at Kent Station-Two Views 17 Years Apart.

Here’s a variation on the then-and-now theme. The same rail car, with the same semaphores, on the same track, but viewed more than 17 years apart!

Irish Rail 2616 at Kent Station, Cork in August 1999. Exposed with a Nikon on Fujichrome Sensia II.
Irish Rail 2616 at Kent Station, Cork in August 1999. Exposed with a Nikon on Fujichrome Sensia II.
Same railcar, same spot, exposed on Sunday 2 October 2016 using a Fujifilm X-T1 digital camera. Who would have thought back in 1999 that those mechanical semaphores would still be in place!
Same railcar, same spot, exposed on Sunday 2 October 2016 using a Fujifilm X-T1 digital camera. Who would have thought back in 1999 that those mechanical semaphores would still be in place!

Only see one photo? Well you’ll need to visit Tracking the Light‘s original post to get the comparison. Click on the link below.

irish-rail-2616-at-kent-station-two-views-17-years-apart

http://briansolomon.com/trackingthelight/2016/10/05/irish-rail-2616-…s-17-years-apart/

Tracking the Light attempts to post new material every day.

(Even when the WiFi doesn’t work, and Brian Solomon is sitting atop a bus en route to someplace with WiFi that does work. Just saying’)

 

On Irish Rail’s 0830 train to Tralee (Change at Mallow)—2 October 2016.

I’m traveling to Cork on Irish Rail’s 0830 Dublin-Heuston to Tralee scheduled train.

Tomorrow (Monday October 3, 2016.), I’ll be presenting a variation of my slide program Irish Railways Looking Back Ten Years to the Cork Branch of the Irish Railway Record Society in the Metropole Hotel in Cork City at 8pm.

Here are a few views exposed with my Lumix LX7 at Heuston Station and on the train-posted LIVE from the train thanks to Irish Rail’s WiFi.

Sunrise at Heuston Station exposed with my Lumix LX7. Where's John Gruber's nun?
Sunrise at Heuston Station exposed with my Lumix LX7. Where’s John Gruber’s nun?

icr_to_tralee_at_heuston_station_p1520647

Exposed with my Lumxi LX7.
Exposed  at Heuston Station with my Lumix LX7.
Exposed with my Lumix LX7 from the train at Heuston Station.
Exposed with my Lumix LX7 from the train at Heuston Station.
icr_heuston_station_p1520653
Irish Rail ICR at Heuston Station on Sunday morning.
p1520662
Crossing the Curragh in the fog, Lumix LX7 Photo.
The Medium is the Message—My laptop on the train as I'm producing this post-the file was downloaded directly from the card to WordPress.
The Medium is the Message—My laptop on the train as I’m producing this post-the file was downloaded directly from the card to WordPress.
There's my Lumix next to the Apple. Exposed with my FujiFilm XT1 passing Templemore.
There’s my Lumix next to the Apple. Exposed with my FujiFilm XT1 passing Templemore.
10:30am: Reflections at Limerick Junction. Lumix LX7 Photo.
10:30am: Reflections at Limerick Junction  That’s the Limerick-Limerick Junction shuttle that’s parked on the adjacent platform ‘out of service’.. Lumix LX7 Photo.
View near Killmallock, County Limerick. Lumix LX7 photo.
View near Killmallock, County Limerick. Lumix LX7 photo.

By the way, just in case anyone is curious; Irish Rail 071 in the retro ‘super train livery’ is at the yard in Portlaoise with a spoil train.

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Tracking the light will be on ‘Autopilot’ for the next couple of days, but will continue to display new material every morning.

Under the Shed at Kent Station, Cork on 28 September 2016.

I arrived at Kent Station, Cork on the 0800 train from Dublin.

Irish Rail ICR at Kent Station, Cork on the morning of 28 September 2016. Exposed with a Lumix LX7.
Irish Rail ICR at Kent Station, Cork on the morning of 28 September 2016. Exposed with a Lumix LX7.

My timing was tight; I was aiming to catch Rail Tours Ireland’s Emerald Isle Express under the curved roof.

After arriving in Cork, I had less than five minutes to get into position.

Although visually fascinating, Kent’s Victorian-era shed is a tricky place to make photos. The characteristic curvature makes selecting the best angle tough, while the lighting under the roof is limiting.

Using my Lumix LX7 at ISO 200, I was restricted to 1/15th of second at f2.2.

Sometimes limitations force me to make more interesting photos.

The characteristic roar of an EMD 645 diesel reverberates under the ancient roof.
The characteristic roar of an EMD 645 diesel reverberates under the ancient roof.
As the Emerald Isle Express approached with engine 083 in the lead I opted to slightly pan the train. This provides a sense of motion while setting the shed off in a sea of blur.
As the Emerald Isle Express approached with engine 083 in the lead I opted to slightly pan the train. This provides a sense of motion while setting the shed off in a sea of blur.

I featured Kent Station in my recent book Railway Depots, Stations & Terminals published by Voyageur Press.

Tracking the Light Explores Photography Daily.

 

 

Photo Controls; Depth of Field; using your Aperture.

When I learned to use my old mechanical Leica there were three primary controls on the camera; a ring to adjust the focus (gauged with the aid of range finder using a ghost image overlaid on the main image); dials to adjust the shutter speed; and a ring on the lens to change the size of the aperture (lens hole) as indicated by a logarithmic scale with ‘f-stops/f-numbers’.

Other than merely pointing the camera, I needed to understand how these controls worked to make successful photos.

Today most imaging making devices take care of details such as exposure and focus, allowing image makers to snap away without concern for the mechanics.

In many instances this freedom facilitates the ability to make photos quickly and with relative ease. Yet, this loss of control steals from the photographer crucial tools.

I still like to set my aperture manually. This has less to do with obtaining the correct exposure (since in camera metering can quickly suggest  or set appropriate shutter-speed/aperture combinations) and more to do with adjusting the depth of field to manipulate my composition.

A detailed discussion of how the f-stop (f-number) is determined on a lens and what the numbers mean can fill a textbook.

What is important here is knowing a few basics, such as; a smaller f-number represents a larger aperture size and, but more importantly, how you can use this.

As the size of aperture is increased more light is let into the camera, however with a big hole comes a decrease in depth of field (relative focus); conversely, the smaller the hole size (larger f-number), the less light and the greater the depth of field (relative sharpness between near and far objects).

By using a larger aperture (small f-number, say f1.4) the relative focus will be narrow, with those points not in focus appearing relatively soft compared with the subject in focus.

This relationship becomes exaggerated with longer focal length lenses. Where a super wide angle lens offers great depth of field even with a large aperture opening (small f-number), a long telephoto lens will offer relatively shallow depth of field even when using a small aperture (large f-number, say f16).

While the f-number may used as a constant gauging mark, what is most useful is controlling the degree of relative focus to achieve a desired effect.

Personally, I like the effect of a long lens with relatively shallow depth of field because this allows me to draw the eye of the viewer.

Full frame and uncropped; I exposed this view at Kent Station, Cork in January 2005 using a NikonF3 with 180mm lens.
Full frame and uncropped; I exposed this view at Kent Station, Cork in January 2005 using a NikonF3 with 180mm lens at f2.8— its widest aperture.

As with many successful stories, it often helps to lead your audience on an unexpected path before giving them what they want. I’ll often tease a viewer by leaving some crucial element of an image just beyond the range of sharpness, while placing the focus on something else, like say a railroad signal. Or vice versa.

I can't tell you what to look at, but I can try to draw your key. Notice where I've placed the focus, but also those things I've allowed to be less than fully sharp. The larger this photo is viewed, the more relevant the topic of relative focus. An imaged viewed at 3x5 inches won't necessarily convey the same impression when viewed much larger.
I can’t tell you what to look at, but I can try to draw your eye. Notice where I’ve placed the focus, but also those things I’ve allowed to be less than fully sharp. The larger this photo is viewed, the more relevant the topic of relative focus. An image viewed at 3×5 inches won’t necessarily convey the same impression when viewed much larger.

Irish_Rail_Cork_Jan2005_BrianSolomon©589631

Tracking the Light offers daily discussion on Photography.

Tracking the Light Extra: Irish Rail 076: Two Views Ten Years Apart.

Click the link to Tracking the Light to see both photos.

I made these views featuring Irish Rail 076 in passenger service using Fujichrome slide film.

The top view was made on 28 April 2006 crossing the River Barrow at Monasterevin; the other was exposed on this year’s IRRS Two Day Tour at Kent Station Cork (9 April 2016).

Irish Rail 076 roars down road across the River Barrow. In modern times, the tone off of 076's 645 engine is slightly different than the other 071 diesels owing to a replacement engine installed circa 2002. This has a different turbocharger, which I'm told is actually the original style of turbo used on the 071 class. I could always tell when this engine was getting near because of the sound.
Irish Rail 076 roars down road across the River Barrow. In modern times, the tone off of 076’s 645 engine is slightly different than the other 071 diesels owing to a replacement engine installed circa 2002. This has a different turbocharger, which I’m told is actually the original model of turbo used on the 071 class. I could always tell when this engine was getting near because of the sound.
Irish Rail 076 is surrounded by fans, photographers and curiosity seekers at Kent Station Cork.
Irish Rail 076 is surrounded by fans, photographers and curiosity seekers at Kent Station Cork. How many photographers were using colour slide film on this day?

Funny thing; I didn’t see lots of people at Monasterevin that day ten years ago!

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Exploring Historic Railways of Cork-Two Dozen Unique Images.

Cork’s railways were once vastly more complex than they are today.

Over a three-day span beginning 7 May 2016, I was given a thorough tour of Cork’s historic railways that included: a walking tour of the route of the old Cork City Railway; a cycle tour of the route of the Cork, Blackrock & Passage; and a detailed look at the numerous railway terminals that once served this southwestern Irish city.

I made numerous photographs composed to document railway settings as they are today. In many instances service was discontinued decades ago and the lines lifted and so the role of the railway is more conceptual than literal.

Thanks to Ken Fox, Donncha Cronin, Brian Sherman, Kevin Meany and Richard Lee for their expert guidance and historical knowledge.

I arrived by Irish Rail's Mark4 from Dublin. This view of Cork's Kent Station (Glanmire Road) was made from the foot bridge over the right of way of the line to the old Summer Hill Station.
I arrived by Irish Rail’s Mark4 from Dublin. This view of Cork’s Kent Station (Glanmire Road) was made from the foot bridge over the right of way of the line to the old Summer Hill Station. I featured Kent Station in my book Railway Depots, Stations and Terminals.
I've always liked Kent Station's Victorian-era curved train shed. Exposed with a FujiFilm X-T1 digital camera.
I’ve always liked Kent Station’s Victorian-era curved train shed. Exposed with a FujiFilm X-T1 digital camera.
Irish Rail 201-class diesel 220 at Kent Station Cork on 7 May 2016. Lumix LX7 photo.
Irish Rail 201-class diesel 220 at Kent Station Cork on 7 May 2016. Lumix LX7 photo.
Old footpath over the line to Summer Hill Station.
Old footpath over the line to Summer Hill Station. Kent Station is 180 degrees behind this view.
Site of Summer Hill station that once handled trains working the line toward Cobh.
Site of Summer Hill station that once handled trains working the line toward Cobh.
Detail of the iron work on the foot bridge near Summer Hill station.
Detail of the iron work on the foot bridge near Summer Hill station.
Kent Station viewed from the Glanmire Road bridge. The earlier Penrose Quay station was located to the right of the curved shed.
Kent Station viewed from the Glanmire Road bridge. The earlier Penrose Quay station was located to the right of the curved shed.
Donncha Cronin hold a vintage photo of the Capwell Station at the old station building (now used by a Bus Eíreann maintenance depot).
Donncha Cronin holds a vintage photo of the Capwell Station at the old station building (now used by a Bus Eíreann maintenance depot). Historically, Capwell was the terminus for the Cork & Macroom Railway.
Panoramic composite of the old Capwell Station.
Panoramic composite of the old Capwell Station (centre).
Old railway gate at the site of Cork, Blackrock & Passage's Albert Road Station. Lumix LX7 photo.
Old railway gate at the site of Cork, Blackrock & Passage’s Albert Road Station. Lumix LX7 photo.
Cork, Blackrock & Passage Railway's Albert Road Station.
Cork, Blackrock & Passage Railway’s Albert Road Station.
The former offices for the Cork, Bandon & South Coast Railway near Albert Quay in Cork City.
The former offices for the Cork, Bandon & South Coast Railway near Albert Quay in Cork City.
Quayside trackage on the Cork City quay.
Quayside trackage on the Cork City quay.
Right of way of the old Cork City Railway.
Right of way of the old Cork City Railway.
Right of way of the old Cork City Railway.
Right of way of the old Cork City Railway.
Perhaps the last vestige of track relating to the Cork City Railway located near Albert Road in Cork.
Perhaps one of the last vestiges of track relating to the Cork City Railway located near Albert Road in Cork.
Perhaps the last vestige of track relating to the Cork City Railway located near Albert Road in Cork.
Perhaps one of  the last vestiges of track relating to the Cork City Railway located near Albert Road in Cork.
The old train staff that had been used to authorize train movements on the Cork City Railway. Photo courtesy of Kevin Meany.
The old train staff that had been used to authorize train movements on the Cork City Railway. Photo courtesy of Kevin Meany.
Site of the old Western Road station (now a hotel).
Site of the old Western Road station (now a hotel).
Cork, Blackrock & Passage was originally a broad gauge line, later converted to a largely double track 3 foot gauge suburban railway (similar in concept to the Boston, Revere Beach & Lynn). Now a popular urban cycle path.
Cork, Blackrock & Passage was originally a broad gauge line, later converted to a largely double track 3 foot gauge suburban railway (similar in concept to the Boston, Revere Beach & Lynn). Now a popular urban cycle path, seen here at Blackrock.
Site of Blackrock Station on the Cork, Blackrock & Passage Railway.
Site of Blackrock Station on the Cork, Blackrock & Passage Railway.
Near Monkstown Station on the Cork, Blackrock & Passage Railway.
Near Monkstown Station on the Cork, Blackrock & Passage Railway right of way.
Near Monkstown Station on the Cork, Blackrock & Passage Railway right of way.
Near Monkstown Station on the Cork, Blackrock & Passage Railway right of way.
Ken Fox studies a sign illustrating the history of the Cork, Blackrock & Passage.
Ken Fox studies a sign illustrating the history of the Cork, Blackrock & Passage at Carrigaline, Co. Cork.
A sign illustrating the history of the Cork, Blackrock & Passage at Carrigaline, Co. Cork.
A sign illustrating the history of the Cork, Blackrock & Passage at Carrigaline, Co. Cork.
Site of the Crosshaven terminus of the Cork, Blackrock & Passage suburban narrow gauge.
Site of the Crosshaven terminus of the Cork, Blackrock & Passage suburban narrow gauge.
Irish Rail's footbridge at Glounthaune Station. Lumix LX7 photo.
Irish Rail’s footbridge at Glounthaune Station. Lumix LX7 photo.
Glounthaune Station.
Glounthaune Station.
An Irish Rail 2600 passes the old container terminal at North Esk, last served by Irish Rail in summer 2005.
An Irish Rail 2600-series railcar passes the old container terminal at North Esk, last served by Irish Rail in summer 2005.

Tracking the Light posts Daily.

 

Irish Rail 215 and a Wink of Sun at Rathduff, County Cork.

Catching the light in Ireland can be a fleeting experience. Even on a bright day, cloud often covers the sky. Yet, sometimes luck shines on me. Such was the case last week when I made this photograph of the down Dublin-Cork Mark4 passenger train led by Irish Rail 215.

A brief wink of sun graced the front of the engine just as it approached.

215_w_down_mark4_rathduff_mod4_dscf6858

Exposed with a Fujifilm X-T1 digital camera.

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Irish Rail’s Kent Station, Cork—Three Photos at Dusk.

One of my favorite times of day to photograph is dusk on a clear evening when there’s a still a rich blue glow in the sky.

Two tricks to making the most of this type of light:

1) Override the camera meter and overexpose by about half a stop.

2) Use a tripod or otherwise steady the camera.

I braced my Lumix LX7 on railings.

Lumix LX7 photo. Kent Station, Cork.
Lumix LX7 photo. Kent Station, Cork.

Irish_Rail_railcar_at_Kent_Station_dusk_P1210722 Irish_Rail_2601_at_Kent_Station_dusk_P1210717

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On the Roll with Irish Rail’s Kilnap Viaduct—three photos.

It was seventeen years ago that I caught my first glimpse of the multiple-arch Kilnap viaduct from the window of a scheduled Bus Éireann coach running from Limerick to Cork.

On various occasions since then, I’ve travelled across Kilnap on trains running between Dublin and Cork.

On April 20th, thanks to the expert guidance of Irish Rail’s Ken Fox, I finally visited this noteworthy bridge on the ground and made these photographs. It is just a few miles from Cork’s Kent Station on the double-track Dublin-Cork mainline.

Panoramic composite exposed with a Fujifilm X-T1 digital camera.
Panoramic composite exposed with a Fujifilm X-T1 digital camera.
Panasonic Lumix LX7 photo.
Panasonic Lumix LX7 photo.
Irish Rail 222 leads the down Dublin-Cork passenger train. Exposed with a Fujifilm X-T1 digital camera.
Irish Rail 222 leads the down Dublin-Cork passenger train. Exposed with a Fujifilm X-T1 digital camera.

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Morning at Glounthaune (Cobh Junction), County Cork—7 colour photos.

Irish Rail’s peak hour services on the Cork-Cobh and Cork-Midleton routes have a half hour frequency, which results in four trains an hour stopping at the Glounthaune Station.

The railway is scenically situated along an inlet and the station still features an open lattice metal footbridge, of the kind that was common all over Ireland until just a few years ago.

Fuji X-T1 photo.
Fuji X-T1 photo.

Cobh_Junction_Railcar_approaches_Glounthuane_DSCF6683

Fuji X-T1 photo.
Fuji X-T1 photo.

I made these images using my Fujifilm X-T1 and Lumix LX7 digital cameras. Thanks to Donncha Cronin and Irish Rail’s Ken Fox for their hospitality in Cork.

Fuji X-T1 photo.
Fuji X-T1 photo.
LX-7 photo.
LX7 photo.
Cork-bound train. Lumix LX7 photo.
Cork-bound train. Lumix LX7 photo.
Lumix LX7 photo.
Lumix LX7 photo.

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Midleton, Co. Cork on Film and Digital.

October 7, 2014.

A few years ago, Irish Rail rebuilt its Youghal Branch between Cobh Junction and Midleton. After decades of inactivity, this route now enjoys a regular interval passenger service. I find it fascinating that this long closed railway is again alive with trains.

A year ago, on a previous visit to Cork, I tried some photos at this location near the Midleton Station. However, it was a flat dull morning and my results weren’t up to par.

So a few weeks ago, Irish Rail’s Ken Fox drove me back to this spot, and on this visit it was bright an sunny. Moments before the train arrived, a thin layer of high cloud momentarily diffused the sunlight, which complicated my exposure.

As the 2600-series railcar approached, I made several digital images with my Canon EOS 7D and 200mm lens and a single Fujichrome color slide using my Canon EOS 3 with 40mm pancake lens.

Digital image made with a Canon EOS 7D fitted with 200mm lens.
Digital image made with a Canon EOS 7D fitted with 200mm lens.
Exposed Fujichrome Provia 100F with Canon EOS 3 with 40mm pancake lens.
Exposed Fujichrome Provia 100F with Canon EOS 3 with 40mm pancake lens. This image looks great projected on the screen.

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Sunrise at Cobh Junction, Glounthaune, Cork.

Being There.

Last week on my visit to Cork, I met with Ken Fox and Donncha Cronin, who are helping me with a book project on overseas rail travel.

During discussions about travel to wild and exotic places, Donncha says, “you might like my view. I don’t know, maybe you can do something with it?”

I’ve said this before, but you have to be there to get the photo.

It helps to have the right tools. In my case, I’d brought a full range of lenses to Cork, and based on my experience last year, I was prepared to make a long telephoto view at Glounthaune.

I wasn’t, however, expecting to make this elevated photograph of the rising sun. That was a bit of luck. Having inspected Donncha’s view, I decided, that ‘yes’, I might be able to work with that.

A few minutes before sunrise, Irish Rail 2600-series railcars pass at Glounthaune, Cork. At this hour the light changes quickly. Thankfully with modern digital cameras it is easy to adjust the ISO setting.
A few minutes before sunrise, Irish Rail 2600-series railcars pass at Glounthaune, Cork. At this hour the light changes quickly. Thankfully with modern digital cameras it is easy to adjust the ISO setting.

Fortunately, the next morning was mostly clear, and Irish Rail runs an intensive morning service with trains every half hour from Cobh and Midleton to Kent Station, Cork. (Cobh Junction is where the two lines join.)

With a copy of a working timetable in hand, and my Canon EOS 7D at the ready, I exposed this series of photos as the sun brightened the day.

One trick: I manually set the camera’s white balance to ‘daylight’ to avoid the camera trying to balance out the effect of the colored sunrise.

In addition to these digital photos, I made a couple of color slides.

Looking into the rising sun at Glounthaune, Cork. A layer of low cloud and mist help control the contrast while adding a bit of color to the scene. I had only a few minutes when the light was at its optimum to make a dramatic image. Thankfully, Irish Rail runs lots of trains at this hour. Canon EOS 7D with 200mm lens.
Looking into the rising sun at Glounthaune, Cork. A layer of low cloud and mist help control the contrast while adding a bit of color to the scene. I had only a few minutes when the light was at its optimum to make a dramatic image. Thankfully, Irish Rail runs lots of trains at this hour. Canon EOS 7D with 200mm lens.
An Irish Rail 2600 pauses at Glounthaune. The car catches the glint of the sun. In a moment it will depart the station and head out onto the causeway that connects Fota Island. Canon EOS 7D with 200mm lens.
An Irish Rail 2600 pauses at Glounthaune. The car catches the glint of the sun. In a moment it will depart the station and head out onto the causeway that connects Fota Island. Canon EOS 7D with 200mm lens.
Here the 2600 railcar is on causeway to Fota Island. Canon EOS 7D with 200mm lens. The difficulty is selecting the best exposure. This image like the others presented here is unmodified, except for necessary scaling for internet presentation.
Here the 2600 railcar is on causeway to Fota Island. Canon EOS 7D with 200mm lens. The difficulty is selecting the best exposure. This image like the others presented here is unmodified, except for necessary scaling for internet presentation.

Morning_glint_at_Glounthaune_2600_outbound_silo_with_birds_IMG_9028

This was only the auspicious beginning to another very productive day documenting railways around Cork. More to come in tomorrow’s post!

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Kent Station, Cork—September 25, 2013 and October 6, 2014.

Now and Then: How Changes to Infrastructure Affect Composition.

Photographic pairs showing locations that have been changed by time are nothing new. Yet, usually there are decades between photo pairs, not just one year.

In the interval between my September 2013 visit to Kent Station, Cork and my subsequent visit in the first week of October this year, the station suffered damage during a fierce storm.

On December 18, 2013, high winds caused the collapse of the historic canopy that had protected the platform serving tracks 1 and 2. In the wind, the old cast iron columns supporting the canopy snapped like toothpicks, and wooden sheathed canopy turned to splinters.

Kent Station, Cork on September 25, 2013. The old canopy is a central element to this image, exposed with my Lumix LX3. I've used the canopy in several ways, including  to block out much of the textureless white sky, and to divide the frame in a meaningful way.
Kent Station, Cork on September 25, 2013. The old canopy is a central element to this image, exposed with my Lumix LX3. I’ve used the canopy in several ways, including to block out much of the textureless white sky, and to divide the frame in a meaningful way.
The canopy is now gone, but that makes it more of story than in the earlier element. Here the ominous sky on October 6, 2014, alludes to the storm some 10 months earlier, while the boxed vestiges on the platform hint at the old cast iron columns. I've made no effort to precisely duplicate my earlier photograph. That would only result in an awkwardly composed contemporary image. Lumix LX7 photo.
The canopy is now gone, but that makes it more of story than in the earlier image. Here, on October 6, 2014, the ominous sky alludes to the storm some 10 months earlier, while the boxed vestiges on the platform hint at the old cast iron columns. I’ve made no effort to precisely duplicate my earlier photograph. That would only result in an awkwardly composed contemporary image. Lumix LX7 photo.

When I arrived off the train from Dublin in the afternoon of October 6, 2014, I was well aware of the change to the canopy, having read about it on RTE’s internet news  and again some months later in the Journal of the Irish Railway Record Society.

However, a change such as this cannot really be fully appreciated until witnessed in person. The old canopy was an important fixture of Kent Station and it altered the quality of light on the platforms, as well as protecting passengers from the elements.

In this September 25, 2013 image the black mass of the canopy helps balance the shapes of the rail cars while shadowing the platform and ground making for a more contrasty image. Lumix LX3 photo.
In this September 25, 2013 image, I’m looking away from Kent Station toward Cobh and Midlton. Here the black mass of the canopy helps balance the shapes of the rail cars while shadowing the platform and ground making for a more contrasty image. Lumix LX3 photo.
I'm nearly in the same place for this photo as I was in the 2013 image above. Without the canopy to add a balancing element, I focused more intently on the 2600-series diesel railcars. The lighting in both photographs is similar.
I’m nearly in the same place for this photo as I was in the 2013 image above. But without the canopy to add a balancing element, I focused more intently on the 2600-series diesel railcars. The lighting in both photographs is similar. Which do you prefer? Lumix LX7 photo exposed on October 6, 2014.

In these photo pairings, my goal wasn’t to make precise comparisons to show the exact nature of the changed scene, but rather to show how the canopy, and the lack there of, affected the way I composed my images. I was keen to show the broken cast iron columns because they now tell the story.

Likewise, someday the semaphores will go. And when they are gone, I’ll no longer be intent to frame trains with them. Some other element of the scene will take their place.

In this September 25,  2013 view I've carefully used the old canopy as a frame for the 2600 railcar departing Kent Station. Notice the relative location of semaphores, lighting masts, and cast iron canopy supports. Lumix LX3 photo.
In this September 25, 2013 view I’ve carefully used the old canopy as a frame for the 2600 railcar departing Kent Station. Notice the relative location of semaphores, lighting masts and cast iron canopy supports. Lumix LX3 photo.
In the above photo, the canopy serves more as a frame than as subject. While in this October 6, 2014 image, the broken cast iron column is an element of interest, especially after you know the story. Imaging the sound it made when it broke! Here an arriving 2600 railcar passes the old semaphores, long may they last! Lumix LX7 photo.
In the above photo, the canopy serves more as a frame than as subject. While in this October 6, 2014 image, the broken cast iron column is an element of interest, especially after you know the story. Imagine the sound it made when it broke! Here an arriving 2600 railcar passes the old semaphores, long may they last! Notice how I’ve included more platform is this more recent image. Lumix LX7 photo.

When you make photos, how do you balance the elements in the scene? Do you focus on just the primary subject or do you adjust your composition to take in secondary elements, such as that offered by the platform canopy and semaphores in these images? Think about it.

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DAILY POST: Black & White Scrapbook


Scans of Prints Showing Limerick Junction

Irish Rail
A Dublin bound train has the starting signal to depart Limerick Junction. In the lead is a Class 201 General Motors diesel number 215 (again!). Limerick Junction North Cabin is at the left. Exposed with a Rollei model T on black & white film.

On May 16, 2001, I was on my way from Dublin to Kilarney by train. Rather than take the most efficient route, I aimed to wander a bit on the way down.

I changed trains at Ballybrophy for the Nenagh Branch to Limerick, then traveled from Limerick to Limerick Junction where I’d time my arrival to intercept the weekday 10:34 Waterford to Limerick cement train.

At the time I was making good use of my Rolleiflex Model T to document Ireland and Irish railways in black & white.

I’d process my negatives in my Dublin apartment and make 5×7 proofing prints at the Gallery of Photography’s darkrooms at Meeting House Square, Temple Bar. Often, I schedule one day a week for printing.

Over the course of a half dozen years, I exposed several thousand black & white images, and made hundreds of prints. Sometimes I’d give prints to friends on the railroad. On more than one occasion I’d later visit a station or signal cabin and find my work displayed on the wall.

However, most of the prints remain stored in boxes. While this may help in their preservation, it doesn’t allow people to enjoy the images.

Here I’ve displayed just a few photos, where instead of scanning the negatives, I’ve scanned prints and this shows both my cropping of the image and the borders. I developed a distinctive border style for my square images that I felt worked well with the format.

In the dozen years that have passed since I exposed these photos, Limerick Junction and the trains that serve it have changed dramatically. The semaphores, cement trains and Class 121 diesels are all gone.

Irish Rail 133 works the Limerick Junction-Limerick push-pull set as the train departs the Junction on May 16, 2001. After this train departed, the signalman in the cabin gave the cement train the signal to cross the Cork line (at right), then reverse into Limerick Junction.
Irish Rail 133 works the Limerick Junction-Limerick push-pull set as the train departs the Junction on May 16, 2001. After this train departed, the signalman in the cabin gave the waiting cement train the signals to cross the Cork line (at right), then reverse into Limerick Junction.
Here a pair of Class 121s leads the 10:34 Waterford-Limerick empty cement across the 'square crossing' at Limerick Junction. In America, we'd probably call this the 'Diamond at Limerick Junction'. Although this image was exposed as a square, I cropped the negative in printing to better focus on the railway infrastructure. The top third or so of the original negative just show clouds.
Here a pair of Class 121s leads the 10:34 Waterford-Limerick empty cement across the ‘square crossing’ at Limerick Junction. In America, we’d probably call this the ‘Diamond at Limerick Junction’. Although this image was exposed as a square, I cropped the negative in printing to better focus on the railway infrastructure. The top third or so of the original negative just show clouds.
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.

 

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Irish Rail, Stacumny Bridge, June 17, 2000.

 

Looking back at a Place Transformed.

During my fifteen years in Ireland, few railway locations have changed as much as the area around Hazelhatch. I made this photo of a single 121 leading the empty gypsum train (destined for Kingscourt) on June 17, 2000 from Stucumny bridge.

Irish Rail 128 w ety Gypsum at Stacumny Bridge 2000 Brian Solomon photo 2009241

It was my first visit to Stucumny. I was there with Colm O’Callaghan and Mark Hodge, who were well familiar with the spot.  It was a Saturday afternoon and there was an air show going on at the nearby Baldonnel Aerodrome. While waiting for the up gypsum we watched the airborne acrobatics.

Compare this photo with those exposed at the same location last week. (see yesterday’s post: Irish Rail, September 27, 2013)

The gypsum traffic left the rails in 2001. Locomotive 128 was cut up in early 2003. During the late 2000s, Irish Rail added two tracks to the Cork line between Cherry Orchard and Hazelhatch.

Cues that link this image with modern ones include the old barn/castle to the right of the tracks and the high voltage electric lines in the distance.

I exposed this image with my Nikon F3T on Fujichrome Sensia 100.

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