Tag Archives: Cork

Lumix LX100 at Littleisland, Co. Cork.

Sunday, 13 October 2019, I exposed this view of an Irish Rail 2600-series railcar at Littleisland on the Cobh Branch destined for Kent Station, Cork.

For me this was a test of the Lumix LX100 that Denis McCabe lent me.

The scene is cross-lit; so the sun is off-camera to my left, leaving the railcar on the ‘Dark Side’ while the signal cabin is brightly illuminated. Complicating the contrast are the fluffy white clouds and a polarized sky above.

This image was adjusted from the camera-RAW file using Lightroom. I darkened highlight areas to obtain greater detail, while lightening shadow regions, and used a digitally applied graduated neutral density filter to better hold detail in the sky.

Two points: I find the RAW files from Lumix LX100 exceptionally sharp; and the files have very good dynamic range which gives me plenty of room to make adjustement in situations with extreme contrast.

More Lumix LX100 photos soon!

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Cork Talk Tonight!

This evening, Tuesday15 October 2019, I’ll be presenting a slide show and talk featuring my travels in Spain and Portugal to the Munster Branch of the Irish Railway Record Society at the Brú Columbanus Rooms at Cardinal Way, Wilton in Cork City.

The talk begins about 8pm.

This evening it will be Real slides, not imitations!

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Slide Show in CORK This Tuesday!

This coming Tuesday evening, 15 October 2019, I’ll be presenting a slide show and talk featuring my travels in Spain and Portugal to the Munster Branch of the Irish Railway Record Society at the Brú Columbanus Rooms at Cardinal Way, Wilton in Cork City.

The talk begins about 8pm.

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Faces of The Cobh Rambler—lots of photos!

Saturday wasn’t the brightest or driest day.

Railway Preservation Society of Ireland’s  The Cobh Rambler departed Dublin Heuston Station as per schedule.

It was raining by the time we passed Lucan South (about 6 miles from Heuston).

By the time we reached Cork it was lashing.

On these excursions I often focus on my friends, many of whom are Irish Rail employees and/or RPSI members.

Thanks to everyone who made this trip a success!

All images were exposed using my Lumix LX7.

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Steam and Semaphores at Cobh, Junction—May 2000.

Cobh Junction on 11 May 2000. Nikon N90S with Fujichrome Sensia II (100 ISO).

Nineteen Years ago, I was traveling with Denis McCabe and Tony Gray to photograph Railway Preservations Society of Ireland’s annual ‘Two Day Tour’.

We stopped along the N25 opposite the water from Cobh, Junction, Glounthaune, Cork, where I used a telephoto lens to expose this view of former Great Northern Railway (Ireland) steam locomotive 171 hauling Irish Rail Cravens carriages on a trip to Cobh.

At the time, an overcast day photo of 171 working tender first didn’t excite me much, and I left this slide with the other ‘seconds’ from that trip

However, in May of this year (2019)—almost 19 years to the day after I exposed the photo—I rediscovered this slide. It was still in the original box in which it was returned to me from the lab. Time has improved my photo and I think it’s pretty neat now.

I scanned it using an Epson V750 Pro flat bed scanner and processed the file using Lightroom.

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Victorian Railway: Cobh Branch at Woodhill, Tivoli, Cork.

Irish Rail’s Cobh Branch retains a Victorian character running east from Kent Station through Woodhill, Tivoli in Cork City.

Cast iron foot bridges and terrace houses facing the line make for a classic setting.

On weekday mornings 2600 railcars pass every few minutes on their way to and from Midleton and Cobh.

I made these views using my FujiFilm XT1 during a visit three weeks ago.

12mm Zeiss Touit lens.

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Irish Rail and Autumn Colours in County Cork

Earlier this month, Ken Fox and I explored railways in County Cork.

Rusty autumnal foliage enhanced the pastoral scenery.

I made these views using my FujiFilm XT1. By warming the colour temperature I made the most of the season.

Trailing view of an Irish Rail ICR heading toward Mallow from Kent Station Cork seen near Rathduff, Co. Cork.

Looking toward Cork City at Mourne Abbey.

View near Mourne Abbey, October 2018.

Irish Rail Mark4 set from Dublin to Cork near Mourne Abbey.

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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.

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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!

Tracking the Light posts every day—sometimes more than once!

 

 

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.