Friday (July 5, 2019), I was rambling about with my cousin Stella—visiting from California—when we paused at Bardwell’s Ferry,.
The ferry is long gone. Instead a well-preserved pin-connected lenticular truss bridge carries the road over Massachusetts’ Deerfield River.
While we were photographing the bridge and river, I thought my ears tricked me; the rushing water sounded remarkably like a distant freight.
Since this wasn’t a serious rail-photo excursion, I hadn’t brought my scanner.
I went back to the car to get my omnipresent notebook, when I heard a whistle!
The flashers on Bardwell’s Ferry road illuminated, and sure enough there was an eastward Pan Am Southern freight approaching!
Working with my FujiFilm XT1 with 18-135mm zoom lens, I exposed this series of photos.
I assume that this was symbol freight 16R which forwards Norfolk Southern traffic from Enola (Pennsylvania) and East Binghamton (New York) to Pan Am’s East Deerfield Yard. Without a scanner or positive confirmation, guess is all I can do.
For this roll of film I made some minor adjustments to the basic formula.
The goal of my special process is to allow for a black & white negative that when scanned provides optimum tonality and contrast without the need for post processing adjustments.
This is significant for two reasons: 1) I’ve maximized the film’s tonality, thus allowing to capture the most amount of information. 2) I’ve minimized the amount of time I need to spend adjusting individual images.
With this photo, I scanned the original negative, and then scaled it in Lightroom while applying my water mark. I did not make adjustments to exposure, contrast, or similar. This is in essence and unmodified scan.
Here I’ve intentionally selected a very contrasty scene. This demonstrates the success of the process and makes for a dramatic photograph of modern railroading.
By using HP5, which is rated by Ilford at 400 ISO, I’ve intentionally selected a comparatively grainy film. This adds texture and grittiness to the image. I wonder how it will appear on your screen? On mine it is exceptionally sharp with broad tonal range.