Working with two digital cameras, I made these images at Irish Rail’s Drogheda Station. This is a classic Great Northern Railway (Ireland) railway station with a curved platform, antique brick buildings and elegant old-school platform canopies.
But it also features more modern elements too, such as palisade fencing and a diesel railcar depot and wash.
Is it honest to exclude the modern elements and just focus on the antique? Or is it better to allow for mix of new and old? After all the photos were made digitally in 2018, not on film in the days of yore.
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In that photo the train is relatively small in a big scene.
Three days later, David Hegarty and I were again out along the old Great Northern line, this time at Drogheda, to photograph the Tara Mines on the move.
In contrast to the distant view in the earlier posting, the photographs displayed here focus tightly on the locomotive and train using more classic three-quarter angle.
In the top photograph, I used my FujiFilm XT1 with a 90mm fixed telephoto for a tight compressed view (what some photographers might term a ‘telewedgie’).
While in bottom photograph I used my Lumix LX7 with zoom lens set with a wide-angle perspective that approximates the angle of view offered by a 35mm focal length lens on a traditional 35mm film camera.
I prefer the telephoto view for overall appeal; this handles the soft lighting conditions more satisfactorily, focuses more closely on the locomotive and train, minimizes bland elements of the scene such as the ballast and white sky, and offers a high impact image of the train in motion. Also it helps emphasize the trackage arrangement with crossovers between the up and down lines.
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Irish Rail maintains its 29000-series diesel railcars (built by CAF) at its Drogheda Depot.
Back in Janaury 2003 I photographed the very first of these trains being lifted out of the boat at Dublin port. (Thanks to the late Norman McAdams who had encouraged me to be dockside to make photos for the Irish Railway Record Society Journal).
I was reminded of that event while crossing the now disused trackage (half paved over) by the old Point Depot along the north Liffey Quays near where I made my photos.
These images were exposed last week at Drogheda using my digital cameras.
On August 10, 2015, David Hegarty and I visited Drogheda, where Irish Rail’s Navan Branch meets the Northern Line.
It was our second visit in two days.
In recent years, I’d been dismissive of the Northern Line as being bland. But, I’ve seen the error of my ways.
In just a couple hours we were treated to a steady parade of trains, and this offered just about the best variety of equipment as anyone can expect to see in modern day Ireland.
The highlight of the day was the arrival of the weed-spraying train, which needed to run around, and the propel back to access the branch.
Our vantage point was the lightly travel road bridge south of the railway station. During our visit there were more dogs across the bridge than cars.
Drogheda is nicely oriented for sun-lit photography through out most of the day. This is the location of a railcar depot (maintenance facility), so in addition to mainline moves, there was considerable activity at the depot, which include the washing of trains.
As with many busy places, the action seemed to come in waves.
I kept the cameras busy yesterday. I’ve altered the way I process my files. Rather than work from camera-shaped Jpgs, instead I’ve presented camera RAW files. With a few I applied a bit of contrast/exposure adjustment, but the others have just been scaled for internet presentation.
I exposed more than 500 images and haven’t, as of yet, had adequate time to digest this photographically intense experience.
Today, Sunday 9 August 2015, the Railway Preservation Society of Ireland in cooperation with Irish Rail operated a steam special from Dublin’s Connolly Station to Drogheda and Dundalk with locomotive number 4.
This was my first opportunity to photograph this classic locomotive in more than four years. Special thanks to everyone at the RPSI and Irish Rail who made today’s trips a success.