A month ago—LUAS on Provia—18 Oct 2022—I made these photos of LUAS trams working the Green Line in the Dublin City Centre using a Nikon F3 with Provia 100F (RDPIII) color slide film.
During our trip to Ireland I exposed 7 rolls of film along with hundreds of digital photos. This is just a sampling of a few photos from our last day in Dublin.
Last night, I scanned the slides using a Nikon LS 5000 (Super Coolscan5000) slide scanner powered by VueScan software and then imported the scanner’s hi-res TIF files into Adobe Lightroom for minor color and exposure corrections.
I find that film offers a different quality of image, which is part of the attraction. But, I also find that working with my old Nikon F3s produces different compositions than I get when making photos digitally. So despite the inconvenience of carrying both film and digital cameras and the comparatively high cost of exposing color film, I continue to work with both film and digital media.
In my years visiting Dublin, I often noted changes to the character of the city between my visits.
On my April 2022 visit was the first in two an one half years, largely owing to travel complications imposed by Covid-19 and the demands of my full-time job at Conway Scenic Railroad.
Among the changes to Dublin during my extended abscence was an upgrade to the city bus fleet and changes to many of the bus routes. Notably, Dublin Bus now operates a fleet of distinctive looking modern Hybrid buses.
Having traveled on Dublin bus for nearly 23 years, I found this change worthy of a few photos. Especially while the buses were still new and clean, and operating on a mix of new and old routes.
Photos exposed with my Lumix LX7.
Tracking the Light normally covers rail, but occasionally looks at other transport!
It was like old times again! Last week, Irish Rail’s General Motors diesel 073 in retro paint was working the down IWT Liner (Dublin North Wall to Ballina, County Mayo).
I’d met fellow photographer Jay Monaghan along Dublin’s St Johns Road. The sun had cleared away the clouds, and while I went to the famous ‘Box’ that overlooked the wall, Jay took a position closer to track level.
In my Nikon F3, I had a fresh roll of Kodak Ektachrome 100. I fitted the camera with a telephoto lens to make a classic photo, portrait format to feature the Wellington Testimonial. As the liner came around the corner at Islandbridge Junction, I exposed a couple of color slides, and then popped off a sequence of digital photos with my Lumix LX7.
After long last, I was photographing a freight from my old spot.
These digital photos were made in April 2022, but they reminded me of my efforts from years gone by! (I sent the slides in for processing on Monday and hope to get them back next week).
I was still new to the concept of digital imagery on 22 April 2010 when I made these views with my old Lumix LX3 of an Irish Rail ballast train running around at Platform 10 at Dublin’s Heuston Station.
This view from the top of the Phoenix Park Tunnel was just a short walk from my old apartment at Islandbridge. The dust in the air was the result of a volcanic eruption in Iceland.
The old four-wheel ballast wagons were nearing the end of their days in permanent-way traffic.
In just a few days, I hope to be able to make a modern day view from this Irish vantage point. Fingers crossed.
My old Lumix LX3 had the ability to save a handful of photos in the camera’s built in memory (without an SD card).
This was a great benefit, especially in those moments where suddenly I realized that, “Oh Sh!#! I left the SD card on my desk!”
Not a problem, the camera would store the image internally for downloading later.
On 11 April 2012, I had one of those unforgettable “Oh Sh!#!” moments when I’d spotted a colorfully painted LUAS tram on Abbey Street in Dublin and when I went to photograph it the camera advised me I was saving to the internal memory.
That was ten years, and three Lumixes ago.
However, not only did the camera save the photo, but it was able to save both as a JPG and as RAW. And this was lucky, because a pesky afternoon cloud had just drifted in front of the sun, so my photo was very constrasty and slightly underexposed. Working with Lightroom I was able to lighten the original photo, correct the color temperature, and level the image.
No hope with getting that kind of double save if you forgot to put film in camera! (Been there, done that!).
In two weeks time, I hope to be making use of my latest Lumix on the streets of Dublin!
In several recent Tracking the Light posts, I displayed photos of Dublin’s LUAS trams crossing the 1820’s era cast iron River Liffey span.
In this March 11, 2014 Lumix LX3 photo, the bridge, rather than the tram crossing it, was the emphasis my photography.
My old LX3 was a wonderful and convenient tool for making urban images. Although more difficult to use, looking back I think it produced better compositions than its LX7 successor. That said, I’m on my 3rd Lumix LX7!
This view is a scaled, but otherwise unaltered version of the LX3 Jpg file made 8 years ago today.
On March 2, 2015, I walked across the Sean Heuston Bridge (formerly Kingsbridge) toward Heuston Station.
I’ve crossed this 19th century cast iron span over the Liffey perhaps a 1000 times (maybe more) during the many years I spent photographing Dublin.
LUAS tram 3019 decorated to advertise Sky Fibre (cable television) was working westbound toward its station stop at Heuston when I made a snapshot with my old Lumix LX7. The Guinness Brewery at St. James Gate looms to the left.
On an evening in Spring 2001, I made this monochrome silhouette at Dublin’s Heuston Station using my Rollei Model T. The photo brings back memories of another time.
The place has much changed in the intervening 21 years since the click of the shutter.
This shows Irish Rail class 141/181s working as shunters, a practice that ended about a dozen years ago when locomotive hauled consists were phased out in favor of modern self propelled Intercity Railcars (ICRs). Among the other changes: the platform arrangement was altered and extended, while the trainshed roof restored.
In May 1998, I stood at the south end of platform 5 of Dublin’s Connolly Station where I made this view of 2600-series diesel multiple units as they accelerated away from the platforms toward Tara Street on the Loop Line.
I was working with my Nikon F3T loaded with Fujichrome Sensia II (ISO 100).
At the time the 2600s were a common sight in Dublin.
This photo reminds me of my first impressions of Dublin and how much has changed since 1998.
Irish Rail class 141 number 167 glides over the River Liffey at Islandbridge, Dublin.
I made this view from my old apartment at Islandbridge in December 2005.
Although I had just recently purchased a Canon EOS3, I was still working with my old Nikon F3s, which is what I used to expose this view on Fujichrome.
At the time there were still a number of class 141/181 General Motors diesels working for Irish Rail.
Over the years, the trees and other obstructions gradually hemmed in my view of the tracks, so that by the time I left more than a dozen years later, it was more difficult to obtain an uncluttered photo of a train crossing the Liffey from the apartment.
It’s hard to believe that eight years have passed since I made the sprint from my old apartment at Islandbridge in Dublin to the top of the Phoenix Park Tunnel on the Conyngham Road to catch the elusive HOBS on its run toward Dublin’s North Wall yards.
As previously covered in Tracking the Light, Irish Rail’s modern ballast train is known by its initials HOBS, which stands for High Output Ballast System.
Working with my Canon EOS 7D digital camera, I exposed this sequence of images as the train accelerated around the bend at Islandbridge Junction. Old Irish Rail 074 was in the comparatively short-lived silver, black & yellow freight livery.
It was ten years ago today that I exposed this digital image of a Dublin LUAS tram gliding over the River Liffey on the Sean Heuston Bridge (formerly Kings Bridge).
At the time, I was working with my first, and only, digital camera, a Panasonic LX3 that I purchased primarily to use as a light meter to aid my film photography and to make social photos of my friends.
I soon learned that the Lumix was an exceptional image making machine and came to use it on almost a daily basis.
When Irish Rail’s Rotem-built 22K series InterCity Railcars (ICRs) were new, they briefly carried set numbers in a painted round circle on the right front above the coupler and adjacent to the headlights. This has been called the ‘green golfball.’
This identification practice was frowned upon and most of the circles were removed after a few months.
Set 7 survived longer than others.
On the evening of December 31, 2009, I made a visit to ‘The Box’ overlooking the wall at Islandbridge Junction in Dublin, where I made this image of ICR set 7 in dramatic winter light using my then new Lumix LX3.
Last night, I found this photo while searching for something else obscure and thought it would make for an interesting Tracking the Light post.
How a year goes by! November 4th last year sticks in my mind as one of the best nights for rainy night photography in a very long time.
I’d caught up with fellow poor-weather nocturnal photographers, Jay Monaghan, Paul Maguire and Kevin O’Brien at Drumcondra in Dublin to catch the elusive Irish Rail ‘HOBS’ (ballast train) hauled by General Locomotives diesel 075.
It was cold and sluicing rain.
After catching the ballast passing Drumcondra station, we nipped across town by rail to Sandymount, where we waited in the rain for another shot.
Working with my Fujifilm XT1 I made these memorable images.
Now, armed with Iridient X-Transformer, I went back to last year’s success and re-interpreted some of my favorite images from that damp Irish evening, which now seems so distant.
Tracking the Light Publishes Daily!
[Note: my intent was to publish this on November 4, 2020, but when composing the post I accidentally posted it immediately. My efforts to reschedule the post had the net effect of disrupting the link. So I’ve reposted it this morning (Tuesday November 3).]
Dublin November 4, 2019:.I was heading to Drumcondra to meet the lads for an evening of railroad photography.
At O’Connell Street, I needed to change from one bus to another.
It was dusk.
The swollen winter sky opened and a cold rain cascaded down like a tsunami.
Working with a Nikon F3 fitted with a 50mm lens and loaded with Rollei Retro 80S, I made a single exposure.
This is it.
There’s something about the split composition, the depth afforded by the exceptional glossy wet evening, the shadowy figures with umbrellas, and the looming bus that works for me like few photos emanating from my camera in a long time.
Since mid-November, I’ve had this as the opening photo on my Facebook page.
The view from Dublin’s St. Stephen’s Green Shopping Plaza The Food Village food court is among the best vistas to picture LUAS trams in the city centre.
This offers an elevated view of the St Stephens Green prominently featuring the Fusiliers Arch on the Grafton Street side of the park.
I like the view because it was featured on an early 19th century hand-tinted postcard the also included trams, albeit those of the previous lineage. (The Dublin city centre was without trams from the 1940s until 2004 when LUAS commenced operations).
The S-bend in the tram route seen here was opened as part of the Cross City Green Line extension a couple of years ago.
The other day I met fellow photographer Mark Healy for serious image making discussion over a cup of tea while waiting to photograph some of the LUAS advertising trams that now prowl the Green Line route.
I exposed these photos using my Lumix LX7. The challenge of this location is obtaining a satisfactory image through the window glass. I used a very wide aperture, which offers low depth of field to minimize the effect of the glass.
Tracking the Light is a Daily railway-photography Blog.