I’ve written before: always have a camera at the ready. I live by this rule.
Minutes ago (8:20 am, 7 October 2015), I was hastily making my way to the Dublin airport bus, when I spotted LUAS tram 4012 dressed in Virgin advertising making its Heuston Station stop. (Tram featured yesterday in ‘Extra: Virgin Luas . . .’).
With one hand on my suitcase, I grabbed my Lumix LX7, adjusted the exposure dial, and put myself in position on Sean Heuston Bridge to catch the tram in the window of morning sun. After exposing photos, I jumped on the 747 bus, where I am presently.
Dublin bus has free wi-fi, which facilitates extra posts such as this one.
Last week I posted photos of freshly painted Irish Rail class 201 number 215 working the IWT liner. Today, it worked to Cork and back. I photographed it a little while ago passing Islandbridge Junction.
As a follow up to yesterday’s special post, I’ve included a few more photos. Since Monday, Irish Rail’s freshly painted class 201 number 215 has been working the IWT Liner between Dublin and Ballina, Country Mayo.
I arrived back in Dublin aware that LUAS had a couple of trams working the Red Line in colourful advertising liveries. As I was on the 747 bus passing the city centre from the airport, I noted one of these working its way toward the Docklands.
Although I’ve been gone a few months, my memory of LUAS timings had the wheels turning in my head as the bus wandered its circuitous path through Dublin’s inner city.
By the time the bus arrived a Heuston Station, where it terminates its airport run, I calculated that the brightly coloured Citadis couldn’t be more than a few minutes away. So, with my luggage in tow, I marched toward my preferred morning location.
Just then it came into view.
Thankfully, it made a prolonged stop at Heuston, giving me time to dig out my LX-7 from the camera bag and reset it. I’d last been making multiple exposure HDR images of real 747s at Logan!
A railcar sunset? No, it’s not a metaphor, it really was a railcar at that time of day.
On April 15, 2014, I was passing the Heuston shed and notice that the soft orange light of the setting sun had illuminated this cavernous space. Lucky for me, there was a train approaching platform 4. (If it had been lined to any of the other platforms this photograph wouldn’t have worked.)
Using my Lumix LX3, I made this panned view. It captures the motion while helping to visually separate the front of the train from the interior ironwork. The low light allows for a pleasing glint effect without becoming overbearing or distracting.
The other evening I made this opportunistic photo of Dublin’s Heuston Station. I was on my way to meet a friend for coffee, when I noticed that the station was seasonally bathed in coloured light. I made a couple of quick photos with my Lumix.
I set the over-exposure for +1/3 and allowed the camera to set the exposure using the ‘A’ (aperture-priority) setting (set for f2.0).
Unfortunately, the exposure was still too dark for my liking. While the front of the station is properly exposed, the rest of the scene was unacceptably dark.
I compensated with some post-processing contrast/exposure adjustment. Yet, I still feel this photo is too dark. But, since I’m walking distance from Heuston, I can return and try this again! As they say on the radio, ‘stay tuned!’
Dublin is a quiet place on Christmas morning. Almost everything is shut. The roads are relatively empty. The buses aren’t running. There are scant few people on the normally busy streets. And the railways are asleep.
Irish trains don’t run Christmas Day. And Dublin’s terminals are locked up tight. It’s a strange sight to see Heuston Station by daylight with nothing moving around it. This normally busy place is unnaturally quiet.
Yet, what better time to make architectural views of the 1840s-built terminal?
There are no buses or LUAS trams to interfere with the station’s classic design. Cars are relatively few. You can stand in the middle the street to compose photos with little chance of being run over.
Heuston Station (known as King’s Bridge Station until its 1966 renaming) is a multimodal transport hub. In addition to being one of Irish Rail’s primary long distance and suburban stations, it’s also an important LUAS tram stop (one of only a few with a turn-back siding) and a terminal bus stop for 145 and 747 buses.
I made this time exposure with my Lumix LX3 on Monday morning. Since I didn’t have a tripod, I set the camera on a waist-height railing and set the self timer for 2 seconds to minimize camera shake.
I had the camera set in its ‘Vivid’ color mode which enhances the blue effect of dawn while making red lights more prominent. To calculate exposure, I used the ‘A’ aperture priority setting with a +2/3 (2/3s of a stop over exposure to add light to the scene).
This override is a means of compensating for the dark background and dark sky combined with bright highlights from electric streetlight (which have a tendency to fool the camera meter).
Every so often the sun shines in Ireland. When it does, it helps to be in position to make photographs. As it happened, on Friday September 27, 2013, Colm O’Callaghan and I were at Stacumny Bridge, near Hazelhatch in suburban Dublin.
Our aim was to photograph the down IWT (International Warehousing and Transport) liner which had an 071 class diesel leading. Stacumny Bridge is a favorite location to catch down-road trains mid-morning because of the broad open view of the tracks and favorable sun angle. I’ve post photos from this location on previous occasions.
While waiting for the liner, we got word of an up road wagon transfer. And caught that a few minutes before the liner came down. Then we heard that there was a permanent way department (PWD or ‘Per way’) ballast train coming up road as well. This was one of the elusive high output ballast trains (HOBS) I’ve mentioned in other posts.
Although an annoying small cloud softened the light at Stacumny when the HOBS roared up road. We pursued the train up to Dublin and caught it again reversing into the old Guinness sidings at Heuston Station.
For the all hours scouring the countryside for photos on dull days, it’s rewarding to catch a clattering of interesting action in just over an hour on a bright day. This is down to watching the weather, combined with patience and persistence and a good bit of luck.
Tomorrow: Tracking the Light looks back 13 years at Stacumny Bridge. What a change!
Tracking the Light posts new material on a daily basis.
I was waiting to catch Dublin’s LUAS from Heuston Station to the city centre last Saturday evening (20 July 2013) when I spotted this advertising tram outbound.
I grabbed my Lumix, set it for ‘Aperture Priority’ (the ‘A’ on the top dial) and dialed in a 1/3-exposure override to compensate for the inadequate contrast ratio caused by sodium vapor streetlights against a dark sky.
As explained in earlier posts (click here), many camera meters expect daylight-type situations, and thus calculate exposure based on these parameters and this tends to result in under exposure of nighttime scenes. Since the camera meter doesn’t know what the scene looks like, it is important to make the adjustment manually.
I’ve found from past experience that a 1/3 to 2/3s stop override (in other words + 1/3 or 2/3s in the exposure menu) general provides the necessary compensation. Another alternative is to make a test photo and then expose manually based on the histogram output. This required more time than I had, so I went for the easy solution.
I faced another problem. No tripod. So, I relied on my fall back alternative of placing the camera on the ground while propping up the lens with my spare Lumix battery. This has the secondary effect of providing an unusually dramatic angle.
One last complication: I had only one exposure left on the camera’s card! I knew this and so had to get it right with one try. The tram only stopped long enough for me to make that one exposure anyway.
It was nearly a full moon, which gave me a little bit extra skylight. If I’d had more time and more exposures, I may have made a second photo with a 2/3s exposure override. But that’s a minor point. Hopefully, I have another opportunity to photograph this unusual tram. Perhaps next time in daylight
Orange Engine at Stafford Springs, Ct., and Irish Rail’s IWT Liner in Dublin.
Last week I made these photos, nearly exactly 24 hours apart (one in the morning, the other in the afternoon).
The first image shows New England Central’s freshly painted GP402-L 3015 leading a southward freight at Stafford Springs, Connecticut. I was delighted to finally get this elusive orange engine operating on a road-freight in daylight.
The next image was made in Dublin, after a trans Atlantic crossing courtesy of Aer Lingus. This shows locomotive 073 struggling along with the second IWT Liner at Islandbridge Junction near Heuston Station in Dublin, Ireland.
Later, I heard through the grapevine that 073 failed a few miles down the line and require assistance.
Both images were made with my Canon EOS 7D. Also both feature 1970s-era General Motors diesels singly hauling freight under bright sunny skies.
Click here for views of Irish Rail 077 in the new livery!
I featured Dublin’s Heuston Station in my 2002 book, Railway Masterpieces. Here’s a an excerpt of my text:
Located near the Guinness Brewery along the south bank of the River Liffey, Dublin’s Heuston Station is a classic example of a railway terminal from the dawn of the railway age. Despite its age it still serves as one of the city’s primary railway stations and is among the oldest railway stations in continuous use in the world. Few stations have survived from the formative age of railways, and far fewer city terminals exist from this period.
“The Dublin terminal was formerly known as Kingsbridge and was renamed in 1966, along with many other stations in Ireland, as a commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Easter Rising. At this time, railway stations were renamed in honor of participants in the Rising who had been executed by British authorities in the aftermath of the event, so this station is named for Sean Heuston.”
On April 9, 2013, I facilitated a short tour of Heuston for visiting Amtrak locomotive engineer Douglas Kydd who was on vacation in Ireland with his Fiancée. Among the highlights was the opportunity to inspect one Irish Rail’s newest trains.