On 20 April 2016, I made this image of a Swiss BLS Cargo (Bern Lötschberg Simplon) electric leading a northward freight on DB’s (German Railways) heavily traveled double-track line north of Freiburg, Germany.
Although clear and sunny, the direction of the light was directly behind the locomotive, which is anything but ideal.
To make the most of this awkward lighting situation, I opted to feature the flowering tree that was well-lit by the angle of the sun, and work with the locomotive in silhouette, while taking a low angle to minimize distracting elements on the far side of the line.
In post processing, I’ve lightened the shadow areas of the RAW file to restore detail and improve the overall contrast to the locomotive.
Below are both the unimproved RAW file (only scaled for presentation) and my modified file.
The Industrial Designer Famed for his Steamlined Locomotives was Born November 5, 1893.
I’ve rearranged my postings to honor Raymond Loewy, whose streamlined industrial designs greatly impressed me during my formative days in railway photography.
As a youngster, I was thrilled by former Pennsylvania Railroad GG1s and made many photographs of these electrics in service on Amtrak and NJ Transit.
Today, I’ve chosen a relatively modern image of preserved and beautifully restored PRR Electric 4935 that is displayed at the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania. I exposed this photograph in June 2007 while working on my book Railroads of Pennsylvania.
Among Loewy’s early assignments for Pennsylvania Railroad was to refine the styling on its new GG1 electric. Loewy suggest using a welded body instead of a traditional riveted design, while providing the classic ‘cat’s whiskers’ livery and tidying up marker light housings, cab windows and other body details.
The GG1 remains one of Loewy’s best known designs and an American classic.
Just over 30 years ago, on October 29, 1983, I was among the faithful that rode New Jersey Transit’s ‘Farewell to the GG1’ excursion.
Thanks to Stephen Hirsch for reminding me of today’s significance!
NS keeps trains flowing one after another, and doesn’t seem to have any qualms about running freight tightly between passenger trains. I found that about every half hour a freight would be slotted in.
This was one of the last exposures I made before sundown. A former Netherlandse Spoorwagen electric leads a southward Deutsche Bahn freight. While I’d seen several of these classic electrics on the move, this was the only one I caught in nice light hauling freight.