Tag Archives: FL9

Classic Kodachrome: Metro-North Waterbury Branch

I made this non-conventional view of the Waterbury Branch shuttle on November 16, 1992.

NH painted FL9 on Waterbury Branch Nov 16 1992 by Brian Solomon 232045

Using my F3T with Nikor 200mm lens mounted on a tripod, I aimed away to catch the train trailing in order to feature the New Haven painted FL9 locomotive working in push-mode at the back of the consist.

I worked with the ‘around the corner’ lighting that emphasized the textures of the sides of the locomotive and cars, the frost covered ground, while making for a gossamer-like background of trees and electrical wires.

In this composition, I’ve carefully included the electrical pole at top right. It would have been easy enough to crop this out, but I’ve left it in because it serves as an important visual element.

The insulators and wires atop the pole catch the light and draw the eye away from the main subject, while putting context to the network of wires behind the train and so adding a degree of depth to the whole photograph.

Too often, subtle compositions like this one have been cropped by philistines. Simplifying the image doesn’t necessarily make for a better photograph. If I wanted a tighter simpler view, I would have exposed it that way.

Tracking the Light posts new material every morning.

Please share Tracking the Light!


Amtrak FL9 on the Water Level Route

September 1989.

Exposed with a Leica M2 on Kodachrome 25.
Exposed with a Leica M2 on Kodachrome 25.

A hot and hazy late summer evening, and Amtrak 48 the Lake Shore Limited was running late.

In the lead was FL9 489. I exposed this cross-lit Kodachrome slide to show the train with the Hudson in the background.

This, after all, is the former New York Central ‘Water Level Route’. It was here that the famed 20th Century Limited rolled up the miles between Chicago and Grand Central Terminal behind J3A Hudsons, S1 Niagaras, and Electro-Motive E-units in lightning stripe paint.

All before my time.

I was just happy to catch an Amtrak FL9 roaring along in the late light.

For Streamliners  photos, click here to reach Tracking the Light’s Streamliners at Spencer page.

Tracking the Light posts new material every morning.

Please share Tracking the Light!



Metro-North FL9 at Waterbury, Connecticut, November 16, 1992.

Vestiges of the old New Haven Railroad.

FL9 locomotive
Early dawn light at Waterbury, Connecticut on November 16, 1992. As was typical for the time, I calculated the exposure manually using a Sekonic Studio Deluxe handheld photocell. I made several exposures on Kodachrome 25.

I was driving west on I-84 aiming for the Hudson River. It was a bitterly cold autumn morning before dawn and the sky above was a clear blue dome. I made a spot decision, to get off the highway and make a few photos around the old New Haven Railroad station.

I exposed this view of Metro-North FL9 2023 with the iconic silhouette of the station’s Italianate clock tower beyond. The locomotive was one of several restored in its as-built 1950s-era New Haven paint scheme.

The combination of the early hour and frosty conditions provided for an almost surreal light, but little in the way of personal comfort.

Using my Nikon F3T fitted with a 35mm perspective control lens; I composed this view with the camera mounted on a Bogen 3021 tripod with ball head. By keeping the camera level and adjusting the shift on the front element of the PC lens, I kept the vertical elements parallel.

I continued my drive west, and the rest of the day was spent productively along the former New York Central Hudson Division between Peekskill and Beacon, New York.

Tracking the Light posts new material daily.

Please spread the word and share Tracking the Light with anyone who may enjoy seeing it!


Enhanced by Zemanta

American Gallery: Hudson Valley, 20 Years Ago Today

Amtrak on the Hudson
Amtrak FL9 488 leads an Empire Corridor train along the Hudson near Breakneck Ridge, north of Cold Spring, New York on November 20, 1992. Nikon F3T with 35mm PC lens; K25 slide film.

It was exactly 20 years ago today; November 20, 1992, I made this photograph of an Albany-bound Amtrak train along the Hudson Line near Breakneck Ridge north of Cold Spring, New York. Like today, this day in 1992 dawned cold and crisp. I was armed with my Nikon F3T with a 35mm PC (Perspective Control) lens and loaded Kodachrome 25 film. I metered manually with my Sekonic Studio Deluxe hand-held light meter. Amtrak’s classic FL9s were still working the Hudson Line on Empire Corridor trains. Later in the decade these were supplanted by modern General Electric dual-mode Genesis locomotives.  Back then this train was common; today it’s a classic. Likewise, Kodachrome 25 was then my staple film, but its been gone for several years (discontinued well before Kodak stopped making K64). Wait 20 years, and see what changes unfold. Time passes and everything changes. Make your photos as you see them.