My last photos of Monday’s Mountaineer Special were made just east of the Arethusa Falls grade crossing on New Hampshire’s Crawford Notch.
I’d explored this location for nearly four years. It appears among the early photos of the line that date back to the time of its construction. Yet is difficult to capture effectively. It is most effective of an eastward train.
My fascination is with the distinctive rocks of Frankenstein Cliff that loom ominously above the train. This time of the year can be key to making a successful photograph here. During the summer, when trees are completely leafed out, and light is thick with moisture it can be more difficult to see the cliffs above the train.
Mid-Spring can provides a better balance between the mountainous backround with foreground, while offer a hint of green foliage.
Step back to September 28, 2020. I had just bought my Nikon Z6 mirrorless camera. The foliage was turning, and I hiked up to the famed Frankenstein Trestle to catch the Mountaineer on its ascent of Crawford Notch.
This photo is among my favorites from 2020. I have used it extensively to promote Conway Scenic Railroad. It has appeared in various magazines and newspapers. The railroad sells refrigerator magnets featuring this image in the North Conway Brass Whistle Gift Shop, and we had monochromatic hoodies made up as well.
Saturday, September 17, 2022, Conway Daily Sun featured the photo on the cover of the newspaper.
The photo was exposed with my Z-series 24-70mm zoom set at 26mm, aperture at f4; camera shutter speed to 1/1000th of a second. I made adjustments to shadows, highlights and color temperature and saturation using Adobe Lightroom.
Yesterday, I made this image of the Mountaineer descending at the Arethusa Falls grade crossing against a backdrop of autumnal foliage and the famous Frankenstein Cliff in New Hampshire’s White Mountains.
A shaft of sun illuminated the front of GP35 216 which made for a tricky exposure.
I’d preset the camera settings in manual mode, anticipating the bright yellow front of the engine catching the wink of sun. Further adjustment of highlight and shadow areas was necessary in post processing.
As part of my responsibilities as Manager of Marketing and Events at Conway Scenic Railroad, I organize the creation of our billboards in the Conway-area.
For this season’s billboard, I opted to feature our Mountaineer crossing the Frankenstein trestle on the former Maine Central Mountain Division. The Billboard design was the work of Silverline Graphics; printing and installation was performed by Gemini Sign and Design.
I exposed the billboard photo last autumn using my FujiFilm XT1. And using the same camera, I photographed the billboard itself where our Conway Branch crosses Rt302/Rt16 near White Mountain Oil in North Conway.
Also, I adjusted the photo file that appears on the billboard using Adobe Lightroom using the same MacBook Pro that I use to prepare Tracking the Light.
Where better to photograph a train on Halloween than Frankenstein trestle?
This afternoon, Kris Sabbatino and I ventured to this iconic landmark to catch the eastward Conway Scenic Mountaineer.
Mount Washington seen to the right of the train was covered in fresh autumn snow.
The bridge is named for the nearby cliffs, which were named not for the characters of Mary Shelley’s fictional story, but rather for the family of German artists that painted landscapes of the Mount Washington Valley in the 19th Century.
The other day, in preparation for debut of Conway Scenic’s Mountaineer, the railroad operated a work extra with locomotive 1751. This ran up the former Maine Central Mountain Division to clear debris and rocks that had fallen on the line.
To move the heaviest rocks, railroad president and general manager Dave Swirk personally operated an excavator.
I traveled with the train to document its work.
On the return run, I posed a sequence of photos at the famous Frankenstein bridge.
Photos exposed using a FujiFilm XT1 with 18-135mm lens.
Today, Saturday June 27, 2020, Conway Scenic Railroad the Mountaineer will make its inaugural run between North Conway and Crawford Notch.
Last June, while working with the Conway Scenic Railroad I exposed this view of fresh green foliage at the Frankenstein Trestle on the line over New Hampshire’s Crawford Notch.
I was working with an antique Nikon FTN Nikkormat with a Nikkor f1.8 105mm lens.
I like the ‘fast’ 105 because it allows for very shallow depth of field at its widest aperture, while offering exceptional sharpness on the area of focus.
This effect is especially appealing as a contrast to many modern digital systems that offer razor sharp images with great depth of field in most circumstances. Focus, like other qualities, may be most effective when applied judiciously.
I exposed this image on Ilford HP5 400ISO 35mm black & white film. I hand processed the film. After a presoak with very dilute HC110 for about 5 minutes, I introduced my primary developer, Ilford ID11 developer mixed 1 to 1 with water, for 6 minutes and 15 seconds at 70F. By raising the temperature slightly and using a relatively dilute solution I controlled contrast while increasing shadow detail.