Tag Archives: #fujifilmXT1

NIR Downhill, Co. Derry—Two Years Ago.

On this day, 8 Oct 2016, I made this view of an Northern Ireland Railways CAF at Downhill, Co. Derry on its run from Derry/Londonderry to Belfast.

Exposed using my FujiFilm XT1.

A similar view from this sequence appeared in my book Brian Solomon’s Railway Guide to Europe. 

The book is available from the Kalmbach Hobby Store and Amazon.

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Sunny Saturday: Colourful Tram Works LUAS Green Line on Dawson Street—3 photos.

Yesterday, 29 September 2018, I made these views of a LUAS Green Line tram wearing the latest fully covered advertising livery as it worked up Dawson Street in Dublin on its way to Broombridge.

September often brings sunny days in Ireland, and yesterday was a fine afternoon to make a few photos.

This encounter with the colourful tram was fortuitous, rather than planned, as I was on a shopping mission and photography was a secondary activity.

Photo adjusted from the camera RAW in post processing.

All the images were exposed using my FujiFilm XT1 with 18-135mm zoom lens.

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Irish Rail 071 Leads the Grand Hibernian—Variations on a Theme.

I’ve been unusually fortunate to catch Irish Rail’s 071 almost everyday for the last couple of weeks.

This locomotive is the class leader and features a heritage livery based on the as-delivered General Motors scheme.

It is very popular with photographers.

On Saturday 22 September 2018, locomotive 071 worked the Belmond Grand Hibernian cruise train from Dublin Heuston to Connolly Station. Until yesterday, it had been assigned to the Dublin-Ballina IWT Liner container train.

To make this view, I used my FujiFilm XT1 fitted with a Zeiss Touit 12mm lens. To help bring in sky detail, I attached a Lee 0.9 graduated neutral density filter (a physical filter), then made further adjustment to RAW files in post processing using a digitally applied graduated neutral density filter, which allowed me to make adjustments to highlight and shadow detail.

Additional adjustments were made globally (the entire image) to modify contrast and colour saturation to improve the appearance of the photograph.

Compare these images with my earlier post: Irish Rail 071 in Retro Orange and Lessons in Exposing for RAW Adjustment 

A view from Dublin’s Conyngham Road above the south portal of the Phoenix Park Tunnel on the branch that runs from Islandbridge Junction toward Connolly Station.

Thanks to Paul Maguire for lending me an SD card! (I’d left mine in the computer, and the spare on my desk, and the second spare in my other bag! Poor show on my part.)

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Northern Ireland Railways at Helen’s Bay.

Here’s another case of when the station isn’t a station.

The classic old stone station building at Helen’s Bay, County Down is now a salon.

The platforms still serve the railway though.

Exposed digitally using a FujiFilm XT1 with Zeiss 12mm Touit lens.

NIR 4006 bound for Bangor glides into Helen’s Bay.

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Ghosts of the North Shore—Five Photos.

In the 1950s and 1960s, My father made a project of photographing the Chicago, North Shore & Milwaukee, the distinctive interurban electric line connecting it’s namesakes.

Last month, John Gruber and I paid a visit to the Illinois Railway Museum at Union, Illinois. Like my father, John had focused on the North Shore. He made hundreds of excellent photographs that distilled the spirit of the railway.

North Shore was before my time, but I feel that I know the line thanks to my dad’s and John’s photographs,  which were featured in books by the late William D. Middleton.

The railway may be gone 55 years, but key pieces of it’s equipment survive.

I made these digital views of preserved North Shore cars at IRM using my FujiFIlm X-T1 with 12mm Zeiss Touit lens. This flat-field super wide-angle lens is well suited to making images in the tight quarters of IRM’s car barns.

John Gruber has an on-going exhibit of his finest North Shore photography in the East Union Station at IRM. This will be subject of another Tracking the Light post.

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Modern American Railroading in Soft Light.

Here’s a thoroughly today scene: An Amtrak Midwest Siemens Charger at Milwaukee’s Intermodal Terminal.

Diffused afternoon sun works well with the geometry of the station’s architecture and the curves and lines of the Siemens Charger.

Using my FujiFilm X-T1 fitted with a 12mm Zeiss Touit, I opted for a skewed angle that accentuates this modern scene.
In post processing, I adjusted contrast and color balance.

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Canadian National: Clear aspect on a Clear Morning.

Reading the signals is part of the challenge and joy of my railroad photography.

Three weeks back, Chris Guss and I were following a southward Canadian National freight on the Wisconsin Central line.

North of Slinger, we made photos from a wooden plank bridge near the north approach signal for Slinger, Wisconsin.

This displayed ‘green over red’, in other words a clear aspect.

Clear signal at the north approach for Slinger.

I made these views with my Fujifilm XT1. After exposing the view of the signal, I changed lenses, and used a 27mm pancake lens for the action photo of the passing train.

Canadian National 2813 leads freight M342-41-30 south near Slinger, Wisconsin.

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High ISO: Sturtevant Station at Dusk in the Rain.

Heavy rain had given the ground a lacquer-like gloss.

Chris Guss and I had arrived at Sturtevant, Wisconsin to roll by an Amtrak train. (Featured the other day in: FIRST ENCOUNTER: AMTRAK CHARGER.

While waiting for the northward train. I made a series of photographs of Amtrak’s relatively new Sturtevant station. I’ve always liked the effect of a twilight sky, when the blue light of evening nearly matches the intensity of electric lighting.

Fujifilm XT1 with 12mm Zeiss Touit at ISO 2000.
greater color saturation and contrast applied in post processing.

Here, I worked with my Zeiss 12mm Touit lens. This is flat-field lens, so keeping the lens level, minimizes perspective distortion.

I was without my small tripod, and I used the camera handheld at a low angle. To make use of the reflections of the station in the parking lot.

I set the ISO to 2000. Here are two post-processing variations of the Camera RAW file that feature different contrast curves.

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First Encounter: Amtrak Charger.

I was curious to experience one of these new locomotives.

The Siemens-built Charger is powered by a Cummins diesel and has a European appearance.

Among their Amtrak assignments is the Chicago-Milwaukee Hiawatha corridor.

I waited on the platform at the new Sturtevant, Wisconsin station. The eerie blue glow of the locomotive’s LED headlights could be seen reflecting off the rails long before the train arrived at the station.

Working with my FujiFilm XT1 fitted with a Zeiss 12mm Touit, I set the ISO to 6400 and panned the train arriving at 1/30thof a second at f2.8.

To better balance the color and keep contrast under control, I modified the camera RAW file in Lightroom to produce this internet suitable JPG.

Here’s a screen shot of the camera-produced JPG with EXIF data for comparison.

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EMDs on the Roll! Conrail-Era SD60M.

Gosh, I remember when 6798 was NEW and blue. This is among Conrail-era SD60Ms still at work on Norfolk Southern.

To make for a more dramatic locomotive action photo, I’ve taken a low angle medium-telephoto view.

Notice how the angle features the wheels on rails, allowing you to see below the locomotive.

Engine exhaust blurs the wires beyond, demonstrating the engines are working.

By focusing on the locomotives; I’ve cropped most of the following freight, more than a mile of it in tow.

Exposed at LaPorte, Indiana on Norfolk Southern’s former New York Central Water Level Route mainline. FujiFilm XT1 with 90mm telephoto. ISO 200, f5, 1/500thsecond; JPG image processed from camera RAW file using Lightroom; contrast and exposure adjusted globally and locally to improve visual impact.

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South Shore Revisted

Last week, Chris Guss and I revisited the Chicago, South Shore and South Bend street trackage at Michigan City, Indiana.

This classic vestige of interurban railroading always makes for interesting photos.

My father, Richard J. Solomon first visited the South Shore at Michigan City back in 1958.

My first trip over the line was 26 years later.

I exposed this sequence of an afternoon eastward electric train using my FujiFilm XT1 with prime 90mm telephoto. I was playing with the focus.

At Michigan City the tracks are the subject.
In this view I’ve focused on the train. If the sun had been out, this would have been a harshly lit afternoon image.

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New Signals at Dusk—working with high ISO.

Saturday evening I used my FujiFilm X-T1 with 12mm Zeiss Touit to photograph CSX’s westward Q437 (Framingham, Massachusetts to Selkirk, New York) at Palmer, Massachusetts passing the new signals at CP83.

They’ve yet to be activated and the new signals are in place alongside the Conrail-era signals installed in 1986.

It was dusk and the light was fading fast. I pushed the camera ISO to 2500, and exposed this action shot at 1/250th of a second at f2.8.

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Pan Am Pacing View at the New York State Line!

With photographer Mike Gardner behind the wheel, we were in hot pursuit of Pan Am’s EDRJ (East Deerfield to Rotterdam Junction).

Rolling along with the train at the Vermont-New York state line west of Pownal, Vermont, I made this pacing view.

There’s wasn’t time for niceties such as carefully calculating exposure. I set the camera shutter speed dial to ‘A’ and exposed a burst of images in RAW.

After the fact I adjusted shadows and highlights in Lightroom to make for a better balanced photograph.

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Telephoto and Wide Angle of EDRJ at Rices.

Rices at Charlemont, Massachusetts used to be an interlocking, where the Boston & Maine’s line went from double to single track.

Back in the 1980s, I’d catch meets here between eastward and westward freights.

Much has changed.

Not only was the interlocking decommissioned and later removed, but almost all evidence of it, including the old signal bridge are now gone. Trees and brush have grown up between the railroad and the river, and trees along the road are taller than ever.

This now makes for a pretty challenging setting.

At some point I’ll present ‘then and now’ views, but these photos demonstrate telephoto and wide angle photos of the same train from the same vantage point.

There was nice afternoon light on Pan Am’s EDRJ (East Deerfield to Rotterdam Junction) so I settled on my traditional location, which still gets a bit of sun late in the day.

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Hump-set in the Rain.

The sky opened up as the East Deerfield hump set was crossing the Connecticut River bridge at the east end of Pan Am Railway’s East Deerfield Yard.

I thought the effects of the cascading rain added atmosphere to the scene.

90mm Fujinon telephoto view.

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