When I was studying at the Rochester Institute of Technology, Kodak would annually supply photo students with a gift package of examples of their latest products.
Although I was a confirmed Kodachrome customer, as a poor student, I always make use of the other films supplied. In January 1989, I had a role of ‘Ektachrome of the year’. This was the latest 100 speed slide film.
I loaded up the Leica M2, and drove my Dodge Dart around the Rochester area looking for suitable subjects with which to sample this new emulsion.
At Charlotte, where Conrail accessed a portion of the old Hojack route, I found this local working. Was this the local freight that served Kodak’s Rochester factories on the far side of the Genesee River? I can’t say for certain, but that really would be appropriate, wouldn’t it?
January 1989; Conrail had a full ten years left. At the end of May 1999, Conrail’s independent operations ended and CSX and NS took over.
Here’s an unpublished image from my archive. In the gloom of early morning on April 7, 1989, I made the hour and 15 minute drive from Scottsville to Portage, New York to make time exposures of the old Erie Railroad Portage Viaduct. I featured this pioneering tower-supported viaduct in an earlier post (see: Erie Railroad’s Portage Bridge May 12 2007). Blessed by a stunning setting and significant history, the old Portage Viaduct has been a favorite subject on many occasions over the years. For this image, I used my Leica M2 rangefinder with 50mm Summicron lens to make a long exposure (about 8 seconds) in the pre-dawn twilight. The predominantly blue light combined with Kodachome’s spectral sensitivity to produce a near monochromatic view. The roaring Genesee falls have taken on an otherworldly ethereal quality, while the dark sky lends a nightmarish cast. This image exists only on film; at the time of exposure, it seemed very different to my eye. Later in the morning, an eastward Delaware & Hudson freight eased over the bridge at restricted speed; I followed this for several hours, making numerous images of it, mostly in black & white.