Bitterly cold with a clear sky; that was Toronto on the evening of February 8, 2010.
I exposed this photo of a GO Transit train using my Lumix LX3. While this was a great little camera, it suffered from poor battery life. On this cold day, I rapidly worked my way through all three of my rechargeable batteries and had to take time midday to recharge one.
By the time I made this frame, the last battery was flashing red, yet I had enough juice left for a few more photos.
My LX7 is a better camera and the batteries are much improved. Word to the wise: always carry a spare battery.
It was extraordinarily cold when Pat Yough, Chris Guss and I set out to photograph Toronto’s morning rush hour.
One of the biggest challenges working in very cold weather is the effect on battery life. After a couple of hours, almost all my batteries were dead. We made a mid morning trip back to our hotel to charge batteries.
For this photograph, I opted to center the locomotive, while setting it back in the frame. This adds visual tension and draws the eye in.
Bright low sunlight reflecting from the white locomotive front made for a difficult exposure.
Although, I pre-set the camera manually, I continued to make fine adjustments as the train approached. In the last instant before I released the shutter, I stopped down (reduced the exposure) to compensate for the bright front end.
Braving frigid temperatures to take advantage of incredible low-light; on this day, three years ago (February 8, 2010), Pat Yough, Chris Guss & I were in Toronto photographing in suitably arctic conditions. Cold but clear—there’s a fantastic, surreal quality of light in sub-zero temperatures which can lead to great images if you chose to endure the conditions. Not, only were we up early, but the night before we spent an hour or more making night shots from the Bathurst Street Bridge. It didn’t get any warmer by daybreak, which we photographed from the lake front west of the city center. On that morning, after setting up the tripod, my numb hands only managed to record in my note book, “0646 [6:46 am]—ugg. Twilight—cold.”
While we made an intense tour of Toronto area railroading, among the most memorable images were those exposed toward the end of daylight near Queensway & King Streets along the Canadian National quad-track line west of Union Station. This is one of the busiest lines in Canada, and hosts a flurry of trains at rush hour. For me the highlight was a pair of in-bound GO Transit trains with new MP40PHs running side-by-side as the sun hugged the horizon over lake Ontario. A few minutes later, I scored a VIA train gliding under a signal bridge in last glint of sunlight. At the time, I was still working primarily with film, and I kept both Canon EOS-3s busy. One was fitted with my 100-400 IS zoom, the other with a 24mm AF lens. The only digital camera I had was my Lumix LX-3, which I learned tends to chew through battery power in sub-zero conditions. By the end of the day, I’d drained three full batteries. The McDonalds on King Street made for a nice place to thaw hands on cups of hot chocolate while watching TTC’s trams glide by at dusk. On the way back we swung by Niagara Falls, my first visit to the famous waterfall, despite having photographed trains crossing the gorge on several occasions over the years.