A Kodachrome View of Boston & Maine’s West End
Yesterday, April 13, 2013, Pan Am Railways hosted a passenger excursion over the historic Boston & Maine route from Boston to Mechanicville. My father, Richard Jay Solomon, was among the passengers, and he sent me regular updates on his progress. This inspired me to revisit images such as this one.
Scouring the archives, I found this Kodachrome slide from the 1980s. It shows Guilford’s Boston & Maine mainline at Rices, near Charlemont, Massachusetts at 11:05 am on June 26, 1986. A westward freight led by B&M’s lone GP40-2 slug set (on left) is holding at the signals for an eastward train coming from Mechanicville, New York.
This image was never among my best photographs. At the time, I was using my old Leica 3A fitted with a 65mm Elmar using a Visoflex reflex arrangement. To gauge exposure, I used an antique hand-held General Electric photo cell. The camera arrangement allowed for a sharp image but was awkward to use. More to the point, the meter wasn’t very accurate and my sense for exposure wasn’t highly tuned. As a result, this slide was overexposed, as were most of my efforts from the day.
Thankfully, my choice of film at the time was Kodachrome 64, which was relatively tolerant of inaccurate exposure. So while, this slide appears too bright when projected on screen, the emulsion retained sufficient detail to be recovered digitally. I scanned the slide using my Epson V600 scanner, then corrected for my flawed exposure with Adobe Photoshop by manipulating the ‘Curves’ function. The end result isn’t objectionable.
Exposed on Kodachrome using a Leica 3A fitted with a 65mm Elmar via a Visoflex.