Here’s a great concept that blends the conviviality of a pub with the rolling urban vistas provided by a streetcar.
Helsinki has a virtual maze of narrow-gauge tram tracks and the pub tram makes hourly circular tours. The car itself is one of the last non-articulated trams in regular service in the city and is painted a distinctive red.
On an earlier visit to Helsinki in 2002, I photographed the car, but was unable to ride because it had been booked for a charter. In July 2015, Markku Pulkkinen and I took a spin on this unusual railway vehicle. I think it is the only city tram that I’ve ever seen with a loo.
The pub tram is great way to see Helsinki. Every city should have one!
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Yesterday on Tracking the Light, I mentioned how on the morning of 31 July 2015, Markku Pulkkinen, Sakari K. Salo, and Juhani Katajisto provided me a tour of the new Helsinki Airport line by car.
Mr. Salo selected this location as being one of the best places to try to get a plane and train in the same photo.
While this didn’t line up the way we’d hoped, the location did allow me to make a variety of dramatic photos. My challenge was in capturing a high-contrast scene digitally.
The sky was dressed with some impressive clouds. So how to best work with such a scene?
I opted to gauge my exposure to retain detail in the sky, while allowing for underexposure of the train. I intentionally included the array of electrical wires to show the advantages and disadvantages of various digital treatments.
With the following four images, the first is the un-manipulated camera ‘RAW’ file. The next three show various types of post-processing adjustment using Adobe Lightroom.
Back in the old days, I’d routinely make adjustments to contrast and exposure when I printed my black & white negatives. Often, I’d expose and process the film in anticipation of manipulation in the darkroom. (I’d also make prints from color slides using Cibachrome and Type R materials, but that’s a story for another day).
In effect, my digital manipulation of the RAW file is a modern interpretation of this traditional processing technique. I’ve not added anything to the original file, I’ve simply altered contrast, exposure, and color saturation using controls offered by the program.
In July, Helsinki’s new circular Airport service began, including operations on stretches of newly built track.
Firstly, I’ll admit complete failure on my part to experience the train on my arrival at Helsinki Airport. I was aware of the new service, and looking forward to riding it. However, I couldn’t find the train. I was told that I needed to take a bus to the station. So I bought a two-zone ticket, and when a bus arrived with the destination board reading ‘Helsinki Railway Station’ (or something like that), I got on.
I was halfway to Helsinki before I realized my mistake! Before I knew it, I’d been deposited at the Helsinki Central Station in the city center. This was a bitter defeat.
On the plus side the bus turned out to be considerably faster than the train.
A little more than a week later, I finally had opportunities to experience the new service. This is operated with Stadler Flirt electric multiple units.
I made my first pass over the route on 30 July, 2015, and on the morning of 31 July 2015, Markku Pulkkinen, Sakari K. Salo, and Juhani Katajisto provided me a tour of the line by car.
Tomorrow, I’ll explore some necessary digital manipulation of an airport train photograph to demonstrate my experiments with Adobe Lightroom as a tool for making a photograph more effective.
Tracking the Light posts new material every morning.
I’ve featured Helsinki Central in several books. It will be among the stations covered in my next book on railway terminals, stations and depots. This busy city center station was the inspiration for Buffalo Central Terminal and Cincinnati Union Station.
Last night I made these views at dusk using my FujiFilm X-T1 with a 27mm pancake lens.
I’ll be traveling in Finland for the next ten days.
I made this photo a little while ago using my FujiFilm X-T1 with 27mm pancake lens. Nearly 14 years ago I made a similar view on Fujichrome film using my Contax G2 rangefinder that appeared as a center spread in TRAINS Magazine.