In February 1999, I exposed this view of a Thalys TGV-style high-speed train at Antwerp, Belgium using my Nikon N90S with Fujichrome Sensia II (100 ISO).
To make the most of the angular high-speed train against a backdrop of traditional brick buildings, I used a moderate telephoto lens and a relatively slow shutter speed (probably about 1/60thof a second). This has the effect of keep the train sharp while softening the background and foreground.
Probably the best thing about the smart phone that I was coerced into acquiring is the interactive map.
When in Italy, I found this map useful in finding locations.
With a touch of the screen, my position was immediately located. Railway stations are highlighted in blue, and I found it easy enough to calculate both distance and estimated walking time.
Using this technique, I navigated my way through the touristy bits of Firenze (Florence) and found the station at Firenze-Statuto, which was a busy place to watch and photograph trains. I’ll call that a successful use of the new technology.
Tracking the Light is post automatically while Brian is traveling.
Société National de Chemin de Fer’s Trains à Grande Vitesse is 35 years old.
Last month (April 2016) I made a series of trips across France on SNCF’s TGV, a means of flying by rail.
And, yes the speed is impressive: it makes the Acela Express seem like it’s coasting.
Here are just a sampling of my Lumix LX7 images from and of SNCF’s TGV and its stations.
I wrote about the TGV in my book Bullet Trains published by MBI in 2001.
Here’s an excerpt of the text on TGV:
In conjunction with the construction of the new high speed railway called the Lignes à Grande Vitesse (LGV), SNCF developed of the Trains à Grande Vitesse (TGV), an entirely new high speed train. When discussing the French system the LGV refers to the new high speed infrastructure, including the tracks, while TGV refers to the high speed railway technology, including the trains themselves.
I exposed this unusual angle of a RENFE high-speed AVE train at the modern Cordoba Station in September 2001.
The train was paused. The challenge was using my Rolleiflex Model T to look over the railing and down on the train.
The Rollei is a twin-lens reflex. Normally to compose an image you look down into the camera through a mirror and lens arrangement which projects on an interior screen.
If holding the camera at waist-level and looking down doesn’t suit the situation, there’s also a field-finder—which is just a window the helps you gauge the rough limits of the image area.
Neither of these tools were of any use to me when facing railing about six feet tall and my subject below me.
So, I held the camera above me and looked up into to it. Composing a scene in reverse (as is always the case when looking in the Rollei) is difficult enough, but doing this while craning my neck was especially tricky.
I made one exposure and a moment later the train accelerated away toward Seville.