The October 2018 Journal of the Irish Railway Record Society features my obituary to American photographer and author Jim Shaughnessy who passed away in August this year.
I paid tribute to Jim and his work, both in America and Ireland, while also explaining how I helped Jim publish his photography in the Journal. Jim was always delighted to be represented in this Irish publication.
The Journal is published thrice annually and I’ve been contributing material for nearly 18 years.
In just two weeks time; on 10 March 2016, I Will Present to the Dublin branch of the Irish Railway Record Society a feature length illustrated talk on Irish railways as they were ten years ago; the year 2006.
This will feature some of my best photography from 2006 and will include a variety of images from around Ireland
My talk will begin at 7:30 pm at the IRRS Dublin premises near Heuston Station.
Among the photographic events was the rare locomotive hauled consist on Cobh and Midleton Branches. The Cobh branch has been exclusively a railcar operation since the mid-2000s, while the Midleton line has only seen railcar operation since its reopening a few years ago.
In time-honoured tradition, at every photo stop, photographers rushed to snap images of the train. Occasionally, an individual entranced by the fresh paint on locomotive 071 or fascinated by some other peculiarity of operation or equipment, would wander haplessly in front of a line of eager photographers. Shouts of ‘Hey!’ ‘Oy!’, ‘Down in front!’ and the like would ensue.
Especially amusing was when a particularly oblivious passenger or passerby would drift with their backs to the anxious photo line (time is precious on these outings as only a few minutes are allowed at each stop), and proceed to linger staring in wonder at the train. In such cases a diplomat would be elected to negotiate a solution.
A Cobh, I was queried by a German woman as to why so many people were photographing the train. It didn’t appear in the slightest bit unusual to her. Significance is in the eye of the observer. I explained that, ‘locomotives were never operated on this line, and the locomotive that brought the train down was in fresh paint, and that the train had carried the photographers for this purpose.’ She seemed satisfied with that.
While I made plenty of images of the train, 071 and 073 and etc, I also focused on the people. From my experience, images of people surrounding the train tend to be more interesting than the train, and tend to have greater value in the end.