Tag Archives: Islandbridge Junction

Lucky Morning at Islandbridge!

Just a little while ago I was passing the usual place at Islandbridge Junction in Dublin. Although mostly cloudy, I took a glimpse over the wall. A horn hooted from the Phoenix Park tunnel and an Enterprise 201 eased out onto the Liffey Bridge.

As locomotive 206 approached, running light engine toward Irish Rail’s Inchicore Works, the clouds parted and brilliant morning sun illuminated the junction.

Lumix in hand, I made these photos!

Lumix LX7 photo 25 March 2019.

Irish Rail 206; Lumix LX7 photo 25 March 2019.

Travel Notice: Brian will be traveling over the coming days and weeks, so Tracking the Light notices and responses may become infrequent. However:

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I stood here for what? Fool in the Rain: Irish Weather Part 2.

Having a little information can be a dangerous thing.

Irish Rail’s 073 in heritage paint was working the IWT  liner.

It’s just a short walk to Islandbridge Junction.

In theory, if I timed my walk right I wouldn’t have to wait more than a couple of minutes.

And then for reasons unknown, Irish Rail held the IWT Liner in the Phoenix Park tunnel for 20 minutes. Twenty minutes seems like eternity when some fool is waiting in the rain.

Was it worth it?

Exposed digitally using a FujiFilm XT1 with f2.0 90mm lens. (f2.5 1/500 second at ISO 400)

Screen shot showing camera EXIF data.

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Irish Rail 220 with IWT Liner at Islandbridge Junction on 17 August 2017.

Clear blue dome. Nice view. Short walk.

Islandbridge Junction near Heuston Station in Dublin.

I exposed this photo of Irish Rail’s IWT Liner (Dublin North Wall to Ballina, Co. Mayo) on the morning of 17 August 2017 using my FujiFilm X-T1 digital camera fitted with a 27mm pancake lens.

Exposed at f9 1/500th of a second at ISO 400 using a 27mm pancake lens (provides an angle of view equivalent to a 41mm lens on a full-frame 35mm film camera).

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Portrait view of Irish Rail 081 at Islandbridge Junction.

On the morning of 27 March 2017, freshly painted Irish Rail class 071 locomotive number 081 worked the down IWT liner.

I made the time to catch this from my often photographed location at Islandbridge Junction near Dublin’s Heuston Station.

Among the advantages of this spot is good morning lighting on westward trains (where most other places face difficult backlighting), ample elevation and the iconic Wellington Testimonial, which is located in the Phoenix Park on the north side of the River Liffey.

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Irish Rail IWT Liner; A lesson in RAW and JPG.

Thursday morning on my way to breakfast, I made this photo of Irish Rail’s IWT Liner (Dublin to Ballina) passing Islandbridge Junction.

I timed my visit well and so only waited a few minutes for the freight to pass.

I’ve often photographed the IWT at this location, so this was really just an exercise.

Soft morning clouds made for some pleasant lighting, but also a post-processing quandary.

My FujiFilm XT1 allows me to simultaneously expose a Camera RAW file and a camera interpreted JPG. Among the features of the Fuji cameras is the ability to select a film-like colour profile for the Jpg.

In this instance I’ve opted for the Velvia profile, which closely emulates the colour and contrast of this popular slide film.

Another colour adjustment is the white balance control. In this situation I selected ‘auto white balance’, which means the camera interprets the color temperature.

When I processed the photos, I wanted to see if I could improve upon the camera JPG by making subtle changes to the Camera RAW file (which has ten times more information imbedded in it than the Jpg, but serves in the same role as a ‘negative’ and is intended for adjustment rather than uninterpreted presentation).

Below are three images; the a JPG from the unmodified Camera RAW, Camera created JPG, and my interpretation of the Camera RAW file.

This is an uninterpreted JPG made directly from the camera RAW file. (The RAW file is way too large for presentation on Tracking the Light.) I have not made any modifications to color profile, color balance, sharpness or exposure. This file is not really intended for presentation.
This is an uninterpreted JPG made directly from the camera RAW file. (The RAW file is way too large for presentation on Tracking the Light.) I have not made any modifications to color profile, color balance, sharpness or exposure. This file is not really intended for presentation.

My in-camera JPG using the FujiFilm digitally applied Velvia colour profile with 'auto white balance' setting. I made no modifications to this file, except to scale it for presentation and add my watermark on the left.
My in-camera JPG using the FujiFilm digitally applied Velvia colour profile with ‘auto white balance’ setting. I made no modifications to this file, except to scale it for presentation and add my watermark on the left.

This is my modified JPG. Starting with the Camera RAW, I imported this into Lightroom and implemented the following adjustments: I masked the sky using a digitally applied graduated filter custom adjust to increase highlight saturation, decrease highlight exposure, and make for cooler colour balance. On a global level, I made minor adjustments to contrast but lightening the shadow areas, reducing highlight exposure and altering the contrast curve. I also made select exposure adjustments to the pilot area on the locomotive. To match the Camera JPG's perceived sharpness, I applied some nominal image sharpening. (This uses edge effects to make the photo appear sharper on the computer screen.)
This is my modified JPG. Starting with the Camera RAW, I imported this into Lightroom and implemented the following adjustments: I masked the sky using a digitally applied graduated filter and custom adjusted to increase highlight saturation, decrease highlight exposure, and make for cooler colour balance. On a global level, I made minor adjustments to white balance (warmed it up) and to contrast by lightening the shadow areas, reducing highlight exposure and altering the contrast curve. I also made select exposure adjustments to the pilot area on the locomotive. To match the Camera JPG’s perceived sharpness, I applied some nominal image sharpening. (This uses edge effects to make the photo appear sharper on the computer screen.) Got all that?

Incidentally, by using Lightroom, I can make adjustments to the RAW files without permanently changing the original data. This is very important since it would be a mistake to modify the original file. That would be like adding colour dyes or bleach to your original slide to ‘improve’ the result.

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Alternate Angle at Islandbridge Junction; Irish Rail’s IWT Liner.

Thursday, 7 April 2016, Irish Rail’s IWT Liner was blocked at Islandbridge Junction. This gave me the opportunity to work some less common angles in addition to my common viewing point (often featured on Tracking the Light).

Irish Rail 219 with Dublin to Ballina IWT liner.
Irish Rail 219 with Dublin to Ballina IWT liner.

By holding my FujiFilm X-T1 above my head at arm’s length and tilting the camera’s live-view panel screen downward, I was able to make this view looking over the wall at the St. John’s Road roundabout in Dublin.

Why not try this more often? Simply because I’m not tall enough to see over the wall, so to make this view I’m actually using the camera to view the scene. It’s tiring work to hold a camera above your head while waiting for trains to appear.

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Irish Rail’s IWT at Islandbridge Junction; Lee Graduated ND Filter Experiment.

Last Friday, 11 March 2016, I went up to my favored Irish local location; Islandbridge Junction. This is a handy place for me.

This is great place to catch a freight train exiting Dublin’s Phoenix Park Tunnel on a bright clear day, yet can be visually problematic on a dull day.

On this day, I thought it would be a good place to experiment with a Lee graduated neutral density filter as a means of controlling contrast and allowing for a more effective overall exposure.

The filter I use offers subtle 2/3s of a stop gradation. This is adjustable both up/down and rotationally left/right.

I made a few test photos with and without the filter to gauge my exposure before the IWT arrived with Irish Rail 088 in the lead.

A similar effect can be accomplished digitally, yet the digital effect doesn’t add information to the RAW file, but only makes a visual adjustment in the final image.

In other words to apply the filter digital may be viewed as a ‘correction’ rather than an in-camera technique. Yet, it is often easier to apply a filter in post-processing than in the field.

I’ve used both methods depending on the circumstance.

Below are some results.

Test photo to gauge comparative exposure. This was made without the filter. My concern is getting adequate exposure in both the sky and foreground.
Test photo to gauge comparative exposure. This was made without the filter. My concern is getting adequate exposure in both the sky and foreground.

Test exposure with the graduated filter. Here I've been able to lighten the foreground slightly while holding detail in the sky.
Test exposure with the graduated filter. Here I’ve been able to lighten the foreground slightly while holding detail in the sky.

Here's a test view using the filter. I've achieved a good overall balance. (Sorry, the filter won't make the sun come out.)
Here’s a test view using the filter. I’ve achieved a good overall balance. (Sorry, the filter won’t make the sun come out.)

Here we have the ultimate objective. To make a balance image of Irish Rail's IWT Liner. It really about making the most of a gray engine on a gray day.
Here we have the ultimate objective. To make a balance image of Irish Rail’s IWT Liner. It really about making the most of a gray engine on a gray day.

This gives a nice overall of my experiment, but in the middle of all this I got a little greedy. Using my zoom lens on the FujiFilm X-T1, I made a tight view of the IWT (with the filter).

As is often the case with last second changes, I didn’t get my exposure quite right. My feeling was that the RAW file was about 1/3 of a stop too dark.

Nice try, but my exposure was a bit dark.
Nice try, but my exposure was a bit dark.

I imported my RAW file into Lightroom and made a variety of small corrections. First I altered the level. I also lightened up the entire image slightly and warmed up the color temperature. Is this an improvement?
I imported my RAW file into Lightroom and made a variety of small corrections. First I altered the level. I also lightened up the entire image slightly and warmed up the color temperature. Is this an improvement?

As with most of my photography, I consider this a work in progress. In all likelihood, before long I’ll be back at Islandbridge Junction to further refine my experiment.

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Gray Engine, Bright Sunny Day

 

Islandbridge, Dublin April 29, 2014.

Among the difficulties of living within sight of the railway is the chance that such proximity may breed photographic apathy and slough. One the plus side, when something rumbles by, all I have to do is look out the window!

There are several nice photo locations within a ten minute walk of Islandbridge. On the downside, over the last decade I’ve covered these nearly to the point of exhaustion. Yet, that doesn’t keep me from taking advantage of them.

Shortly before 11am on Tuesday April 29, 2014, I heard the distinct roar of an Irish Rail 071 class diesel (built by General Motors Electro-Motive Division). I glanced out the window to see a gray locomotive roll into the Phoenix Park tunnel with a wagon transfer for Dublin’s North Wall.

Ah! A grey locomotive and the elusive wagon transfer!

I made a call to alert a friend, and a short while later I got a call back to say that the wagon transfer had collected three flats and was on its way back. The locomotive was 085 which wears a variation of the gray and yellow livery introduced a year ago.

Irish Rail 085 with three flat wagons approaches Islandbridge Junction on April 29, 2014. Canon EOS 7D with 100mm lens. I opted for vertical composition to feature the monumental Wellington Testimonial that sits in Dublin's Phoenix Park. (Exposed at f9 1/500th of a second ISO 200).
Irish Rail 085 with three flat wagons approaches Islandbridge Junction on April 29, 2014. Canon EOS 7D with 100mm lens. I opted for vertical composition to feature the monumental Wellington Testimonial that sits in Dublin’s Phoenix Park. (Exposed at f9 1/500th of a second ISO 200).

It was a rare clear sunny morning, and I was keen to make a color slide of this engine passing Islandbridge Junction. Armed with good information, I walked five minutes up the road to my often-used location and waited. Less than 15 minutes passed before 085 appeared from the tunnel with the three flats.

A closer horizontal view with the same camera-lens combination. I adjusted the exposure by a one-third stop, opening to f8.0 to compensate for the lack of sky in the image. Locomotive 085 features a variation of the gray and yellow paint scheme introduced last year. This features the traditional three-digit locomotive number in larger fonts on the cab. This in addition to the recently introduced European multiple number printed in tiny type elsewhere on the engine.
A closer horizontal view with the same camera-lens combination. I adjusted the exposure by a one-third stop, opening to f8.0 to compensate for the lack of sky in the image. Locomotive 085 features a variation of the gray and yellow paint scheme introduced last year. This features the traditional three-digit locomotive number in larger fonts on the cab. This in addition to the recently introduced European multiple number printed in tiny type elsewhere on the engine.

I exposed a few digital images with my Canon EOS 7D and 100mm lens, before executing a color slide (or two) with my EOS 3 with 40mm lens. I was home less than 30 minutes after leaving. Back to the book writing! I’m presently researching a book on North American signaling.

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Tomorrow: View from a Castle.

 

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Irish Rail Gray 077 Leads Ballast Train

 

A Rare Move to Catch in Full Sun.

As a follow-up to my post Irish Rail Ballast Train at Islandbridge, Dublin, April 16, 2013 , I offer these views of a ballast train at the same location on August 2, 2013.

Irish Rail ballast train.
Irish Rail 077 leads the empty HOBS at Islandbridge Junction on August 2, 2013. The iconic Wellington Testimonial in Dublin‘s Phoenix Park looms above the train. Canon EOS 7D photo.

So far just three of Irish Rail’s 071 class are operating in the new gray livery. So catching one on the move in sunlight can be a challenge. Ballast trains operate infrequently, and standing at this spot for a month of Sunday’s might not guarantee an image such as this. It helps to live near the line.

The cars make up what Irish Rail calls a ‘High Output Ballast’ train which is known on the railway as the HOBS. Using my Canon EOS 7D, I exposed a series of photos of the train on the curve from the Phoenix Park tunnel at Islandbridge Junction.

The combination of elevation, iconic backdrop and the orientation of the tracks and curve allow for one of the best morning views in Dublin for a westward train. As the sun swings around, many more angles open up down the line.

Irish Rail Gray 077 Leads Ballast Train
A landscape view of Irish Rail’s HOBS at Islandbridge Junction near Heuston Station in Dublin on August 2, 2013. Canon EOS 7D photo.

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