Tag Archives: Kodak

Amtrak Turbo Train—Rochester.

In November 1986, I exposed this view on a free roll of Kodak T-max 100 supplied to me by Kodak.

At the time, I was a student at the Rochester Institute of Technology learning about photography.

Where other students focused on perfume bottles and what not, I was more interested in capturing the scene on the old Water Level Route.

Amtrak’s morning departure from Rochester made for a good subject to test the free roll of film.

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From my Kodachrome Archives: Genesee & Wyoming 51 at P&L Junction.

In March 1987, I exposed this Kodachrome 25 color slide of Genesee & Wyoming GP38 number 51 leading an empty salt train arriving at P&L Junction (P&L infers Pittsburgh & Lehigh) near Caledonia, New York.

At that time Genesee & Wyoming was a New York state short line that had just recently expanded with the creation of the Rochester & Southern to operate the former Baltimore & Ohio (nee Buffalo, Rochester & Pittsburg) 4th Subdivision between Rochester and East Salamanca, New York via Ashford Junction. (R&S had trackage rights on CSX from Ashford Jct. to East Salamanca).

This train was arriving from interchange with the Delaware & Hudson at Silver Springs. (D&H had trackage rights over the former Erie Railroad line to Buffalo.) It would reverse direction at P&L Junction and head southward on G&W’s own line (seen in the immediate foreground) to Retsof, where G&W served a massive salt mine.

Back then G&W 51 had no special significance, but it does for me today.

Professional Kodachrome 25 (PKM) exposed using a Canon A1 with 50mm lens and processed by Kodak in Rochester, New York.

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Irish Rail at Glounthaune—Two Views.

Earlier this month I made a visit to Cork to present a program on railway photography to the Irish Railway Record Society.

Honer Travers and I spent an afternoon in Glounthaune where I made these photos on Kodak Tri-X using my Nikon N90S with f2.0 35mm lens.

My film processing was very traditional: Kodak D76 (mixed 1 to 1) for 7 minutes 15 seconds at 68F. I agitate very gently to minimize the effect of grain.

Routine operations, such as Irish Rail’s Cork suburban trains, offer great opportunity for creative railway photography. In both of these images, I’ve worked with foreground, middle-ground and background by using shallow depth of field to create a sense of depth.

An Irish Rail 2600-series railcar works toward Glounthaune from Kent Station, Cork.

A Cork-bound railcar accelerates away from its station stop at Glounthaune.

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Lisburn Station in Black & White.

It was raining.

I had the Leica IIIa fitted with a vintage Nikkor f3.5 35mm screw-mount lens and loaded with Kodak Tri-X.

And yes, I had a digital camera with me. Two, really. And I also made some colour views. I’ll tend to cover my bases when at a special location.

Honer Travers and I traveled down from Dublin on the Enterprise, having changed at Portadown to an NIR (Northern Ireland Railways) 4000-series CAF built railcar. Arriving at Lisburn, I paused to make these two black & photos of our train.

Fine grain in the rain. Lisburn station exposed on black & white film.

This a view from the footbridge. Both images were exposed with a Leica fitted with a vintage f3.5 Nikkor 35mm wide-angle lens.

In Dublin, I processed the film using Agfa-mix Rodinal Special (not to be confused for bog-standard Agfa-mix Rodinal) mixed with water 1 to 31 at 68F for 3 minutes.

I like to play with developer to see what I can get with different combinations of chemistry. Agfa Rodinal Special with short development time allows for fine grain and a metallic tonality. While not as rich as Kodak HC110 (dilution B), the grain appears finer with Rodinal Special.

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Looking back at Rochester; or CSX K644 with DM&E SD40-2s in the Shadow of Kodak.

On August 21, 2010, some friends and I caught this loaded CSX ethanol train symbol K644 working eastward past the Amtrak station at Rochester. In the distance is the old Kodak tower.

On August 21, 2010, CSX K644 rolls through Rochester, New York on the former New York Central mainline. Exposed digitally with a Canon EOS 7D.
On August 21, 2010, CSX K644 rolls through Rochester, New York on the former New York Central mainline. Exposed digitally with a Canon EOS 7D.

This scene, exposed less than five years ago is now completely changed:

Amtrak is preparing for construction of its new Rochester Station.

Last week, my friend Otto Vondrak sent current images from Rochester of the old New York Central era canopies being dismantled; the classic cast iron ‘Rochester’ sign having been removed for safekeeping.

At the time I made this digital photo, I also exposed a single frame of Ektachrome slide film. It was my last roll of Ektachrome, and my last frame in the camera, and it seemed doubly apropos; to make my last Kodak slide in Rochester, and of a pair of Iowa, Chicago & Eastern/Dakota, Minnesota & eastern locomotives painted in colors remarkably similar to those use on the old Ektachrome film boxes.

I’m holding back that slide for future publication.

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DAILY POST: Spirit of Summer, Lake City, Pennsylvania

Hazy Damp Morning, July 1987.

Here’s a view from my summer wanderings with TSH in July 1987. We’d camped along the Water Level Route at Lake City, Pennsylvania and spent the day watching and photographing trains.

The morning weather began heavy and damp, but as the day continued a thunderstorm rolled off Lake Erie and cleared the air.

Conrail SD50 6793 leads a westward train on the former New York Central at Lake City, Pennsylvania at 8:05am on July 25, 1987. I exposed this with a Rollei Model T, using T-Max 400 black & white film. F5.6 1/125th of a second. Processed in Kodak D76 1:1. I calculated exposure with a Sekonic Studio Deluxe handheld photocell. The camera’s Carl Zeiss Tessar allows for an exceptionally sharp image. I’ve reduced the scan to just a fraction of its original size for internet display.

Conrail was busy and presented an unceasing parade of trains. For this view, showing a pair of SD50s, I used my father’s Rollei Model T. I went low to emphasize the weedy grass, while using the old station to frame the train and provide historical context.

The combination of the grass, the thick white sky, and hazy light says ‘Summer’ to me.

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DAILY POST: Lehigh Valley 211 at Lincoln Park, Rochester, New York

Free Film, a Borrowed Camera and a Bit of Luck!

In November 1986, Kodak supplied me with a free roll of TMax 100 black & white film as part of a ‘care package’ of new products for students in the Photographic Illustration programs at the Rochester Institute of Technology .

Alco RS-3M at Rochester, New York
The combination of Kodak’s recently released T-Max 100 ‘T’ grain black & white film and a Canon 50mm lens allowed for a very sharp image with exceptionally fine grain and broad tonality. I scanned this 35mm negative with my Epson V500 scanner.
Incidentally, at the left of the image is General Railway Signal’s Rochester plant.

The T-Max black & white films were brand new at the time. They were significant because they used a new ‘T’ grain that featured flat silver halide grains that were supposed to reduce the visual granularity in the film (and lower the film’s silver content).

On this bright sunny morning, I went trackside in Rochester to expose my free film. I had Kodachrome 25 in my Leica M2, so I borrowed my roommate’s Canon A1 for the film test.

I photographed a variety of Conrail trains on the former New York Central Water Level Route. I made this image of Rochester & Southern’s Belt Line local crossing the former Buffalo, Rochester & Pittsburgh bridge over Water Level Route at Lincoln Park, west of downtown Rochester. (In 1986, Genesee & Wyoming’s Rochester & Southern assumed operation of the former BR&P 4th Sub-division from CSX’s Baltimore & Ohio.)

Leading R&S’s local was Alco RS-3m 211 leased from the recently formed Genesee Valley Transportation.

The locomotive has a long and colorful history. It featured both a large steam generator and dynamic brakes (thus the high short-hood) and was one of only five RS-3s were built this way:  four served Western Maryland, while this one went to the Pennsylvania Railroad but later was traded to the Lehigh Valley, becoming its 211. After 1976, Conrail replaced 211’s original Alco-244 diesel with a recycled 12-cylinder EMD 567 engine.

Since I made this image, the locomotive has been preserved and restored at the Rochester & Genesee Valley Railroad Museum in Rush, New York.

This cropped detail gives a hint of the fine grain afforded by T-Max 100 film.
This cropped detail gives a hint of the exceptionally fine grain afforded by T-Max 100 film.

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