After photographing New England Central’s southward 611 at Three Rivers, Massachusetts, photographer Mike Gardner and I worked northward scoping photo locations, while the 611 crew swapped its southward train at Palmer for its northward consist.
(New England Central 611 is the weekday turn that runs from Brattleboro, Vermont to Palmer and back.)
We inspected angles at Cushman north of Amherst and at other locations, but settled on the open area off Depot Road in Leverett, Massachusetts near the site of the old Central Vermont station.
I opted for a low angle to feature some fresh green grass in the foreground, using my 12mm Zeiss Touit fitted to my FujiFilm XT1 using the adjustable rear panel display to hold the camera close to the ground. (No, I’m not lying on the ground).
The combination of the very wide angle lens and low viewpoint helps accentuate the size and shape of New England Central’s locomotives.
The lead locomotive began its career as an EMD SD45 with classic angled (or ‘flared’) air-intakes at the back.
Although during the course of re-building, the locomotive had its 20-cylinder 645 engine swapped for a less powerful 16-cylinder 645 diesel, the machine still has its an impressive profile.
Soon we were hot in pursuit of 611, racing northward on Route 63 to our next location.
A beautiful thing about Dublin on a Sunday morning is the relative lack of traffic.
Not so pretty is the rubbish, broken glass and other carnage that tends to litter the streets following a lively Saturday night.
To make the most of the scene on Westmoreland Street looking back toward at College Green, I used my FujiFilm XT1 with 90mm and made low angle view of a northward LUAS tram passing the 18thcentury façade of the Bank of Ireland (right).
Using my FujiFilm X-T1, I tilted and extended the rear display screen so that I could hold the camera close to the ground. By doing this I photographed from an unusual perspective with a telephoto lens.
Since the angle is very low, the foreground is blurred, and the verticals are kept perpendicular to the horizon, the effect makes the photo appear like those often made of model railroads.
One of the circumstances that made this image possible, was a complete lack of automobiles in front of the old Palmer (Massachusetts) Union Station—now the popular Steaming Tender Restaurant.
Evening sun with a textured fair-weather sky combined with well maintained paving stones and a healthy tree at left made for a visually compelling setting.
Freiburg, Germany still operates some of its vintage Duewag trams that feature a streamlined body and rounded front-end.
To make the most of the svelte classic tram I opted for a low angle and favored the angle of sun for reflective glint. The bicyclist was a fortuitous subject that makes for a more interesting photograph by introducing a human element.
To expose this image I worked my FujiFilm X-T1 digital camera with the rear live-view display tilted upward, which allowed me to compose the photo while holding the camera relatively low to the ground.
I adjusted my 18-135mm zoom lens to near its widest angle.
The real trick was keeping the composition interesting as the action rapidly unfolded.
In post-processing I darkened the sky and lightened the shadow areas to improve overall contrast.
Which of the three images is your favorite?
(This essay was composed while transiting the Channel Tunnel between Calais and Folkstone on 30 April 2016).