A week ago, I had a some spare time in the Dublin city centre and the sun was bright, so working with my FujiFilm XT1 with 90mm prime telephoto, I exposed a series of photos of LUAS trams working the Red Line on Abbey Street.
Last Friday (22 March 2019), Mark Healy and I met in the Dublin city centre to seek out an elusive tram, recently dressed in a yellow advertising livery.
A steady rain was falling by the time we found it.
I made these photos with my Lumix LX7. In post processing, I adjusted the camera RAW files using Lightroom to improve colour temperature, make the contrast more appealing, and restore texture to the afternoon sky.
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).
Yesterday, I had one frame of film left in my Nikon F3.
I’d been exposing photos of Dublin’s North Side and I wanted to process the film before dinner.
I exposed this view of Heuston Station and the old Kingsbridge (now Sean Heuston Bridge) on frame 37.
The sky was impressive; dark blue with textured clouds rolling across it like a flowing tapestry.
To make the most of the usual light, I did a few tricky things.
I exposed the film for the sky and clouds with the intention of some non-standard chemical processing.
To make the most of the shadows with out roasting the highlights, I presoaked the film in a very dilute bath of Kodak HC110 at 75F for 6 minutes with very little agitation. Then, I drained the presoak solution and processed the film in Ilford ID11 mixed 1-1 with water at 68F for 7 minutes (considerably less than the recommended time).
As the sunset on Dublin, Monday a week ago (15 October 2018), I used my FujiFilm X-T1 to expose several series of silhouettes as LUAS trams crossed the old Kingsbridge (now formally Sean Heuston Bridge) over the River Liffey.
My goal was to capture the rays of sun bursting through the windows of the tram cars.
I only had a few minutes where the sun was in the optimal position, and luckily LUAS was operating trams on short headways, so I had several opportunities.
My camera was set for ‘turbo flutter’ (continuous high or ‘ch’ on the left-hand dial) which exposes a rapid burst of images when pressing the shutter button.
By exposing for the sky and sun, I allowed the shadows to become an inky black. Using the smallest aperture (f22 on my 90mm lens) creates the sunburst effect while also allowing for better definition of the sun in the sky.
Yesterday (Wednesday 19 September 2018) high winds attributed to storm Ali resulted in widespread transport disruption across Ireland.
Some railway lines were closed because of downed trees. It was reported that a Galway-Dublin Intercity Railcar (ICR) was damaged when it struck a tree.
In Dublin,LUAS Green Line overhead wires were damaged and service suspended between Cowper and Dawson in the city centre.
As of this morning, LUAS was still only operating a limited service in the city centre and on the southern extremities of the Green Line route.
I went to explore the turn-back operation relating to the temporary Dawson terminus. While trams were only carrying passengers as far south as Dawson Street, the trams themselves were running toward St. Stephens Green to use the facing point crossover on the north side of the Green to reverse direction.
Photos were exposed digitally this morning, 20 September 2018.
Here’s an example of when a rainy day allows for a better photograph.
Dublin’s recently extended LUAS Green Line passes the famous Fusilier’s Arch entrance to St. Stephen’s Green.
Two problems with a bright sunny day:
the arch and foliage/trees in the park cast shadows that often make for a less simplified composition
While the popularity of the park on nice days results in a continuous procession of people in and out of the park, making it difficult to frame up a tram beneath the arch. Simply getting an unobstructed view can be problematic.
Certainly you can make some kind of photo here on a bright day, but it will look pretty different than this classical view.
Two weeks ago, I was traveling south on the LUAS Green Line from Marlborough Street to Harcourt Street, when I spotted the one-of-a-kind LUAS Avonmore advertising tram taking the bend around Dublin’s St. Stephens Green.
My Lumix is always at the ready, so I made a few grab shots from the windows of the tram, which was bound for Broombridge.
I’d worked out in my head roughly how long it would take for it to make a return trip, and did some shopping to kill time.
An hour later I returned to the curve and made a few more photos of the same tram going the other way.
Today, the new LUAS Cross City tram line skirts the front of the historic building in a purpose-built cutting.
I visited this much altered location on a bright morning, aiming to feature a LUAS tram in the sun with the old station.
Beyond Broadstone, the tram line has re-used the old railway right of way to reach its terminus at Broombridge.
Photos exposed using my FujiFilm X-T1 with 18-135mm zoom lens.
The bright wall in the cutting combined with the lightly coloured stone on the station façade along with the silver tram complicated my exposures, because these reflected more light than normally expected for a Dublin city scene.
Ok here’s the story: so as part of Dublin’s Cross City Extension, new extra long Citadis 502 trams were ordered from Alstom. These have nine-sections and are claimed to be among the longest trams in the world to date.
I knew that.
Mark Healy and I had discussed this on the day the photo was made.
We were out to photograph the new LUAS Cross City line.
Then I needed to visit the Bank of Ireland, and run a few errands. It had clouded over the light was flat and dull.
On the way back into the Dublin City center I saw an out of service tram on Parnell Street so, having the Lumix handy I made a few photos as it passed.
Not being up on the new tram numbering, or paying that close attention to it, I though very little of this photo.
It didn’t even make my initial cut.
I wasn’t going to show it on Tracking the Light.
A couple of days later Mark phone to let me know that somehow we’d missed one of the pioneer trials with the new longer trams.
‘Oh?’ I said. ‘What’s the number of the tram in question?’
‘You know, I think I have that.’
Afterwards I looked back through my photos from the day, and here it is! (I blame jet lag).
Now, I warned you that you weren’t going to believe me!
Over the last few years I’ve posted a variety of photos showing Dublin’s LUAS Cross City tram line under construction and trial/training runs.
In December 2017, this new LUAS service commenced from St. Stephens Green (at the north end of the original Green Line service) to Broombridge on Dublin’s Northside. But, at that time, I was elsewhere.
So last Friday (26 January 2018), Mark Healy and I went for a spin out to Broombridge and back. I made digital photos with my Lumix LX7 and colour slides with my Nikon N90S.
The other day on the way to Dublin Airport with Honer Travers, I spied a LUAS trial making its way northward on O’Connell Street on recently completed CrossCity trackage.
This made for an unplanned photographic opportunity. I posed near the Larkin Statue that I featured on the cover of my illustrated E-book on Dublin titled Dublin Unconquered (designed for viewing on Apple iPad and similar Apple devices).
After making a silhouette that mimics my book cover, I turned to make a few going away views of the tram passing Dublin’s iconic General Post Office.
The GPO is a symbol of Irish independence owing to its roles in the 1916 Easter Rising.
Later Honer and I boarded the 747 Bus, which gave me another opportunity to catch LUAS trial trams working CrossCity trackage.
This new LUAS line forms a link between the Green Line and Red Line routes that were formerly completely isolated from one another.
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If you have access to an Apple iPad, iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac and are interested in my E-book Dublin Unconquered you can download the book from Apple iTunes for roughly the price of a sandwich. The book features many carefully crafted photographs along with detailed text and a lovely map.
The other day, I loaded my old Nikon F3T with Rollei 35mm black & white Infrared film. A few weeks earlier I tested a roll of this emulsion and processed it to determine the ideal chemistry, times and temperature.
These photos are from the second roll, which benefited from refined processing technique.
All photos were exposed as recommended by the manufacturer using a 25A (red) filter. To obtain more extreme infrared effects I’d need to use a 72R (deep red) filter. Since I’m not in possession of one of these, we’ll have to wait for that experiment.
By design, infrared film yields high contrast images with brilliant highlights and inky dark shadows. (Blue light is rendered darker than with pictorial pan chromatic emulsions, so blue sky and shadows appear unnaturally dark.)
I made these photographs along Dublin’s LUAS Red Line on Abbey Street. Late low sun made for especially dramatic lighting.