Tag Archives: #Lumix LX7

District Line at South Kensington

South Kensington is a busy station on the District and Circle Lines of the London Underground. These are among the oldest routes of the Underground network and were built using cut and cover construction.

The platforms on the District/Circle Lines at South Kensington are largely open air with tunnel entrances at both ends and classic canopies covering the platforms which makes for a classic railway environment.

At rush hours train enter and leave the station about once a minute.

In the maelstrom of acitivity and the roar of passing trains I made these photos with my Lumix LX7.

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No. 90—color or monochrome?

It was a dark rainy afternoon.

Kris and I wandered over to the Strasburg Rail Road to watch steam in action.

Engine No. 90, a 2-10-0, leading a Santa’s Paradise Express excursion had met another excursion at Groffs and was accelerating upgrade toward the East Strasburg station.

My handy Lumix LX7 was my camera of choice.

I expose this photo as color RAW image.

In post processing, I converted the photo to monochrome using the saturation slider control, then made a variety of adjustments to contrast and exposure to manipulate appearance.

Below are the original file, a basic black & white conversion, and my final adjusted photograph.

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Old Pennsylvania Railroad Station at Leola

Just a short distance up line from our new home is this old Pennsylvania Railroad station on the New Holland Branch at Leola.

I made these photos the other evening using my Lumix LX7 digital camera.

It’s been decades since the last passenger train operated over the line and I wonder what this station was like in its heyday.

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Steam on a Monday!

There aren’t too many place in the United States where you can pull up to a rural grade crossing on a Monday and roll by a steam locomotive .

That’s just what I did the other day on my drive through Strasburg.

I made these photos using my Lumix LX7. The scene is timeless. Consider; a Mogul type hauling wooden-body passenger cars, and there no wires, no automobiles, no cell-phones . . . well all that is all behind me-literally.

Lumix LX7 photo exposed in RAW, color adjusted in post processing. Compare with the de-saturated mono-chrome version below.
In post processing I altered the contrast and used the ‘saturation’ slider to convert the image to monochrome (black &white).
Clean burning engine, rods down. Now, if we only switch off the headlight, it could be 1925.

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Electric, Steam and Diesel in 45 minutes!

Last Thursday morning, I photographed four trains in 45 minutes. Three were scheduled.

I caught eastward and westward Amtrak Keystone trains at Gap, Pennsylvania, then made a short drive over to the Strasburg Rail Road, where I waited for the 10am scheduled excursion to Leaman Place. As this steam hauled train approached Blackhorse Road, I could hear a second horn to the west.

I surmised that Strasburg’s local freight might be following the excursion. My guess was close; Strasburg’s SW8 diesel was leading a ballast hopper toward Leaman Place where it would clear for the excursion to return.

I can’t recall any time in the recent past in America where I caught electric, steam and diesel trains over such a short span of time.

Photos exposed with my Lumix LX7.

Amtrak Keystone train 646 eastbound near Gap, PA. Lumix LX7 photo.
Trailing view of Amtrak Keystone train 646 eastbound near Gap, PA with ACS-64 665 at the rear of the consist. Lumix LX7 photo.

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Amtrak train 641 working cab car first rolls through Gap, PA. ACS-64 667 electric is working at the back of the train.
Trailing view of Keystone 641 with ACS-64 667 electric as it passes Gap, PA. Lumix LX7 photo.
Strasburg Rail Road 2-6-0 number 89 crosses Blackhorse Road with the 10am excursion. Lumix LX7 photo.
Strasburg 89 up close and personal!
Strasburg Rail Road’s former New York Central SW8 leads a ballast car eastbound at Blackhorse Road.
Trailing view of Strasburg Rail Roadl SW8 8618 eastbound at Blackhorse Road.Lumix LX photo

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Wayne’s Main Line Visit

Owing to its lineage along the route of Pennsylvania’s original Main Line of Public Works, the former Pennsylvania Railroad trunk is known as ‘The Main Line’. This historic route runs just a few blocks from our new home.

Last week our friend Wayne Duffett-TEC Associate’s Bridge Inspector and Conway Scenic Railroad steam locomotive engineer (and Tracking the Light reader) visited Kris and I in Lancaster, PA.

After dinner at the Outback Steakhouse, we brought Wayne on a short tour of the railroad, hitting several highlights of the old Main Line.

Using the ASM.transitdocs.com Amtrak realtime phone app, we were able to time the passage of an eastward Amtrak Keystone to just a few minutes, and watched the train zip by at nearly 90mph.

Photos exposed with a Lumix LX7.

Former Pennsylvania Railroad stone bridge over the Conestoga River in Lancaster, PA. Lumix LX7 photo.
Wayne posing with some goob in at PRR hat. Photo by Kris Solomon.
Amtrak Keystone races eastward on the old Main Line.

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Cobblestones, Narrow Gauge Tracks and a Lumix!

On this day seven years ago (25 April 2016), I made a day trip from Brussels to Antwerp, where I spent several hours riding and photographing trams in that city’s narrow cobblestone streets.

My camera of choice was Lumix LX7, which is compact, flexible, and produces extremely sharp RAW files. Perfect for an urban

This image was processed using Adobe Lightroom to make the most of the data captured in the RAW format.

Lumix LX7 ISO 80 f4 1/100th second.

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Sunrise in Milan—3 April 2017

I made the most of my brief visit to Milan six years ago.

In this Lumix LX7 view, I pictured one of the city’s famous Peter Witt trams with the rising sun.

I spent several hours exploring Milan by streetcar before taking the train to Genoa.

Lumix LX7 set at ISO 80, f2.8 1/640 sec. RAW file adjusted in Lightroom. 3 April 2017.

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TGV-Dawn 2 April 2017

On Sunday morning 2 April 2017, I joined the first TGV departure from Brussels Midi to Paris Gare du Nord.

With just a hint of daylight in the sky, I made these photos of the train on the platforms at Midi Station using my Lumix LX7.

By the end of the day, I’d reached Milan, Italy.

Exposed with a Lumix LX7 as a RAW image. File adjusted in Lightroom and scaled as a JPG for internet presentation.
Exposed with a Lumix LX7 as a RAW image at ISO 80, f1.8 1/10th second. File adjusted in Lightroom and scaled as a JPG for internet presentation.
Exposed with a Lumix LX7 as a RAW 12.28MB file. This original image was adjusted in Lightroom and scaled as a JPG for internet presentation. Exposure details: ISO 80, f1.8 1/6th second.

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NYS&W 4034 = Pan Am Railways 5946

On Friday, Kris and I stopped by East Deerfield Yard near Greenfield, Mass., where we found a pair of Pan Am Railways’ General Electric DASH8-40Bs (B40-8) switching.

McClelland Farm Road at East Deerfield-the ‘New’ bridge, completed in 2018. Lumix LX7 photo.
Lumix LX7 photo of Pan Am Railways 5946 at East Deerfield, Massachusetts.

Lumix LX7 photo of Pan Am Railways 5946 at East Deerfield, Massachusetts.

The trailing locomotive was Pan Am 5946, a former CSX unit, and originally New York, Susquehanna & Western number 4034.

I figured I had a photo of this engine in my files, since I photographed many of NYS&W’s GE’s at the time of delivery back in 1988 and 1989.

I found the photo I was seeking. NYS&W 4034 was paired with a Norfolk Southern unit at SK Yard in Buffalo on May 4, 1989, shortly after it was built by General Electric.

Kodachrome 25 slide exposed with a Leica M2 with 90mm f2.8 Elmarit.

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Bellows Falls, Vermont—March 18, 2023

On our drive north, we stopped in at Bellow Falls, Vermont to roll by Amtrak 57, the southward weekend Vermonter.

This featured P42 number 85 leading five Amfleet 1 passenger cars.

It arrived under clear sunny skies 22 minutes after the advertised.

I made this sequence of images using my Lumix LX7. These images were processed from the camera raw.

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Christmas Evening

Last night, December 25, 2022, I made this view looking across Schouler Park toward the North Conway, NH railroad station.

The park was once property of the Boston & Maine Railroad.

I exposed the photo in the ‘Night’ setting using ‘Scene Mode’ on my Lumix LX7 which creates a photo using a composite of several high-iso images exposed in rapid succession and combined in-camera.

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Two Ways to Make a Panorama

Standing at the south end of the platform at White River Junction, Vermont, I envisioned a panoramic image that would show the station and the locomotives parked to either side of the station.

I wanted to convey the sense of Junction, while making use of the nice afternoon sunlight.

Working with my Lumix LX7, I used the ‘panoramic’ function in ‘scene mode’, which allowed me to make a panoramic composite. Moving the camera from right to left while holding the shutter down makes for a sequence of image that are then sewed together in-camera using a preprogramed algorithm .

Lumix LX7 panoramic composite image at White River Junction, Vermont.

Then I set the camera with a 16:9 aspect ratio and made a single frame, which I then cropped manually to give it a panoramic look.

This second method provided better compositional control and is free from the computer generated artifacts associated with composite images, but isn’t as sharp as the composite.

Cropped version of a single 16:9 aspect ratio image aimed at better featuring the locomotives, station, and clouds.

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Lumix and the Locomotive

Does equipment make a difference?

When I started producing Tracking the Light a decade ago, my thought was to offer very detailed essays focused on photographic technique, processes, and how to make the most of specific pieces of equipment.

My format has since morphed into something less detailed and more visual.

I often carry my Lumix LX7 digital camera because it is compact, lightweight and yet has the ability to make exceptionally sharp photos that I can use in books and magazines.

Yesterday, I made these images with the LX7 of Conway Scenic steam locomotive 7470. I used some photos for the company Facebook page and hope to use them in advertising.

Although these photos were scaled, what you see here are the in-Camera JPGs without significant alteration to color, contrast, exposure or sharpness.

If I were working with a different digital camera system, how might that have changed my results?

Yesterday, I also exposed some Ektachrome of 7470 using my 30-year old Nikon F3 with f1.8 105mm lens.

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For today’s Tracking the Light, I was looking for a photo I made on June 27, 1983 at Secaucus.

Instead, I found this photo at Secaucus, exposed nearly 32 years later.

In the interval, Secaucus had been completely transformed.

It was a hazy summer morning on June 26, 2015, when I exposed this view of a New Jersey Transit train on the former Erie using my first Lumix LX7. I had traveled on this train from Suffern. The engine is at the back of a push-pull set.

The photo I was looking for was of a former PRR GG1 crossing over the Erie. This one is more technically competent, if not as interesting. I’ll need to find my old Kodachrome slide.

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Canadian Pacific at Greenville Junction-June 2022

On Monday (June 6, 2022), driving west on Maine Route 6, we had just passed Greenville Junction, Maine on our way to Moosehead. 

Kris said, ‘hey, I hear a train!’

I suspected the eastward 132 might be close, so I quickly turned around and drove east on Rt 6 back to the bridge at Kellys Landing, immediately east of the old CP station at Greenville Junction. At one time Bangor & Aroostook lines connected with CP here, while a spur went below CP to serve docks on Moosehead Lake.

We had just a few moments to get ready. I grabbed my Lumix LX7 and framed up the eastward freight on the bridge and exposed a series of digital photos. My first CP Moosehead Subdivision photos since June 2021!

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Lynx and the Lumix

I experimented with compact mirrorless cameras on May 31, 2014, during a visit to Charlotte, North Carolina,

My trusty Lumix LX3 had failed a few weeks earlier, and I was seeking a suitable replacement.

On this trip photographer Pat Yough let me try out his FujiFilm XE-2. While my father had lent me his Lumix LX7, (a model that was an upgraded variation on the older LX3)

I made these images using the Lumix LX7 which photographing the Lynx light rail system south of downtown Charlotte.

Ultimately,not onlydid I buy a Lumix LX7, but after continued experimentation with the Fuji system, I also bought a Fuji XT1, which served me well for a number of years.

I’ve found that it really helps to experiement with different camera systems to put them through their paces BEFORE drawing firm conclusions or making a purchase.

Below are three variations of the same image. The first is a scaled version of the in-camera JPG (scaled for internet presention, not cropped); the other two are interpretations from the camera RAW using Adobe Lightroom.

Lumix LX7 in-camerea JPG scaled for internet.
JPG adapted from Camera RAW.
Alternative interpretation of the same Camera RAW file.

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Heuston Vignettes

During my visit to Dublin last month, I stayed the Ashling Hotel across the Liffey from Irish Rail’s Heuston Station. This gave me ample opportunity to revisit this old haunt during my wanders around the city.

Working with my Lumix LX7, I made this selection of views around the station during my final 24-hours before flying to Boston.

I’d made my first photos at Heuston upon arriving by train from Galway in February 1998, more than 24 years ago!

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February Thaw.

This past Thursday the temperature at North Conway, New Hampshire was 51 F, the highest its been in many weeks. The mountains of snow began to melt. Then Thursday night the rain set in. It poured all night.

By Friday morning (February 18, 2022), puddles covered the yard.

I made these images with my Lumix LX7 of the yard and station facilities saturated with water.

By Friday evening the temperture had dropped in the mid teens. Snow is again on the horizon.

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Snow Train at the Ellis River Bridge

On occasion I make a photograph for one of my friends.

Saturday, February 5, 2022, I traveled on Conway Scenic’s 1130 Snow Train (a train for which I drafted the schedule). Upon crossing the Ellis River bridge in Glen, New Hampshire, I though this would be an ideal place to photograph the train with heavily snow covered trees.

I returned later, and wading through deep snow I put myself in position on the west bank of the Ellis to capture the the return run of the 1330 Snow Train.

Wayne Duffett was the locomotive engineer, as seen in the cab of former Maine Central 255. Wayne is also the railroad’s bridge engineer with whom I traveled last year on his detailed structural inspection of this span and others along the line. Further, it was Wayne who first recommended to me a vantage point on the banks of Ellis. 

Reading & Northern Surprise at Tamaqua.

I was enjoying a prime rib sandwich at the Tamaqua Station Restaurant, taking in the well-preserved Victorian atmosphere with Kris, and marveling at the details, when I hear the unmistable sounds of an approaching train.

Lumix LX7 in hand, I headed for the door and arrived at the platform in time to make a sequence of photos of a Reading & Northern ‘hospital’ move of passenger equipment heading north on the old Reading Company.

I wasn’t expecting this unusual train, but delighted with the fortuity to catch it, and with nice autumn light and brilliant autumn foliage in the distance.

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Boston & Maine 4266

Yesterday morning was glorious and sunny in North Conway, NH.

Members of the 470 Club (a group that has preserved and owns several pieces of historic railroad equipment based at the Conway Scenic Railroad) were repairing former Boston & Maine F7A 4266 at the North Conway roundhouse..

I made these views using my Panasonic Lumix LX7.

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First 2021 Mountaineer

Last Saturday, June 19th, Kris & I met the first Conway Scenic Railroad Mountaineer of the 2021 season at Crawford Notch, NH on the former Maine Central Mountain Division.

We spoke with the crew and arranged to make photos from the sunny side of the tracks.

A few days later, I posted some of these to the Conway Scenic Facebook page, which is among my jobs as Manager of Marketing & Events for the railroad.

File converted from Lumix RAW file.
Color adjusted and saturation increased working with the RAW file in Adobe Lightroom.
I was trying to minimize the placement of automobiles parked along Rt 302 adjacent to the tracks., while featuring the textured sky.

I made these photos with a Lumix LX7 compact mirrorless digital camera fitted with external view finder.

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SEPTA’s Broad Street Subway

In December 2014 on a blitz of SEPTA’s rail transit in Philadelphia with my brother Sean, I made this view of the Broad Street Subway at the Girard Avenue stop.

My feeling is that SEPTA’s Broad Street Subway is among the least photographed rail transit lines in the Northeastern United States.

Exposed using my First Lumix LX7.

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Brian Solomon is traveling ‘off the grid’ and this post was prepared several days ago.

Extra at North Conway—June 9, 2021

Yesterday I made this photo of Conway Scenic’s Bartlett Extra ready to depart the North Conway, New Hampshire Station. This was added to the schedule to handle a school group boarding in Bartlett.

Exposed using my third Lumix LX7. File adjusted using Lightroom.

Brian Solomon is traveling ‘off the grid’ for the next few days.

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30th Street Solari Board-June 4, 2015

I was traveling from Philadelphia to Virginia on June 4, 2015.

Working with my first Lumix LX7, I made these photos of Amtrak’s 30th Street Station, focusing on the classic Solari Board that displayed arrivals and departures.

Philadelphia 30th Street Station.

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Fabyan Truss Inspection

Last week I accompanied Bridge Inspector Wayne Duffett on his inspection of the unusual truss bridge on the former Maine Central Mountain Division at Fabyan, NH.

The bridge dates from the 1890s. It originally served the Boston & Maine’s branch to Mount Washington that had run parallel to Maine Central for a few miles. At some point decades ago Maine Central decided the old B&M span was superior to its own and traded places.

I made these photos using my Lumix LX7. Images processed digitally in Adobe Light room to improve contrast, color and color saturation.

Greater bridge inspections were undertaken down the line! Stay tuned . . .

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HyRail at Hazens Eastbound!

Yesterday I traveled by road to the western reaches of Coway Scenic’s line at Hazens in Whitefield, N.H., with Wayne Duffett of TEC Associates.

At Hazens we set on the railroad to run east over the line to inspect bridges. This was the first leg in our latest adventure as part of the annual Conway Scenic bridge inspection.

I was a perfect day, sunny, warm and very pleasant.

I made these photos using my latest Panasonic Lumix LX7. Files were scaled from the camera-generated JPGs using the V (or Vivid) color profile. I made no alterations to color, contrast, exposure or sharpness.

The bridges got bigger as we worked eastward. More photos to come over the coming days.

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MBTA at Shirley

I’ve been photographing trains at Shirley for nearly 37 years.

Gosh that’s quite a while.

Kris Sabbatino and I paused at Shirley on the way back from Cape Cod last week.

We rolled by MBTA trains under clear Spring skies.

This gave me the opportunity to try out my third Lumix LX7 on moving trains.

I’d fitted the wee digital camera with an external viewfinder, a small electronic attachment that makes it much easier to photograph moving trains in bright sunshine with the mirrorless Lumix.

Working from the Lumix RAW file, I made this interpretation in Adobe Lightroom.

MBTA GP40MC_1133_works at the back of train 1406 running eastbound at Shirley, Massachusetts.

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Bordeaux—Five Years Ago.

It was a clear pleasant afternoon in Bordeaux, France on April 29, 2016, when I made this photo of a wireless Alstom tram using my first Lumix LX7 digital camera.

I was visiting this elegant French city on business with my father.

Bordeaux opted for a ground-based power supply for its modern tram system in historic areas of its city center.

Below are two variations of the same photo. The top is the camera produced JPG (scaled for internet without adjustment), the bottom is my interpretation of the camera RAW file with adjustments made using Adobe Lightroom.

Lumix LX7 camera generated JPG with the VIVID color profile, scaled fro internet presentation.
Lumix LX7 RAW file interpreted using Adobe Lightroom; shadows lightened, level improved, and color balance adjusted. Note the hue of the tram.

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Leeds at Dusk August 10 2014

Working with my then-new Lumix LX7, I exposed this photograph of the Leeds (UK) Railway station from an adjacent hotel.

I was on a non-linear trip that brought me from Dublin to Manchester to Leeds, back to Manchester then to Charleroi, and Brussels, Belgium, and back to Dublin.

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Storm Light at North Conway

Yesterday evening a series of thunderstorms swept over the White Mountains making for a show of lightening and dramatic clouds.

Near the end of daylight, I made this photograph of the North Conway, New Hampshire yard. I was with Kris Sabbatino on the way to collect my car.

I was working with my Lumix LX7. This is a JPG file scaled without manipulation from the in-camera jpg. In other words I made no changes to exposure, contrast, color balance, focus or sharpness.

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By the Light of the Moon—The St Lawrence & Atlantic Adventure—Part 2.

The other day I wrote of our adventure following the former Grand Trunk Railway line north through New Hampshire and Vermont to the Canadian border but not finding anything on the move.

Friday, June 5, 2020, Kris Sabbatino and I made another go of finding the ‘SLR’ as Genesee & Wyoming’s St Lawrence & Atlantic is known.

(Just for point of reference in this instance ‘SLR’ represents the railroads official reporting marks. However, to avoid unnecessary confusion or gratuitous irony, I did not make these photos using a single lens reflex, but rather a mirror-less Lumix LX7 digital camera.)

Thanks to Andrew Dale—who supplied helpful schedule information and sighting details—we were able to intercept the SLR’s westward freight. Driving east from Gorham, Kris and I waited for the train at Locke’s Mills, Maine.

Finally we could hear its EMD-roar to the east.

We then followed the heavy freight on its westward prowl toward Canada. We were among several other photographers with similar approaches.

A full moon and solid tripod aided my photographic efforts.

Locke’s Mills, Maine.
Barker Road west of Bethel, Maine.
Full moon rising at Ferry Road.
Gilead, Maine.
Reflection Pond near Gorham, NH.
Gorham with full moon rising over the former Grand Trunk Railway station.

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