Gauzy autumn light is perfect for photographing black steam locomotives on the move.
Yesterday, Railway Preservation Society of Ireland operated steam excursions between Dublin, Drogheda and Dundalk. Plans to work with engine 85 were foiled by difficulties with the turntable at Connolly Station.
Instead RPSI engine No.4 did the work.
Paul Maguire and I drove to a remote overhead bridge near Mosney.
I exposed this view using my FujiFilm XT1 with 27mm pancake lens. To make the most of the scene, I imported the RAW file into Lightroom and adjusted it for contrast and saturation, using a digitally applied graduated neutral density filter to bring in sky detail.
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Here’s another view I made on Irish Rail’s former Great Northern line at milepost 25 near Mosney. I published a digital colour view of the Grand Hibernian the other day from this same vantage point.
Irish Rail’s 29000-series diesel rail cars are common trains on this route. They do their job well and travel up and down the line all day long. Many photographers ignore them because they are common.
Add in some dull light and tangent track, and the photography threatens to be, well, boring.
Here’s what I did to make an interesting image; I worked with the texture of the scene. Rather than make a digital image, I used my old Nikon F3 fitted with a 24mm Nikkor lens and a dark red filter.
The red filter alters the way the film interprets the colours in the scene. Specifically, it allows for better detail in the sky, while darkening the greenery.
I also added a sense of depth by including the vines growing along the bridge parapet. This is a little trick I’ve used on many occasions in Ireland, and it helps to have a wide angle lens to make it work.
So while the train isn’t the most exciting on the rails in Ireland, I’ve used these old-school methods and created an interesting scene by working with the natural textures.
There’s a certain thrill to having two trains approach simultaneously.
Saturday, Denis McCabe, David Hegarty and myself had selected a bridge near Mosney (mp25) on the old Great Northern Railway Dublin-Belfast line as a good place to catch Belmond’s Grand Hibernian cruise train.
The Belmond train departed Dublin Connolly behind an Irish Rail local passenger train and its progress was slowed when it encountered restrictive signals.
Another Irish Rail local was scheduled in the Dublin direction.