Tag Archives: #NECR

December 10, 2018—New England Central at Stafford Springs

On this day two years ago, I photographed New England Central GP38s in the classic blue & gold paint leading the southward 608 at Stafford Springs, Connecticut (Stafford on the railroad).

Working with the FujiFilm RAW file from my XT1, I first converted the photo to a DNG file using Iridient X-Transformer, then imported that file into Adobe Lightroom for adjustment.

To make for a more pleasing image, I reduced contrast, lightened shadows, and lowered the intensity of the highlights.

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New England Central with ‘Drop Under’ light at Brattleboro, Vermont.

In October 2015, I made this photograph of New England Central train 611 arriving at Brattleboro having returned from Palmer, Mass.

The setting sun was illuminating clouds from below, making for that colorful event known as ‘drop under’.

I was working with a Lumix LX7, that allows the photographer to work in JPG and RAW simultaneously.

Below are two versions of the same photo. The top image is the camera-generated JPG, the second is heavily adjusted image that I created by working with the camera RAW file.

There is no ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ when it comes to adjusting color, however there are some basic guidelines and guiding theory.

Tracking the Light post every day.

Contrasty Kodachrome

Often I consider my Kodachrome slides among my finest photographs.

By not always.

In the mid-1990s, Kodachrome went through an unsettled phase and the film didn’t perform as well as it had in the late 1980s early 1990s. The reasons for these changes may be a discussion for another day.

On April 11, 1997, I joined photographers Mike Gardner and George Pitarys on a productive chase of New England Central’s southward freight, number 608.

At Willimantic, Connecticut, I made this photo along the river by some old thread mills (some since demolished).

April light can be challenging. Harsh contrast combined with a yellowish tint from air pollution makes for a raw ‘brassy’ quality that Kodachrome didn’t reproduce well.

Scaled scan, otherwise unadjusted for color, contrast, sharpness etc.

I scanned this slide a little while ago and then imported the TIFF file into Adobe Lightroom, which I used to soften the contrast, lighten the shadows and correct the harsh color rendition. See adjusted version below

It isn’t perfect, but then again the lighting on the day wasn’t ideal.

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Sunday’s Surprise.

I needed a topic for today’s Tracking the Light, so I reached in to a sorting file of un-scanned slides and found this photo: Surprise!

On October 13, 2004, photographer Mike Gardner and I chased New England Central Railroad’s 608 south from Palmer, through my hometown of Monson, Massachusetts.

This is a chase I’ve done countless times over the last 40 years, but just because you’ve done something before, doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t try to find a new angle on it.

At Robbins Road in Monson, I made this dramatic trailing view of the train’s locomotives. Here we have a selection of NECR GP38s roaring away in ‘Run-8’—maximum throttle on the tooth of the grade.

The train was moving 10-12 mph, producing a rush of engine exhaust along with traction motors blowers blowing to keep the motors cool. (And prevent them from over heating) These blasts of hot air, combined with the wind from the train’s approach and passage, plus and sand from the sanders to maintain adhesion all helped stir up the ballast and fallen leaves. 

It was a good chase and I wish I was there now!

I scanned the photo using a Nikon Super Coolscan5000 and VueScan software. My initial scan produced a 4000 dpi TIF file, which I then imported to Lightroom in order to scale it for presentation here.

June 2020 Trains Magazine features my 8-page article on New England Central.

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New England Central 611 at Three Rivers—Four Photos

It was nice to see some freight on the move!

Here we have New England Central’s 611 Job northbound at Three Rivers in Palmer, Massachusetts.

My eight page feature on the New England Central appears in the June 2020 Trains Magazine.

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NECR on the Millers Falls High Bridge.

Here’s a view I exposed of New England Central’s northward 611 crossing the 1905-built Millers Falls High Bridge at Millers Falls, Massachusetts on January 24, 2020.

This former Central Vermont Railway bridge has long been a favorite of mine.

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