Tag Archives: #Nikon

Nocturnal Views at Lititz, Pa.

During our visit to Lititz, Pa., I made these photos along the old Reading Company tracks that bisect the town.

The caboose on display was once operated by Central Railroad of New Jersey and has been convincingly dressed to resemble similar cars that had been operated by the Reading.

Nearby is the replica passenger station, a structure that during daylight hours serves as a welcome center.

Although the end of track is about a block away, Norfolk Southern still serves this route. We caught a glimpse of a railroad HyRail truck and a rail-defect detection vehicle on the night of our most recent trip. However, we were unable to make a photo of these vehicles at work.

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Christiana Station at Night

On our evening drive, we called into the former Pennsylvania Railroad station at Christiana, Pa.

With my Nikon Z7-II firmly mounted on my old Bogen tripod, and working with available light I made these photos using time exposures. Details below:

Nikkor 24-70mm lens at 70mm, 1 second exposure at f4.0, ISO 200.
Nikkor 24-70mm lens at 28mm, 3 second exposure at f4.0, ISO 200.
Nikkor 24-70mm lens at 29mm, 6 second exposure at f4.0, ISO 200.

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Classic Kodachrome—Conrail 6717 leads TV9 at milepost 123.

If I wrote: ‘6717 WB w TV9 mp123 11-13-92’ would it mean anything to anyone but me?

It was a clear morning in November 1992. I’d set up west of Huntington, Massachusetts on Conrail’s Boston Line—the former Boston & Albany mainline grade over Washington Hill.

At that time, intermodal freight TV9 (Beacon Park, Boston to Chicago) routinely made its westward passage through the Berkshires in the morning.

On this particular day, the train was led by SD50 6717. While not unheard of, this was uncommon power for TV9, as in the early 1990s Conrail typically assigned sets of three and four GE C30-7A, C32-8 and C36-7 diesels to most of its Boston Line road freights.

Kodachrome 25 was my standard film. This traditional emulsion made it possible to expose dramatic backlit photos such this one. The nature of the grain structure and Kodachrome process, allowed the film to retain a degree of highlight detail while maintaining a clean edge between light and dark, even in high contrast situations such as this one.

Working with the locomotive exhaust and headlight, I made this dramatic silhouette of the train ascending the grade against a stark autumnal background.

I was working with my Nikon F3T with Nikkor 200mm lens set to f5.6 at 1/125th of second. To minimize flare, I shaded the front element of the lens with my notebook.

Today, the lack of ditchlights really dates the image. By the mid-1990s, ditch lights were standard on most locomotives.

The time was 8:10am. Conrail’s westbound TV9 met the eastbound SEFR near CP123 (just around the bend from my location). The eastbound passed me nine minutes later.

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Reflections at Delanson

March 19, 2005: CP Rail freight 412 roars through Delanson, New York on the Delaware & Hudson’s Albany & Susquehanna route.

I was traveling with fellow photographers Tim Doherty and Pat Yough.

We’d strayed off course, having started the morning on the west end of CSX’s old Boston & Albany, and kept pushing west.

I made this image on Fujichrome using a Nikon F3 with Nikkor 180mm telephoto lens.

To make the most of the puddle in the foreground, I took the prism of the camera and held the body close to the water level, while looking down through the fresnel focusing glass. The challenge of this unusual technique is composing the photo in reverse, since without the prism the fresnel projects a mirror image.

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Slowing for the Curve at Gap

Amtrak Keystone 666 was slowing for the restrictive curve at Gap, Pa.

Siemens ACS-64 electrics were fore and aft. White lights forward, red at a rear.

Working with my Nikon Z mirrorless cameras, I exposded this coming and going sequence as the train glided east toward Philadelphia.

Nikon Z6 with 70-200mm zoom.
Nikon Z6 with 70-200mm zoom.
Nikon Z7-II with 24-70mm zoom.
Nikon Z7-II with 24-70mm zoom.
Nikon Z6 with 70-200mm zoom.

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Details on the Middletown & Hummelstown

On a July evening, we paused for a few minutes as a rosy sun set over Middletown, Pennsylvania.

I made this sequence of photos using my Nikon Z6 fitted with a 1980s-era Nikkor f2.8 ED 180mm telephoto.

I’ve found that when shooting in raw with this old lens, the contrast and color more closely resembles photos that I made in the early 2000s on Fujichrome slide film.

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Meet near Cove, PA.

A slow moving westward Norfolk Southern freight had crossed the former Pennsylvania Railroad Rockville Bridge in the evening light. After Kris and I made our images of the train on great span, we motored west on Highway 15 to catch it again.

Nikon Z7-II with 70-200mm Nikkor Z-series zoom.

A few miles west of Marysville, near Cove, PA, we spotted a stopped eastward train, and set up up to catch the two trains passing in the evening light.

Imagine if it were 1953, and these were trains led by Pennsylvania’s impressive M1 4-8-2 Mountains types.

Nikon Z7-II with 70-200mm Nikkor Z-series zoom.

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Buffalo & Pittsburgh GP38-2 at White River Junction

Yesterday, Kris & I visited White River Junction, Vermont, where I photographed a pair of EMD diesels on Genesee & Wyoming’s New England Central, including Buffalo & PIttsburgh GP38-2 No. 3511.

To emulate an image I made here in the 1980s of a Boston & Maine GP7, I framed B&P 3511 in the station canopy using my Nikon Z6 with 70-200mm lens.

Below are two versions of the NEF file. The top version is scaled but otherwise unaltered. The bottom version has been adjusted with changes to shadow and highlight density, color temperature, and contrast, with nominal sharpening.

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MBTA Norfolk-Trailing View

On our return from Cape Cod last month, we paused at Norfolk, Massachusetts for lunch and to roll by MBTA Train 2706 on its way to Boston, South Station.

During an earlier visit to Norfolk two years ago, Kris and I noted that MBTA/Keolis was working to install two-main track (signaled in both directions on both tracks) on this portion of the Franklin Line—a former New Haven Railroad route that was at one time graded for directional- double track, but in my lifetime has been a single track railroad. 

Some progress was made and on this visit I noted that new signals and crossovers were in place on both sides of Norfolk, however the track through the station has not yet been completed, and the signal heads turned away, indicating they were not yet in use.

Using my Nikon Z6 with 70-200mm lens, I made these trailing views of train 2706 looking toward Walpole and Boston.

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Sugarbeet Crossing at Carrick-on-Suir

Late October traditionally represented the start of Irish Rail’s sugarbeet season. This was among the most intensive freight operations in Ireland and saw up to seven laden trains daily operated from the beet loading point at Wellingtonbridge, Co. Wexford to the processing factory near Mallow in Co. Cork.

In November 2005 halfway through the final sugarbeet season, I made this photo of laden and empty trains crossing at Carrick-on-Suir, Co. Tipperary.

Standing on the footbridge in the station, I working with a Nikon F3 loaded with Fujichrome. One of my favorite lenses at this time was a manual focus Nikkor f2.8 180mm, which saw good use during beet season.

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Brussels PCC Tram-1996

I exposed this color slide on a visit to Brussels with my father in May 1996.

I carried two cameras on that trip. My primary body was a Nikon F3T that I bought new from Nikon in 1990. My secondary camera was second hand Nikkormat FTN with an outer covering of red leather. I called it ‘my red Nikkormat’.

Back then, I’d usually load Kodachrome 25 in the F3T, and Fujichrome 100 in the Nikormat. I exposed film in both cameras manually using a handheld Sekonic Studio Deluxe light meter to calculate exposure.

I carried two cameras on that trip. My primary body was a Nikon F3T that I bought new from Nikon in 1990. My secondary camera was second hand Nikkormat FTN with an outer covering of red leather. I called it 'my red Nikkormat'.
K25 color slide exposed using a Nikon F3T with f1.8 105mm lens. Slide scanned digitally and adjusted in Lightroom. May 1996.

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Shinkansen on Frame 39.

Working with slide film had its perils. Normally, I used 36 exposure roles.

However, I’d carefully load my manual cameras and try to squeeze as many photos out of each rolls as possible.

This was risky, because often the last frame would get ruined in processing. So, I typically save that final frame for something less important, but still interesting.

On April 23, 1997, my father and I waited on a Shinkansen platform at Nishi Akashi west of Osaka. I made a few photos of this passing Series 300 Series highspeed train as it blasted by at approximately 186mph.

Working with my old Nikon F3T, I exposed this final frame on a roll of Fuji Provia 100 as the train passed me at speed. In processing, Fuji cut the last little bit of the slide (to the left of the train). 

For years this slide sat in a box, unworthy of slide shows. I scanned it yesterday. Below are two versions. One is full frame, the other is cropped.

Full-rame JPG scan of frame 39 showing the effect of the cut. Nishi Akashi, Japan.
Cropped scan of the same slide.

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BRNO, Czech Republic.

In April 2005, I visited the Czech city of Brno with Denis McCabe and the late Norman McAdams.

Working with a Nikon N90S with f2.8 180mm Nikkor lens, I exposed this Fujichrome Sensia II (ISO 100) slide of a tram as it approached the stop near the main railway station.

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