Tag Archives: #Norristown


In October 2001, my brother Sean and I visited Norristown, Pennsylvania to photograph SEPTA’s Route 100, known as the Norristown High Speed Line. Here it crossed the Schuylkill Valley on a long steel viaduct.

It was a bright clear day, and I made these views on Fujichrome using my Contax G2 rangefinder from a vantage point the north bank of the river. On the walk back from the river, I stepped squarely in some deep mud.

Until the early 1990s, SEPTA operated distinctive Brill ‘Bullet Cars’ on this route. My dad still calls SEPTA’s current fleet as ‘the new cars’, even though at this point most are now the better part of 30 years old!

Norristown, Oct 28, 2001.
Norristown, Oct 28, 2001.

Tracking the Light Posts Daily!

When Color Just Doesn’t Work—Norristown, PA.

On our SEPTA exploration January 2, 2019, we visited the Norristown Transportation Center, where we changed from the former Reading Company heavy rail line to the old Philadelphia & Western ‘High Speed’ line.

The elevated station for the old P&W route offers a stunning view of the trestle over the Schuykill River.

A grand view, yes, but the light was about as uninspiring as it gets; I was faced with dull, colorless January gloom.

I made a few photos of a Norristown-bound car scuttling across the bridge.

As color photos these are pretty hopeless.

This is a JPG created without adjustment from the Lumix LX7 camera RAW. There isn’t much color in this scene.

Working with the camera RAW, I de-saturated the image then adjusted the contrast to make the most out of the scene.

You might ask, ‘why didn’t I just make a B&W film photo?’

My answer is: ‘I was traveling light, and didn’t bring a film camera’

I think I’ll just need to return on a brighter day.

Tracking the Light Posts Every Day. Even when its dull and colorless.

Dusk at Elm Street, Norristown, Pennsylvania.

Dusk at Elm Street, Norristown, Pennsylvania.Dusk at Elm Street, Norristown, Pennsylvania.

I exposed this view using my Lumix LX7. The angle of view is equivalent to a 24mm lens on 35mm film camera.

The ISO was set to 200, White Balance at ‘Auto’, shutter speed 1/25th of a second, and f-stop at ‘A’ (aperture priority which resulted in a f2.2 setting).

Tracking the Light Posts Daily!

High-Hoods on the Move.

A short visit to Norfolk Southern’s Abrams Yard near Norristown, Pennsylvania a few weeks back made for an opportunity to see a pair of high-hood GP38-2s on the move.

Once a common and standard type, the high-hood road switcher has been on the wane for decades and they are now rare on class-1 railroads.

I made these pan shots using my FujiFilm X-T1.

By employing a relatively slow shutter speed and moving my camera in unison with the locomotives, I can convey the sense of speed and motion while setting the subject apart from the background.

Exposed at 1/60th of a second handheld.

Exposed at 1/60th of a second handheld.

Exposed at 1/60th of a second handheld.

Tracking the Light posts daily.