It’s hard to beat steam in the glint light! Dick Gruber and I spent the weekend of August 17, 1996, photographing Northern Pacific 4-6-0 328 working Wisconsin Central trackage in northern Wisconsin and Minnesota.
While we made many fine images on that trip, for me the money-shot was this one I exposed of the locomotive steaming up at Dresser, Wisconsin as the sun rose.
There’s an old adage among photographers: ‘f5.6 and be there!’
I’ve said before, and it’s true. The best way to get great photos is to be there when it happens. And that’s the real secret.
The advantages of being up early include being treated to cosmic light. On this August 1996 morning, I was photographing Northern Pacific 4-6-0 number 328 as it was being prepared for a day’s excursions with the Minnesota Transportation Museum.
The engine’s rods, bathed in boiler steam reflected the muted glow of the rising sun. A magenta hue had graced the Wisconsin sky. The effect lasted only a few minutes, and before long the sun was shinning brightly.
I worked quickly, making many detailed views of the locomotive equipment and its crew. At the time I was researching for my book The American Steam Locomotive (published by MBI), while working as editor for Pacific RailNews