This morning (November 14, 2018), I traveled with my old friends Paul Goewey and John Peters to make photographs of Pan Am Railway’s office car train.
The OCS began its run at East Deerfield Yard for its run down the Connecticut River Line to Springfield and Hartford Line toward Berlin and then to Plainville, Connecticut.
Normally the bastion of Pan Am’s well-kept FP9s, today the OCS ran with GP40s because of the need to have cab-signal equipped/Positive Train Control compliant locomotives on Amtrak’s Hartford line and related connections.
I made these backlit photos in the morning from the old ‘East Deerfield Railfan’s Bridge’, a span soon to be replaced as the new bridge is nearing completion.
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There’s nothing like a carefully executed panned photograph to convey a train at speed.
I’ve covered the panning technique a number of times on Tracking the Light; essentially this accomplished by using a comparatively slow shutter speed (in this situation I chose 1/60th of a second) and moving the camera with the subject as it passes through a scene.
The real trick is maintain smooth full-body motion and continue to pan after the shutter is released. Novice pan photographers often violate this rule and stop panning the moment they release the shutter, which tends to result in badly blurred photos.
Yesterday (May 18, 2017) I was traveling with Tim, a friend and fellow photographer, who suggested this location at North Hatfield, Massachusetts on the former Boston & Maine Connecticut River line.
Rather than make a conventional image, I opted for a series of panned views, of which this is but one in a sequence.
Yesterday’s Tracking the Light featured the gripping headline:
“OH NO! I JUST WIPED MY CARD . . .”
And there I’ve told the story of how I accidentally erased my day’s finest efforts (and brought them back again.)
It’s bad enough to accidentally destroy your own work, but it’s especially galling to ruin the photos from such a great day. Bright sun, clear blue skies and a polished executive train moving a moderate speeds.
Simply we’d nailed the Pan Am train at multiple locations in great light, and there were several sets (groups of photos) that I was really happy about.
Followed by the sickening feeling of loss.
The film equivalent of this sort of disaster is the accidental opening the camera-back before rewinding, where-in you lose a half dozen photos or so, but if you close it up quickly you can usually save most of the roll.
The worse film-related catastrophe was when your box of film came back from the lab with a little green slip; ‘Owing to a unique laboratory occurrence, we are sorry to report . . .’
By contrast, my digital disaster was an easy fix (Click the link to read Monday’s post for details: http://wp.me/p2BVuC-4ih).
As I mentioned yesterday, when this sort of thing happens: avoid making it worse by continuing to use the card.
Although I’d ‘erased’ (wiped, zapped, cleaned) the camera’s memory card. In truth, all I’d done was erase the catalog. All of my photos remained on the card. Yet, resurrecting them was a slow painstaking process.
Here are some of my favorite photos that’d I never thought I’d have opportunity to post on Tracking the Light
It seems like every time I board a plane for far away shores the Pan Am office car special sneaks out.
Not this year!
Yesterday, February 15, 2016, I had the rare opportunity to catch Pam Am Railways vintage FP9s on the roll. The trip was working east from Mechanicville, New York on the old Boston & Maine Fitchburg line.
Working with three cameras, I made dozens of images. The latent gem is the F’s broadside passing the old Eagle Bridge, New York station.
Until last week, I hadn’t visited Eagle Bridge in years. Now I’ve been there twice in less than a week. Funny how that works.
All the photos here were exposed using my FujiFilm X-T1 digital camera. Contrast and saturation were nominally adjusted in Lightroom.