Tag Archives: #photo technique

DM&IR at Proctor

On a September 1994 trip with Tom and Mike Danneman, I made this unusual portrait oriented (vertical) image on Kodachrome 25 of a Duluth, Missabe & Iron Range manifest freight approach the yard at Proctor, Minnesota.

It was dull and raining lightly. To make for a more engaging photo I included portions of the bridge on which was I standing over the tracks. This makes a frame for the primary subject and ads depth, while distracting viewers likely to complain by directing their interest to the out of focus bridge members and away from the featureless sky.

This was a trick I learned in the early 1990s when executing commercial product photography to avoid overly complicated re-shoots by distracting fault-finding art directors.

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Cropped for the horizontal-demanding internet below;

Tokyo April 1997

My preferred camera-lens combination in 1997 was a Nikon N90s with Nikkor 80-200 zoom lens.

This versatile set up gave me great flexibility. At the time I was still exposing both Fujichrome and Kodachrome slide film, but was leaning more and more toward Fujichrome.

Ironically, in retrospect I found that camera flexibility doesn’t necessarily produce the best photos. I think this is because the zoom lens allowed me to quickly adjust the focal length and perspective, I didn’t spend the time to properly scrutinize the scene for the best possible image. This not a fault with the equipment, but in how I was using it.

This photo of JR trains crossing an overpass in Tokyo reminds me when I felt the N90S, 80-200mm lens and Fujichrome Provia gave me limitless photographic potential. Maybe it still does?

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