Tag Archives: #photography tips

Spring at the Swift River Truss; Focus, Perspective and Composition—Four photos.

Over the years I’ve spent a lot of time studying railway imagery, observing and analyzing hundreds of thousands of individual photos.

Among the most striking are the works of Japanese photographers.

Some of their most successful photos cleverly use focus and depth of field to place the railway in its environment. In some situations this is accomplished with a single image; in others with a sequence of photos.

Last week, I emulatted the style embraced by my Japanese counterparts to produce this sequence of images at the Swift River Bridge on Conway Scenic Railroad’s Conway Branch.

Here I’m working with three primary subjects; the truss bridge, Budd rail diesel car Millie and a flowering tree. All were exposed digitally using my FujiFilm XT1 with 18-135mm zoom lens.

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New England Central at State Line Crossing—Two Recent Photos.

In recent days, New England Central’s Willimantic, Conn., to Palmer., Mass., turn running as job 608, has been back on its daylight schedule, which sees it reaching Stafford Springs, Connecticut at about 730am.

Thursday (November 21, 2019), I made a morning project of intercepting the train and photographing it on its northward run.

At the Massachusetts-Connecticut state line, the railroad crests the top of a divide known as ‘State Line Hill’ and begins its descent toward Palmer. Just north of the top of the hill the tracks cross Route 32, which is where I set up to make my photo.

This view was made using my FujiFilm X-T1 with 90mm prime telephoto.

I aimed to make a split scene, where the highway and railroad cross at the center and direct the eye to opposite sides of the frame.

The subject is the train, which has just caught the sun at the intersection of the state boundary.

The second view in shows the locomotive better, but is a less evocative image.

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Through the Mists of Rhein!

One September 2019 morning on Germany’s Rhein, clear skies were obscured by a thick mist hugging the river. As the warm rays of the rising sun graced the tops of the nearby hills, the mist cleared, which made for some cosmic lighting.

I exposed these photographs digitally using my FujFilm XT1. But I also exposed a few colour slides using a Nikon F3 with 105mm lens.

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Croatian Railways
A Hrvatske Zeljeznice class 2044 diesel (General Motors export model GT22HW-2) works west of Zagreb. Exposed with an Nikon F3Ts with 105mm lens on Fujichrome slide film.

Amtrak at Palmer, Massachusetts.
At 7:13pm on May 28, 1986, Amtak 449, Boston section of the Lake Shore Limited clatters across the Palmer diamond on Conrail’s former Boston & Albany mainline. At Albany-Rensselaer this will join with the New York section for the journey over the Water Level Route to Chicago. Exposed on 120 B&W film with a Rolleiflex Model T twin-lens reflex fitted with 75mm f3.5 Zeiss Tessar lens. This camera was not fitted with a prismatic view finder. Thus the finder image was a mirror of reality which made composition of moving trains challenging. Nor did this camera have a meter, so exposure was calculated using a hand-held meter and the photographer’s experience. In truth, bright sun shining off the stainless-steel passenger cars resulted in an overexposed image..

A timetable-southward BNSF freight gets a green signal at Bealville, California. FujiFilm X-T1 photo. Image was not altered in post processing except to scale for internet presentation.

071 at Gort.

PCC at dusk on Frankford Street near The Handle Bar. LX7 Photo.

Mass-Central switches at the Route 181 crossing north of Palmer. The morning mist clung to the valley but it soon burned away. Canon EOS 7D with 200mm lens.

Exposed on 35mm black & white film using a Leica 3a with 50mm Summitar; exposure calculated with the aid of a Weston Master III photo cell. Film processed in D76.

Exposed on 35mm Kodak black & white film with a Leica 3A fitted with a 50mm Elmar. Notice CocaCola’s hi-rise office in the distance. It was this landmark I was trying to feature. I didn’t have a 90mm lens, which is really what I needed to make this image work.

Exposed on 35mm Kodak Plus-X using a Leica M2 with an f2.0 35mm Summicron lens. Exposure calculated manually using a Sekonic Studio Deluxe photo cell. Image scanned with a Epson Perfection V600 scanner; contrast altered in post processing using Lightroom.

Amtrak 939 leads train 163 on the former New Haven Railroad at Green’s Farms, Connecticut. Exposed using a FujiFilm X-T1 with 18-35mm zoom lens.

Rhein valley
A DB Class 101 electric leads southward IC train through vineyards near Boppard, Germany in September 2013. Exposed with a Lumix LX3. The Lumix is fitted with a Leica lens that allows for great depth of field.

VR overnight train IC 266 approaches Oulu, Finland on the evening of Jul 25, 2015.

VR Sr2 at Oulu, Finland after 11 pm on Wednesday, July 22, 2015. File adjusted for exposure, contrast, and saturation.

A Saturn advertisement graces a streetcar in Okayama, Japan in April 1997.

A large snake (of the non-rattling variety) suns itself on Montana Rail Link in Lombard Canyon, Montana. Nikon F3T with 105mm lens; Kodachrom 25 exposed at f4.5 1/250th second

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