Tag Archives: Pinole

Southern Pacific Tracks at Sunset—May 17, 1991.

It was more than 25 years ago that I made this evening view at Pinole, California using my Leica looking west across San Pablo Bay toward Mt. Tamalpias.

Fog rolls in from the Pacific; and the SP was still the SP.

Exposed with a Leica M2 with 50mm Summicron on Kodak Tri-X processed in Agfa Rodinal.
Exposed with a Leica M2 with 50mm Summicron on Kodak Tri-X processed in Agfa Rodinal.

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Amtrak on the Shore of San Pablo Bay at Pinole on this day 23 years ago.

On the morning of April 18, 1993, I made this Kodachrome slide of an eastward Amtrak train on the shore of San Pablo Bay at Pinole, California.

Exposed using a Nikon F3T with 35mm PC (Perspective Control lens). Note the level horizon.

Compare my use of foreground of the  image below with that featured in this morning’s post at Gurtnellen, Switzerland. In both situations I’ve held the camera close to the ground, while standing on a hill side above the train.

Amtrak_at_Pinole_Apr18_1993_Brian Solomon 234254Tracking the Light post every day.

F59PHI in Low Sun.

The tide was in. The sun was low and rich. The train was on time. I was poised at the popular overlook at Pinole, California. Dozens of scheduled Amtrak trains pass this point everyday, so on one level this was akin to ‘shooting fish in a barrel.’

Yet, the ease of photography here, facilitated by great weather, open varied scenery, and frequent operations, makes for a perfect opportunity to experiment and exposed different angles.

Exposed on Fujichrome Film.
Exposed on Fujichrome Film.

In this case, I’ve opted to make a clean, yet dramatic vertical image. Notice how I’ve left ample room on top for a magazine title, and space all around for cover blurbs (left or right) and the requisite bar code (typically located at lower right).

When I was working at Pentrex Publishing in the 1990s,  we’d often reject potential dramatic photos as not suitable because there wasn’t room for the cover blurbs. But an absolute killer (that is, no chance for cover placement) was in situations where the bar code would fall on the front of a locomotive. Bar code placement was non-negotiable.

Would this make a good cover photo? I can’t say, but I was looking to fit the format when I exposed this slide in 2008.

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Ghost of the Northern Pacific.

Pinole, California, August 1992.

Northern Pacific Boxcar Pinole CA 1992©Brian_Solomon_236355
Exposed with a Nikon F3T on Kodachrome 25 slide film. I was toying with my 35mm perspective control lens to keep the horizon in view, but my angle of view was a bit too extreme for the shift feature, which resulted in this slightly strange perspective.

Here’s something neat; I was photographing a westward Southern Pacific freight running along the shore of San Pablo Bay at Pinole, when I spotted this old Northern Pacific box car in consist.

By 1992, Northern Pacific had been gone for 22 years, which seemed like a lifetime to me! Here was this vision of a railroad long gone, but still moving freight.

Of course, today its not still uncommon to see Burlington Northern cars in old paint, and BN has been gone 19 years. Funny how that works.

Learn more about the evolution of the railroad network, see my book: North American Railroad Family Trees published by Voyageur Press.

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Tomorrow: Summer in the 1990s!


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