Tag Archives: #Plus-X

Grain Train on the Slide!

When I was at the Rochester Institute of Technology, one of my professors discussed the ‘Ratio of Success’, which defined how many photos you typically took in order to get a really good one.

By one standard this averaged about one per roll of film. Or a ratio of 1 to 36.

For the last three days on Tracking the Light, I’ve been displaying photos from a single roll of Kodak Plus X exposed on Conrail’s former Pennsylvania Railroad lines back in the summer of 1989.

I wouldn’t want to bore everyone by displaying all 36 frames, but lets just say, on this day I was having a better than average ratio of success!

Exposed with a Leice on Kodak Plus-X in summer 1989.

This one portrays a Conrail unit grain train descending ‘The Slide’ east of the tunnels at Gallitzin, Pennsylvania.

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Conrail SD40-2s at MG Tower

Here’s another frame from a roll of 35mm Plus X exposed on a summer 1989 trip to the old Pennsylvania Railroad with my old pal TSH.

Until today, this picture has not seen the light of day.

35mm Plus-X exposed with a Leica M3 and 90mm Elmarite. Negative scanned using a Epson V750 flatbed scanner and digitally processed in Adobe Lightroom.

I processed the film 32 years ago in Kodak D76, sleeved the negatives, and made a select few prints, of which this image was not one of them.

It was a dull day, and I was working with a tight budget, where I saved my Kodachrome for the best shots. What seemed a bit pedestrian in 1989, really captures my attention now.

I like the photo today because it frames the desceding train in the steam-era PRR signal bridges, features the famous MG Tower (recently demolished by Norfolk Southern), and captures the drama of a heavy train bathed in brake shoe smoke. It is an image from another era, now gone.

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