Tag Archives: SEPTA

When Color Just Doesn’t Work—Norristown, PA.


On our SEPTA exploration January 2, 2019, we visited the Norristown Transportation Center, where we changed from the former Reading Company heavy rail line to the old Philadelphia & Western ‘High Speed’ line.

The elevated station for the old P&W route offers a stunning view of the trestle over the Schuykill River.

A grand view, yes, but the light was about as uninspiring as it gets; I was faced with dull, colorless January gloom.

I made a few photos of a Norristown-bound car scuttling across the bridge.

As color photos these are pretty hopeless.

This is a JPG created without adjustment from the Lumix LX7 camera RAW. There isn’t much color in this scene.

Working with the camera RAW, I de-saturated the image then adjusted the contrast to make the most out of the scene.

You might ask, ‘why didn’t I just make a B&W film photo?’

My answer is: ‘I was traveling light, and didn’t bring a film camera’

I think I’ll just need to return on a brighter day.

Tracking the Light Posts Every Day. Even when its dull and colorless.

SEPTA Sampler—January 2, 2019.


On Wednesday January 2, 2019, my brother and I made an adventure of exploring the SEPTA system.

We bought Independence Passes, which offer essentially unlimited travel on the SEPTA transportation system for a day, and we sampled a variety of modes and lines.

We began at Parkside Avenue by boarding the number 40 bus (GASP!), then to the Market-Frankford rapid transit. At Jefferson Station/Market East we picked up a heavy rail train to Norristown where we transferred to the  old Philadelphia & Western high-speed line to 69thStreet.

From there the Media trolley to its namesake (yes, there’s a town called Media, Pennsylvania, and it’s one of the last with a single track trolley right up the main street.) Reaching the end of the trolley line at Orange Street, we walked to the old PRR station, and boarded a train that ran through to West Trenton, New Jersey, although we alighted at Woodbourne, PA to meet our friend Pat Yough, who took us by road to a nearby pub.

Our return trip retraced our steps to Philadelphia’s suburban station, where after some trials and missteps, eventually found the appropriate bus (GASP!) and this brought us back to where we began.

The light was dreary, but I made photos anyway using with both my Lumix LX7 and FujiFilm digital cameras.

Market-Frankford Line at 40th_Street. FujiFilm XT1 photo.

Market-Frankford Line at 40th_Street. FujiFilm XT1 photo.
Norristown. FujiFilm XT1 photo.

Norristown. FujiFilm XT1 photo.
Norristown High-Speed Line car interior. Lumix LX7 photo.
69th Street, Upper Darby. FujiFilm XT1 photo.

Media, Pennsylvania. FujiFilm XT1 photo.
Media, Pennsylvania. FujiFilm XT1 photo.
Media, Pennsylvania. FujiFilm XT1 photo.

SEPTA Silverliner V at Woodbourne, PA. FujiFilm XT1.

The Vault brew pub in Yardley, Pennsylvania. FujiFilm XT1 photo.


Our return train on the old Reading Company at Yardley. FujiFilm XT1 photo.

Philadelphia City Hall. FujiFilm XT1 photo.

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Inky Gloom at Wilmington, Delaware.

Last night a damp inky gloom greeted us as we alighted from Amtrak’s Vermonter at the former Pennsylvania Railroad station at Wilmington, Delaware.

A SEPTA Silverliner V electric multiple unit set sat on the opposite platforms waiting to depart for Philadelphia.

I made several exposures with my Lumix LX7. Working with the RAW files in Lightroom, I maximize the amount of visual information in the photos by lightening shadows and darkening highlights while adjusting contrast and color saturation.

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Lost Archives: DARK, RAW, and Minimal.

A couple of weeks ago five cartons of slides were discovered in a closet.

These contained photos I exposed in the 1970s and early 1980s that I’d later rejected as ‘unsuitable for presentation.’

Sometimes the ‘rejects’ prove more interesting than the ‘keepers’.

When I was a teenager, I had a different vision than I did in later years. Although I grew up in a rural area, I was fascinated by urban settings.

SEPTA 69th Street, Media trolley. 1980.

Media, Pennsylvania. 1980.

Media, Pennsylvania. 1980.

My visual inspiration came from slide shows with family friend (and now regular Tracking the Light reader) Emile Tobenfeld, who specialized in innovative and creative urban abstract images. Other inspiration included Donald Duke’s book Night Train (published in 1961), and various main-stream media, including the film 2001.

By intent, I made color slides that were dark and minimalistic. These are raw images made by a kid with a Leica who could see, but who had very little technical prowess. They were intended for projection in dark room.

Newark City Subway, December 1981.

Later when I learned more about photography, I was discouraged from this sort of raw minimalism. Instead I was urged to photograph to capture greater detail, where sharpness was prized among other qualities. My photography adopted qualities that were ‘better suited for publication and commercial application’.

Although my vision continued to embrace some of the same compositional threads that I’d worked with in my earlier years, by the mid-1980s I rejected these early efforts because they were raw and unrefined. Today, I find them fascinating.

PATH Station at Exchange Place, Jersey City circa 1982.

Penn-Station, New York. December 1979.

MBTA Green Line, Boston, 1983.

MBTA Green Line, Boston, 1983.

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Brian’s Impossible Three-Way Puzzle Photo.

I say impossible because I’ve previously posted photo puzzles that I thought were pretty easy, and no one came up with the right answer (although there were some really creative attempts).

In other situations I’ve posted puzzles that sharp-eyed viewers nailed in the matter of minutes.

So! This is a three part puzzle.

Take a close look. And then look again.

  1. There’s no train, but can you spot  three distinct rail elements featured in this image?
  2. Do you see what’s WRONG with this photo.
  3. How did I do it?

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Dusk at Elm Street, Norristown, Pennsylvania.

Dusk at Elm Street, Norristown, Pennsylvania.Dusk at Elm Street, Norristown, Pennsylvania.

I exposed this view using my Lumix LX7. The angle of view is equivalent to a 24mm lens on 35mm film camera.

The ISO was set to 200, White Balance at ‘Auto’, shutter speed 1/25th of a second, and f-stop at ‘A’ (aperture priority which resulted in a f2.2 setting).

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Photographing SEPTA’s Rarest Electric at Jefferson Station, Philadelphia

SEPTA has a small fleet of electric locomotives; seven are AEM-7s (kin to Amtrak’s now retired fleet), one is a similar model ALP44 built by ABB Traction in 1996.

This one SEPTA ALP44 carries the road number 2308. It is among the regional rail operator’s most elusive locomotives. NJ Transit also operated ALP44s, but these have been out of service for a number of years.

Last week (November 2017) I was in the right place at the right time and caught 2308 arriving at Temple University (station) with a train destined for Thorndale. I boarded and traveled to Jefferson Station (formerly called Market East), where I made these images using my Lumix LX7.

Lumix LX7 photo.

Lumix LX7 photo.

Soon SEPTA will be receiving a fleet of new Siemens-built electrics, so I would assume that old 2308 is on borrowed time.

Recognizing rare equipment is part of making interesting railway images.

Is SEPTA’s 2308 the modern-day equivalent of the Pennsylvania Railroad’s DD2 electric (a rarely photographed, one-of-a-kind machine that looked similar to PRR’s common GG1)?

 

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Photography with an Independence Pass: A dozen new photos.

Last week, I bought my SEPTA Independence Day Pass at 1234 Market Street.

For a mere $13 this allows for unlimited travel on the SEPTA network (with a few minor restrictions). See SEPTA: www.septa.org/fares/pass/independence.html

I made good use of the pass, traveling over several heavy rail routes to make photos.

One of the greatest features of this pass is the ability to get on and off trains without concern for cost, or trying to explain to the conductor where I’m are traveling to. This allows me to change my plan on the spot if I see an interesting location.

SEPTA offers regular interval service on most of its suburban lines, with extra trains in the evening rush hour.

Lumix LX7 Photo.

FujiFilm XT1 photo at Berwyn, Pa.

FujiFilm XT1 photo at Berwyn, Pa.

Lumix LX7 photo on the Main Line at Merion, PA.

Lumix LX7 photo at Glenside, PA.

FujiFilm XT1 photo.

FujiFilm XT1 photo at Glenside.

Lumix LX7 photo.

FujiFilm XT1 photo.

SEPTA Silverliner IVs approach Temple. FujiFilm XT1 photo.

Interior of a Bombardier coach. Lumix LX7 photo.

SEPTA Silverliner IV interior. Lumix LX7 photo.

SEPTA at 30th Street Station. Lumix LX7 photo.

These digital photos were made using my Lumix LX7 and FujiFilm XT1 digital cameras.

 

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Dusk at Cynwyd; SEPTA’s most obscure branch?

Dusk is a mystical time to photograph; highlights are subdued, shadows are deep, while the prevailing light is soft and cool. Window light is equivalent to the outdoors, and railroad signal light seems more intense.

The short SEPTA line to Cynwyd in the northwestern Philadelphia suburbs is a vestige of Pennsylvania Railroad’s Schuylkill Valley line that once reached northward into anthracite country.

Today Cynwyd is the end of the line.

Until last week, it was one of the last segments of SEPTA’s Regional Rail network left for me to travel.

I arrived at dusk, and in that ‘blue hour’ and I made these photographs using my Lumix LX7 and FujiFilm XT1 digital cameras.

All things being equal I would have used a tripod, but I didn’t have one so with the XT1, I boosted the ISO to unusually high levels to compensate for the dim conditions.

FujiFilm XT1 with Zeiss 12mm lens. ISO 1600.

FujiFilm XT1 with Zeiss 12mm lens. ISO 1600.

Lumix LX7 ISO 200.

FujiFilm XT1 with 18-135mm Fujinon lens. ISO 1600.

FujiFilm XT1 with 18-135mm Fujinon lens. ISO 3200.

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Seeking Streetcars on a Rainy November Night; 10 New Photos.

To the uninitiated a cold windy rainy night might not seem like a good time to make urban photographs.

In my eye this is a fantastic opportunity to make unconventional images.

My brother and I planned to ride SEPTA’s No. 15 streetcar along Girard Avenue to have burgers and beer at Johnny Brenda’s located on Girard near the crossing of the Market-Frankford rapid transit line.

I worked with my Lumix LX7 hand-held to expose this selection of images.

Some of the street views were exposed using the Lumix’s ‘night mode’ that exposes a burst of images in rapid succession and combines them in-camera as a composite.

As you can see it was really lashing down and the most difficult part of this exercise was keeping the lens dry.

A Lumix LX7 night-mode image composite exposed at Girard and 41st Street.

A Lumix LX7 night-mode image composite exposed at Girard and 41st Street.

On a route 15 PCC car.

The back of the PCC car near the end of the run.

PCC’s pass on Girard near the Market-Frankford line elevated. Exposed handheld in ‘A’ mode.

A Lumix LX7 night-mode image composite exposed at Girard Avenue and Frankford Street.

A PCC takes the corner from Girard onto Frankford.

This was made with a relatively long exposure for a handheld photo.

Johnny Brenda’s bar was a welcome refuge from the rain.

Beneath the old elevated railway crossing  Girard. Sorry no PCC’s, I wasn’t in the mood to get any more wet that necessary to get home!

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SEPTA in the Subway; a brief tutorial on underground photography.

I made these views of SEPTA’s Market-Frankford Subway in Philadelphia using my Lumix LX7.

The ISO was set to 200; white balance to ‘Auto’, I adjusted the exposure using the aperture priority (‘A’ setting) and selected F stop manually.

I’ve included screen shots with detailed exposure/camera information.


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Another SEPTA PCC Pan.

It’s dusk and too dark for a conventional photograph without boosting the ISO to high levels.

So, I opt for a panned image, where I use a comparatively slow shutter speed and move the camera to follow the motion of the subject.

I’ve found that it helps to pick a point on the vehicle and stay with it.

It also helps to begin panning well before the shutter is released and continue to pan without changing your overall motion after the picture has been made.

This last part is crucial. Many pans are ruined when the photographer stops panning (or slows) at the very moment the shutter is released, which unfortunately can be a natural inclination that must be overcome with practice.

I exposed this pan-image of a SEPTA Route 15 PCC car on Girard Avenue on November 5, 2017.

Screen shot showing Lumix LX7 EXIF data including shutter speed, ISO and f-stop.

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Seven Retro-views on Retropan: West Trenton, New Jersey.

On one level the name of the film sounds a bit silly; ‘Retropan.’ This is actually a relatively new emulsion that aims to fulfill a classic aesthetic.

It is a soft, slightly grainy black & white negative film that provides a sensibility that reminds me of photos taken in the 1960s and 1970s.

As far as I’m concern this is a limited application film, but it has it’s place. I’ve documented my experiments with Foma’s Retropan previously over the last year. See:

Retropan 320—My First Experiment.

Retropan on the Rails; Experiments with My second Roll of Foma’s 320 ISO Black & White film.

I made these most recent Retropan photos at along the SEPTA/CSX former Reading Company tracks at West Trenton, New Jersey using a Nikon F3 with 24mm Nikkor lens.

But, yes I also made a few digital color photographs at the same location.

Working with multiple cameras and multiple types of media, allows me to take different visual approaches at the same time.

The old Reading Company station building at West Trenton has been adapted for other applications. In other words the station isn’t a station any more. Confusing matters is that it’s still at the station. Got it?

It’s been a very long time since this old stainless steel electric was the latest thing on steel wheels. These day it’s among SEPTA’s rolling antiques.

Wide-angle views with grainy black & white film screams late 1960s to me.

The ‘smart’ phone bursts the illusion in this view. Obviously not ‘back in the day’.

Well, except all the trains not at this station!

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SEPTA Trolleys on 38th Street—Acting on Opportunity.

Two weeks ago on my visit to Philadelphia, I was on my way to the University of Pennsylvania for a brief tour before heading to Amtrak’s 30th Street Station to board the Vermonter for Connecticut, on the way there in an ‘Uber’ (taxi) I notice the trolleys on the street.

Apparently SEPTA had its Center City trolley subway closed (for maintenance?) and so the trolleys that normally went below ground were working rarely utilized street trackage on 38th street instead.

How long this diversion as to be employed was beyond my knowledge at the time, but since I knew that I won’t be back in Philadelphia for many months, I only had this brief window to photograph this unusual operation.

I had just a few minutes to make images as I need to accomplish my tour and reach the station in little over an hour.

View from an Uber on 38th Street Philadelphia.

Leaning out of the window of the Uber taxi, I made this improvised view on 38th street.

A SEPTA trolley pauses at a traffic light waiting to turn on to 38th street. I manually adjusted the Lumix to compensate for the white trolley to avoid overexposure.

View from the Locust bridge over 38th Street that connects portions of the University of Pennsylvania campus.

Light and shadow on 38th Street.

On my walk over to 30th Street, I followed 38th Street to make some views from the sidewalk.

These photos were exposed using my Lumix LX7 digital camera.

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Take A Ride on SEPTA—July 2017.

This is my variation of the old ‘Take a Ride on the Reading’, since SEPTA is part Reading. (That’s the old Reading Company.)

SEPTA’s also part Pennsy—the late great Pennsylvania Railroad.

Buy Independence Pass on the train, and ride transit all day to your heart’s content.

Most of these photos (but not all, see captions) were made using my Lumix LX-7 compact digital camera over the course of a few days wandering around Philadelphia last week.

I’ve found that this low-key image-making device is great for urban environments. It’s small & light, easy to use, flexible & versatile, features a very sharp Leica lens, makes a nice RAW file and a color profiled JPG at the same time, and, best of all: it’s reasonably inconspicuous and non-threatening.

Lumix LX7 photo at SEPTA’s Philadelphia Airport station. The train goes directly to the terminals, no mussing about with people movers or bus connections. Hooray for SEPTA!

Exposed at West Trenton with my Fuji Film X-T1 digital camera.

Lumix LX7 photo.

Suburban Station Center City Philadelphia. Lumix LX7 photo

Lumix LX7 photo

Lumix LX7 photo

Lumix LX7 photo

Chestnut Hill West, Lumix LX7 photo

Lumix LX7 photo

Lumix LX7 photo at Chestnut Hill East.

Buses work the 23 route, which at one time was America’s longest City Street Car line.

Lumix LX7 photo

Market-Frankford Subway. Lumix LX7 photo

Broad Street Subway at City Hall. Lumix LX7 photo

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SEPTA’s Rare Birds Under Wire.

Amtrak has retired all of its once-common AEM-7 electrics.

SEPTA’s small fleet of AEM-7s remain on the roll, but replacements have been ordered. Soon the sun will set on America’s adaptation of the Swedish Rc-series electrics.

A couple of weeks ago, Pat Yough and I focused on SEPTA’s rare birds that typically only work rush hour push-pull services.

It was a fine bright evening to make commuter rail images and I used my FujiFilm X-T1 fitted with a 27mm pancake lens to expose these photographs.

SEPTA AEM-7 2305 leads train 9745 on the old Pennsylvania Railroad.

SEPTA 2303 at West Trenton, New Jersey.

Today’s relatively ordinary images of SEPTA AEM7 electrics under wire will soon be rare. Why wait to the last minute to make photographs of equipment soon to be extinct?

 

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SEPTA Silverliner IVs  on the Northeast Corridor—July 2017.

A half-century ago Pennsylvania Railroad’s common MP54 ‘owl-eyed’ electric multiple units plied its electrified lines largely unnoticed despite most serving for 40-50 years in daily traffic

Today’s equivalent are SEPTA’s Silverliner IVs that were built between 1974 and 1976 for Philadelphia-area electric suburban operation on former Pennsylvania Railroad and Reading Company lines.

Considering that these workhorses are now more than 40 years old, they are well worthy of attention from photographers. Many similar cars employed by NJ Transit have already been retired and scrapped.

I photographed this two-car SEPTA set at Levittown, Pennsylvania on July 7, 2017 using my FujiFilm X-T1 mirror-less digital camera.

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Trenton, New Jersey at Dusk—July 6, 2017; digital photography in low-light.

The other evening I arrived at Trenton, New Jersey on board Amtrak train 55 the Vermonter.

 

Lumix LX7 photo at Trenton, New Jersey, July 6, 2017.

The blue glow of dusk prevailed. That moment between daylight and evening when the hue of the light adds a extra atmosphere to photographs.

That is of course, unless your camera has its ‘auto white balance’ set, which will neutralize the color and make for blander, duller images.

To avoid this problem, I set my white balance to ‘daylight’, which forces the camera to interpret the bluer light more or less as I see it.

These images were exposed using my Panasonic Lumix LX7 in ‘Vivid’ mode at ISO 200.

SEPTA at Trenton, New Jersey, July 6, 2017. Lumix LX7 photo

 

A SEPTA train enters the station bound for Philadelphia.

Other than scaling the in-camera Jpgs for internet presentation, I’ve not made changes to the appearance of these photos in Post Processing; color balance, color temperature, contrast, exposure and sharpness were not altered during post processing.

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Amtrak’s battle-worn Amfleet, now 4 decades on the roll.

Amtrak 55, the Vermonter has the signal at Trenton. The diagonal arrangement of amber lights indicates ‘approach’.

Rare Bird on SEPTA—University City.

It was a rainy Tuesday last week when I made these photos near University City in Philadelphia.

Regional passenger operator SEPTA has two unusual road-switchers (nos. 60 and 61), model RL-1, built by Republic Locomotive.

As locomotives go, these are real rare-birds. Although I’ve seen these from the window of the train, I’d never before caught one on the line.

On this day, I saw engine 60 working SEPTA’s wire train.

I made several photos using my Lumix LX7, plus a film photo exposed on Foma Retropan 320 using a Nikon F3 with 50mm lens.

SEPTA 60 with a wire train.

Exposed with a Lumix LX7.

Here’s a similar view exposed on Foma Retropan 320 black & white film.

This Lumix LX7 view shows a Silverliner bound for Philadelphia 30th Street Station.

Needless to say it wasn’t a very bright day. But it always pays to capture unusual equipment regardless of atmospheric conditions.

 

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SEPTA No.10 Trolley Emerges from the Subway.

Working with my Panasonic Lumix LX-7, the other night I made these handheld views of SEPTA’s number 10 Trolley at the subway entrance off 36th Street in West Philadelphia.

To keep the trolley sharp, I panned the final image is this sequence. Thus, I moved the camera to keep pace with the streetcar.

Exposed with the Lumix LX7 in ‘A’ mode; f1.9 at 1/13th of a second. ISO 200.

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Fast 90—First Photos.

What better way to get a fresh view than to play with a new lens?

I’ve been working with my FujiFilm X-T1 mirror-less digital camera for nearly two years and it has proven to be an excellent tool.

The other day I visited Allen’s Camera in Levittown, Pennsylvania where I bought a Fujinon f2.0 90mm lens. I call this my ‘fast 90’ because of its relatively large aperture size for its length.

In the early 1990s, I routinely worked with a Nikon f1.8 105mm lens, and made thousands of Kodachrome slides with it.

Among the advantages of a ‘fast lens’ is the ability to work with shorter shutter speeds.

Where my 18-135mm zoom lens has a maximum aperture of f5.6, the ‘Fast 90’ is a full three stops faster. The difference is f5.6 at 1/125 versus f2.0 at 1/1000 working at ISO 200 on an overcast morning

Exposed at 1/1000 of a second.

Another advantage of a fast telephoto lens is the ability to use selective focus.

I’ve found selective focus exceptionally useful as a means for subtly guiding the eye through a complex composition.

I made this selection of images on the morning I bought the lens. Stayed tuned for more results later!

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Lumix Sunset; SEPTA on Girard Avenue—December 28, 2016.

The other day my brother and I drove along Philadelphia’s Girard Avenue on the way back from an errand.

This gave me the opportunity to make a few photographs along the way.

I had two cameras to play with. A Nikon F3 with 24mm lens loaded with Fomapan 100 Classic, and my Lumix LX7.

Inspired by my monochrome successes earlier this month, photographer Mike Gardner had encouraged me to make more Philly streetcar photos using black & white film, and so that’s what I did.

But, as you read this the images on film are still latent. As I worked the F3, I also popped off a few digital photos with the LX7. While anticipating the black & white, we can enjoy the digital images.

Not only does the LX7 produce instant results, but it’s a flexible tool with a very sharp lens.

Digital RAW file adjusted using Lightroom to improve exposure, contrast and color.

Digital RAW file adjusted using Lightroom to improve exposure, contrast and color.

Digital RAW file adjusted using Lightroom to improve exposure, contrast and color.

Digital RAW file adjusted using Lightroom to improve exposure, contrast and color.

Film versus digital? How about having your cake and eating it too?

 

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SEPTA at Night on Girard Avenue.

The other night, I used my Lumix LX7 to expose these views of SEPTA’s route 15 trolley on Girard Avenue in Philadelphia.

Working in ‘A’ mode (which allows me to select the aperture while the camera picks the shutter speed) I dialed in a 1/3 stop over exposure to allow for a more pleasing overall exposure to compensate for the dark sky and bright highlights.

Exposed in 'A' mode which produces both an in-camera Jpeg and a RAW file. This view was adjusted in post processing from the camera RAW file.
Exposed in ‘A’ mode which produces both an in-camera Jpeg and a RAW file. This view was adjusted in post processing from the camera RAW file.

Exposed in 'A' mode which produces both an in-camera Jpeg and a RAW file. This view was adjusted in post processing from the camera RAW file.
Exposed in ‘A’ mode which produces both an in-camera Jpeg and a RAW file. This view was adjusted in post processing from the camera RAW file.

septa_rt15_pcc_market_frankford_el_p1550977

Compare this adjusted RAW file with the image below exposed using the 'hand held night' mode. (explained below).
Compare this adjusted RAW file with the image below exposed using the ‘hand held night’ mode. (explained below).

I also made a couple of exposures using the Lumix’s built in ‘hand held night’ (one of the scene mode pre-selects, available by setting the top dial to SCN , pressing the menu button and scrolling through the options).

This is a composite image made in-camera by exposing with the Lumix's 'Hand Held Night' mode.
This is a composite image made in-camera by exposing with the Lumix’s ‘Hand Held Night’ mode.

The hand-held night mode was recommended to me by Denis McCabe. This makes a blended composite image from a half-dozen or so exposures automatically exposed in a relatively rapid sequence. It’s not perfect, but allows for decent images of relatively static scenes if you hold the camera steady.

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Clear Morning at Trenton, New Jersey.

The other morning I boarded Amtrak’s Cardinal for Chicago at Trenton, New Jersey.

While waiting for my train to arrive I made a few photos with my Lumix (and some others on film).

Here’s the Lumix views. Stay tuned for some views from the train; 28 hours via West Virginia.

SEPTA AEM-7 laying over for the weekend. Lumix LX7 photo.
SEPTA AEM-7 laying over for the weekend. Lumix LX7 photo.

Clear morning sun made for a variety of photo options. I'll be curious to see my black & white film views of this engine.
Clear morning sun made for a variety of photo options. I’ll be curious to see my black & white film views of this engine.

Just in case you didn't known where I was . . .
Just in case you didn’t know where I was . . .

Trenton is served by Amtrak, SEPTA and NJ Transit. Busy place even on a Sunday morning.
Trenton is served by Amtrak, SEPTA and NJ Transit. Busy place even on a Sunday morning.

Amtrak's Cardinal connects Trenton with Chicago three days a week. More Cardinal photos coming soon!
Amtrak’s Cardinal connects Trenton with Chicago three days a week. More Cardinal photos coming soon!

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SEPTA on Summer Evening: Silverliner on the old PRR Main Line.

Tracking the Light EXTRA post:

As a contrast to this morning’s frosty portrait view of a tightly cropped SEPTA Silverliner reflecting the snow on its inbound journey over former Pennsylvania Railroad rails, I thought I offer this summer evening’s view.

Berwin, Pennsylvania on the evening of June 30, 2012.
Berwin, Pennsylvania on the evening of June 30, 2012.

Like the earlier photo along the old Main Line (so-called because from the old ‘Main Line of Public Works) this depicts a Silverliner heading toward Philadelphia 30th Street.

However, this was a glorious summer’s evening  with warm low sun in the western sky and fresh green leaves on the trees.

The camera and lens combination were also similar. This morning’s tightly cropped image was exposed with my Canon EOS7D with a 200mm telephoto, while this view used the same camera body but with a 100mm telephoto.

Anyway, if the weather today has you longing for the warmer months, here’s something for which you may look forward!

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Two Years Ago: Portrait of SEPTA in the Snow at Overbrook, Pennsylvania.

Please note, if you are viewing this post on Google Plus, Tumbler, Facebook or other sites,  you’ll need to view Tracking the Light at:  http://briansolomon.com/trackingthelight/ for the correct (unmodified, compressed or cropped) perspective on this image.

It was exactly two years ago; on this day, January 23, 2014, I made this tightly composed portrait-view (vertically oriented) photograph of a SEPTA Silverliner IV at Overbrook, Pennsylvania.

Over the years I’ve made many photographs along the former Pennsylvania Railroad Main Line, and more than my fair share of views at Overbrook.

SEPTA’s Silverliners are common enough, so I tried something a little different. Using my Canon EOS 7D with 200mm telephoto, I composed a tight vertical image of the SEPTA train as it glided through the station.

This is the full-frame portrait oriented view as I exposed it on January 25, 2014.
This is the full-frame portrait oriented view as I exposed it on January 23, 2014.

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SEPTA Chrome Glint—Sunset in Philadelphia.

Staying with the theme of low-sun glint and color slide film. The other day I scanned this photo I exposed back in October 2006.

My brother Sean and I had been exploring SEPTA’s Route 15. At the end of the day (literally) I made this view looking west on Girard of an eastbound PCC.

SEPTA PCC on the Route 15 line, exposed on Fujichrome Velvia 100 using a Canon EOS-3 with 200mm lens.
SEPTA PCC on the Route 15 line, exposed on Fujichrome Velvia 100 using a Canon EOS-3 with 200mm lens.

Tracking the Light works with Film and Digital, and Color and Black & White. 

First Railway Photo(s) for 2016; SEPTA PCC on Parkside Avenue.

Philadelphia Fortuity:

Before January 2, 2016, I’d never seen a SEPTA PCC making the loop from 40th onto Parkside Avenue, then on to the normal number 15 route along Girard Avenue.

My motto is always have a camera at the ready. So while waiting at the traffic light, I made these views with my Panasonic Lumix LX7.

SEPTA_PCC_Parkside_and_Girard_P1370148

SEPTA_PCC_Parkside_and_Girard_P1370147

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SEPTA’s Number 15 Trolley—October 2015.

SEPTA’s number 15 trolley is among the subjects I regularly revisit on Tracking the Light. My brother lives just a few blocks from the line, which runs along Girard Avenue in Philadelphia.

Like Dublin’s LUAS tram routes, SEPTA’s 15 is a railway line that I’ve routinely used to get around, and that makes it an ideal subject to photograph. The historic PCC cars are an added bonus.

I exposed these views with my Lumix LX7 last Friday evening to and from my way to Johnny Brenda’s Tavern for dinner.

October sun on Girard Avenue. I used Lightroom to adjust the contrast of this image in post processing.
October sun on Girard Avenue. I used Lightroom to adjust the contrast of this image in post processing.

Looking east on Girard. Trolley service is about every 10 minutes, although cars tend to arrive in clusters.
Looking east on Girard. Trolley service is about every 10 minutes, although cars tend to arrive in clusters.

 

A relatively recent addition to the 15 route is the extension to a casino.
A relatively recent addition to the 15 route is the extension to a casino, seen here passing Widley Street.

The eastern section of the 15 trackage is presently being renovated, so all cars take the turn to and from the new extension. This car is making the turn onto Girard in the westward direction.
The eastern section of the 15 trackage is presently being renovated, so all cars take the turn to and from the new extension. This car is making the turn onto Girard in the westward direction.

SEPTA's number 15 trolley as seen on Girard Avenue from the Market-Frankfort El stop. Time exposure make with a Lumix LX7.
SEPTA’s number 15 trolley as seen on Girard Avenue from the Market-Frankfort El stop. Time exposure made with a Lumix LX7.

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SEPTA Update: Route 15 Trolley Service to be Bustituted!

Twelve New Color Photos!

On Wednesday June 10, 2015, my brother Sean and I took a spin on SEPTA’s PCCs that work Route 15 along Girard Avenue in Philadelphia.

SEPTA PCC passes the Philadelphia Zoo. Exposed with a Lumix LX7.
SEPTA PCC passes the Philadelphia Zoo. Exposed with a Lumix LX7.

Amtrak ACS-64 619 rolls across Girard Avenue on its way toward Philadelphia 30th Street Station. Exposed with a Lumix LX7.
Amtrak ACS-64 619 rolls across Girard Avenue on its way toward Philadelphia 30th Street Station. Exposed with a Lumix LX7.

SEPTA 15 Trolley near the Philadelphia Zoo. Exposed with a Lumix LX7.
SEPTA 15 Trolley near the Philadelphia Zoo. Exposed with a Lumix LX7.

Service notice on-board a SEPTA PCC. Exposed with a Lumix LX7.
Service notice on-board a SEPTA PCC. Exposed with a Lumix LX7.

The cars and stops featured service-notices advising passenger of a scheduled bus replacement due to begin on Sunday June 14 to September 5th.

The reason for this service alteration is necessary track work on approximately two miles of line.

While the cars were running, we made a variety of photographs.