Tag Archives: #snow

Wine & Cheese bucking Snow at Dusk

Strasburg Rail Road’s evening Wine & Cheese train made for a stunning sunset subject as it climbed the hill toward Esbenshade Road last Saturday evening (March 12, 2022).

Drifting snow had filled the cuttings, which bitterly cold temperatures made for ice crystals in the evening sky that made for colorful lighting effects as the sun reached the horizon.

I braved a steady frosty wind to made these photos with my Nikon Z6 fitted with 70-200mm zoom. These images were edited from the camera NEF (RAW) files using Adobe Lightroom.

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When it Snows it Pours!

Friday, February 25, 2022, it snowed all day.

Yesterday, Saturday Feburary 26, I set up for the first Snow Train of the morning near the Ellis River Bridge in Glen, New Hampshire.

A massive mound of freshly plowed snow made for a elevated platform for which to stand upon.

As the train roared west over the Ellis, it set free a cascade of fresh show that showered down upon the train.

I made this telephoto view with my Nikon Z6 digital camera.

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Plowing Snow!

Friday, February 11, 2022, New Hampshire’s Conway Scenic operated its vintage Russell snow plow with former Maine Central Railroad GP38 255 pushing it west toward Attitash.

I followed the plow by road and made a few select digital photos with my Nikon Z6 fitted with 70-200mm lens.

To get a good snow exposure I dialed in ‘+3’ to the expose compensation, which helps keep the snow white. I metered manually with the in-camera ‘matrix meter’, then set both shutter speed and aperture manually.

Although I set the camera’s focas point, I let the Nikon’s autofocus system work as intended.

In a few instances, I hiked into locations to get the best angle where the snow was the deepest. On more than one occasion I found myself up to my hips in snow.

It was a good day out with the plow!

A couple of weeks ago, I put together a video for Conway Scenic on the operation of the plow. This was mostly filmed in 2021. It is available on You Tube at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bp5Qg-5_B6M

Intervale, NH.
Intervale, NH looking west toward Mount Washington.
Clearing the line at Glen, NH.
Glen, NH.
Working upgrade along Route 302 west of Glen, NH.

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Blowin’ Snow

Yesterday morning (December 9, 2021) it was 11 degrees F when I arrived at the North Conway Roundhouse.

I was part of a crew to take a light engine west on the Mountain Division to clear crossings.

On the way out to our engine, I paused to make this photo of Matt H clearing snow from the turntable.

And yes, it was as cold as it looks!

Photos exposed using my Nikon Z6 with 70-200mm Nikkor Z-series zoom.

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Snow at the Gateway—March 31, 2021

It was the earliest that Conway Scenic had cleared the line over Crawford Notch in a number of years. I couldn’t tell you how many.

The rock cutting a the Gateway on the final approach to the summit still had a good amount of snow.

However, considering that trains have been snow-bound at this rugged location, the mounds of soft and partially melted snow, represented only a nominal impediment to our westward progress.

I made still and video images of Conway Scenic GP7 573 breaking through the snow filled cut.

This photo was exposed digitally using my Nikon Z6 with 24-70mm lens.

The Gateway at Crawford Notch on March 31, 2021. File adjusted for exposure and color temperature using Adobe Lightroom.

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Red Engines in the Snow

Yesterday, Saturday March 6, 2021, Kris Sabbatino and I visited White River Junction, Vermont.

Hard crusty snow covered the ground under a bright polarized sky. Visually appealing conditions, but contrast and difficult to capture.

Key to making successful snow photos is exposing for the snow correctly.

If the snow is overexposed (too light), detail is lost and it becomes an amorphous white blob. If it is underexposed, then the snow will be rendered gray and other elements of the scene appear too dark.

Most automatic camera metering does not recognize snow and has a inherent bias to render it as gray instead of white, which if left unattended at the time of exposure will result in an underexposed file.

For this photo, I exposed manually. I gauged my exposure from experience, and allow the meter to read 2/3s of a stop over exposure. This still renders texture in the snow, but allows for easy corrections for the rest of scene in post production.

Below I display two versions of the camera RAW file exposed with my Nikon Z6 (NEF format). The top is the scaled but unmodified file. The bottom has been adjusted to make the most of the data recorded and lighten shadow areas while correcting color balance.

Vermont Rail System EMD diesels idle on the former Boston & Maine at White River Junction.
This the Adobe Lightroom work window showing the position of correction sliders after corrections were implemented to the create the second version.

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Intervale Cross

On Sunday, February 21, 2021, Kris Sabbatino and I visited the old Intervale, New Hampshire station site at Intervale Cross Road to catch the in-bound snow train from Attitash.

In the lead was former Maine Central GP7 573, one of Conway Scenic’s most productive locomotives. It is pictured on former home rails.

Historically, Intervale was the interchange between Maine Central’s Mountain Division and Boston & Maine’s Conway Branch.

Exposed digitally using my FujiFilm XT1. File converted from Fuji’s RAW format to a DNG file using Iridient X-Transformer and adjusted in Adobe Lightroom.

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A Ride on the Water Train

Yesterday—January 2, 2021—I traveled on Conway Scenic’s Water Train, ‘Work Extra 573,’ that cleared the line of snow and carried the tank car filled with 5,000 gallons of water to refill the tender of steam locomotive 7470.

This was the support train for the main event. Winter Steam was Conway Scenic’s first steam excursion of the new year. Locomotive 7470, the railroad’s former Grand Trunk Railway 0-6-0, followed the Water Train by about an hour, running to from North Conway, New Hampshire to Sawyers and back.

Sawyers is the siding on the old Maine Central Mountain Division located immediately timetable west of 4th Iron, where the railroad crosses Sawyer River.

I made all of these photos using my FujiFilm XT1 with 27mm pancake lens.

Stay tuned for photos of Winter Steam!

The view west along the Saco River at milepost 64 near Glen, New Hampshire.
Paused at Glen.
Testing the new pump on the waterer.

View from a snow bank at Glen near the Ellis River bridge.
Pause at Bartlett to clear switches.

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North Conway Snow

Wednesday night and Thursday (December 16 and 17, 2020) snow fell in the White Mountains.

The morning of December 18 dawned clear and bright with a few lingering clouds to temper the light.

December 19, 2020
December 18, 2020
December 18, 2020
December 18, 2020
December 18, 2020

I made these photos at the North Conway yard where I work for Conway Scenic Railroad.

All were exposed using my FujiFilm XT1 and processed in Adobe Lightroom

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Charlemont in the Snow!

Guilford GP40 353 was leading an eastward at Charlemont, Massachusetts in this December 2000 photograph.

I exposed this image on Fujichrome using a Nikon with 180mm Nikkor prime telephoto.

Diffused winter sun made for soft colors.

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White Flags: Extra 573 Clearing Snow Near Mountain Junction.

Friday, February 7, 2020, Conway Scenic dispatched former Maine Central GP7 573 as a work extra to clear the line to Attitash (near Bartlett, NH).

Icy rain and sleet had been falling throughout the day and it was beginning to turn to snow. Temperatures were expected to drop and by morning the snow would be like cement. Clearing the line while the snow was still slushy was imperative or this relatively small task could become an epic one.

Conway Scenic normally shuts its lines from early January until April. This year the railroad is planning a series of special trips during the last two weeks of February beginning with Cupid’s Express Valentines Day trains on February 14th, followed by Snow Trains that will run from North Conway to Attitash on a 90 minute interval beginning at 7:30 am.

The interval was my idea and I’ve planned a timetable for the event.

I traveled with the engine crew on 573 to document the day’s events and make notes. Near Mountain Junction (where the former Boston & Maine Conway Branch connects with the old Maine Central Mountain Division) 573 paused for the crew to clear a crossing. I made these photos using my FujiFilm XT1.

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Maine Central 573 at Milepost 64—Two photos.

As a follow up to Monday’s post, I’m presenting these two photos of Maine Central 573 at milepost 64 on the old Mountain Division.

Friday, January 17, 2020, I was traveling with the Conway Scenic crew on their frosty expedition west toward Bartlett to inspect the line and clear snow.

I arranged for them to drop me near milepost 64 (east of the old Glen & Jackson station) where the line runs along the Saco.

Here I set up Conway Scenic’s company video camera with the help of Connor Maher, and made a short clip of the engine passing.

I also exposed these images with my FujiFilm XT1 with 18-135mm lens.

After filming, the locomotive crew collected us.

Flying white flags, old 573 was on home rails at milepost 64 along the Saco River.

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Looking toward Mount Washington—three photos.

Friday, January 17, 2020, I joined the Conway Scenic train crew of a light engine sent west on the old Mountain Division to inspect the line and clear snow and as far as Rogers Crossing east of Bartlett, New Hampshire.

It was clear, cold afternoon, which made for some magnificent views along the Saco River and looking toward Mount Washington.

My primary intent was to document the move and gather some video footage of the railroad operating in the snow.

using my FujiFilm XT1 with 18-135mm lens, I made these views at milepost 62 west of Intervale.

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