Tag Archives: #snow photography

Cities Sprinter in the Snow

Last month, during the brief spell of frost and snow, Kris and I rolled by Amtrak Keystone 615 at Bird-in-Hand.

It was so bright, it was hard to keep my eyes open.

The train was running lefthand (on the close track rather than far track) with a 600-series Siemens ‘Cities Sprinter’ high-horsepower electric at each end.

Blowing Snow

Here’s a lesson in snow photography:

Bright snow, black locomotive and arctic cold. The contrast between light and dark was a challenge, but the largest difficulty was the fine snow blowing across the open landscape, which blurred the hightlights and muted shadows in unexpected ways.

The raw cold hit me like a razor which made it difficult to think straight.

Yet, through it all, I persevered and made this sequence of Strasburg Rail Road 475 running tender first leading a mid-day train toward Leaman Place, Pennsylvania.

The lessons are: keep at it, get your focus point set where you need it, over expose by at least 1/3 of a stop, and don’t give up!

Tracking the Light Posts Daily! (Even when its cold)

Sun and Snow; Russell Plow on the Move

Friday, March 3, 2023, Conway Scenic operated a plow extra from North Conway to Attitash.

The sky was a clear azure dome; the snow a blazing white blanket. I exposed my photos using Nikon Z-Series cameras.

Establishing correct exposure was tricky, especially when the plow was backlit against a dark wall of leaf-less trees.

For the most part I handled exposure by placing the exposure setting dial in automatic-aperture priority (‘A’ mode) then manipulated the +/- exposure compensation control to make adjustments. The challenge was retaining detail in the snow while maintain good overall exposure.

In post processing, I adjusted the RAW-NEF file to maximize highlight and shadow detail in order to display greater amounts of infomation than exhibited by the in-camera Jpg.

Z6 with 70-200mm lens set to 96mm; exposure f6.3 1/2500 of a second, ISO 200.
Z6 with 70-200mm lens set to 200mm; exposure f11 1/2500 of a second, ISO 200. Exposure compenstation set to minus 1.
Nikon Z7-II with 24-70mm lens set at 55mm; exposure f4.0 at 1/1600 of a second, ISO 100.

Images edited for contrast and exposure in Lightroom.

Tracking the Light Posts Daily!

Plowing Snow! Part 1

Tuesday (January 24, 2023), Conway Scenic Railroad sent its 1934 vintage Russell snow plow westward to clear the line to Attitash .

There was at least a foot of snow on the ground.

The plow operated as Work Extra 255, with former Maine Central GP38 255 at the back pushing.

I was able to stay ahead of the plow extra and made several sets of photos using my Nikon Z6 with 70-200mm lens. I also recorded some video with my Z7-II mounted on a tripod.

Work Extra 255 approaches the Route 16/Route 302 grade crossing near White Mountain Oil in North Conway, New Hampshire. That’s my photo on the railroad’s billboard to the right of the tracks. I exposed it using my Fujifilm XT1 with 12mm Zeiss Touit lens. Silver Line Graphics did the design work on the billboard.
Work Extra 255 approached Glen-Ellis station.

Work Extra 255 clears the line near Goves west of milepost 66.

Tracking the Light Posts Daily!

Strasburg Rail Road in the Snow.

Yesterday morning (Saturday March 12, 2022), heavy wet snow fell on Strasburg, Pennsylvania.

Kris and I arrived about 11am to travel on the train, and I exposed this sequence of telephoto views using my Nikon Z6 with 70-200mm.

The combination of wonderfully preserved railroad equipment and windy wet snow made for some excellent conditions to make classic railroad vignettes.

Tracking the Light Posts Every Day!

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.

Tracking the Light Posts Daily!

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.

Tracking the Light Posts Daily!

COlorful Snow Train-Three Views

Saturday at North Conway, NH the combination fresh snow, a clear cold sky, and brightly painted EMD diesels in a quaint setting made for some great photo opportunities.

Although compact and lightweight, my Lumix LX7 is a handy tool for capturing railroad photos. I carry it with me often, even when I have bigger cameras at hand.

Tracking the Light Posts Daily!

Sun, Snow and Shadows at Attitash.

Yesterday, I was up early to help prepare for Conway Scenic Railroad’s first Snow Trains of the season.

I’d arranged a two-hourly interval schedule, based on a 930am boarding for the first train at North Conway.

It was clear and cold with a blue polarized sky.

I traveled with the head-end crew on the first two trains, and used the layover at Attitash as an opportunity to make photographs.

Since there is no run around track at the Attitash Whistle Stop, Conway Scenic Railroad operates the train ‘top and tailed’ (to borrow a British phrase) with locomotives at each end of the train. GP38 252 was positioned at the westend, GP38 255 at the east. The locomotives are not operated in multiple.

After arrival at Attitash, the head-end crew cuts out the westward locomotive, then sets up the engine at the eastend.

My visual challenge is the high contrast situation at Attitash caused by bright sun on fresh snow and inky shadows. Complicating matter was slight back lighting.

Fortunately, my Nikon Z6 has great exposure latitude, which facilitates post processing adjustment to help mitigate the harsh lighting situation.

I made more conventional images of the east end of the train at North Conway.

First 2022 Snow Train at Attitash.
First 2022 Snow Train at Attitash.
First 2022 Snow Train at Attitash.
Mascot fireman.
GP38 255 on the Snow Train at North Conway.
GP38 252 on the Snow Train at North Conway.

Tracking the Light Posts Daily!

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

Tracking the Light Posts Each and Every Day!