Using my Canon 7D with a 100-400mm zoom lens, I exposed this view of New England Central 608 approaching Stateline Summit on the Connecticut-Massachusetts boundary.
I selected this perspective to illustrate the undulating grade profile of the former Central Vermont Railway approaching Stateline Summit. The train is crossing the ‘false summit’ while the top of the grade is the rise in tracks near the switch stand.
I’m standing north of the state line looking south; the train is in Connecticut.
While this camera-lens combination doesn’t represent my sharpest equipment, it is useful for photos like this one.
Earlier in the month I’ve highlighted various photographic adventures with New England Central 608 (freight that works from Willimantic, Connecticut to Palmer and back). Today’s post focuses on the southward journey.
Over the years, I’ve photographed many trains climbing the former Central Vermont Railway grade over State Line Hill, and beyond into Connecticut, so this chase is old hat for me.
Yet, I’m always looking for a new angle, or to place today’s train in a classic setting that I may have captured years ago.
These views are all from the morning of May 17, 2017 and exposed with my FujiFilm X-T1 digital camera.
Lately, New England Central’s (NECR) Willimantic-Palmer freight 608 has been running on favorable schedule for photography.
If you’ve been following Tracking the Light lately, you might have gleaned the mistaken impression that New England Central’s northward freight can only be photographed hard out of the sun at Stafford Springs, Connecticut.
In fact on its present schedule there are many nicely lit photographs of the northward run between Willington, Connecticut and Palmer, Massachusetts, this time of year.
And, when the crew turns quickly at Palmer, there can be a host of very nicely lit locations in the southward direction.
It helps to know where and when to go. I’ve been at this a while. Back in Central Vermont Railway days (precursor to New England Central) and before I could drive, I’d chase this line on my bicycle. By the time I was 15 I knew all the best angles.
These views are from one productive morning a few weeks ago. More to come!
I made these photos the other evening at Bridge Street in Monson, Massachusetts.
New England Central 608 from Willimantic, Connecticut was paused waiting for traffic ahead to clear up.
Despite the cold, I took the opportunity to make a few time exposures with my Lumix LX-7. My exposures were aided by a blanket of crusty snow that reflected some of the ambient light.
To keep the camera from shaking, I rested it on the handrails of the bridge and used the self timer to actuate the shutter. I exposed in ‘M’ mode (manual) using the camera’s histogram to gauge the length of my shutter opening.
Owing to the dimly lit scene, I still needed to boost the shadows in post processing to allow for a more visually appealing image. Opportunities such as this make for good exercises in existing-light night photography.