Tag Archives: #steam locomoitve

Merlin Under Steam

Main line steam continues to be a feature of Irish railway operations.

Friday, 6 September 2019, I made photographs of Railway Preservation Society of Ireland’s compound 4-4-0 under steam on its journey from Dublin Connolly to Killarney, County Kerry with the annual Steam Dreams rail tour.

This selection was exposed using my FujiFilm XT1 digital camera. I also made photos with my Lumix LX7 and a Nikon F3HP loaded with Kodak Tri-X.

Thanks to everyone at Irish Rail, RPSI and Steam Dreams for keeping steam alive in Ireland.

See: https://www.steamtrainsireland.com

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1385 Cylinder—Is this Art?

The driving cylinder is a crucial component of a reciprocating locomotive, yet the inside of this equipment is rarely pictured.

The other day, Richard Gruber organized a tour of locomotive 1385, a former Chicago & Northwestern class R-1 4-6-0—an old Alco steam locomotive that is undergoing a thorough restoration in Wisconsin.

Working with my Lumix LX7, I made a selection of digital images depicting the engine’s running gear and cylinders.

Placing the camera inside the fireman’s-side driving cylinder, I exposed this view as Scott Lothes—Director of the Center of Photography and Art in Madison—peered into the other end.

Exposing this photo was tricky. The need for a long exposure required me to balance the Lumix LX7 inside the cylinder and release the shutter using the camera’s self timer. To select the two – second self timer interval, I had to scroll through a series of menus fairly quickly. Further complicating matters was the extreme exposure difference between the inside of the cylinder and the shop environment. I dialed in an exposure compensation then selected ‘A’ for aperture priority. This is the camera-produced JPG without adjustment to contrast, exposure or color balance.

I was delighted with the photo, as was Scott.

So, does this photo-abstraction of 1385’s cylinder qualify as art? I only make the images. What do you think?

This image is a tribute to my late friend John Gruber, who organized it on more levels than we have space to describe here.

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