As I approached the Tenneyville bridge in Palmer (that’s the Route 32 bridge in modern parlance), I heard two CSX trains talking to each other. It was obvious a meet was in progress between CP79 and CP83 (east and west ends of the signaled dispatcher controlled siding).
When I crossed the bridge, CSX Q293 (westward empty autoracks) was easing along below me. The signals at CP83 had just cleared and the sun had just peaked above the horizon.
In a matter of moments, the engineer on Q293 would begin to accelerate. I needed to act quickly.
With my VW, I can accelerate faster than a long freight train, and I was lucky that the roads were clear of traffic.
I drove to a known photo location near the location of the old Boston & Albany freight house (demolished in 1989). This has the advantage of being open, while providing a long view on the tangent track through Palmer yard toward the rising sun.
I arrived with just enough time to set my FujiFilm X-T1 and expose a series of photos of the train rolling west out of sunrise. Soft morning clouds dampened the harshness of the direct light.
Here I’ve included both a long telephoto view, and a wide angle to give you a sense for both the lighting and the location. The wide view required a bit of contrast control and exposure adjustment to make for a satisfactory final image.
In 1992, I was living on Haight Street in San Francisco, just a short walk from this location. One August morning, I got up early to make photos of Muni’s light rail cars exiting the Muni Metro on Duboce in the sunrise glint light.
For this image, I’ve used the trees at the left to shade the front element from direct sun to minimize flare. Although it was a clear morning, the sun was tinted by pollution that I remember as being a common effect in the Bay Area, especially in the summer.
My goal was to catch a car taking the wye from the J-Church line heading west on the N-Judah line, which was a common way for Muni to position cars in the morning. While I did make that photo, I felt this image was actually a better picture.
It shows an inbound J-Church car turning toward the subway portal with an N-Judah car outbound.
Although, I commonly used Kodachrome at the time, for this image I used Fujichrome 100 (before the introduction of Provia), which I processed myself at the photo studio where I worked in South San Francisco. Among my studio duties was running E6 transparency film. We used a roller transport machine and mixed the chemistry on site.
One year ago today (March 20, 2012), I made this rosy sunrise image at Pan Am Railway’s East Deerfield Yard (Massachusetts) using my Canon 7D fitted with an f2.8 200mm lens. East Deerfield has long been a favorite place to begin or finish a day’s photography. Its curved east-west orientation makes it ideal for working with sunrise and sunset. Plus as an operations hub, there’s often something on the move, or at least getting ready. The morning of March 20, 2012 was quiet enough, giving me time to make some interpretive views of the yard.