Tag Archives: Tram

Rainbow with Dublin’s LUAS-3 Photos.

On 2 October 2017, I was walking the LUAS Red Line in Dublin. The sun was out but a dark cloud was fast approaching from the north.

I could I see the rain coming.

While watching the sky, I met fellow photographer Ciarán Cooney. He too was watching the lighting conditions unfold, but was heading for the tram.

He said to me, “I have bad luck with rainbows. I suppose I’ll see this on Tracking the Light!”

A minute later he boarded the LUAS tram that appears in these images.

Lumix LX7 photo, Dublin, Ireland.
A LUAS Red Line tram on Benburb Street in Dublin. Lumix LX7 photo.
Less tram, more rainbow.

Tracking the Light posts daily.

 

Taking a Spin on Rome’s 19—Five new photos.

Rome’s tram line 19 still uses some pretty old streamlined cars.

Not only do these make interesting photographic subjects, but because they have opening windows the make for a great way to see (and photograph) Rome’s neighborhoods.

Lumix LX7 photo.
Lumix LX7 photo.
Lumix LX7 photo.
Lumix LX7 photo.
Lumix LX7 photo.
FujiFilm XT1 with 90mm f2.0 lens.

I wonder how many cities in Europe still have trams in daily revenue service that are more than 65 years old?

I made these photos in September 2017 using my Lumix LX7 and FujiFilm XT1 digital cameras during a spin on the 19 while exploring Rome with Honer Travers.

Tracking the Light Posts Daily.

 

 

LUAS Trial on Culture Night—22 September 2017.

It was the annual Dublin Culture Night Event when dozens of establishments open their doors and/or host special events free for the public.

I was making my rounds, and I happened upon a LUAS 4000-series tram making trials of the new Cross City trackage.

I believe in taking advantage of photographic opportunity when presented, and I made these views using my Lumix LX7.

LUAS trial on Parnell Street, Dublin. Regular service is still months away.
Trams on Marlborough and Abbey Streets. The distant tram is on a Cross City trackage trial. Lumix LX7 photo.

Tracking the Light Posts Daily!

Tram on O’Connell Street in Dublin: LUAS Cross City Trackage Trial

On Friday August 18, 2017, Mark Healy and I met to document a LUAS 5000-series tram trial on new Cross City trackage.

This was my first experience seeing a tram working recently completed Cross City trackage.

Mark and I have been documenting LUAS Cross City progress for more than two years.

Working with Lumix LX7 RAW file, I lightened shadows and adjusted contrast. In the distance is Dublin’s famous Spire.
I made this view using my Lumix LX7s HDR (high dynamic range) mode that digitally combines several images in-camera to allow for better shadow and highlight detail.
The trailing tram takes the points at the top of O’Connell Street to use the turn back loop to reach the southbound line on Parnell Street. Is this the first time a tram has negotiated this trackage? First time I’ve seen it anyway.

Tracking the Light Posts Daily!

Geneva Tram in Traffic.

A Geneva tram near Cornavin Station. FujiFilm X-T1 Photo.

I made this view in Geneva, Switzerland in April 2017. A tram waits in morning traffic. By using a telephoto perspective, I’ve compressed the scene and exaggerated the effect of the traffic jam.

Tracking the Light is on AutoPilot while Brian is traveling.

Sunrise Glint; Trams in Rome.

On April 6, 2017, I was up early to make photos of streetcars plying Rome’s streets.

Here, I’ve taken position where streetcars nip beneath the throat to Rome’s main passenger terminal. My goal was to work with the rosy rising sun to make some glint photos using my Lumix LX7.

These photos are all from the camera produced Jpg files. A little work in Lightroom might make for improved presentation, but that’s a topic for another day.

Any favorites?

I’m looking toward the rising sun working with glint, flare and silhouette—great elements to play with in the composing of interesting and potentially dramatic photographs.

By standing in the shadow of the railway overpass, I’ve blocked the sun from hitting the front element of the camera lens, thus eliminating the effects of flare, while retaining the glint on the side of the street car. I made several variations of this type of image, by playing with the light.

These narrow gauge cars work the vestige of an old interurban line.
Narrow gauge cars paused at a signal.

Tracking the Light Posts Daily.

Nocturnal Basel Tram Pan

Using my Panasonic Lumix LX7, I exposed this pan photograph of a city tram on the streets of Basel, Switzerland in April 2017.

I’d set the camera at ISO 250, and with the ‘A’ (aperture priority) mode set the aperture to its widest opening (f1.7), which allowed for a shutter speed of 1/8 of a second.

By panning (moving) with the tram, the relatively long shutter speed places the background in a sea of blur while keeping the tram car comparatively sharp.

Basel, Switzerland has a complicated narrow gauge tram system. Lumix LX7 photograph, April 2017.

Tracking the Light posts Daily.

 

Roman Trams

Well sort of.

Rome is one of the world’s most pictured cities, yet rarely does its tram network feature in photos.

So, on my brief visit to Rome I made many photos of its colourful urban rail-transit system.

Where else can you see multiple tram lines pass through a 3rd century city gate? Thanks to Stephen Hirsch for suggesting this photo location at Porta Maggiore.

Exposed using my Lumix LX7 in early April 2017.

 

Tracking the Light Posts Daily.

Milan Peter Witt at Dusk.

It was a drizzly dusk two weeks ago (April 2017) when I used my Lumix LX7 to expose this image of a Peter Witt streetcar in Milan, Italy.

With the Lumix set at ISO 200; my exposure was  f1.8 at ¼ (using  ‘A’ mode that allows me to select the aperture, while the camera automatically selects the shutter speed).

To steady the camera, I rested it on a railing conveniently located at the tram stop.

I’m fond of making night shots where there’s still a hint of colour in the sky.

For the next week Tracking the Light will be on Auto Pilot while Brian is traveling.

Dublin’s LUAS at Smithfield—March 2017.

Last week I used my Lumix LX7 to exposed this view of an eastbound tram on the LUAS Red Line at Smithfield.

This is an example of a low angle photograph, intended to make for a slightly more dramatic image. When I was much younger I made many photos of streetcars from this lower perspective, but not the sake of drama.

Tracking the Light Posts Daily.

Helsinki Tram—long pan.

In Aug 2001, I used my new Contax G2 rangefinder to pan this Helsinki tram. A version of this image was published as two page spread in April 2005 Trains Magazine.

Rangefinders offer several advantages when making pan photos.

On Thursday 9 March , 2017, one week from tonight I’ll be giving my Illustrated Lecture called Night Trains, Pendolinos, Iron ore, Timber and Trams to the Irish Railway Record Society in Dublin.

This will be delivered at the IRRS premises near Heuston Station in Dublin (opposite the entrance to the car park). I will begin at 7:30pm (1930).

Tracking the Light posts everyday!

Tracking the Light Special Post: LUAS Green Line Service Suspension—7 October 2016

Today (7 October 2016), Dublin’s LUAS Green Line was out of service owing to an unspecified disruption.

Mark Healy and I were exploring progress LUAS Cross City works near the St. Stephen’s Green, where we found no-less than four Alstom Citadis trams inoperable and parked.

As of 2:45pm, LUAS was reporting that Green Line service remained suspended.

More recent reports indicate it could be Saturday morning before service resumes.

See: https://www.luas.ie/travel-updates/

luas_disruption_p1520760
LUAS tram 5002 appears to have a pantograph tied down with a blue cable/securing device.

luas_disruption_p1520786 luas_disruption_p1520777 luas_disruption_p1520775 luas_disruption_p1520767

I exposed these photos of the stalled trams using my Lumix LX7.

Tracking the Light Posts Daily

Real Photo of Photo Collage of Trams on the side of a Bus—Dublin, September 2016.

 

I’m serious.

An historic photo of trams on O’Connell Street has been displayed on the side of a tour bus that’s on for the 100th anniversary of the 1916 Easter Rising in Dublin.

Also, a more modern image of a tram is part of the collage of images.

My view is an abstraction. I exposed this using a Nikon F3 with 50mm Nikkor lens on Ilford FP4 (35mm black & white film).

I processed it in Kodak HC110 using ‘dilution B’ (1:32 stock to water), stop, fix, wash dry (with various intermediate steps). Then scanned with an Epson V500 flatbed scanner for presentation here.

Dublin Bus on O’Connell Street in Dublin in September 2016. The tour bus is decorated with a collage of historic and modern images of Dublin trams.
Dublin Bus on O’Connell Street in Dublin in September 2016. The tour bus is decorated with a collage of historic and modern images of Dublin trams.

Tracking the Light posts daily!

Missing Photo File: Dresden, April 2002.

On 30 April 2002, I found myself in Dresden and perishing low on film.

I’d been photographing in Poland and Slovakia for the better part of two weeks and underestimated how many photos I’d make. (Those who know me well, will recall this being a common occurrence on big trips).

Anyway, I’d found a shop with some black & white film, and exposed a roll of HP5 using my Nikon N90S, (trying to stretch out what little slide film I had left), and making parsimonious use of my 120 film.

This had me in a knot, as Dresden is a visually fascinating place, and I was seeing images everywhere I looked!

When I got back to Dublin, I processed the roll of HP5 in ID11 (Ilford’s relative equivalent to Kodak’s D76) and sleeved it, but I never got around to making prints.

The other day (May 2016), I was searching for some German tram photos, when I rediscovered this roll mixed in with a host of other unprinted B&W negatives from the mid-2000s.

A preserved four-wheel tram grinds along in Dresden on 30 April 2002. I exposed this image using a Contax G2 with 28mm Biogon lens on Ilford HP5 black & white negative film. I used a deep red filter to adjust contrast. The other day I scanned it using an Epson V600 and then adjusted the file using Lightroom to tweak shadow detail and eliminate dust specs.
A preserved four-wheel tram grinds along in Dresden on 30 April 2002. I exposed this image using a Nikon N90S with 24mm lens on Ilford HP5 black & white negative film. I used a deep red filter to adjust contrast. The other day I scanned it using an Epson V600 and then adjusted the file using Lightroom to tweak shadow detail, improve sky contrast, and eliminate some unwanted dust specs.

What immediately caught my eye was this silhouetted image of a preserved four-wheel tram. Searching the internet, I can conclude this is a museum car operated by the StrassenbahnmuseumDresden.

This group has a website:

http://www.strassenbahnmuseum-dresden.de/index.htm

And a Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/StrassenbahnmuseumDresden

Brian Solomon’s Tracking the Light posts daily.

 

 

 

SNCF Valenciennes‑Revisited (April 2016). Six NEW photos.

Last October (2015), I visited Valenciennes in northern France. I stopped by again a few weeks ago during my April 2016 wanderings in France and Belgium.

Valenciences_station_DSCF6244

Valenciences_Station_w_tram_DSCF6240

In these views I focused on the old Chemin de fer du Nord Station (SNCF’s Gare de Valencienes) and the surrounding environment.

Using my FujiFilm X-T1, I made images that feature the old station as both subject and background. Notice how selective focus and use of light shifts the central interest from the old building to the tram.

SNCF_Gare_Valenciences_DSCF6278

Outback of the station, there are, of course, SNCF trains and an impressive array of trackage that make interesting subjects in their own right.

Together, the building, trams, SNCF trains and trackage make for a scene, but one not possible to adequately represent in one image. Thus this myriad collection of images. This is a work in progress.

SNCF_Valenciences_DSCF6269

An SNCF train approaches Gare de Valenciennes.
An SNCF train approaches Gare de Valenciennes.

Tracking the Light posts every day! (Have you noticed?) 

Strasbourg: 10 photos of Low Floor Trams in a Sophisticated European City

 

Strasbourg_Tram_P1440893It was a pleasantly warm Spring day when I set out with Lumix LX7 in hand to make a few photos of the Strasbourg trams.

Strasbourg was among the first French cities to re-adopt the electric tram, and in 1994 introduced an elegant modern tram system using a pioneer type of low-floor car (the first batch were  built by ABB) called the Eurotram.

I’ve been meaning to visit Strasbourg for a long time, but only recently managed to finally get there.

Any favorites from this selection?

Among my first fews of the Strasbourg tram system. Notice the rail-mounted cleaning truck in the distance.
Among my first views of the Strasbourg tram system. Notice the rail-mounted cleaning truck in the distance.

Strasbourg_Tram_P1440907

Contrast of old and new.
Contrast of old and new.

Strasbourg_Tram_P1440934

Like with many modern tram systems, in Strasbourg you must validate your paper ticket before boarding the car. I noted teams of fare enforcement specialists intimidating non-paying passengers.
Like with many modern tram systems, in Strasbourg you must validate your paper ticket before boarding the car. I noted teams of fare enforcement specialists intimidating non-paying passengers.
Strasbourg offers many places to include the trams in attractive cityscapes such as this one.
Strasbourg offers many places to include the trams in attractive cityscapes such as this one.
A few of the cars were painted in this lime, red and white livery.
A few of the cars were painted in this lime, red and white livery.

Strasbourg_tram_P1440885Strasbourg_Tram_P1440951

Europe’s Most Colourful Tram City? Lots of NEW photos!

I’ll offer Freiburg as one of Europe’s most colourful tram cities.

The combination of variety of cars, a range of paint liveries (advertising and otherwise), interesting trackage plus varied and interesting historic backdrops makes Freiburg hard to top.

Any suggested contenders?

Photos below exposed in April 2016 using my FujiFilm X-T1 digital camera.

Tram_HasemannStr_Freiburg_DSCF6008Tram_HasemannStr_Freiburg_DSCF6010Tram_HasemannStr_Freiburg_DSCF6037Tram_Freiburg_DSCF6080Tram_Freiburg_DSCF6098Duwag_Tram_Freiburg_DSCF6101Duwag_Tram_Freiburg_DSCF6113Duwag_Tram_Freiburg_DSCF6116Tram_Freiburg_DSCF6127Tram_Freiburg_DSCF6128Tram_Freiburg_DSCF6143Pepsi_Tram_Freiburg_DSCF6157CAF_Tram_Freiburg_DSCF6165Tram_Freiburg_DSCF6187arch_Tram_Freiburg_DSCF6195Mc_Donalds_arch_Tram_Freiburg_DSCF6197Tram_Freiburg_DSCF6200Tram_Freiburg_DSCF6201

Freiburg, Germany: New Tram on Cobblestone Streets.

Freiburg has a complex tram system with a great variety of equipment.

I made this view with my Lumix LX7 a week ago that features a new CAF tram gliding along cobblestone streets.

I’ve opted for a low angle to emphasize the cobblestones and the contrast between new and old.
I’ve opted for a low angle to emphasize the cobblestones and the contrast between new and old surfaces.

More Freiburg trams in future posts.

Tracking the Light is Daily.

Railways Under and Over; Tram and Train, Prague 2000.

Here we have two forms of railway transport in an active image.

I’ve always liked photos that show transport on two levels (or more). This photo worked out well. I caught a tram passing below a steeple-cab electric in suburban Prague in early June 2000.

What makes the whole image more interesting is the tram passenger flagging the car to stop. This puts a bit life in the photo.

Incidentally, if you haven’t been there, Prague is one of the great tram cities, and offers endless opportunities for photography.

Exposed on Fujichrome Sensia 100 with a Nikon F3T with 24mm lens. Slide scanned using an Epson Perfection 600, file adjusted for contrast using Lightroom.
Exposed on Fujichrome Sensia 100 with a Nikon F3T with 24mm lens. Slide scanned using an Epson Perfection 600, file adjusted for contrast using Lightroom.

Be generous, share Tracking the Light!

New photos are posted regularly!

Belgian Coastal Tramway—Revisited.

Last weekend (October 3, 2015), I made my second visit to the Belgian Coastal Tramway (LIJN Kusttram). This tramway is one of Europe’s more unusual railways. It’s a narrow-gauge electric interurban line that connects towns and cities along the Belgian coast using modern trams.

The setting is peculiar to my eye, as much of the coast is characterized by mile after mile of high-rise apartments that face North Sea beaches. Between resort areas are heavy port facilities, such as that at Zeebrugge.

Panoramic composite of the Belgian coast exposed using a FujiFilm X-T1.
Panoramic composite of the Belgian coast exposed using a FujiFilm X-T1.

On my first visit, back in March 2013, I traveled from Ostend to the south end of the line near the French border. Back then it was gray, cold, and exceptionally windy. In other words, it was a complete contrast to last weekend, when it was warm, sunny, and comparatively still.

During this more recent visit, I explored the North-end of the line with some of my Irish friends who are now living in Belgium. At no point did my two journeys on the coastal tramway overlap.

LIJN Kusttram the Knokke terminus at the north-end of the route. Lumix LX7 photo.
LIJN Kusttram the Knokke terminus at the north-end of the route. (The tram carries a destination for De Panne at the far south-end). Lumix LX7 photo.
Blankenberge Pier. Lumix LX7 photo.
Blankenberge Pier. Lumix LX7 photo.
Blenkenberg Pier. Lumix LX7.
Blenkenberg Pier. Lumix LX7.

One of these days I’ll need to visit again, and travel the line from end to end. I’ve by no means worked the most dramatic or most characteristic locations on the line.

Interestingly, I’ve seen relatively few published photos on the route, which makes it a bit more mysterious, and perhaps more interesting to explore.

Belgian Coastal Tramway at Blankenberge.
Belgian Coastal Tramway at Blankenberge.
Advertisements. Lumix LX7 photo.
Advertisements. Lumix LX7 photo.
Sunset on the Coast Tramway. Lumix LX7 Photo.
Sunset on the Coast Tramway. Lumix LX7 Photo.
A passenger validates a ticket on-board the Kusttram.
A passenger validates a ticket on-board the Kusttram.
Knokke terminus at dusk. exposed with a Lumix LX7.
Knokke terminus at dusk. exposed with a Lumix LX7. There are some 70 stops between Knokke and De Panne. That could take a lot of exploring!

Tracking the Light posts Daily!

Tracking the Light EXTRA: VIRGIN LUAS on Dublin’s Streets.

To quote the phrase, Just Sayin’.

Twice over the last 24 hours, LUAS tram 4012 has caught my attention. This wears the latest of recent advertising liveries.

The red lettering helps makes for more interesting photos, although the lighting was pretty poor. I’ve had to make a variety of contrast adjustments in LightRoom to put a bit of zest into otherwise flat street photos. Silver trams on a dull day.

My opportunities to photograph 4012 are relatively limited. Maybe the sun will shine tomorrow, but then again if doesn’t I have my ‘safety shots’.

Abbey Street Dublin. Lumix LX7 photo, contrast adjusted in post processing.
Abbey Street Dublin. Lumix LX7 photo, contrast adjusted in post processing.
Abbey Street Dublin. Lumix LX7 photo, contrast adjusted in post processing.
Abbey Street Dublin. Lumix LX7 photo, contrast adjusted in post processing.

Virgin_Luas_Abbey_St_P1330083

Tracking the Light Posts Daily!

Alstom Trams at Valenciennes, France—1 October 2015

For me it was like the LUAS transplanted. The trams at Valenciennes are variations of Alstom’s Citadis trams that have worked Dublin’s Green and Red Lines since 2004.

While, visiting Valenciennes, my host Mauno Pajunen and I went for spin on the light rail, and I made a variety of images using my Fuji X-T1 and Lumix LX7 digital cameras.

We benefitted from rich polarized autumn sun. Trams operated on a ten minute frequency on each of the two routes.

Tram_valenciences_DSCF3331 Tram_valenciences_DSCF3321 Tram_valenciences_DSCF3317 Tram_valenciences_DSCF3303 Tram_valenciences_DSCF3290

Tram_w_Bridge_valenciences_P1320760

LX7 Photo.
LX7 Photo.

Trams_at_valenciences_P1320752

Tracking the Light

 

Making ‘Before Photos’ while there’s still time.

In Dublin, LUAS Cross City works are underway. Ultimately, these new tram lines will link Red Line and Green Line routes (presently isolated from one another) and run all the way to Broombridge for an interface with Irish Rail’s line to Maynooth.

Back when the first two LUAS lines were under construction, I missed the opportunity to make lots of ‘before’ photos. I did make some, but not nearly enough.

The other morning was clear and bright, so I walked the route of the new tram line from the Midland Great Western terminus at Broadstone to O’Connell Bridge.

Excavation and track laying works are underway in several places along with detailed signs about the project. These photos probably won’t win prizes for artistic achievement, but I’m sure that they will age well, and make for excellent ‘before’ scenes in a few years time.

Map of LUAs Cross City works and plan. Lumix LX7 photo.
Map of LUAs Cross City works and plan. Lumix LX7 photo.
Detail of the old Midland Great Western terminal at Broadstone. The shed remains as an active bus depot (repair/storage facility), but passenger trains vacated the old terminus in the 1930s. Soon the LUAS will have a stop nearby. Lumix LX7 photo.
Detail of the old Midland Great Western terminal at Broadstone. The shed remains as an active bus depot (repair/storage facility), but passenger trains vacated the old terminus in the 1930s. Soon the LUAS will have a stop nearby. Unfortunately, while LUAS works are underway, it is difficult to make views of this historic building. Lumix LX7 photo.
View looking toward Dominic Street Upper from Broadstone. Dominic Street will carry the tracks from the city centre. Lumix LX7 photo.
View looking toward Dominic Street Upper from Broadstone. Dominic Street will carry the tracks from the city centre. Lumix LX7 photo.
View from Dominic Street Upper looking toward Broadstone. Lumix LX7 photo.
View from Dominic Street Upper looking toward Broadstone. Lumix LX7 photo.
Dominic Street Upper looking north.
Dominic Street Upper looking north.
LUAS works on Parnell Street. Lumix LX7 photo.
LUAS works on Parnell Street. Lumix LX7 photo.
LUAS works on Parnell Street. Lumix LX7 photo.
LUAS works on Parnell Street. Lumix LX7 photo.
LUAS works on Parnell Street. Lumix LX7 photo.
LUAS works on Parnell Street. Lumix LX7 photo.
O'Connell Street looking south.
O’Connell Street looking south.
O'Connell Street looking south. Lumix LX7 Photo.
O’Connell Street looking south. Lumix LX7 Photo.
O'Connell Street looking south. Lumix LX7 Photo.
O’Connell Street looking south. Lumix LX7 Photo.
O'Connell Street. Lumix LX7 Photo.
O’Connell Street. Lumix LX7 Photo.
FujiFilm XT-1 digital photo.
FujiFilm XT-1 digital photo.
LUAS Red Line tram at Blackhall Place. I wish I'd made a photo at this corner prior to 2004!
LUAS Red Line tram at Blackhall Place. I wish I’d made a photo at this corner prior to 2004! (That’s my point). FujiFilm X-T1.

Tracking the Light post daily!

LUAS at Dusk—Silvery Trams in Silhouette

The other evening, rain had cleared, and clear skies prevailed for a little while before sunset.

Yet, heavy clouds were encroaching from the west, making for some interesting evening light.

I made the opportunity to take a spin on Dublin’s LUAS Green Line.

Pausing at Dundrum, I  made photos of the trams crossing the Dargan Bridge.

The far end of the line at Brides Glen (I saw no brides) was a convenient place to make some portraits of the 5000-series LUAS Citadis tram that I’d traveled on.

I was one of two passengers to board on the return trip. It took the tram 39 minutes to make the run to St. Stephens Green. By time I arrived, the rain had closed in again.

The LUAS trams are a silver-tinted with lilac, with large plate windows, which makes them ideal for photos at dusk. The trams reflect the hues of the evening light.

I exposed these images using my Lumix LX7.

Inbound LUAS tram glides across the Dargan Bridge at Dundrum. Exposed as a RAW file with my Lumix LX7, white balance set to 'daylight', contrast adjusted in post processing.
Inbound LUAS tram glides across the Dargan Bridge at Dundrum. Exposed as a RAW file with my Lumix LX7, ISO 200, white balance set to ‘daylight’, contrast adjusted in post processing.
Outbound LUAS tram glides across the Dargan Bridge at Dundrum. Exposed as a RAW file with my Lumix LX7, ISO 80, white balance set to 'daylight', contrast adjusted in post processing.
Outbound LUAS tram glides across the Dargan Bridge at Dundrum. Exposed as a RAW file with my Lumix LX7, ISO 80, white balance set to ‘daylight’, contrast adjusted in post processing.
End of the line: Brides Glen at dusk. Exposed with a Lumix LX7 as a RAW file. No modification (except for scaling).
End of the line: Brides Glen at dusk. Exposed with a Lumix LX7 as a RAW file. No modification (except for scaling).
End of the line: Brides Glen at dusk. Exposed with a Lumix LX7 as a RAW file. Slight contrast adjustment in post processing.
End of the line: Brides Glen at dusk. Exposed with a Lumix LX7 as a RAW file. Slight contrast adjustment in post processing.
End of the line: Brides Glen at dusk. Exposed with a Lumix LX7 as a RAW file. No modification (except for scaling).
End of the line: Brides Glen at dusk. Exposed with a Lumix LX7 as a RAW file. No modification (except for scaling).
Interior of a LUAS tram at Brides Glen.
Interior of a LUAS tram at Brides Glen.

Tracking the Light posts every day.

Bonn-Beuel Revisited—3 photos.

Way back in August 1998, I was visiting a friend in Bonn for a few days. One warm evening I took the tram across the Rhein to Bonn-Beuel bahnhof on the heavily used right bank (east bank) line.

Fast forward 17 years: Along with my friends Denis McCabe, Gerry  Conmy and Stephen Hirsch, I revisited this location.

The trams still stop in front of the DB railway station, and it looks much the way I remember it.

LX7 photo.
LX7 photo, September 4, 2015.
LX7 photo.
LX7 photo.
LX7 photo.
LX7 photo, September 4, 2015.

Tracking the Light posts new material all the time.

Tram with a Rainbow—August 27, 2015.

Yesterday afternoon some unsettled weather blew through Dublin. In the course of less than an hour the sky went from blue to cloudy with rain showers and then back to blue.

Walking along the LUAS Red Line, I spotted an iridescent glow in the sky. It didn’t last long, but I thought I’d try to work with it.

 

As always, I had my LX7 handy.

Colour in the sky over Dublin.
Colour in the sky over Dublin.

Rainbow_with_LUAS_vert_P1300692

Trams run about every five minutes this time of day, so I made the most of my window.

To make the most of these photos I had to adjust contrast and saturation in Lightroom. I avoided the temptation to over do it. After all the rainbow should appear as I saw it. It didn’t need over-enhancement, just balance. I’ll write more about this subject later, but one of the great advancements of the digital age is the ability to control contrast in photos.

TRACKING THE LIGHT POSTS DAILY!

 

Riding the Tide: Norfolk, Virginia’s Light Rail.

  • In the last couple of decades, a number of North American cities have adopted light rail as a preferred mode of public transport.Personally, I don’t make distinctions between light rail lines, streetcar lines, interurban electric lines, and/or trolley lines, since all use essentially the same technology with minor variations in the way they are adapted.
  • Exposed with a Lumix LX7.
    Exposed with a Lumix LX7.
  • Ground level view along Plume Street in Norfolk. Exposed using my Fujifilm X-T1 which has an adjustable rear display that facilitates holding the camera at a very low angle without requiring a chiropractic visit afterwards.
    Ground level view along Plume Street in Norfolk. Exposed using my Fujifilm X-T1 which has an adjustable rear display that facilitates holding the camera at a very low angle without requiring a chiropractic visit afterwards.

    In early June, in between other Virginia-based rail-events, Pat Yough and I made a brief visit to Norfolk, Virginia to take a spin on that city’s new light rail system, which is cleverly called ‘The Tide.’

    Nice Siemens trams (light rail vehicles) glide along on regular intervals. Part of the route is built on an old railroad right of way. It is my understanding that plans are in the works to extend the route east toward Virginia Beach.

  • For four dollars you can Ride the Tide all day, and, if you so choose, take a bus ride too.
    For four dollars you can Ride the Tide all day, and, if you so choose, take a bus ride too.
    A map of the Tide in downtown Norfolk. Lumix LX7 photo.
    A map of the Tide in downtown Norfolk. Lumix LX7 photo.
    The Tide taking the turn on Bank Street. Fujifilm X-T1 photo.
    The Tide taking the turn on Bank Street. Fujifilm X-T1 photo.
    Lumix LX7 photo.
    Norfolk, Virginia is a tidy city. Plume Street. Lumix LX7 photo.
    At least one of the trams was dressed in a special livery. Lumix LX7 photo.
    At least one of the trams was dressed in a special livery. Lumix LX7 photo.
    At the east-end of the line. Old railroad tracks continue beyond this point and may someday carry the Tide further east.
    At the east-end of the line. Old railroad tracks continue beyond this point and may someday carry the Tide further east.
    Tide rules. Lumix LX7 photo.
    Tide rules. Lumix LX7 photo.
    Riding the Tide. Lumix LX7 photo.
    Riding the Tide. Lumix LX7 photo.

    Tide seats. Lumix LX7 photo.
    Tide seats. Lumix LX7 photo.
  • Tracking the Light posts new material every morning. 

    Subscribe today!

Boston’s Coolidge Corner—Sunday Afternoon in mid-May.

MBTA’s Beacon Street line to Cleveland Circle is a classic median running trolley route. Coolidge Corner is situated on a gradient and a gentle curve with a traditional traction shelter and lots of trees that help make it a cool place to photograph.

On our whirlwind tour of Boston transit a few weeks ago, Pat Yough and I spent a little while making photos here. The streetcars pass often, so in a relatively short period of time we were able to make a variety of angles.

An outbound MBTA Green Line train on the Beacon Street line near Coolidge Corner. Lumix LX7 photo.
An outbound MBTA Green Line train on the Beacon Street line near Coolidge Corner. Lumix LX7 photo.
Coolidge Corner. Lumix LX7 photo.
Coolidge Corner. Lumix LX7 photo.

This is one of the Green Line routes and some of the cars are in the 1970s-era green and white livery, while others are in a more modern teal and silver. I find the older livery photographs better.

Personally, I preferred the days when the PCC’s ruled this route, but those days are long gone. It’s still an interesting place to experiment with different camera-lens combinations.

Using my Lumix LX7 I made this very low-angle view of an outbound streetcar. The Lumix offers great depth of field, which allows for photos like this.
Using my Lumix LX7 I made this very low-angle view of an outbound streetcar. The Lumix LX7 offers great depth of field, which allows for photos like this. I like the blade of grass at the far lower right.
Vertical view of an outbound car exposed with my Fujifilm X-T1 with 18-135mm lens.
Vertical view of an outbound car exposed with my Fujifilm X-T1 with 18-135mm lens.
The classic transit shelter provides added interest and a bit of historical context. This isn't a modern light rail line, but rather a traditional trolley route operating modern cars. Fujifilm X-T1 photo.
The classic transit shelter provides added interest and a bit of historical context. This isn’t a modern light rail line, but rather a traditional trolley route operating modern cars. Fujifilm X-T1 photo.

Tracking the Light posts new material every morning.

Please share Tracking the Light!

http://briansolomon.com/trackingthelight/

Through the Streets of Brussels.

My experience with the Brussels tram network spans nearly twenty years. This fascinating railway network involves a complex route structure with lots of track and several different types of trams.

Street photography has its fair share of challenges. Automobiles and pedestrians mingle with trams in ways that make it difficult to set up shots.

Further complicating matters is the sedate shades of silver and bronze now favoured by STIB (the transit operator), which I find difficult to photograph satisfactorily.

However, in addition to the regular tram livery are a large number of specially painted advertising trams and a handful of old PCCs in the earlier yellow livery, which certainly add a bit of colour to the fleet.

These photos were all exposed during one afternoon in late March 2015.

STIB_25_Tram_near_Maiser-Patrie-Vaderland_Brussels_P1180929

STIB_25_Tram_near_Maiser_Brussels_P1180938

STIB_T2000_Tram_DeVinci_Brussels_P1180948

STIB_55_Tram_crossing_dual_carriageway_DeVinci_Brussels_P1180958STIB_92_Tram_and_yellow_PCC_at_Scharbeek_Brussels_P1180974

STIB_Nostalgie_Tram_Station_at_Schaerbeek_P1180997

STIB_92_Tram_near_Scharbeek_Brussels_P1180965

STIB_interior_P1190017

STIB_red_Tram_92_route_P1190018

STIB_Route_81_PCC_Janson_Brussels_P1190022

STIB_Route_97_PCC_Janson_Brussels_P1190032

STIB_Route_81_PCC_near_Midi_station_Brussels_P1190039

Every morning Tracking the Light posts new material.

Please share Tracking the Light!

http://briansolomon.com/trackingthelight/

 

Prague: Tatra Tram on Cobbled Streets

A visit to Prague in May 2000 fulfilled my desire to make gritty urban images. Using my Rolleiflex Model T and Nikon F3T, I exposed dozens of photographs of eclectic Bohemian architecture and electric railed vehicles.

Tatra Tram on Cobbled Streets—cropped view.
Tatra Tram on Cobbled Streets—cropped view.

This image of Tatra T3 working westbound on Prague’s number 9 route is typical of my photography from that trip.

Prague is one of those great cities that seems to beckon a photo at every turn. Or certainly that was my impression.

I’m presenting two versions of the image: the first is tightly cropped view made possible by the camera’s excellent optics and careful processing of the film (also for some adjustments for contrast in digital post-processing); the second is a pure, un-cropped image. Take your pick!

Un-cropped view of a tram on the number 9 route in Prague.
Un-cropped and unmodified view of a tram on the number 9 route in Prague.

Tracking the Light posts new material every morning.

Please share Tracking the Light!

http://briansolomon.com/trackingthelight/

Belgian Narrow Gauge PCC

On March 26, 2013, I had 47 minutes to change trains at Antwerpen Centraal (Antwerp Central Station).

I used my time to wander around and make photos, including this image of some old PCC trams working narrow gauge tracks near the station.

Antwerp. Exposed with my Lumix LX3
Antwerp. Exposed with my Lumix LX3

My previous visits to Antwerp were plagued by dull light, which too often afflicts coastal regions along the North Sea. This morning I was rewarded with low rich sun.

Tracking the Light posts new material every morning.

Please share Tracking the Light!

http://briansolomon.com/trackingthelight/

City of the Future: Rotterdam

August 2014.

Terminus of Rotterdam's number 7 tram near the very Dutch sounding Tulip Inn. Lumix LX7 photo
Terminus of Rotterdam‘s number 7 tram near the very Dutch sounding Tulip Inn. Lumix LX7 photo

I visited Rotterdam for an afternoon and evening. This is considered The Netherland’s architechtural capital and certainly features a wide variety of unusual modern buildings.

Rotterdam had been left in ruins after the Second World War, and over the last seven decades has been rebuilt in a style unlike any place else I’ve even seen. For me, its next closest cousin is Toyko, and that’s a bit of a stretch.

Lego-land on steroids! Lumix LX7 photo.
Lego-land on steroids!
Lumix LX7 photo.
The famed Cube House, which allows you to wander into an Escher-like setting. Lumix LX7 photo
The famed Cube House, which allows you to wander into an Escher-like setting. Lumix LX7 photo
RET train passing below the Cube House. Lumix LX7 photo
RET train passing below the Cube House. Lumix LX7 photo
A burst of sun illuminates at tram paused at a waterfront station. Canon EOS 7D with 200mm lens.
A burst of sun illuminates at tram paused at a waterfront station. Canon EOS 7D with 200mm lens.
Trams with skyscrapers, Rotterdam. Lumix LX7 photo
Trams with skyscrapers, Rotterdam. Lumix LX7 photo
What better way to see a city? Rotterdams trams are clean and feature large windows. Lumix LX7 photo
What better way to see a city? Rotterdams trams are clean and feature large windows. Lumix LX7 photo

The city has an excellent modern tram system, a stunning underground metro, and world-class railway connections.

The city revolves around the port, is one of the busiest in Europe, and a central focus of much of the water-front architecture.

I found it an intriguing place to make photographs. My regret was that my visit was so short. My three cameras were kept busy through my wanderings.

Lumix LX7 photo
Lumix LX7 photo
Erasmusbrug, Rotterdam.
Erasmusbrug, Rotterdam.
Containers outbound at Erasmusbrug, Rotterdam. Lumix LX7 photo.
Containers outbound at Erasmusbrug, Rotterdam. Lumix LX7 photo.
Tram pan in central Rotterdam. Lumix LX7 photo.
Tram pan in central Rotterdam. Lumix LX7 photo.
RET number 8 tram.
RET number 8 tram.
Number 7 tram terminus.
Number 7 tram terminus.

Tomorrow! Rotterdam Centraal—one of Europe’s newest stations.

Tracking the Light posts new material every morning.

Please share Tracking the Light!

http://briansolomon.com/trackingthelight/

 

Modern Trams in an Historic City

Similar to Dublin’s LUAS.

A modern Alstom Citadis tram glides across cobblestone streets in Reims, France in August 2014. Lumix LX7 photo. Notice the ground-level power suppply.
A modern Alstom Citadis tram glides across cobblestone streets in Reims, France in August 2014. Lumix LX7 photo. Notice the ground-level power supply.

In August, I made a brief visit to Reims in northeastern France. This city is steeped in history and now boasts one of Europe’s newest tram networks, which opened in Spring 2011.

Reims cathedral. Lumix LX7 photo.
Reims cathedral. Lumix LX7 photo.
Trams pass in Reims. Lumix LX7 photo.
Trams pass in Reims. Lumix LX7 photo.
Canon EOS 7D with 200mm lens.
Canon EOS 7D with 200mm lens.

Operated by Veolia Trandev, this system covers just 11.2 kilometers (just under seven miles). Like Dublin’s LUAS it uses modern Alstom Citadis trams. These have a distinctive styling variation with front sections designed to mimic the shape of a champagne flute—which pays homage to Reims’ role as ‘capital of the champagne region’

The trams make the same ‘bong bong’ warning sounds as they navigate city streets.

Interestingly, the relatively small tram fleet are dressed in eight different colours.

One of the most innovative elements of the Reims system is its application of a modern ground level power supply that is used through the historic city center to avoid unsightly wires.

In my few hours wandering Reims, I made just a handful of digital photos plus a couple of colour slides.

Eight different colours decorate Reims trams. Lumix LX7 photo.
Eight different colours decorate Reims trams. Lumix LX7 photo.
Vestiges of Reims original narrow gauge tram system remain. The modern system is standard gauge. Lumix LX7 photo.
Vestiges of Reims original narrow gauge tram system remain. The modern system is standard gauge. Lumix LX7 photo.
A Roman arch tells of Reims history. Augustus was here. Lumix LX7 photo.
A Roman arch tells of Reims history. Augustus was here. Lumix LX7 photo.
Near the Roman arch the trams change power supply, going from ground level to overhead wires. Lumix LX7 photo.
Near the Roman arch the trams change power supply, going from ground level to overhead wires. Lumix LX7 photo.
Lumix LX7 photo.
Lumix LX7 photo.
Lumix LX7 photo.
Lumix LX7 photo.

Tracking the Light posts new material every morning.

Please share Tracking the Light!

http://briansolomon.com/trackingthelight/