Tag Archives: Vernon

Weedy Summer: New England Central 611 at Vernon, Vermont.

Canon EOS 7D with 200mm lens.

Warm sunny summer mornings are very pleasant. However with the warm weather comes rapid plant growth which can complicate railroad photography.

Take for example these views that I made at Vernon, Vermont at the end of June, 2019.

New England Central’s 611 crew was taking Brattleboro-Palmer turn southbound with locomotive 3476 in the lead (a one upon a time EMD SD45 re-built to a SD40-2/’SD40-3’ configuration.)

To get a bit of elevation, I scaled a mound on the east side of the line, near the grade crossing at the switch for the old power plant.

I liked the cows grazing in the nearby field, so working with my Canon EOS-7D with 200mm lens, I made a distant view. Unfortunately for the, the brush had grown so much that it seems like the freight is emerging from the undergrowth!

I also made a few photos with a FujiFilm XT1 and 27mm pancake lens. Of these, the more distant view seems to work better from a compositional standpoint. SD45 enthusiasts make argue otherwise!

FujiFilm XT1 with 27mm lens.

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New England Central Spring at Vernon, Vermont!

Yesterday, May 6, 2019, my old friends Paul Goewey, John Peters and I made a foray to Brattleboro to intercept New England Central’s 611 on its southward run to Palmer. We didn’t have to wait very long!

At Vernon, we paused to make photographs. I’ve always been partial to the view with the farm and the unusually tall tree.

The morning sun was lightly dappled by clouds making for some slight diffused light. Working with a Lumix LX7 and FujiFilm XT1, I made a series of photographs as the freight roared passed. Soon we continued our pursuit, aiming to make more photos in the lush Spring greenery and low morning sun

Lumix LX7
FujiFilm XT1.
FujiFilm XT1.

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Four New Photos: New England Central Six-Motor EMDs in Orange.

After years of operating its fleet of second-hand EMD diesels in a rainbow of ragtag paint liveries, today most of New England Central’s locomotives wear clean Genesee &  Wyoming corporate colors.

A few of the 1995 painted blue and yellow GP38s survive, lately working the Palmer area and south into Connecticut.

New England Central at East Northfield; Boston & Maine Connecticut River Line at the right (operated by Pan Am).

Fear not, I have no shortage of images from New England Central’s patch-work paint era.

Working with my FujiFilm X-T1 digital camera, I made these photos last week, of freight 611 on its northward run to Brattleboro, Vermont from Palmer, Massachusetts.

Soft afternoon sun and a matched set of 1960s-era six-motor EMD diesels in clean orange paint makes for a nice subject.

A ‘grade crossing wedgie’ (tight view of locomotive crossing a road) in South Vernon, Vermont.

A crossing view in Vernon featuring the road.

New England Central 611 approaching Brattleboro, Vermont on a causeway across a Connecticut River backwater.

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Close and Closer—Compositional Considerations: New England Central at Vernon, Vermont.

Mike Gardner and I had driven up from Palmer, Massachusetts with a plan to intercept New England Central’s morning freight 611 that runs south weekdays from Brattleboro, Vermont to Palmer and back.

As we crossed the Massachusetts-Vermont state line at East Northfield, we heard 611 approaching.

Having photographed trains here before, we opted to make our first set in a farmer’s field right off the road.

I exposed these two views with my FujiFilm X-T1 with 18-135mm adjustable zoom lens.

On this morning I was delighted to find a unified orange locomotive consist.

Of these two images, one closer than the other, I’ve strategically positioned the orange locomotives in the frame.

Almost a ‘stardard view’. Compare the relative size of the barn with the train.

This wide-angle view alters the perspective on the locomotives a bit.

Considering the various elements—locomotives, barn, fields left and right and a pastel sky above—Which of these photos do you prefer?

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611 on the Fly.

Sorry, not the N&W J.

The other day when photographer Mike Gardner and I were in hot pursuit of New England Central freight 611, and we saw this scene unfolding as we approached the Vermont-Massachusetts state line.

The locomotives were catching the light against a dramatic sky in a wide-open landscape.

Wonderful, but we were sorely out of position.

This 112-car freight had been making better progress than I anticipated.

Rather than bemoan the loss of a cosmic shot, I rolled down window and popped off a few frames with my old Leica IIIA.

Running and gunning old school: multitasking, I guessed the exposure (f11 1/500 with HP5 rated at 320) and fixed the rangefinder to infinity. Click.


When you see a true photograph, act decisively—no regrets.

I wish I this clever in other areas.

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Vermonter at Vernon.

Saturday, October 10th, I exposed a series of photographs of Amtrak 54 (northward Vermonter) at Vernon, Vermont.

Low sun and richly colored vegetation made for a simple, but attractive scene.

Starting with the shadow in the foreground, I set up a graphic composition using a series of simple line and color transitions designed to complement and emphasize the Amtrak train.

Amtrak's Vermonter at Vernon, Vermont on October 10, 2015. Exposed with a FujiFilm X-T1.
Amtrak’s Vermonter at Vernon, Vermont on October 10, 2015. Exposed with a FujiFilm X-T1.

2 Amtrak_Vermonter_Vernon_Vt_DSCF3662

Which version do you think is more effective: the closer view, or the image where the Amtrak train is slightly more distant?

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