High sun in June doesn’t offer the most flattering light. Straight up and down sun, with harsh contrast, and inky shadows conspire to make for difficult photos.
Last week, Paul Goewey and I waited at this rural grade crossing near Cavendish, Vermont for Vermont Rail System’s southward (eastward) freight 263. Slow orders and other delays resulted in a much longer than expected wait.
I had Fomapan 100 black & white film in the Leica 3A. I’ve been experimenting with this Czech-made film since October last year. Among its benefits is its exceptional ability to capture shadow detail.
To intensify this desirable characteristic, I processed the film with two-stage development. First I let the film soak at 68F in a water bath mixed with a drop of HC110 and Kodak Photoflo for about 3 minutes.
For the primary developer I used Ilford Perceptol Stock for 5 minutes 25 seconds at 69F with very gentle agitation every 60 seconds. Then stop bath, two bath fixer, 1st rinse, Permawash, 10 minute second rinse.
I scanned the negatives using an Epson Perfection V750 Pro flatbed scanner, then imported the negatives into Lightroom.
Ideally my chemical processing should yield negatives that don’t require work in post processing. But in this case I found I needed to make minor adjustments to contrast and exposure.
I’ve presented two examples; one is scaled but otherwise unaltered. The other has my exposure and contrast adjustments.
June 7, 2017 was a rare crystal clear day. Paul Goewey and I headed north to Vermont to retrace the path of the old Rutland Railroad, and retrace our own footsteps.
Many years earlier, we had made a similar trip to this railroad to photograph Maine Central RS-11 802 that had been loaned to the Green Mountain Railroad for the run from Bellows Falls to Rutland.
Where our 1983 adventured occurred in November on a gloomy gray day that soon turned snowy, this most recent trip benefitted from very fine conditions.
As we drove toward Rutland on Vermont Highway 103, we recalled the details of the earlier trip
In Rutland we located VRS freight 263 that was getting ready to depart. Positioning ourselves on the grade to Mount Holly we waited. Once the freight passed our first spot we entered in its pursuit, as one does, to make more photographs.
Among the spots we preselected was this view of the Cuttingsville Trestle. I selected an angle similar to that featured by famous photographs made in Rutland Railroad days by accomplished photographer Jim Shaughnessy.
I’ve included the technical details in my caption above.
Finding peak autumn color is always a challenge, and finding it with a train moving can be even more difficult. It always seems that the best color isn’t anywhere near the tracks. On this day in 2004, the view at Mt. Holly was an exception to the rule.