My brother and I were changing trains at Washington D.C. on December 18, 1984. I had time to stealthily wander down the platforms and make photos of the Alco RS-1s that worked the station. I was pleased to feature three of the enigines in one image.
In the lead was GG1 electric number 4876.
After the spectacular January 15, 1953 Washington Union Station wreck, Pennsylvania Railroad rebuilt GG1 4876, which required substantial reconstruction resulting in an nearly new machine.
In the late 1970s and early 1980s, I made a project of photographing old 4876, at which time it was working for New Jersey Department of Transportation on New York & Long Branch suburban services.
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May 2002, Hologon View.
It’s always fun to play with a new piece of equipment. I’d just bought a 16mm flat field Hologon super wide angle lens for my Contax G2 and I used this to make some dramatic photos inside Washington Union.
This lens is specially corrected to eliminate barrel distortion (commonly associated with super wide lens design) but it must be kept completely level to avoid perspective convergence to vertical lines in the image. A bubble-level is provided in the clip-on viewfinder to aid with the leveling process.
For this image, rather than make any effort to keep the camera level, I happily embraced the effect of perspective convergence to make for a dramatic image of Washington Union’s magnificent barrel-vault ceiling.
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Tomorrow: looking back at the end of an era!