Tag Archives: West Springfield

Classic Chrome: New New York City R-62A Subway Cars on Conrail—May 1986.


I like the apparent redundancy of today’s title.

Back in May 1986, I made this Kodachrome view of brand-new Bombardier-built New York City R-62A subway cars at Conrail’s West Springfield Yard (Massachusetts).

The cars would come down the Central Vermont Railway to Palmer where they were interchanged to Conrail for delivery to New York City.

Check out the vintage Trailer-Train flatcars carrying the subway cars.

Below is the scaled unmodified scan; and an adjusted scan correcting contrast, color temperature and level.

Exposed on K64 using a Leica; scanned this morning using a Nikon Super Coolscan5000 slide scanner and processed in Lightroom. Scaled, but otherwise unmodified scan.


This is an adjusted scan that corrects for contrast, color temperature and level.

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My ‘culls’ from the 2019 Amherst Railway Society Hobby Show.


Extras and Outtakes

So what do I do with the extra photographs? You know, the images good enough to expose and edit, but not good enough to make my first, second or third presentations?

I exhibit them here! Hooray!

Sometimes we can learn from the outtakes.

Any favorites?

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Telephoto Views: Amherst Show January 2019.


This is part 3 in my series on photos of the January 2019 Amherst Railway Society BIG Railroad Hobby Show.

Previous views were exposed using my Lumix LX7 (see: http://briansolomon.com/trackingthelight/2019/01/27/2019-big-railroad-show-a-dozen-more-photos/) but these photos were made using my FujFilm XT1 fitted with a 90mm f2.0 telephoto lens.

The combination of a long focal length lens, with close focus and very wide aperture allows for a shallow depth of field. This technique enabled me to highlight select subjects in the image area while allowing potentially distracting elements to blend into a sea of blur.

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Amherst Railway Society BIG Railroad Hobby Show—2019 Part 1.

Yesterday, Saturday January 26, 2019, I attended the annual Amherst Railway Society BIG Railroad Hobby Show in West Springfield, Massachusetts.

This was an opportunity to connect with old friends, watch small trains run in circles, collect ephemera and old pictures and make lots of new photos.

Here’s a few from my ‘new’ Lumix LX7! More to come soon!

Bus glint!


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Drop Under Light—CSX Q424 at Mitteneague (West Springfield).

A dreary evening at Mitteneague in West Springfield, Massachusetts was briefly brightened by a wink of drop under sun.

Luckily for me, at the very moment the trees in the distance were illuminated by this unexpected golden glow, I heard CSX’s Selkirk to West Springfield manifest freight Q424 approaching.

I exposed these trailing views with my 90mm f2.0 Fujinon lens.

Below are two variations of each image; one is a JPG made from the RAW without interpretation, the other is an adjusted file to represent what I saw at the time of exposure.

This is a scaled JPG made from the Camera RAW file without interpretation. Compare this with the adjust file below.

Image 2: To make for a more realistic and pleasing image, I adjusted the RAW file in Lightroom. Specifically I lightened the shadows while adjusting the blacks, alter the overall gamma (using the Clarity slider), and made a nominal increase in saturation. All changes were made globally (to the entire file).

Scaled, but otherwise un-adjusted JPG made from camera RAW.

Image 4: File adjusted in post processing using the same settings as the earlier image in the sequence (image 2).

Camera RAW files only represent the information (data) collected by the camera sensor, and rarely display an image as the scene actually appeared, thus the need for interpretation/adjustment during post processing.

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Long Lens, Small Trains; Another Take on last weekend’s Railroad Hobby Show

I used my Lumix LX7 for my earlier post of photos at the Amherst Railway Society’s BIG Railroad Hobby Show (held last weekend at the Big E fairgrounds in West Springfield, Massachusetts).

Ah, my old Lumix. Yes indeed. But, I was also carrying a FujiFilm X-T1 digital camera fitted with a ‘fast’ (wide aperture) 90mm lens.

Using a 90mm lens at f2  allowed me to make telephoto views with very shallow depth of field.

I think selective focus is a neat technique for capturing model railways. It’s a great tool for making portraits too.

Below is a selection of views exposed at last weekend’s show made with my fast 90mm.

Any favorites?

Lego my caboose!

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Tracking the Light Extra: Amherst Railway Society’s Railroad Hobby Show at West Springfield—27 January 2017.

Yesterday I spent the day visiting friends and trying to take in the enormity of the annual Railroad Hobby Show at West Springfield, Massachusetts.

This is a selection of views from my Lumix LX7. More photos tomorrow!

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Dozens of NEW Photos—Big Train Show at West Springfield!

Below is a selection of images exposed with my Lumix LX7 at Amherst Railway Society’s annual Big Train Show at the Big E in West Springfield, Massachusetts.

It was a great show with lots of trains, models, people. Frankly, it was sensory overload.

Tracking the Light posts New Photos Every Day!

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Big_TRAIN_show_P1370595Big_Train_Show_Mike_w_kids_P1370544Big_Train_Show_John_and_Dave_P1370550Big_Train_Show_George_Corey_and_Bill_Keay_and_Pop_P1370525Big_Train_Show_Erie_Box_car_P1370554Big_TRAIN_Show_CSX_P1370510Big_TRAIN_show_clowns_P1370620Big_Train_Show_Budd_Car_P1370556Big_TRAIN_Show_BNSF_pan_P1370511Big_TRAIN_Show_BNSF_pan_P1370513Big_TRAIN_Show_Bill_S_P1370505Big_TRAIN_show_B&A_car_P1370575New Material Every Day!

Massachusetts Model Mania: The BIG SHOW, West Springfield—Wide Angle Views.

You can’t take it all in! Four big buildings full of models, photos, artifacts, old timetables, books, and of course lots of friends!

The show is on today too!

I made hundreds of images. This selection was exposed with my FujiFilm X-T1 with 12mm Zeiss Touit Lens.

This super wide angle view provides an unusual perspective. It allows for great depth of field, but also some distortion.

More to come!

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Slice of Light Photography.
Slice of Light Photography.

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Milk cars and Milk trains.
Milk cars and Milk trains.

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Otto Vondrak.
Otto Vondrak.

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Lots and lots of models.
Lots and lots of models.

Lotsa HO. That's 'Aich O'.
Lotsa HO. That’s ‘Aich O’.

Hey look, a BUS. (Call security!). Hey, we have standards you know.
Hey look, a BUS. (Call security!). Hey, we have standards you know.

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Rich Reed found a rare copy of Robert W. Jones' Boston & Albany book. (I wrote the epilog).
Rich Reed found a rare copy of Robert W. Jones’ Boston & Albany book. (I wrote the epilog).

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Chester & Becket. A railroad I can really approve of. Very Well Done!
Chester & Becket. A railroad I can really approve of. Very Well Done!

Chester & Becket.
Chester & Becket.

Chester & Becket.
Chester & Becket.

Ron's Books had a bunch of my latest efforts. Get your's before they sell out.
Ron’s Books had a bunch of my latest efforts. Get your’s before they sell out.

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At the end of the day . . .

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At the end of the day . . .
At the end of the day . . .

Amherst Railway Society’s Big Railroad Hobby Show—Part 1

West Springfield, Massachusetts, January 25, 2014.

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This past weekend (January 25-26, 2014) was the annual Big Railroad Hobby Show sponsored by the Amherst Railway Society.

It fills four buildings at the Eastern States Exposition grounds at West Springfield, Massachusetts and attracts tens of thousands of visitors.

For railway enthusiasts it’s an epic event and an annual pilgrimage. The show is the living testimony of the late Bob Buck—long time show director and proprietor of Tucker’s Hobbies.

Through clever marketing, unceasing persistence and a life-long passion for trains of all scales, Bob built the show from a small railroad hobby event into a massive one.

This weekend’s show was another well-attended event. It was a virtual sea of trains and people. Here are a few photos of people I met at this year’s show and exhibits that I enjoyed.

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Otto Vondrak of Railfan & Railroad Magazine.
Otto Vondrak of Railfan & Railroad Magazine.

Scarlett promotes Palmer's premier railroad restaurant, the ever-popular Steaming Tender (located at the old Union Station).
Scarlett promotes Palmer’s premier railroad restaurant, the ever-popular Steaming Tender (located at the old Union Station).

 

Quabog Valley's Boston & Albany J-2 Pacific.
Quabog Valley’s Boston & Albany J-2 Pacific.

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Berkshire Scenic.
Berkshire Scenic.

Model Station.
Model Station.

Phil and Rich.
Phil and Rich.

Rich Reed's Penn Central display.
Rich Reed’s Penn Central display.

Tucker's Hobbies of Warren, Massachusetts.
Tucker’s Hobbies of Warren, Massachusetts.

Did you attend? What was your favorite exhibit?

Stay tuned for more photos tomorrow!

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Amherst Railway Society’s Big Railroad Hobby Show; January 26, 2013

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This weekend (January 26-27, 2013) is the annual Big Railroad Hobby Show sponsored by the Amherst Railway Society. It fills four buildings at the Eastern States Exposition grounds at West Springfield, Massachusetts and attracts tens of thousands of visitors. For railway enthusiasts it’s an epic event and an annual pilgrimage. The show is the living testimony of the late Bob Buck—long time show director and proprietor of Tucker’s Hobbies. Through clever marketing, unceasing persistence and a life-long passion for trains of all scales, Bob built the show from a small railroad hobby event into a massive one. Although Bob passed away in October 2011, the show remains one of his legacies. Last year the society honored Bob with a minute of silence before the show opened; I’m told  you could hear a pin drop across the exposition grounds.

Rich Reed proudly displays  a Bob Buck pin.
Rich Reed proudly displays a Bob Buck pin.

My interest in the show is a direct result of my friendship with Bob. Not only was he one of my most enthusiastic supporters, encouraging my photography from a very young age and promoting my work (and later my books), but also he urged me to photograph the show, sometimes commissioning me to make both publicity and documentary images.

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For the photographer the show is a visually intense and challenging image making opportunity. Thanks to Bob I’d been photographing the show for more than 30 years. In my younger days I’d fumble through the day and churn through 6-8 rolls of 35mm black & white film, and then try to find a half dozen useable images.  While digital photography is a godsend, it hasn’t got that much easier. What’s the difficulty? Thousands of people are packed into the grounds all jostling for views of layouts, while haggling over boxcar kits, rummaging through back issues of magazines and regaling one another with tales of the year’s events. At every step you are confronted with someone bumping you, standing in your way, or thrusting an elbow into your lens. Garish and harsh artificial lighting makes for odd contrast and peculiar color balance while inserting unwanted highlights all over the place. The disparity of scale between the spectators and railway models presents a depth of field nightmare. For the casual viewer the show is pure sensory overload. For the photographer it’s chaos.

Yet, I always bring my cameras. These days I primarily aim to make photos of my friends, my heroes, and the model trains that catch my eye. It’s a complete contrast from my efforts working with ‘prototype’ trains. Yet, when photographing scale trains, I apply many of the same techniques that I use for the larger ones. Here’s just a sampling of today’s efforts.

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Highball Productions

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Slice of Light photography

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Promoting the Steaming Tender; the region’s favorite railway themed restaurant (located in the old Palmer, Massachusetts Union Station).

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Tucker’s Hobbies.

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