Sun and freshly fallen snow makes for a nice setting.
New England Central job 608 was making its way from Palmer back to Willimantic with about 20 cars of freight.
In the lead was one of the railroad’s original GP38s, still wearing the classic blue and yellow livery that was applied to these locomotives at the time of New England Central’s start-up in 1995.
I made this view at Plains Road south of Stafford, Connecticut.
Although much of the location was shadowed, a shaft of sun on the grade crossing made for photo opportunity with a telephoto lens. I stood back a bit to allow for slight compression effect owing to the longer focal length, and aimed to frame the leading locomotive between the crossing signals.
I set my focus point slightly off-center to hit the locomotive square in the nose.
Think about it? How many different type of light will you work with?
I know a fair few sunny-day photographers. No sun, no photo.
I know others who only come out at night.
I have my favorite types of light and preferred angles, but I’ll photograph in a variety of situations.
There’s your old standby; ‘over the shoulder three-quarter sun’.
But there’s lots of types of sun and angles; clear cloudless mid-morning sun is nice; how about side-lit midday sun? Or hazy backlit sun?
Then there’s; low sun, glint, and the full back-lit sunset silhouette.
Of course with glint, you can subdivide it any number of ways; hard glint (silver glint), soft glint, golden glint, etc.
Likewise with overcast lighting. Not all cloudy days cast the same light.
Perhaps the most difficult is when the darkest cloud is above you and the rails glisten silver and the sky is white (but bright) off in the distance.
Then there’s rain; light rain, hard rain, driving rain, and ‘#@*#@@!!!! what am I doing out in this?!’ rain. Then there’s; sun and rain, and rainbow with dark sky.
Also; light falling snow, falling powdery snow, heavy falling snow, and one of my favorites; heavy falling snow with cross-lit sun’.
Then the next day: light snow on ground, heavy snow on ground, VERY heavy snow on ground. Then after it warms up; dead dirty snow.
Evening dusk with a hint of blue; evening dusk with stars twinkling. Evening dusk with comet (I’ve got it!), and even better, morning twilight with comet (got that too).
Then you have your mists and fogs; light fog, heavy fog, and mist clinging to top of hill in distance with full morning sun in foreground (another old favorite).
Night with stars; night with half moon, night with full moon; sodium vapor light, mercury vapor light; florescent light; incandescent light; and mixed electric light.
I like some of the specialized lighting effects such as ‘cathedral light’ where daylight is allowed to pierce shadows indirectly from the side, with no direct daylight in the scene. (Best accomplished in a snow shed, under a highway bridge, or in a train shed.)
There’s; train lost in shadow of its own exhaust backlit by rising sun.
And; everything in scene covered in hoar frost, backlit by rising run.
Not to mention; train in silhouette against fog bank in front of hill backlit by rising sun.
There’s more, but I bet I’ve lost some readers already.
Tracking the Light Discusses Photography Everyday.
Sunday, June 25, 2017, Tim and I had circled Pan Am Railway’s East Deerfield classification yard trying to find an angle, or a train.
The sun was out, and it was raining. Tim said, “This is some pretty weird weather.”
We crossed the old “Railfan’s Bridge” (McClelland Farm Road), and I looked eastward over the yard and shouted, ‘Holy —-, Look at the rainbow!’
It started out faint, and gradually grew more intense as the sun emerged from a cloud-bank.
Although it hung in the sky for ten minutes or more, there wasn’t a wheel turning. Pity too. I think of all the thousands of photos I’ve made around East Deerfield and in all kinds of light, but I’d never caught a rainbow before!
Exposed using my FujFilm X-T1 with 18-135mm lens and Lee 0.6 graduated neutral density filter.