Take The Slow Train

By Roger (21 August 2014)

Last Saturday must have been “Gee I wish I was a kid” day. While Mark was out shooting balloons, I was out shooting trains. I needed to get out and make some photos that were different than the people shots I normally make. It was a good day for it.

My first shot of the day

My first shot of the day

I got to the little train station before the sun came over the mountains to get a good spot before it got crowded. After scoping out a few locations, I fired a couple of test shots. I wanted the first shot to be decent right out of the camera. It was a matter of pride, since everyone knows I like to play around in Lightroom and Photoshop. I still always strive to get the photo right when I push the shutter. This was the first train of the morning, and, as you can see by the readings below, the exposure and white balance are unchanged. (I did put a slight vignette around it, though.) It's always fun to get the shot, the way you imagined it.

About a dozen trains rumbled through the station while I was there, so I got a variety of shots from each end of the depot. When you find a place you want to make a photo, don't forget to look around and see if there is another shot in the area. We all tend to shoot and move on. Slow down; this is not a race. I have been guilty of moving too quickly, myself, so, this time, I stayed in one area for two hours.

Make sure you cover all areas at your shooting location.

Make sure you cover all areas at your shooting location.

The other end of the station, as you can see above, had a completely different background. This was taken later in the morning, after the sun was moving higher into the sky, so the all the light gives it a completely different look, too.

I then moved across the tracks, so I could include some of the train station. And some people. You didn't think I'd go all day without a people shot somewhere, did 'ya? I thought the sign was slightly humorous, since it looked like it described the outside benches, rather than showing where the door was to the inside of the depot.

The Waiting Room

The Waiting Room

While I was over there, another CSX train came through the scene. All, but one of them, were freight trains, carrying cars, building supplies, and coal, so I concentrated my effort on the engine. And, obviously, the people and depot were about to disappear behind the train. I'm not sure this shot was as interesting as the first, but I pushed the shutter. I think I still need some practice and may need to make a few more trips.

Please, remember to stay safe if you go to a train station. You wouldn't want to ruin a day with an injury or worse. As you've heard us say before, get out there and use your camera. I had a nice, relaxed morning and shot some things I don't usually shoot. All in all, a fun morning.