August 2016 – All Things Trains and Photography by Jim Pearson

Welcome to my first installment on this new column! I hope that everyone gets at least something from my ramblings here!

South Tunnel
On July 22, 2016 I made a trip to find the South Tunnel on CSX’s Mainline Subdivision. I didn’t catch a train unfortunately, but this shot taken with my iPhone 6s really doesn’t need one! Look for photos that can provide you with good leading lines to help draw your subject into your picture!

The Best Camera
I’m often asked what’s the best camera to use when taking photographs? My short answer is, the one you have with you! It doesn’t really matter what brand you use or like as long as you get out trackside and shoot pictures!

Now, of course some cameras offer better results than perhaps others, but what it all comes down to is that it’s the person behind the camera that “makes” the picture, not the equipment you use! I shoot and have seen others shoot with everything from smartphones to high priced digital cameras, but what it really comes down to a lot is you, the photographer and how you see and capture the scene before you! That’s what I love about photography, the ability to decide when and what I want to photograph. No one else tells me, or you, when to press the shutter.

August 5, 2016 – Southbound CSX loaded coal train N320 (Evansville, IN (EVWR) - Cross, SC) meets W987-30 with a load of windmill motors waiting to go north from the north end of Hanson siding as N320 makes it's way south on the Henderson Subdivision at Hanson, Ky.
August 5, 2016 – Southbound CSX loaded coal train N320 (Evansville, IN (EVWR) – Cross, SC) meets W987-30 with a load of windmill motors waiting to go north from the north end of Hanson siding as N320 makes it’s way south on the Henderson Subdivision at Hanson, Ky.

Simple advice to keep in mind when shooting pictures. First and foremost, if something in your picture doesn’t contribute to what you want the final photo to say then eliminate it when your shooting. Do this by getting closer, lower, higher, picking up trash or whatever else it takes. It’s much easier to do it before you shoot than it is to have to do it in the computer. Second, when shooting trains, don’t get hung up on the direction of the light! It is what it is and you can’t always control it. You have to shoot the picture when the train and you are there! Third, don’t shoot everything from eye level! Get low sometime to add drama to your pictures, or high sometimes to give a different perspective. Fourth, don’t shoot just on bright and sunny days. Great pictures are to be made on cloudy, rainy, snowy filled days.

Fifth, don’t put the camera away when it gets dark! Drag out the tripod or fast lens and shoot! There’s great pictures to be made during twilight and after dark. Sixth, Study the pictures of photographers you like! Ask yourself questions such as why did he shoot form this angle, time of day, etc. Seventh, look for things to photograph that are different. Heritage Locomotives, Steam Engines, Unusual paint schemes, obscure out of the way short lines, trains with different types of cargo, etc. I hope some of these help and good luck trackside and always be safe! Keep Clicking!!!

 

August 2, 2016 – Paducah and Louisville Railway’s engine 2110 at Madisonville, Ky

August 2, 2016 – Paducah and Louisville Railway's engine 2110 leads a local train north through the crossing at West Yard in Madisonville, Ky as the sun starts to set as it makes heads for CSX's Atkinson Yard on the Henderson Subdivision for interchange work. - Tech Info: 1/1000 | f/6.3 | ISO 200 | Lens: Sigma 24-70 @ 24mm with a Nikon D800 shot and processed in RAW.
August 2, 2016 – Paducah and Louisville Railway’s engine 2110 leads a local train north through the crossing at West Yard in Madisonville, Ky as the sun starts to set as it makes heads for CSX’s Atkinson Yard on the Henderson Subdivision for interchange work. – Tech Info: 1/1000 | f/6.3 | ISO 200 | Lens: Sigma 24-70 @ 24mm with a Nikon D800 shot and processed in RAW.

August 5, 2016 – Southbound CSX loaded coal train N320 at Hanson, Ky

August 5, 2016 – Southbound CSX loaded coal train N320 (Evansville, IN (EVWR) - Cross, SC) meets  W987-30 with a load of windmill motors waiting to go north from the north end of Hanson siding as N320 makes it's way south on the Henderson Subdivision at Hanson, Ky. - Tech Info: 1/640 | f/13 | ISO 720 | Lens: Sigma 150-600 @ 290mm with a Nikon D800 shot and processed in RAW.
August 5, 2016 – Southbound CSX loaded coal train N320 (Evansville, IN (EVWR) – Cross, SC) meets W987-30 with a load of windmill motors waiting to go north from the north end of Hanson siding as N320 makes it’s way south on the Henderson Subdivision at Hanson, Ky. – Tech Info: 1/640 | f/13 | ISO 720 | Lens: Sigma 150-600 @ 290mm with a Nikon D800 shot and processed in RAW.