Through The Lens 95 – Cass Fall Photography Workshop

This weekend, I’m attending the 2017 edition of the Cass Fall Photography Workshop.  While there isn’t a photo charter component this year, I’m happy that the night photo shoot will occur again this year.  The photo above is from the night session at last year’s workshop.  I can’t wait to see what Walter and Clayton have in store for us this year.

With any luck, I’ll post the photos from last year’s workshop in the next month.

Trip Report – Locust Heights & Western

As I mentioned in last week’s post, I recently attended a photo charter on the Locust Heights & Western Railroad in Clarksburg, WV.  The LH&W RR is a “backyard” railroad built by the late Keith Mason along with his family and friends.  Today the Mason Family and their dedicated team of volunteers keep Mr. Mason’s passion for railroading alive, operating most Wednesday evenings from June through October.

The LH&W RR has been on my photography “to do” list for several years, so I jumped at the opportunity to attend a photo charter, especially with the proceeds going toward the cost of recently completed boiler repairs.  Charter organizers, Matt Wilson and Walter Scriptunas, put on a great combination of daytime runbys and a night photo session.  The Mason Family and Railroad Volunteers even dressed the part, allowing the charter participants to make some timeless images.

The Flats:

First Crossing:

Lumberjacks:

The Woods:

Feeding the Fire:

Late night in the Yard:

Night Session Outtake:

Thanks again, to Matt, Walter, The Mason Family and the dedicated team of volunteers that keep this wonderful place running!  I had a great time and I’m looking forward to the next one.

Through The Lens 87 – Locust Heights & Western

Last Saturday I had the opportunity to attend a photo charter at the Locust Heights  & Western Railroad in Clarksburg West Virginia.  The LH&WRR is a “backyard” railroad operated by the Mason Family and their team of dedicated volunteers.  They typically only operate on Wednesday evenings, June through October so this photo excursion was a special opportunity.

Look for a trip report Tuesday.

Through The Lens 84 – Chasing the J

Christiansburg Grade

Half the fun of photography is the experience behind each image.  In the case of this image, I’ll never forget the sound of N&W 611 crawling up the grade outside Christiansburg pulling a 19 car train while doing her best Mt. Vesuvius impression, or the moment when the exhaust hit the underside of the highway bridge we were standing on, lifting the bridge upward.

 

Trip Report – The East Broad Top 2017

The East Broad Top Railroad and Coal Company, located in Rockhill Furnace, PA is a place where time stands still.  The railroad, touted as one of the oldest and best preserved railroads, operated from 1871 until it closed in 1956.  The EBT was then purchased by a salvage company who eventually decided to operate a portion of the railroad as a tourist line starting in 1961. While operations ceased in 2011, the Friends of The East Broad Top have continued to lovingly restore the structures that make up the Rockhill Yard and Shop Complex.

When visiting it’s not hard to feel like you have traveled back in time a half century or more. So, when my friend and fellow photographer, Matthew Malkiewicz announced that he had secured access for a small group of photographers to visit this past January, I jumped at the chance to participate.

I arrived shortly after sunrise, hoping to get some shots around the yard in early morning sunlight. Unfortunately it was cloudy, but it had been several years since I had been there so found things to shoot despite the less than optimal lighting.

Moss Covered Coal Hoppers:

Moss Covered Wheels:

Wheels

A Pair of Switch Stands – notice the glove, most likely left by the last person who threw the switch, waiting to be picked up again, just like the line waits for operations to re-start:

The Three Way Switch – a very rare occurrence on railroads.  There are only two others that I’m aware of.

Once the rest of the group arrived we headed into the Roundhouse for two hours before breaking for lunch.

Locomotives Waiting:

Journal Oil Can:

Oil Can and Cobwebs:

Oil Can

After Lunch we moved into the shops complex for a couple of hours.

The Blacksmith Shop – Not many people have been in this building.  The columns rotted over the years resulting in a severe tilt to the building that was repaired in the last few years.

Blacksmith Shop

The Foundry:

Crucible

The Machine Shop was full of scenes, large and small:

Zanol Cocoa – Quality First:

Quality Cocoa

Light:

Boiler Shop:

You could spend days in a place like this and never run out of things to photograph. I hope to get to spend more time at the East Broad Top in the future.

Through The Lens 78 – Time Warp

The East Broad Top Railroad in Orbisonia, PA is one of those places where time stands still.  This shot of the roundhouse was taken this past January but could have easily been taken a half century ago.

I’ll post a trip report next Tuesday.

Through The Lens 77 – The Mighty J

The Norfolk & Western Class “J” 611 is an incredible machine. She was designed to pull the N&W’s premiere passenger trains at speeds up to 100mph. As the only example of this class of locomotive to survive the scrapper’ torch, we’re lucky she’s operational today.

In the photo above, we see her rolling past the former N&W Freight House in Roanoke.  The site is now home to the Virginia Museum of Transportation.

Last week was the third weekend I photographed her this spring. Watch for the trip Report in a couple of weeks.

Trip Report – Rosie the Riveter

This past November, Lerro Productions hosted their second Rosie the Riveter themed photo shoot at the Strasburg Railroad.  Several scenes were created in both the machine shop and the engine house depicting everything from hot riveting to toasting bread with an aceteline torch.  As usual, everyone had a great time and made some fantastic images.  Here’s a few of my favorites:

Washing the Locomotive:

Third Shift Lunch Break:

Sparks:

Rivet Heater:

Late Afternoon Break:

Cooking with Gas:

Rosie:

Thanks again to Pete for all the hard work in setting this up, to Dave for his assistance in hosting us, to Jenny, Kathrynne, Jenna, Andrea, Ginny, Shelley, Chris, Sarah and Cassie for  their willingness to model and to the railroad for allowing these shoots to happen!  Can’t wait for the next one!

Through The Lens 72 – Shay in the Rain

Taken a couple of years ago during a photo charter at the Cass Scenic Railroad, this shot of Shay #11 at the Bald Knob Wye has long been a favorite of mine.  The fog in the distance and the rain streaking through the shot create a great mood for the shot if it had simply been cloudy.

When the passenger train stopped to drop us off at this location, it was drizzling rain.  By the time we were in position under a dense canopy of spruce trees, the skies opened up and the rain started to pour down, which shows up nicely in this shot taken with a telephoto lens.  As soon as the runby was over the rain stopped again.  Couldn’t have worked out better if we planned it!

Through The Lens 64 – Tank Creek

Here’s one of my favorite photos from a private photo charter on the Durango & Silverton back in February 2011. 478 pulls a mixed train along the Animas River at a location called Tank Creek.  In the background just before the tracks curve out of the frame, you can see the water tank that gives this location its name.