With all of my photo plans cancelled by the restrictions on gatherings and closure of state and national parks, I’ve been working on my backlog of images that need to be edited. First up in that group were images from a Lerro Photography charter at the Steam Railroading Institute in Owosso, Michigan in January 2019. This was a two day charter featuring Pere Marquette 1225. For those who have seen the Polar Express, this is the locomotive that they used as inspiration for the animated locomotive in the movie. They even went so far as to have Skywalker Sound record Pere Marquette 1225 for use as sound effects for the movie.
Over the course of two days, we covered a number of locations over the 15 miles between Owosso and Elsie. The following are a few of my favorites in no particular order:
West Wilkinson Road Sunrise
North Smith Road Farm
King Road Crossing
South Woodbridge Road Crossing
West Wilkinson Road Sunset
Check back next Tuesday for Part 2, including images from the night sessions.
Continuing on from Part 1 and Part 2, Day Three started with a trip up the coast to see Haystack Rock:
Terrible Tilly (Tillamook Rock Lighthouse):
Hug Point Falls:
The original plan was to continue up the coast, but due to the cloud cover, we decided that it was perfect waterfall weather, so we headed to Portland to the Columbia River Gorge. Upon arriving we found clear skies and sun. Go figure. Stops included Lower Latourell Falls:
Upper Latourell Falls:
And because the weather had cleared, the last stop of the trip was Mt. Hood for sunset:
Watching the alpenglow fade on Mt. Hood was a great way to end the trip. Thanks for following along.
In April, the Wiscasset Waterville & Farmington Railway Museum in Alna, ME held their annual photo excursion. The WW&F has been on my to-do list for a couple years and the opportunity to attend finally presented itself this year. The day started in the yard with some locomotive maintenance and switching before moving out onto the line.
Out on the line we made several stops including Cockeye Curve:
And Top of the Mountain:
The WW&F Ry Museum is dedicated to historical accuracy in just about everything they do. While modern machinery is sometimes used where necessary, the old fashioned way is preferred wherever possible. Case and point was the removal of about 330ft of rail at Davis Grade. They needed to remove the rail to facilitate the correction of some roadbed issues and while they could have easily used modern machinery to pull the rail, they chose to do it by hand just as it was done in 1937 when the line was scrapped. Even more incredible was the fact that the flat car that was used by the original WW&F Ry to scrap the line is back in service at the WW&F Ry Museum today. Since none of the WW&F’s locomotives were operable in 1937, they used draft horses to pull the flat car. All of this was recreated for the photographers assembled this spring. Why? Because they can!
The day ended with a night session produced by Stephen Hussar and his crew. The night session actually started before dark in the machine shop where we found a mechanic working on the Railway’s Ford Model T Railcar:
Once Blue Hour hit, we moved outside to work with the Train Crew and Locomotive #9:
Needless to day it was a fun day photographically and I’m looking forward to a return trip, hopefully next year.
Engineer Robert “Bullet Bob” Longo awaits his next assignment in the cab of WW&F #9. Actually, he’s waiting for the start of the night photo session during the Wiscasset Waterville & Farmington’s 2018 Spring Photo Excursion and the assembled photographers have asked him to pose for a photo as the sun sets behind us.
I finished editing the photos from this trip, so look for a Trip Report on Tuesday.
Since a number of folks liked my previous post from Ravens Roost Overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway, I thought I’d share another.
I usually don’t include people in my landscape photos because they’re often distracting elements. But on the rare occasion when they’re standing in the right spot, its nice to include people to add a sense of scale. After other photographers had moved on to other locations at the overlook, I found a composition that allowed me to include two people between the trees.
This photo of sunset at Ravens Roost Overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway is another case of luck favoring the prepared. I was driving from work in Baltimore down to Roanoke for Memorial Day Weekend to photograph N&W 611 on her trips out of Roanoke. During lunch at work I took a couple of minutes to look up potential sunset locations on the the Blue Ridge Parkway just in case I was ahead of schedule and had time to head back up the parkway after checking into my hotel. Four traffic accidents on I-81 turned a 4 hour drive into 7 hours, but remembering one photo I saw of an overlook at the North end of the parkway, I turned east on I-64 with just enough time to get to Ravens Roost Overlook before sunset. Sometimes you just get lucky.
Square Tower House in Mesa Verde National Park is the tallest cliff dwelling in the park. It also is a great location to shoot at sunset. Since the last time I visited was a cloudy day, I made a point to stop at Mesa Verde on my way to Black Canyon of the Gunnison on a trip last fall. I’ll post the first part of the trip report on Tuesday.