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:


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.

4 thoughts on “Trip Report – Locust Heights & Western

  1. Great job.I’d love to see what “First crossing” and “The Lumberjacks” would look like in black and white. To me these images might really be amplified if you could evoke the nature of the era in the black and white photographs that we see from the past. It’s just a thought. There are the other shots that look great in color. That makes me think of how different some of the original time B&W photos would have looked like if they had been able to have been printed in color.

    I love these shoots and the models are exactly right. I’m amazed by how well they pose. They really get what it means to be authentic characters in these photo shoots. You must have had a blast doing this.
    I’m also curious as to how much control you had as to your positioning when getting a shot. Were you able to position the models and the lighting?

    Thanks for sharing your adventure!

    • Thanks Joanie! The really cool thing is that none of the people in the images are models. They all are either members of the family that owns and operates the LH&W RR or they are the volunteers who help keep it operating. They did go out of their way to dress the part for the charter, which we all greatly appreciated because it makes the photos that much better.

      Regarding the amount of control, I had a lot of control over my position. The amount of control participants have over lighting and models is somewhat limited because a shoot will quickly become chaos if everyone starts giving instruction. Matt and Walter were very receptive to suggestions, but for the most part we weren’t giving direct instruction.

  2. Excellent photos Michael; as to be expected from you!
    Going into this event, I had no idea what to expect. To say it was beyond expectations is an understatement, we all left at the end of the day completely satisfied yet yearning for more.
    I see so much potential at our next charter there – which can’t get here fast enough.

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