Fine ’til the 4449

Like Steve, I ended up down at Portland’s Union Station last weekend for National Train Day. Having been to events such as this with large crowds of the public, I knew I probably wasn’t going to get any prize-winning calendar shots. I’ve recently started playing around more with HDR photography so I decided to take a few photos that might let me explore this technique. This worked well for a couple photos, such as this one of an ex-UP caboose:

I was also able to pull out a decent amount of shadow detail around the Oregon Pacific 1202:

Things didn’t go so smoothly for the 4449. The running boards of the locomotive where nice and shiny which reflected the colors of the crowd next to her. These reflections weren’t too bad in the original image, but after processing the photo and tone mapping, the reflections turned into random noticeable splotches on the side of the locomotive:

You win some, you lose some. Hopefully I’m smart enough to learn as I continue to work on technique.

I’m testing a new embedding method with the images in this post. I see a couple issues so I’ll need to get those resolved.

East Into the Blues

With friends from California in tow I headed east to help Robert show off the Blues.   We made a few stops in the gorge at places along the UP that I’d never visited.   Its amazing how many times I’ve driven through the gorge and have never stopped at some of these fabulous locations.


Between Biggs and Rufus

As train traffic in the gorge petered out (and the local out of The Dalles derailed at Hood River) we headed to Kamela summit for what was a reasonably busy afternoon.  It was really fun to see and hear the excitement as the foreign guests witnessed their first train topping over amid the Tamarck’s changing for the season.  The 10,000ft long stack train didn’t hurt anything either.


Topping over Kamela Summit

After a night in LaGrande we headed over Telocaset in mixed fog and sun.  The Baker valley always seems to deliver good light in the morning!  The last train on the pass was a westbound inspection train after which we ended our brief tour of the Blues.


Nothing like North Powder in the morning!

[tags] trains, railroad, railfan, photos, photography, blue mountains, the blues, union pacific [/tags]

Last Summer… in 1880

This past summer, our family took a roadtrip back to South Dakota to visit family. While we were there, one of our activities was to ride behind the “1880 Train” – more properly known as the Black Hills Central Railroad. It’s a tourist line running between Keystone and Hill City, South Dakota. While the train made a passenger and water stop in Hill City, I took a few photos. According to the railroad, the Black Hills Central 110 is the only articulated mallet in operation. Here’s one of my favorite shots from the trip:

A Different POV

Its good to railfan with others because you usually get another point of view…if you listen.  Take this photograph of the M-SPOEVE descending from Quincy towards Trinidad.  I’ve passed this point at least one other time but until someone said “hey this is a neat spot, check out the curves” I didn’t notice them.  Once I did I was convinced this location was alright.  Now if only I had an 8,000 ft. stack train!  I find it funny that if you would have asked me what was between the crater and WSS Quincy I would have said “oh just a long straight with a slight curve”.  Live and learn!


[tags] bnsf, columbia river, photography, photos, quincy, railroad, trains,  washington [/tags]