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Never Give Up

May 13, 2010

Put a camera in my hands and I become the world’s biggest pessimist. When I’m photographing anything,  be it a wedding or a train, I expect something will go wrong.

It’s not so much that I expect to mess up, but an awareness that I have to pay attention to a lot of details if I want to get the shot right. I can control many of the details; others, not at all.

Take the sun. The time of year, the time of day, the direction that the train is traveling. All of these play an important role in getting a well-lit train photograph.

So I have everything lined up for a nice shot of a BNSF empty grain train. I get set up as the train comes into view in the distance. What can go wrong?

How about a ginormous, Texas Gulf Coast cumulus cloud.

BNSF 759 approaches the intermediate signal at MP 20.6 of UP's Glidden Sub at Stafford, TX

I took the above picture just for the fun of it, figuring that one day I might think it was funny how the clouds rolled in. Because at this point in time, I was seriously annoyed!

In the past, I would’ve put the camera down, consoling myself with “there’s always tomorrow”.

But I’ve learned to never give up hope on getting the shot, especially when the train is running at restricted speed due to CTC problems and the wind that brought the cloud just might move it enough so I could get the shot.

An empty grain train led by BNSF 759 passing MP 20.6 on UP's Glidden Sub on Aug. 19, 2007

I became a true believer in the old adage about Texas weather. “If you don’t like the weather, just wait a minute. It’ll change.”

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