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Lemonade or Nothing?

August 2, 2017

As all photographers understand, photography is all about the light. And sometimes, the lighting powers that be will get the last laugh on us, and the imagery we visualized before pressing the shutter release. Today was one of those days for me.

It rained the better part of the day here in Houston and I had no intention of heading out. But a bit after 7:00 PM, the first few rays of amazing storm light started to appear as the sun worked its way below the cloud bottoms. Not to mention ATCSMon showed 4 trains approaching my neck of the woods! Two WB’s and an EB were on each side of CP SA022, the Sugar Land (TX) cross-overs, waiting for Amtrak #1 to thread its way through the freights.

I grabbed some gear and started the 10 minute drive to CP SA022. About halfway there, another layer of clouds started doing a number on my visions of storm light. By the time I arrived, the sun was gone, buried behind clouds.

My first reaction was to head back home, tail secured between my legs. But I decided to do something with the lemons that I’d just unexpectedly received. 4 trains are still coming to my location, I can crank up the ISO, and why not shoot video just because, right?

Here’s the end result of my “misfortune”, 3 minutes and 15 seconds of freshly squeezed lemonade.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. D. Howard Bingham permalink
    August 4, 2017 3:02 am

    Good catch on a bad weather day.. Thought Sugar Land was a quiet zone, notices a few toots from Intermodal train..Were you too close?

    • August 4, 2017 1:15 pm

      Maybe 30-40′ away. Probably an “abundance of caution” whistle”. No other train whistled.
      Maybe a railfan in the crew, looking for any reason to whistle. 🙂

  2. Marc Montray permalink
    August 4, 2017 10:55 am

    On the “bright” side, no harsh shadows ;>) But what are the strobe lights mounted high on poles on each side of the crossing facing down the ROW?

  3. August 4, 2017 1:08 pm

    The lights are part of the quiet zone equipment.

    “The installation includes a flashing light in the shape of an “X” that is visible from along the railroad tracks.
    The flashing light signals to the train engineer that the wayside horn system is functioning normally and confirms
    to the train engineer not to blow the train-mounted horn.”

    https://www.sugarlandtx.gov/688/What-are-Wayside-Horns

    • Marc Montray permalink
      August 4, 2017 8:03 pm

      Okay, I may have heard of this but have not seen it. Thanks Robert, good information and photography as usual.

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