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Who Needs Sun For Photography?

April 18, 2018

This past Monday evening, 4/16/18, found me pursuing my after-dark railfanning pastime, assisted by 6 speedlites. Nothing earth-shattering (thank goodness!), but some interesting trains nonetheless.

First up, Amtrak #1 was running about 30 minutes behind schedule, passing through Stafford, TX at 2007 with just a hint of color in the sky.

One of my main targets this evening was this train, the MSALI 16 with 2 NS motors. Anytime I can get 2 NS EMD’s together is a good time. It passed me in Stafford also, at MP 19.5, at 2031.

I almost wrapped up my evening after this train because UP Glidden sub traffic dried up and I had to complete my 1040. Alas, the 1040 would wait because I received word that the BNSF 191 local had 2 H-4 EMD’s on it. Off to Rosenberg I went to await it at the south switch. It took a little longer than I expected for it to arrive, but the wait paid off when I saw these beauties pass me at 2223.

The 191 local would wait for 2 moves across the CP SA036 interlocking, allowing me plenty of time to relocate for one more view of it just north of the diamond at 2303.

As I waited for the BNSF local above, I could hear another of my targeted trains in the UP Rosenberg siding. I didn’t think I’d shoot it because the dispatcher had put FXE 4068 there about 2100, where I expected it would expire. When the DS told a KCS train that he’d follow one out of the Rosenberg siding, I knew my evening wasn’t done yet.

I relocated back to the Stafford area to await FXE 4068, the UAAUL, on an empty Magnetation train. It arrived at 2358.

As I waited for FXE 4068, ATCS showed a westbound was approaching me. I wasn’t worried because it was on Main 1 and wouldn’t block me, but I’d like to get a going away shot of it if possible. Luck was with me as seconds after the rear of FXE cleared, UP 8552 came by with the QEWWC 16 right at midnight.

I didn’t realize there was an SD60M trailing until seconds after taking the shot. Oh well. But, it is the QEWWC, and there will be a DPU photo-op.

Last train was this KCS manifest with SD70ACe 4117 at 0012.

All in all, I’m getting a little better at the flashing game, but still lots of room for improvement.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Lewis Hodnett permalink
    April 18, 2018 2:35 pm

    I like your night shots!

    Like O.W. Link, you’re putting the focus, (light), on the main subject and dropping out all the other junk in the compositions. When I taught photography at U.H., I had a few students who participated in group shots of static trains. (“At the count of 3 open you shutters”, etc.)

    But shooting the moving train in various setting is, for me, much more realistic.

    Looking forward to seeing more……., in the rain, and fog, etc.?


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