2015
Jul 
19

Reflect On This

Filed under: General — admin @ 7:31 AM  

SONY DSC

Some days you can wait at a good spot for an hour or more, and get nothing. So you move around different locations rather than wait at the same one every other day. I finally got lucky and achieved the shot I’d been hoping for. The Sun was in the right position, lighting up the subject, and more importantly, creating the pretty reflection in the water. Maybe it would have been nicer if the engines were all orange BNSF – but variety isn’t a deal killer. I’m kinda glad there weren’t any clouds, as they don’t always balance from left to right in the sky.

Meanwhile, for my modeling fans, I’m still on a lengthy hiatus from the workbench. Just clearing my head, as it were, in the fresh outdoor air. Taking train photos around Spokane. But I will resume the HO scale artistry soon. I just picked up a rolling metal rack that will be the base for a large scenic diorama. One that I can roll into a van or U-Haul truck to take to train shows, in addition to serving as an occasional photo backdrop for models.

2014
Nov 
11

Faux Ink & Watercolor

Filed under: General — admin @ 7:17 AM  

The original photo I shot was nice in its own right, but I decided to experiment with it. After multiple different manipulations in Photoshop, I arrived at this interesting look. It might look like a washed-out mess to some people, but this is what an illustration of a locomotive would look like if an artist sketched it, outlined it in ink, and then painted it with watercolors.

DCF 1.0

2014
Oct 
24

Walk On The Wild Side 3

Filed under: General — admin @ 11:13 PM  

Another fellow crossing the double mainline. This is NOT a railroad worker. Strolled past me like I was invisible, and hopped up onto the idle coal gondola couplers. Then calmly stepped down, and waited for the moving train in front of him to pass by so he could go across the next track.

The coal train had stopped for a signal (or possibly a crew change) and extended quite a ways in both directions from this point. You had to wait it out – or do what this guy does. Which is not a good idea. The coal train could lurch forward, and throw him off balance, especially if he was still standing on the couplers.

It was just the way he did it, as if he does it all the time. Like no big deal. He didn’t say boo to me or anything. Or ask how long the train had been stopped. This is the kind of behavior that ruins it for the rest of us who hang out near trains.

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2014
Oct 
19

New Model Slideshow Uploaded to YouTube

Filed under: General — admin @ 7:40 AM  

This is best viewed on a computer monitor, not an iPhone. It was done in 720p and looks nicer in Theater mode. Over 10 minutes long, but it moves at a nice pace. I had some fun with it.

2014
Aug 
27

Think They Caught a View of Me…?

Filed under: General — admin @ 12:10 AM  

Waiting around one of my spots for over an hour, and was almost ready to go, when this short little inspection train showed up. Had no idea it was even in the area. I got a horn toot from the engineer!

I would have preferred to be higher up, to get the train centered on the bridge, and out of the tree shadows. But I’ll take what I can get. I figure this might be the only time I catch this kind of train at this particular location!

The last car, seen here, is BNSF 87, a Track Measurement car named Skagit River.

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2014
Aug 
26

Water You Gonna Do…?

Filed under: General — admin @ 11:52 PM  

Here’s a Southern Pacific Water Car visiting the local UP yard. I want to say it’s a firefighting car – but I see no water guns. It might just be a mister, Mister. Somebody can chime in if they know what it does.

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2014
Jun 
7

One in a Million

Filed under: General — admin @ 2:09 PM  

Photographed this JB Hunt container somewhat unexpectedly a short while ago. It just snuck up on me while my face was pressed against the back of the camera. I’m calling it a rarity because I believe it to be the only one decorated like this. The “millionth container” produced, or something like that. I’m thinking you’ll see hundreds of JB Hunt containers before you catch this one in a train. Unless you know ahead of time where it’s going to be.

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2014
Jun 
6

Walk On The Wild Side 2

Filed under: General — admin @ 6:37 AM  

Continuation of an earlier rant. Spotted this couple out for a nature walk recently, while I was shooting trains in the area. They didn’t see me, but I saw them wander down a trail coming out of the woods, and get right on the track. It’s not like that is the only way through here. There are foot trails up on either ridge paralleling the rail line. You could even walk in on the dirt a few yards to their left. But no – they want to be on the track and look cool.

This is not some back country seldom used branchline. This is the main transcon route to Seattle upon which a dozen or more trains per day travel in either direction. Sure, they could probably avoid getting hit, but not before stressing the train crew out. Again, the landing approach for the airport is overhead, and the jets drown out any train noise when they fly low.

Interesting to note that a mere 5 minutes earlier, a BNSF hi-railer pickup drove through on inspection. Those guys make little noise when they come around that bend under the bridge. He would’ve had something to say to them, I’m sure.

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2014
Jun 
4

What’s That Say….?

Filed under: General — admin @ 3:42 PM  

DCF 1.0

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2014
May 
18

Artists vs Foamers

Filed under: General — admin @ 10:43 AM  

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Not one of my creations… model or otherwise. It’s a real hopper that I’ve seen about three times now roll through town on the BNSF main. Finally got a good shot of it.

For you non-railroad buffs, Foamer is the accepted term for a diehard railfan who can be found trackside with his camera. By that definition, I must be one myself, eh? Generally, they are the Baby Boomer generation (or older). These conservatives like their trains in clean condition – and free of graffiti. I can’t emphasize that more. That’s where I differ however.

A graffiti tagger, in their underground circles, is called an Artist. They just are. Doesn’t matter if they suck at it or not. This is what they call each other. It is safe to say that Artists don’t care for Foamers – and Foamers loathe Artists!

Which is the whole point behind the artwork on this hopper. Fortunately, the wording is legible and large enough to be seen from a short distance. Is this graffiti making devoted railfans upset…? Well… short answer, YES. I happened to post it in a discussion board full of Foamers – and you might say it touched a nerve! First, because it was graffiti. Second, because the tagger had the gall to say Foamer.

It will be interesting to see how a Foamer will retaliate – visually.