Wednesday, August 31, 2011

POTD - One Train, Part III

Continuing with part III of this week's theme:


Perhaps the most classic pictures known in railroad photography circles are the approach photos, where a train is approaching on a single set of rails toward the photographer's position. It's a simple shot that a lot of photographers rely on as their "go-to" shot when capturing a train. It doesn't depend much on topography or distance available, unlike the previous two POTDs.

The feeling is one of imminent anticipation. The train is a traveler, passing in only moments. It bears a load from incognito toward parts unknown. It is arriving in only seconds, unrelenting and unhesitating toward its eventual destination. In the moment, it is everything we know of railroads.  It can be a brawny diesel, like this one, or a speeding 4-8-4, a miniature 4-4-0 of the wood-burning, narrow gauge variety, or an F-7 (or even an E-8) with the graceful curves and beauty that made her an icon of American railroading.

By stepping down next to the right of way, Kevin Morgan has put the point of view into the same vantage point most of the world sees trains in their most powerful and acclimated setting. 

Headed by locomotive 5338, a BNSF double-stack intermodal train comes in
for a meet, holding the main with a rather quiet train tied down on the siding
Photo: Kevin Morgan

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