2014-08-28

POTD - Morning Rays Make Magic Even More Rare On UP Westbound

The rising sun is one of the best ways to color your photographs. During maybe a  half-hour at most, the sun shining through more of the atmosphere than any other part of the day as a natural filter, bathing everything in a golden, almost fiery glow. This is especially true on the Front Range because mountain shadows make evening shots with that natural glow next to impossible.

Aiming into the morning sun
Photo of the Day: Mike Danneman

Trains magazine Sept 2014
Mike Danneman is no stranger to POTD. Also his brother Tom Danneman had a single-photo, double-page spread on pages 36 and 37 (sample at right) in September's Trains magazine. So you might say it runs in his blood. His consistently good work has him sitting near rock star-status (if there is such a thing in the railroad photography world). Why are rock stars famous? Because they take something that is difficult and make it look easy. Today's Photo of the Day is a perfect example.

The Union Pacific sends its track inspection car over the Rio Grande's Moffat Route from Denver. Fair enough, except that the Moffat is west of Denver, putting the locomotives and the train heading west in the morning in their own shadows. But Mr. Danneman has shot the Moffat often enough to know that, in a quest for altitude, the track layers of over a century ago reversed direction to run the rail around the tongue of a mesa. This reversal is now called Little Ten Curve and Big Ten Curves, ten referring to their curvature. In that one spot, the westbound train would be facing geographic east. Be there at the right time and the rays of the sun will bathe the yellow train in a golden glow! Mike met the train in that 30 minute window and we see the magic results. 

He makes it look easy.◊