It’s a long train! BNSF 7195 West.

Being from the Mid-Atlantic states, being able to capture a whole train in one image was something that just didn’t happen.  At least with normal sized trains.

One of the things I enjoy about the BNSF ex- Santa Fe Transcon Line in northern Arizona is the ability to catch a whole train in a shot.

Milepost 302 on the BNSF Seligman Subdivision is one of my favorite places to do this.  The lighting is perfect for about the last 30 minutes of daylight when the sun is just above the horizon.

You can see a westbound crest the hill just west of the Highway 99 Exit to Leupp (don’t ask me how to pronounce that properly) and photograph it over the course of a couple of miles.  The train drops down a slight grade, enters a curve to the left, disappears from sight, and then pops up as it continues to climb towards you.  As it nears you, it enters a right-hand curve and if you catch it just right – you’ve got sunlight that’s hitting the train almost perpendicular.  This is what is known as “golden light” or “sweet light”.

BNSF 7195 West. Milepost 302 Seligman Subdivision.

BNSF 7195 West. Milepost 302 Seligman Subdivision.  Click on the image to be taken to the BNSF ex- Santa Fe Lines Gallery to view the series.

This is one of the first shots of the series described above. I chose this picture, as it shows just how “big” northern Arizona is.  The engines are over four miles away from me.  The train itself is over a mile long (don’t ask just how long – I lost my note).  The smoke in the distance is from a power plant nearly 40 miles east in St. Joseph City.  It’s big country…  It’s a long train!

The light couldn’t have been much better, as the sun dropped below the horizon four minutes after the last shot.

While I wish I could have been at this location about 20 years ago when the trains were headed by Santa Fe’s Superfleet power in the classic red and silver “Warbonnet” paint scheme or the blue and yellow “Bluebonnet” scheme, I’ll take it.

Image details: tripod, ISO 800, 1/640 second, 500mm.

 There’s much more to add to the BNSF ex-Santa Fe Lines Gallery as slides get scanned and scans and images are processed.

Thanks for visiting.  Be sure to check out Laughing Frog Images for help on covering up that blank space on your wall.

Westbound Grain and Glint

Westbound grain and glint.  What’s that about?

DSC_0335 LF

We’re between Fenner and Goffs, CA on the former Santa Fe Railroad, now commonly referred to as the BNSF Transcon.

This is a westbound grain train moving downgrade from the summit at Goffs.  The train is heading towards the setting sun – and I’m shooting at roughly the opposite angle of the sun.  That’s where the glint comes from.  This is an untouched color image.

Note how the colors have largely shifted to black, white, gray and muted pastels.  Those of you familiar with the BNSF know that these locomotives are predominantly orange, and that the covered hopper cars are a red oxide color – but you’d never know that from this image!

But the detail!  Glint shots can bring out details that you wouldn’t ordinarily notice.  You’re looking at the surfaces that reflect light in an entirely different way.  What isn’t reflecting light simply shows as black.  And it’s different.  And interesting.  And not your typical image.

It’s not your typical train picture.  And that’s what makes in interesting.  You can find the image here at Laughing Frog Images.

If Black and White is something that interests you, you can get it in B&W with the click of a mouse.