As the winter months approach, we start thinking about the coming New Year. Along with the holiday celebrations, it’s time to get a new calendar to hang on the wall! After a few years’ hiatus, there’s a 2015 calendar available with a year’s worth of my photographs – but this is something that I only had a limited role in putting together. And I’m making exactly $0 on their sales. The non-profit volunteer organization, the Friends of the Valley Railroad, decided to dedicate the entire 2015 calendar to my photographs, to tie in with my recently completed exhibit at the railroad’s Oliver O. Jensen Gallery. The 13 month calendar – also titled A Dozen Miles in a Decade – features 15 photographs of the Valley Line, including a number that were not in the exhibit (OK, to be honest, there’s probably only 14 you’d be interested in – #15 is my version of a “selfie” on the back cover of the calendar). To purchase a copy (priced at a very reasonable $12 plus shipping), you can either visit the gift shop at the Essex Steam Train & Riverboat in Essex, Connecticut or click here to go directly to the FVRR’s online store. All proceeds go to the FVRR, enabling them to continue to work on the railroad’s infrastructure and rolling stock. So please help me support this great group, and be sure to pick up a copy or three!
Between 2006 and 2008, I embarked on a project that long-time readers of the blog probably noticed. Among what I was regularly photographing through the year, I also made it a point to shoot the ongoing progress of Amtrak’s Thames River draw moveable span replacement project. An effort by the railroad to replace the aging span that bridged the channel in the Thames River where many ships – both civilian and military – pass every year.
With the start of 2015, I decided it was time to redo the store site – photos.nanosphoto.com – giving it a little more modern look and feel. I’ve also done some organization, along with adding a section for my hometown, Lebanon, Connecticut. With all of that happening, I also figured it was worth throwing a sale into the mix! For the first 15 days of 2015, you’ll be able to take 15% off your entire order! Just head to the store, and use the coupon code “HNY2015″ when checking out.
Last week I was in New Jersey for work, and one day I had to head down to the Collegeville, PA office. Not having much time for shooting on this trip, I figured the trip back from the Keystone State provided an opportunity to get a little shooting in – even if it was only for a few minutes. And with no flashes along for the ride this time, it had to be somewhere that had ample ambient light to work with. That location was Lansdale, PA.
On Tuesday November 18, 2014 I’ll be making a trek north to Pittsfield, Massachusetts to do something a bit different – something I’ve only done once before. And that is to judge a photographic competition. On that Tuesday evening, I will be the judge for the Berkshire Museum Camera Club‘s second digital and print competition of the year – with the subject of trains and railroads. I guess I’d be qualified to judge that type of subject matter…
The meeting is open to the public, and will be held at the Berkshire Museum, on South Street in Pittsfield starting at 7pm. If you’re in the area, come on down and check out the photos with me. I’ll be judging and critiquing a number of digital photographs, along with prints in both the color and black & white categories. I’m sure there will be some great material to check out, and I’m excited (and a bit nervous) about being able to give honest – and hopefully constructive – criticism to the photographers about their work. I’ll be doing a short presentation at the start of the meeting to introduce myself and my work to the members, then will dive into the judging. Looks like I will have over 90 minutes to talk about the photos in the contest – and I hope that my comments can help the photographers look at their work in a different light. And I’m sure I will draw my own inspiration from the work of these photographers – I’m sure the club has a ton of talent, and I really enjoy looking at the subject through other people’s eyes. I hope some of you can make it out into the Berkshires for an evening of photos!
And as for the title of the blog post…apologies to Pigmeat Markham and Sammy Davis Jr. for stealing it from their Laugh-In days…
On October 4, 2014 the Connecticut Eastern Railroad Museum in Willimantic, Connecticut continued a tradition spanning more than a decade. For the 11th year in a row, the museum hosted a Night Photo Shoot where a group of photographers from around the area converged on the museum to light up the night.
As you can probably tell, I haven’t been able to head out and shoot much of late – for a number of reasons. So instead of letting things further stagnate here, I decided to go back in time and dig out some older photos I took before I implemented the blog (first blog post is from February 2007). And for our first edition of X years ago today I present you a brief chase of the New England Central Railroad between Palmer, Mass. and Willington, Conn – with a little bit of Providence & Worcester, CSX and Mass. Central thrown into the mix for good measure – as I photographed it on October 24, 2005.
Between the end of June and the second week of July, my family and I took a (mostly) camping vacation through Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont – I’ll be doing an overview blog post on the entire 2+ week trip at some point in the future. One of those stops was North Conway, New Hampshire to ride the Mount Washington Cog Railway to the summit – as well as let the kids have fun in the water park inside the hotel we were staying in for a couple nights. One of the nights we were there, I made my way up the road to the Conway Scenic Railroad, meeting up with fellow photographer Bill Willis for a little two-person night photo shoot. Bill secured permission for us to be on the property for the evening, and I brought a couple of Alien Bees along for lighting. For the next few hours, we ran around the yard and photographed as much as we could.
About a month ago I took a ride north to spend a little time on the Grafton & Upton Railroad in North Grafton, MA. It was a rainy, gloomy early May day, so photos out on the road would be so-so – and the kind of rainy day that wouldn’t yield dramatic photos, just pretty boring, flat ones. And I only had a couple hours I could spend in the area, so I wouldn’t make it that far out of town by the time the crew got their train together and headed out of the yard. Luckily something else was happening inside the yard – something that I have yet to photograph, or even watch.