Yeah, the year isn’t officially over yet, but I figured I should do this now…here’s my favorite images from 2007. They may not be the best, but they’re some of my favorites I’ve committed to film or CMOS over the past year. They’re roughly in chronological order from the beginning of the year to now. Curious to see what you all think of my choices. And, no, they’re not all railroad related. There are some others in there…
UPDATE (12/30/07): I’ve also added links to the pertinent blog posts, if they exist.
Out of the Fog – First up is a shot I took at the Old Saybrook, CT Amtrak station on a foggy January morning. It’s not a train, but rather an Amtrak track foreman in his hyrail truck heading east through OSB. I really liked the fog and how it hid the background, and made the truck stand out.
Freight, Casino & Clouds – Next up is a shot in Preston, CT of Providence & Worcester train NR-2. The photo was taken from the Route 2A overpass which crosses the P&W, Thames River and the New England Central. I’d been wanting this shot for quite a while, and when this sunny day came along, I couldn’t pass up. But of course, just as the train was coming into range, the clouds rolled in. Still turned out well, in my eyes. And for those of you not from the area, that’s the Mohegan Sun Casino and Hotel in the background.
Lebanon Water Tower – This is one of the shots I’ve taken on my way into work in the morning. It caught my eye on my way past, and I had to stop to capture the moment. The sun was rising behind the trees, and there was a light mist hanging over the ground. Just made for a really pretty picture.
Guitar & Candles – My wife & I were at a show down at The Space where our good friend, Steve Rodgers, was playing with his band Mighty Purple (Steve also owns The Space), and I was snapping photos most of the set. This shot was of Steve’s hand on the neck of his guitar, and some candles nicely out of focus in the background.
Undercutting – While down in Florida visiting my parents, I found some time to get trackside. One of the times, I came across a Florida East Coast Railway crew cleaning the ballast through Boca Raton with a leased CP undercutter. I took a ton of photos, but this one in particular I really liked. It shows the business end of the machine, pulling the ballast out from under the ties, and moving up into the processing plant aboard the machine. The clean ballast was then redeposited behind the cut, again supporting the tracks. Blog Post
Christmas Card 2007 – As the title shows, this shot ended up being my 2007 Christmas card that was mailed out to some close friends. My family does two cards each year – one that I send out to my railroad related friends, and one that goes to the family – typically featuring our two daughters. This one was taken near milepost 4 on the Providence & Worcester’s Norwich Branch in Ledyard, CT on a snowy February morning. Blog Post
Devil’s Diamond – One of my all time favorites by far. I took this shot of the Providence & Worcester diamond in Plainfield, CT where the Willimantic and Norwich branches cross. This crossing is no longer – the P&W removed it and rearranged the track in Plainfield. According to the crews, it wasn’t the smoothest diamond on the system, and they’re really not sorry to see it go. I’m just glad I got a shot of it. And also, a print of this shot took 2nd place in the Fall 2007 NECCC interclub black & white competition. Blog Post
Old & New – The US Navy’s newest Virginia class fast attack submarine, the USS Hawaii, cruises down the Thames River past the freighter Persenk who is unloading copper plates at the State Pier in New London, CT. I really liked the contrast of the fresh black paint on the hull and sail of the sub, against the rusty well worn hull of the freighter. This was a couple days after the Hawaii was commissioned and officially handed over the the US Navy. Blog Post
Arm Out The Window – I was fortunate to get a cab ride on the Valley Railroad this past summer in the newly rebuilt Consolodation #40. This is one of two shots from that ride that made this list. Here I’m sticking my arm as far out the window as possible, with the 15mm fisheye lens strapped to the camera. Took 5 tries to get this shot of the train heading north through Essex, CT approaching the Deep River town line. Blog Post
Steamin’ Mad – Here’s the 2nd shot from the cab ride on the Valley Railroad. This one took quite a few more shots to get just right. I think I ended up taking about 40 or so to get about 6 good ones. Here’s the best of the bunch, again in my eyes. Steam everywhere as the engineer pulls the cord sounding for a grade crossing somewhere in Deep River. Blog Post
Providence & Eagle – Again, old meets new. The US Coast Guard cutter Eagle – a barque sailing vessel taken from the Germans as a war prize in World War II, and now a training vessel for Coast Guard Academy cadets – gets some help moving out of the way of an outbound Los Angeles class fast attack submarine – the USS Providence. I really liked the clouds overhead, as well as the quite rare meeting of two such vessels. Blog Post
Scorpius over Lenox – This one was taken at the 2nd annual night photo shoot at the Berkshire Scenic Railway Museum in Lenox, MA. This shot is of the Housatonic Railroad’s RS-3 posing at the Lenox station, with the constellation Scorpius rising above. I shot this one a bit differently than normal to get more of the star trails registered in the shot. I think it came out rather well. Blog Post
NR-2 Reflection – This year saw me get back into Black & White film photography, but not 35mm, but rather medium format. I came into a few old medium format cameras and some darkroom equipment this summer, so I found a camera store nearby that carries the chemistry, and I started souping up rolls of film again after about a 20 year hiatus. Here’s a shot taken with a Graflex Pacemaker 23 Speed Graphic on Kodak T-MAX 400 film of Providence & Worcester train NR-2 at Stoddard Cove in Ledyard, CT. I really liked the reflection and the look of the clouds in the skies overhead. Blog Post
Running for the Shot – My wife & I took our daughters to a seal release in Rhode Island this summer. A harbor seal was found in Bridgeport, CT with a gunshot would to his eye. So the Mystic Marinelife Aquarium took him in and rehabilitated him back to health. This day they were to release him back into the Atlantic Ocean, and the event was covered by the press in RI and CT. I got some nice shots of the seal making his way to the water, as well as our daughters with their signs (which made the news in both RI and CT – even the little one made it on the front page of the Westerly Sun!), but this one was the most humorous of the bunch. A shot of a TV cameraman running through the water, chasing the seal (his head is sticking above the water above the cameraman’s shoulder) trying to get a shot. It just struck me as funny, so I grabbed the shot. Blog Post
Speeding Autoracks – A shot from a trip I took to New York State with friend & fellow photographer Tom Mik for the magazine Railroads Illustrated’s Day In North America feature. We met up with a family of railfans – father & two sons – at Iona Island on the Hudson River. I got this shot of one of the sons videotaping the passing northbound CSX autorack train. Blog Post
Speeding Through Willimantic – I was fortunate to be able to ride on a couple organized track car runs this year. One of which was on the New England Central Railroad between Willimantic and New London, CT. What makes this even more special was that this was the last run on the NECR – the railroad’s management recently instituted a policy of no track car or passenger train excursions of any kind will be allowed on the railroad anymore. Oh, well – at least I got to ride it once. This is a shot I took by holding my camera near the track surface as we were rolling through Willimantic yard heading south to New London. Visible in the foreground is a couple more track cars. Blog Post
Greenville and New London – The last one is of the USS Greenville, a US Navy Los Angeles class fast attack submarine, heading out to sea. This was unusual in that her home port is Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Apparently she’s on her way to Maine for some refitting, and made a brief stop in Groton. Here we’ve got a closeup of the crew riding the sail past downtown New London. Blog Post
And that’s it. Yeah, I posted a ton of pictures this year, and God willing I’ll do the same in 2008. Thank you all for checking the site out this past year, and I look forward to sharing my pictures & experiences with you in the upcoming year.
Wishing everyone a safe & happy new year.
Thanks for looking!