Post Archives


My Top 12 of ’13

 Valley Railroad veteran Mikado No 40 heads north through Chester, Connecticut with a trainload of passengers visiting with Santa and his elves on the wildly popular North Pole Express.First off, I want to wish everyone a happy and healthy new year.  Hopefully everyone had a safe and joyous Christmas and holiday season.  And to kick off the new year, I figured I’d pull together a recap of my 2013 photographic ramblings along the rails of the northeast – well, one favorite from each month, that is.  Last year wasn’t exactly a stellar year for shooting, quantitatively speaking – only managing to get out a few times a month over the entire year, but I did get some decent stuff in those limited times trackside – including shots of CSX, Norfolk Southern, Providence & Worcester, PanAm Railways and the Valley Railroad.  I went through and picked out my favorite shot from each month of the year, and I figured I’d talk a bit about each one here.  So grab your favorite beverage, sit back and enjoy what you’re reading and seeing!

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Merry Christmas and Seasons Greetings!

Just wanted to take a moment on Christmas Eve morning to wish you all a very Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and all that!  Whatever holiday you celebrate this season, please enjoy it with those who are closest to you – you never know what tomorrow will bring.  Thank you all for reading along with me over the years, and I hope to post more in 2014 – I’m working on some different ideas featuring my work, and hope to have updates on that soon.  But in the meantime, here’s a copy of this year’s Christmas Card – some folks got a print version of it, but I wanted to share an electronic version for the folks following here on the blog.

Tom Nanos 2013 Card

Click here to see a high-res version of just the photograph in the card, taken of the Valley Railroad at Deep River, Connecticut.

Thank you again, and I hope you have a happy and joyous holiday!

See you in 2014!
Tom Nanos

Print Sale!

 Pratt Cove Reflection

Pratt Cove Reflection

It’s a little after Black Friday, but I’ve decided to put a coupon up on the Store site where you can get 20% off your entire print order!  The coupon is good until December 20, 2013, and is valid for any purchase made on the site!  Discount only applies to purchases, and not shipping charges.  Numerous sizes are available – from 4″ x 6″ all the way up to 20″ x 30″!

Coupon Code:  20PERCENT2013

You could also click on the Pratt Cove Reflection shot on the left and go directly to that photo…

I’ve added a bunch of my favorites to the store, but it’s by no means a complete catalog of my work.  If there’s a particular photo you’re looking to get for that special railfan and you don’t see it up there, drop me a line and I should be able to add it for you.

Thanks and happy holidays to all!


Daddy-Daughter night – North Pole Express style

10946100666_7e4ba82802_mNovember 15, 2013 marked the start of the North Pole Express season at the Valley Railroad/Essex Steam Train in Essex, Connecticut.  And with the after-dark departures, spots in the towns of Essex, Deep River and Chester have been on my list of sites to photograph the steam train passing through the night.  This year, I decided to kick off the NPE season a little differently – this time with my daughter shooting along side of me.

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Photo Presentation at the Norman Rockwell Museum

20121218-420204365-_MG_3100-SOn Saturday November 23, 2013, I’ll be giving a presentation of my rail photography, along with the story behind the photos at the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, MA as a part of their “Trains!” Family Day event (event info is here on the NRM site). The entire event goes from 1-4PM, and my presentation will have a 45 minute block in there at some point. The photos I’ll be selecting for the talk will be all taken in New England – both day and night, and some will have, um, humorous stories behind them.

If you attended the Mass Bay RRE picnic in Palmer, MA a couple years ago when I presented, it’ll be a similar format, where I show a limited selection of photos, and talk a bit about each, somewhat in-depth.  The discussion can range from my thoughts behind the photo, the circumstances around it, or even what kind of bodily injury I incurred to make the photo.  As was with the MBRRE picnic, questions and comments from the viewers will be most welcome!

Hope to see some of you out there!

Two Weeks in NJ – Week 2

Eastbound at FleetwoodMy second week in NJ had me trying some new lighting techniques, as well as meeting up with friends again – For a recap, here’s the post from the first week.  And being near Norfolk Southern terratory, there is always the possibility of catching another of their Heritage Units.  Would I get that chance to bag another one of the classic paint schemes?

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Two Weeks in NJ – Week 1

NYSW at Port Jervis, NYThe last couple weeks of September brought me back to northern New Jersey for work again, and of course I managed to get out and shoot a bit.  I visited some of my usual haunts – both in daylight and under cover of darkness, as well as added a couple of others spots – including a late-night stop on the New York, Susquehanna & Western.  This was also a trip where I aimed to experiment a bit more with my nighttime flash setups – I did mix that experimentation in with some of the more run-of-the-mill stuff.  Read on to check it all out…well, at least the first week in this post…

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NAN and the Super Moon

Acela at SunsetFor today’s post, we’ll go back to the end of June when we as earthlings bore witness to the closest “super moon” of 2013 – or in more scientific terms the moon was at the perigee (closest to Earth) of its orbit while in the full phase.  Honestly, it’s nothing truly rare, despite the Internet hype that usually precedes its arrival – it happens once about every 14 full moons.  Even with the frequency of them happening, I wanted to photograph this event, but not just in the astronomical sense – I also wanted to include the railroad in the photograph.  And one spot sprung to mind where it would be possible – the new Niantic River Drawbridge on the Niantic/Waterford town line.

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Bending Gravity at the Library

9457330443_8831b3390a_qOver the summers here in Lebanon, the town library (Jonathan Trumbull Library) usually has events for the kids every week, ranging from crafts to movies to animal demonstrations to performers.  This week’s act needed a little larger venue to perform some of his act – since it involved sharp objects and fire.  So instead of the usual show in the lower level of the Library, it was moved outside onto the adjoining Town Green, giving him plenty of room to put on his show.  And he sure did use it all…

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Dinner on the Rails

Dinner Train at Deep River, Connecticut The Valley Railroad/Essex Steam Train in Essex, Connecticut is famous for their steam powered excursion trains along the Connecticut River (see some of my other posts on the Valley RR here).  But they also offer other types of rail excursions – most as limited run specials like the Circus Train and Eagle Flyer.  But there is another that they offer during most of their operating season – I’m referring to the Essex Clipper Dinner Train.

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