The Making of a Gallery Exhibit – the prep work

For this blog post, how about a quick peek into some of the work I’ve been doing to prepare for my upcoming gallery exhibit in Essex, Connecticut?  I figured something different might be kind of refreshing here – instead of the usual photos of what comes out of my camera, we’d take a look behind the curtains for a minute or two.  I’m in the planning/printing stages currently, right on schedule for the May 30th gallery opening reception (Click Here for the Event on Facebook).

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One night in Baltic

Last night I got word that Providence & Worcester train NR-2 would be making a right hand turn at Plainfield, heading for Willimantic, instead of their usual run down to Groton and along Amtrak’s Shore Line.  With the train’s change in plans, I also changed mine – originally I was set to meet up with a couple other photographers to light up NR-2’s trip south through Ledyard then move over to the Niantic River Bridge on the Shore Line.  Since I really had my heart set on shooting a freight, and with the change in plan of NR-2, I opted to change my plans and not meet up with the others – who ended up sticking around NAN last night.

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Dawn at Bethlehem

Digging into the photos from this last fall for this post – like I’ve mentioned in other posts before, I have been out shooting, just not as often as I used to, and unfortunately I haven’t been posting here much.  So for the next few blog posts, I’ll be reaching back into 2013 for material that hasn’t been posted here yet.  But we’ll be working on that…  For this one, we’ll go back to a stop I made on my drive home from a business trip to the Philadelphia area.  Yeah, I took the scenic route through Bethlehem, PA, hoping for some early morning Norfolk Southern action.  Thankfully I got one train moving through the yard along the Lehigh River.

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Morning on the Grafton & Upton

I was off to a slow start in 2014, photographically speaking – my first outing to shoot railroads wasn’t until January 20th.  And as a result of the slow start, the old blog here has been a little stagnant of late.  But I’m trying to change that – first Monday’s post about my upcoming gallery exhibit, and now this.  With the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, I as well as my kids had the day off.  Taking advantage of that, my younger daughter and I headed up to North Grafton, MA to spend the morning along the G&U.  Sure it was cold, and there was plenty of snow on the ground, but we both had a great time doing a little daddy-daughter bonding – both of us with cameras in hand.

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A Dozen Miles in a Decade – a Gallery Exhibit

For the past 8 or so years I’ve been exhibiting my photos in various art galleries around eastern Connecticut – whether as a part of a photo club group exhibit, supporting a special event at the gallery or splitting the bill with another photographer.  The summer and fall of 2014 will bring a change in that trend – from the end of May to the end of October, the Oliver Jensen Gallery in Essex, Connecticut will be hosting my first solo exhibit!  The gallery, which occupies a room at the former Dickinson Witch Hazel bottling plant, now known as “River Valley Junction” at Essex Station, is named for one of the founders and chief visionaries of the Valley Railroad.  The title of the exhibit will be A Dozen Miles in a Decade – The Valley Railroad from Old Saybrook to Haddam, 2003-2013 and will feature a selection of photos I’ve taken of the railroad, both day and night, over the past 10 years.  I’m currently selecting the photos I’m thinking about hanging in the gallery, scanning film and making prints.  As the date gets closer, I’ll post more details here, including information about the opening reception and when the gallery will be open for viewing.  Also, there will be a tie-in with the Friends of the Valley Railroad’s 2015 calendar.  More details on that will be coming soon as well…

In the meantime, be sure to mark your calendars – the opening reception will be Friday May 30, 2014 from 5-8pm, and will be open to the public.  I hope some of you can make it down to Essex for the kickoff!  Stay tuned for the rest!

For those of you on Facebook, click here for the event created by the Valley Railroad.


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!