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Dinner Train Cab Ride

14485678855_3442dfa39f_mTo start off the month of June, I rode along with the Valley Railroad‘s Essex Clipper Dinner Train.  But not as a passenger enjoying the on-board dinner with my wife, as we usually do every summer.  Nope, instead I rode up in the head end with the engineer for the 2 1/2 hour ride from Essex to Haddam and back, enjoying the scenery along the Connecticut River valley.  Well, and of course snapping a few pictures along the way.

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Watching an EMD CF-7 Fuel Injector Swap

14211583790_4642de76d3_mAbout 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.

Continue reading Watching an EMD CF-7 Fuel Injector Swap

A Dozen Miles in a Decade – Art Gallery Exhibit

postcard-frontNow that my first solo gallery exhibit, A Dozen Miles in a Decade, has opened at the Oliver Jensen Gallery at the Essex Steam Train in Essex, Connecticut, I can give you all some more details – including how to purchase prints online!

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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).

Continue reading The Making of a Gallery Exhibit – the prep work

Thoughts on 10 Years of Nights

As I usually do, I kick many ideas around in my head – from ideas about potential photos, to reassessing the photos I’ve taken thus far.  Lately – well, over the past couple of years, at least – I’ve been thinking about my night shots quite a bit.  What do I like?  What don’t I like?  What can I do different?  And, not that it really matters in the grand scheme of things, but do they stand out from the seemingly growing sea of after-dark shooters?  The answers to these questions – along with studying a number of other photographers’ work, both contemporary and classic – seem to be shaping my view of the night, and what direction I want to go in.  In this post, I’ll basically look over my entire experience after dark and see where that brings me.  Strap yourself in – this is going to be one of the, if not the longest article I’ve posted here.

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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.

Continue reading One night in Baltic

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.

Continue reading Morning on the Grafton & Upton

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!

Continue reading My Top 12 of ’13