I put 10 questions to Matt Landry, who is a railfan in New Brunswick, Canada. I've known Matt virtually for years and we've met in person a couple of times.
1. Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I work for Baxter Dairies (milk company). I've been there since 2009, where my job consists of sales and merchandising.
2. Why do you like trains?Honestly, I don't really know why. My great grandfather was a flagman for CN on PEI back in the day, so my mom says it's kind of in my blood, even though I don't work for the railway. I guess people need to have an interest in something, and for myself, it would be the trains.
I was only seven years old when the railway was shut down on PEI, so I only vaguely remember trains while they were running on PEI. I really only started to get into trains again when I moved over to Saint John (check out the PEI Railway Facebook group, or the new PEIRailway.ca site!)
I used to just pull over and watch the trains if I was stopped at a crossing or knew if one was coming. After a while, I realized, "hey, people are taking video and pictures of them", so that's where my love for the video/photo side of it started.
|NBSR 6319 leads a passenger train to the Dragon Boat festival at Renforth, NB|
3. Where’s your favorite place to railfan?Honestly, I don't have a favorite spot to railfan. I've been getting more involved with photography over the last few years, so I'm constantly trying to find new areas to take photos. I guess I could say that the Moncton area would be my favorite spot, but the photo locations around Moncton always change.
4. If you could railfan anywhere, anytime, where and when would it be?I've always wanted to catch the CP Holiday train. Obviously closer to Christmas would be better, but I would also be happy to catch them shortly after they depart Montreal, i.e. Smiths Falls.
Another area where I'd love to railfan would be out in western Canada, more specifically, along the Rockies. There's so many great photos that come out of those areas, and I'd also want to hike around and try to find vantage points which haven't been found yet.
|CN 8945 leads westbound train CN 406 through the fall colours near Petitcodiac, NB|
5. What’s your favorite railway?Unfortunately, CN, NBSR and CBNS are the only railways in my area. As much as I see CN on a more regular basis, my favorite railway would be the NBSR.
6. What’s your workflow for processing and sharing your photos?I always take multiple shots of one scene when I'm out. For example, a short time ago, I chased the NBSR from Saint John to McAdam. In that 3 hour chase, I took about 30 photos, but I only choose about 5-6 to actually work with.
I shoot raw, so I pull the shots off the camera into Photoshop's "Camera Raw" application, which works amazingly well.
After editing, I bring my photos over to Lightroom, where I apply the watermark to my photos. Once this is finished, if time permits right away, I'll upload them to Flickr and submit them to Railpictures.net.
|CN 2821 leads a B730 potash crossing the Salmon River Trestle at New Denmark, NB|
7. How do you decide where to take your photos?It just depends. I try to find spots where the lighting and scene is great, and I try to find a location that I haven't shot anything at for a while.
Sometimes I'll go back to a scene that I might have recently shot at, but I'll go to a different vantage point to try for something different.
8. Do you use presets with Lightroom or edit each photo individually?I edit each photo individually. I'm always using different settings and different lenses, so I just find it's better to work on each photo individually, even if it does add a little bit of time.
9. What recommendations would you give to the intermediate railfan to improve their photos?Try and get out of Auto. Shooting in manual actually isn't that hard, and it gives you WAY more control over your photos.
For a fast moving train, you want a faster shutter speed, and having the camera decide the settings can be fatal, especially if you've been waiting all day for your first shot or whatnot.
Even if you want to start with "Tv Mode", aka "shutter priority", that's something that you at least have control of. The last thing you want is a blurry train when you don't want it that way.
Oh, try and have fun. This hobby can be frustrating sometimes.
|CN 3040 leads CN 120 through the fog at Fort Lawrence, Nova Scotia|
10. What projects do you have ongoing or planned?Not sure if you'd call this a project, but over the next little while, I'd like to start getting back into shooting video on a regular basis again.
At one time, video was my main priority, but it's taken a back seat to photography. I've only uploaded about 4 videos so far in 2016, so I'm hoping to get back into the video side of it again soon.
Thanks, Matt! To see more of Matt's work, check out his Railpictures.net profile, his Flickr photos, his YouTube videos, or follow him on Facebook.