Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Lighting Challenges

Stepping away from VIA for a moment, here are some freight trains I have seen recently, under a variety of lighting conditions.

First, set the wayback machine to July 29. I was driving home and spotted a headlight in the distance on the CN Rivers subdivision and pulled over to grab this shot of CN 2538 leading a freight train out of Winnipeg.
CN 2538 in Winnipeg

With light like this, all you have to do is point and shoot!

I'm guessing they had the front door open for a little ventilation.

Now to October 6th. I was driving near Beach Junction (at the north end of CN's Symington Yard here in Winnipeg) when I saw a train slowly moving out. I zipped up Warman Road (here) and hopped out to get these shots.

Here, the sun was off to my right so the conditions were not ideal. The best you can do is either point into the sun and accept a silhouette shot (and probably manually adjust the exposure), or turn as much away from the sun as you can. First up was ex-GTW engine 5948. You may recall I saw that before on CN 533.
Ex GTW 5948 in Winnipeg

The second engine was equally interesting. This is CN 5442, freshly painted after being acquired by CN. You may remember I mentioned back in March that CN was buying new and used power. This is an SD60, former GMTX 9099.
CN 5442 in Winnipeg

The CN 5400 number series used to be for CN's SD50s but those are all retired. Canadian Railway Observations has some details on the "new" SD60s.

CN 5442 sure looks a lot different on the outside from CN's cowled SD60s. Speaking of those, here are two for comparison (from October 11th). Love those zebra stripes.CN 5558 in Winnipeg

Again, good lighting conditions so "point and shoot" and away you go.

Earlier in the same day, I shot this early morning train with CN 8924. This was just before 8 AM and the sun had just come over the horizon. It's to my right so you know the nose is going to be in shadow. I elected to try a "glint" shot with the sun on the side of the train. If you have time, take a few test shots before the train comes to manually adjust the exposure. Fortunately there was enough light to be able to use a shutter speed of 1/200s to freeze the action. To be honest, a bit more motion blur would have been fine too.
CN 8924 in Winnipeg

I liked how the sky turned out.

I also shot the Canadian on October 11 but I already blogged about that.

Now, up to almost the present! I shot this train on Saturday (Oct. 20) as it headed toward Diamond. I had to play "catch up" as I came to the Wilkes Avenue / Perimeter Highway intersection and it was already half past me. Fortunately it is not too hard to get ahead of freight trains here. You can see the light was not great, given that it was overcast, and it yielded this rather pedestrian photo.
CN 8927 in Winnipeg

With flat light you get a flat photo. A bit dull.

To make things a bit more interesting, I decided to do a pan shot as the train closed. I dialed the shutter speed down to 1/30s and panned, and it worked out. Note the "#13 Go Blackhawks" scrawled in the dirt on the engine.
Pan shot of CN 8927 in Winnipeg

Later in the same day, I was hanging around waiting for the Canadian. My kids grew tired of waiting so we headed out, but we did manage to grab this train headed by IC 2725. Again, dull light so I chose a shot to fill the frame with the engine.
IC 2725 in Winnipeg

One final train from October 20. The light had not improved so I was basically shooting to record the engines.. plus if you are trackside and there's a train, why not shoot it?
CN 8947 in Winnipeg

Since there was only CN 8947 on the head end, I knew there would be a DPU engine somewhere. It turned out that CN 2244 was on the rear. I dialed down the shutter speed to capture this pan shot.
CN 2244 pan shot


GP9Rm4108 said...

All of the 5900 series engines are still GTW engines.

The grey ones (Canadian built and ex KCS, exx CN) were in storage and most had their GTW and CN identities painted over as they were slated for sale or scrap.

I think CN fully owns them now. Just wanted to point out that they are all still GTW.

Canadian Train Geek said...

Thanks, good to know. I wonder why some still prominently say they are owned by Alstom?