Monday, May 25, 2015

10 Questions for Caleb Wentzell

Railroad magazine used to have a regular feature highlighting an "Interesting Railfan". I thought I would run a similar series with some railfans who have agreed to participate. I'm asking each railfan 10 questions, some standard and some customized for the particular person. I hope you enjoy it. (See all in the series)

Caleb Wentzell is an Eastern Canadian railfan. I've never met him but I enjoy his photography, both railway-related and not.

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Hmm, well, my name is Caleb, I hail from just outside of a small town in Nova Scotia called Lunenburg.  I have a passion for playing basketball, tinkering with model trains (HO Scale), photography, and just hanging around my friends. In the fall I will be entering my 4th year at New Brunswick Bible Institute, (Victoria Corner, NB), but instead of studying at the school as I have done in my three previous years, I will be at a church in Perham, Maine under a Pastor. Ironically it's only 15-20 minutes from Presque Isle, where Irving operates trains.

2. Why do you like trains?

I was introduced to Thomas the Tank Engine at a very young age, and with this new found love, I wanted so desperately to see a train.  I personally don't remember this but my mother often tells me a story of when we were in Hampton, NB and I was just a toddler standing with my parents and grandparents at dusk one evening.  I could see a train coming and I began to get very excited, however when the train blew, I got so upset and started crying because it scared me so bad.  My grandfather got annoyed because he knew I was excited to see the train but wouldn't sympathize with me.

3. Where’s your favourite place to railfan?

This is a toss-up, but it really is a three way-tie.

1) Windsor Junction, NS
2) Hampton, NB
3) Sussex, NB

CN 120 past Windsor Junction, NS - by Caleb Wentzell

4. If you could railfan anywhere, anytime, where and when would it be?

I would railfan any trains I could on the Halifax and Southwestern Subdivision. This is no longer possible, but at one time tracks ran right along the south shore of Nova Scotia.  Unfortunately I was born two years too late, as the tracks were torn up in '93 thus causing me to never see trains run in the area I grew up in.  As for an era? Late 80's or very early 90's.

5. What’s your favourite railway?

I'd have to say three again:
1) Canadian National
2) VIA
3) Cape Breton and Central Nova Scotia

VIA 15, the Ocean, departing Halifax NS - by Caleb Wentzell

6. You photograph more than just trains. What interests you?

People of all sorts, along with landscapes are two other favourite shooting options of mine.

7. What are you doing to improve your photography?

Trial and error has been my motto since day one.  Of course picking up tips from other photographers has helped along the way.

MBTA Cabbage Shoving over the Merrimack River at Haverhill, MA - by Caleb Wentzell

8. What advice do you have for railfan photographers?

Allow yourself ample time to set up if possible.  I'm speaking from experience, and I'm sure those that know me and are reading this post will chuckle when I say "It's better to set up and wait two or even three hours for a train, as opposed to missing the shot, because you didn't allow yourself enough time to, other than giving your own roll by as you drove up to the tracks and there it was."

Another word of caution...and it should go without saying, but make sure you have fresh batteries, enough space on your memory card, and if at all possible if shooting a moving train, fire as many frames as you can while it is moving towards you.
CBNS 302 Climbing the Grade at River Denys, NS - by Caleb Wentzell

9. What projects do you have on the go, or in planning?

Well I'm hoping to get engaged to my girlfriend soon, and as I mentioned above, finish my secondary education so I can get my Bachelor in Theology.

10. How about those Leafs?

I think I speak for all leafs fans when I say a hearty welcome to Mike Babcock! :)

As a Winnipeg Jets fan, I say good luck and maybe we'll see the Leafs in the playoffs next year! ;)

You can see more of Caleb's work at his Flickr page. He posts train and personal photos on Instagram as crwentzphoto.

Thanks, Caleb!

All 10 Questions posts

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