Images & Observations

Posts tagged “rail

2:42 P.M. At Claremont Station

Nikon D7000 18-200mm @ 29mm ISO 200 1/160 f/13 Lr4, TpzSim; PsCS6

Eastbound  Metrolink train 859 rolls up to the platform.

To view in high resolution or to purchase prints please click here: http://goo.gl/yN321 .


Proud But Forlorn

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Nikon D7000 18-135mm @ 26mm ISO 200 3-bkts f/11 Lr3, HEP!, TpzSim; PsCS5

The Amtrak station in Pomona, California, quietly standing as a monument to the heyday of long transcontinental rail travel.   This station services the Sunset Limited (running between Los Angeles and New Orleans) which passes through three times a week in each direction.  This was the most under utilized station in the Amtrak system in 2010, with an average of 4 passengers leaving or arriving per day.

Please click on the image to view in high resolution.


Transit Walkway

Nikon D7000 18-135mm @ 32mm ISOm200 3-bkts f/11 Lr3, HEP1, TpzSim; PsCS5

The structure is the pedestrian over crossing at the downtown Pomona, California rail station.  The two towers, in adaddition to serving as structural supports for the bridge also house elevators; the two structures jutting out from the towers are stair wells.  The dark objects discernable passing below the bridge on the tracks are black tank cars which made up a large part of a freight consist passing through.

In addition to my usual work with Lightroom, HDR Efex Pro and Topaz Simpify stylizing this image, I also used Photoshop to remove an automobile that was in the left foreground.

Please click on the image to view in high resolution.


The Departure

Nikon D7000 10-24mm @ 24mm ISO 1600 1/800 f/22 +2EV -2EV Lr3, HEP1, TpzSim; PsCS5 (background image)

A tableau that might have been real in the last century, or alive just in  my mind.    This is a composite of three images; the Buick is pink and white in real life.

Please click on the image to view in high resolution.


Roaring 20’s Excursion

Nikon D7000 10-24mm @ 24mm ISO 1600 3-bkts f/8 Lr3; HEP1

A typical baggage cart loaded with hand luggage and mail bags is on display at the San Bernardino Railroad & History Museum.  The era represented could be the Roaring 20’s, the advertising card is for a rail excursion in 1923 from Venice, California to the 13th National Orange show in San Bernardino.  The excursion was operated by the Pacific Electric Railway Company, which during its heyday had electric trolleys, popularly termed “red cars” criss crossing the greater Los Angeles area.  The excursion from the beach at Venice inland to San Bernardino would have been roughly 100 miles if travelling by automobile, Pacific Electric offered a special excursion fare on Washington’s Birthday, February 18, 1928 for $3.25, round trip, via their electric trolleys

Pacific Electric’s operations began declining after the second world war, and most of the rail lines were eliminated throughout the 1950’s.  The scandale that arose in the 1960’s was that it was widely thought that oil company and automotive manufacturing interests were responsible for the decision to replace the interurban rail transit system with freeways, cars and buses.

Ironically, local government and transportation authorities began championing interurban rail transit again in the 1980’s and the first Metro Blue Line rail transit (subway) line began operations in 1990 and later the Red, Green and Gold Lines were added, as was the Metrolink heavy rail system linking more distant exurbs.  All of this work completed or still under construction in 2012, at considerable more cost to the taxpayers and environmental impact than would have accrued if the Pacific Electric Railway would never have been abandoned.

Please click on the image to view in high resolution.


Monument To A Bygone Era

Nikon D7000 10-24mm @ 24mm ISO 1600 4-sets/3-bkts f/22 Lr3, HEP1, TpzSim; PsCS5

The first Santa Fe depot in San Bernardino was a wood structure, built in 1886.  A fire leveled the depot on the night of November 1, 1916.  The depot was rebuilt of wood and masonry in the Mission Revival style and opened on July 15, 1918.  The heyday of the depot was from the 1920’s to the 1950’s; a Santa Fe timetable published in June of 1938 listed 13 eastbound and 13 westbound passenger trains departing from the terminal every day.  In 1972 Santa Fe’s passenger service was turned over to Amtrak, and in 1992 the Santa Fe Railroad moved almost their entire freight operations to Barstow, California and Topeka, Kansas.

In 1992 the San Bernardino Association of Governments acquired title to the depot and began a restoration.  That same year Metrolink commuter rail operations began arriving and departing from the tracks adjacent to the depot.  Today Metrolink continues to operate at the depot and one Amtrak train departs eastbound and one Amtrak train departs westbound per day, this is the Southwest Chief that operates between Chicago and Los Angeles.

The San Bernardino Railroad & History Museum occupies most of the center section in the image above on the first floor.  There is no rolling stock in the museum’s collection except for some small maintenance apparatus, but there are quite a few railroad artifacts on display, and some early fire apparatus.


Del Mar Building Trio

Interpretive Digital Imaging

Nikon D7000 18-135mm @ 35mm ISO 2000 3-bkts f/13 Lr3, TpzSim; PsCS5

These buildings stand on the north side of Del Mar Boulevard between South Raymond Avenue in the foreground and South Arroyo Parkway in Pasadena, California.   Coming up Raymond from where we parked I was attracted by the bold colors of the buildings which reflect the re-urbanization of Pasadena, they were constructed after the beginning of the new millenium and are primarily housing units with maybe some business activity on portions of the first floors; there is an interurban rail line that passes through the red building in the center.  This block of buildings is situated on the southern edge of Old Town Pasadena, adjacent to many Pasadena historic structures.

I started with an HDR processed image, used Lightroom to flatten some of the detail, then went further with Topaz Simplify.  Then masked back in some of the detail at varying opacity; then hand painted in all of the white building in order to get the color  and texture where I wanted it.


Ready To Roll

Interpretive Digital Imaging

Nikon D7000 10-24mm @ 13mm ISO 200 3-bkts f/16 Lr3, HEP1, TpzSim; PsCS5

A final image from the Riverside, California Metrolink station, trackside looking north at two EMD F59PHI engines and the pedestrian bridge linking the west and east platforms.  (There are actually three platforms at this station, the west in the left foreground, the middle, between the two trains, and the east, which is behind the train on the right.  Passengers cross from the west to the middle platform at ground level, the crossing is in the right foreground of this image, and at the time the image was captured the ground level crossing was “roped” closed.)

This is my favorite image from the series this week


Running Gear

Interpretive Digital Imaging

Nikon D7000 10-24mm @ 24mm ISO 200 3-bkts f/16 Lr3, HEP1, CEP3, TpzSim; PsCS5

This is the forward truck assembly on one of Metrolink’s EMD F59PH locomotives.  There is a wheel here and what I believe is brake equipment.  I really enjoy capturing images of mechanical devices, I believe they are great examples of sculptural art.  As with the other images I am sharing this week I practiced rendering the final image in a painterly style.  I played with overall contrast, adjusted highlights and shadows, modified color tones and reduced details.

I’d appreciate feedback from viewers of these images, what do you think of the painterly effects I am using, and would you like to see more images of mechanical or industrial equipment handled this way.


Sleeping Trains

Interpretive Digital Imaging

Nikon D7000 10-24mm @ 24mm ISO 1600 3-bkts f/16 Lr3, HEP1, TpzSim; PsCS5

Sunday evening at the Riverside, California Metrolink Station and the trains “sleep” until the commuting week begins Monday morning.  The engine facing the camera in the middle ground is an Electro Motive Diesel (EMD) F59PH.  Metrolink has 23 of these engines in their fleet, each one weighs 260,000 pounds and they are each capable of generating 3,000 horsepower and a top speed of about 63 miles per hour.  The other engines seen here are EMD ‘s F59PHI which weighs 268,000 pounds generates 3,200 horse power and reaches a top speed of 110 miles per hour; Metrolink has 14 of these engines in service.  (Source on engine specifications Wikipedia.)

As part of my Interpretive Digital Imaging exploration I used Topaz Simplify to reduce details and give all the prominent features a more soft, paint like appearance, with a little tweaking of the strength of edges.  I then masked in a second layer from the unsimplified image to gain back some detail in the engine in the middle ground and all of the lights.


Signal Tower & Bridge Superstructure

Interpretive Digital Imaging

Nikon D7000 10-24mm @ 10mm ISO 1600 1/640 f/13 Lr3, ASSA3; PsCS5

This is the signal tower and west end of the pedestrian bridge at the Riverside, California Metrolink Station.  In addition to the stairways, patrons are served by an elevator in the west brick tower and one in the east brick tower, which was the only way I was able to get up on the bridge for yesterday’s image of the freight passing through.

This image is another example of my practicing simplifying images from the initial photo realism in order to convey more of a general feeling of the subjects (instead of a literal representation) so that the viewers’ minds can fill in any details they may imagine.  There is just the hint of the train in the background of this image, but I believe it is enough to enable the viewer to understand there was a train there.

There was much more detail of individual bricks in the elevator tower in my original capture and I purposely softened the detail and over saturated the coloring of the bricks.  I also liked the two converging lines from the crosswalk and upped the saturation and brightness of those as they converged on the tower and bridge.  And of course the processes I applied, including the introduction of a canvas texture resulted in a very painterly rendering.  (This and all of my images are in my gallery and the tools in the gallery will allow you to see the images in full size or near full size, then the texture will become quite apparent.)


Sunday Freight

Interpretive Digital Imaging

Nikon D7000 10-24mm @ 24mm ISO1600 3-bkts f/16 Lr3, HEP1, TpzSim; PsCS5

My photography has been evolving during the past year and I have been experimenting more and more with tools at my disposal to create unique or more painterly like renditions of my images.  (Please see my recent automotive images, in which I modify the context that the main subjects, the cars, are displayed in.)  The exercises that I am engaging in are leading me to seeing my subjects expressed with less documentary objectivity but  instead, expressed with more of my own sensual, and emotional narrative line of thought.   I find myself morphing the images I capture away from photo realism, eliminating or un-focussing details that do not seem necessary to tell the story, or which might distract the viewer, reducing the images to just the essential shapes, colors, lines and tones that expresses what I see but which also might enable another viewer to interpret the scene in a way that completes a story, or creates a feeling in his or her own mind.

This week’s images are another step along the path of painterly renditions for me and I was thinking “what can I classify these images as?”  What genre or style are my images  becoming.  For lack of a better categorization I am going to use the term Interpretive Digital Imaging for the time being.  And I will see where this will go.

It is late Sunday afternoon and while the commuter trains remain idle a BNSF freight train makes its way past the Riverside, California Metrolink commuter rail station.  This image was captured about 30 minutes after the last Metrolink train arrived with Sunday beach goers returning home.  The camera viewpoint is from the top of the pedestrian bridge stairs which lead to the east platform, in the far distance are the San Gabriel and San Bernardino Mountains to the north, poking above the haze and smog layer that extends east from Los Angeles County.


Del Mar Station

Nikon D7000 18-135mm @ 18mm ISO 320 3-bkts f/13 Lr3; HEP1

This is Del Mar Station on the Metro Rail Gold Line in Pasadena, California.  It was built on the site of the former Santa Fe railway station that last saw service for Amtrak.  The Metro Rail station is surrounded by buildings constructed during the past decade on three sides that house businesses on the first floor and apartments or condominiums on the upper floors, the fourth side of the station faces (out sight the right side of the image above) the old Santa Fe station which was restored and re-opened as a restaurant.  The steps in the right center of the image lead up to the rail platform, which extends on a slight diagonal behind the “signal tower” like structure.    The gentleman in the image is heading for the stairs under the “signal tower” to an underground garage that extends under the tracks below the plaza in the foreground and the buildings in the left background.  The tracks run through the red “wing” that extends from the large background structure in the right background.

This is a pleasant plaza to just while away the time and watch the comings and goings of the people and the light rail trains.  We are thinking about also giving the restaurant a try on a future visit also.