Images & Observations

Posts tagged “railroad

Telegrapher’s Perch

Nikon D7000 10-24mm @ 24mm ISO 1600 1/10 f/8 =2EV -2EV Lr3, HEP1

This is a period reproduction of a railroad station from 1910 in the San Bernardino Railroad & History Museum.  In so far as it being a historically accurate representation the museum might want to consider re-designating it as a railroad station circa 1920, as the rotary telephone was not invented until 1919.  I do appreciate some of the details, such as the spittoon, the telegraph key (visible in a high resolution view) to the left of the typewriter, and the telegraph receiver above and to the left of the telegraph key.

Please click on the image to view it in high resolution.


Cold War Relic

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

If you know what the phrase “Duck and cover” means, and probably practiced it, you know what this object is.  Living in the Los Angeles area during the Cold War era I also know what an air raid siren sounds like.  The Civil Defense authorities would test all of the sirens at 10:00 A.M. on one Friday a month, and if we were in school we were taught to duck under our school desks, crouch down in and curl our bodies in on themselves, and cover our heads with our hands.  We were curled in to almost a fetal position waiting for our doom from the blast and tremendous heat of an exploding atomic bomb over our heads.

We were fortunate that we never had a bomb explode over us, and are fortunate that humanity has moved past the immediate threat of atomic annihilation, but others have not been as fortunate as us, either those who lived through the German V-1 bombing in Great Britain before our generation, or those who have lived through the “Shock And Awe” bombing in  contemporary Bagdad.  The sound the sirens make is all too real for these people, as is the impact of the devastation created by warring nations.

Please click on the image to view in high resolution.


Ready To Peal Again

Nikon D7000 10-24mm @ 24mm ISO 1600 3-bkts f/8 Lr3, HEP1; PsCS5

Among the artifacts on display at the San Bernardino Railroad & History Museum is this old locomotive bell.  A nice jog of the memory of times past actually lived (by some of us) or as reproduced on the motion picture or television screen.  I can hear that distinct sound of a locomotive bell  pealing as it is rocked back and forth on its cradle in my mind.


Hose #1; An Exercise In Post Processing

Nikon D7000 10-24mm @ 12mm ISO 1600 1/20 +2EV -2EV f/8 Lr3, HEP1, CEP3; PsCS5

We are still at the San Bernardino Railroad & History Museum this week, and as we started last week off with a vintage piece of fire fighting apparatus, this week starts with a view of SAN B’DINO HOSE No. 1, a horse drawn truck for transporting the fire hose to the fire.

As with the majority of my images, the three frames that make up this image were shot hand-held.  The camera raw images were converted to DNG in Lightroom and then processed with Nik Software’s HDR Efrex Pro using a custom preset that I had previously devised.  This composited the three images together and tone mapped the result.  I used a custom preset in HDR Exfex Pro that I had previously devised, and the composite image only required very minimal “tweaking”.  The image was then moved in to Photo Shop and a duplicate background layer was created which then had a Gaussian blur applied.  I then masked out the fire truck, removing the blur from the truck.  A duplicate layer was created and then processed in Nik’s Color Efex Pro 3, the entire image, except the masked out truck, was modified by applying Color Efex Pro’s Midnight-Bright Sepia filter.  There was minor fine tuning along the way, and I spent some time magnifying the image and cleaning up edges of masking that overlapped, or underlapped.

I thoroughly enjoyed post processing this image and I think it has a nice, vintage feel to it, yet retains great clarity and detail on the truck.

Please click on the image to view it in high resolution.


Ultra Economy Class

Nikon D7000 10-24mm @ 18mm ISO 1600 1/15 -2EV +2EV f/13 Lr3, HEP1, CEP3; PsCS5

While those One Percenter’s are getting their shoes shined on the tarmac in front of their private jet they never forget the rest of us, and kindly arrange for alternative transportation for the wage earners.

This is a Hudson Bay Railroad hand car on display at the San Bernardino Railroad & History Museum.


The Original Hook & Ladder Truck

Nikon D7000 10-24mm @ 14mm ISO 1600 3-bkts f/16 Lr3; HEP1

One of the artifacts on display at the San Bernardino Railroad & History Museum, San Bernardino, California is this hook and ladder “truck” that dates back to the 1900’s.  If you look closely you can see the hook protruding from the red ring hanger that is attached to the rear of the truck chasis.

The Los Angeles County Fire Museum also displays an early hook and ladder and had this to say about it on their web site:

The fact that it is hand drawn, and not horse drawn, does not mean that it is older than horse drawn equipment. Small towns that did not require large firefighting equipment did not invest in the expense of having horses. So this vehicle may have served a small town or village, and they elected to stay with hand drawn equipment because they did not need the more capable, more expensive steam fire engines or horse drawn equipment…

It carried ground ladders and a roof ladder. A roof ladder is a ladder that has hooks that are spring loaded on the tip of the ladder that could turn perpendicular to the ladder so that the ladder could lay flat on the peak of the roof. The hooks would grab the ridge and hold the ladder in place so that the firefighters could work off the ladders. This is particularly helpful when there is a steep pitched roof. Especially when it is wet, it can be very hard for a firefighter to keep his footing. So, the roof ladder is used to provide better footing and safety.

It also carried axes and picks, and also the famed “hook”, giving it the name “Hook and Ladder”. The hook was used to pull down damaged buildings or chimneys to stop the spread of fire by creating a fire break. Sometimes, in early chimneys, the fire would get going in them and they could not put it out. So, they would just pull the chimneys down with the hook. The hook and a chain and a rope, and they used a long stick to get the hook up to the height to whatever they needed to grab, whatever piece of the building they needed to grab onto. They would use the chain and the rope hooked to the building, and a bunch of men would grab that to pull the wall down, or pull the chimney down.

Please click on either image to view in full resolution.

Nikon D7000 10-24mm @ 24mm ISO 1600 3-bkts f/13 Lr3; HEP1


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.


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.