When I was up in Solana Beach recently watching trains, I came across a little memorial of some sort:
Hanging in the tree, and hanging in such a fashion as to protect the little memorial, were these three artifacts:
I don’t know if that was just the work of a homeless person living along the tracks or whether it was a memorial to someone who had been killed by a train or a car near there.
I left it undisturbed and took only pictures.
My youth was spent in Brigham City, Utah, and Kingsville, Texas. Both cities were hot beds of railroad action. Since my dad, granddad, and uncles worked for the railroad, I gathered an interest in them. Of course, I was also a little boy. What little boy doesn’t like the trains? Now I’m a 57-year-old boy who still likes trains.
When I was out train watching a few days ago, I found a railroad trestle that I had not seen before. Although the day was overcast, dull, dreary, and cold, I stuck around for a couple of hours taking pictures of all the action at the trestle….
Throughout history, railroad trestles have been popular. There’s just something nostalgic…. romantic? …. American? ….about them, as you can see by the action here in just a couple of hours.
While I was out trainwatching recently I got such an underexposed picture that I couldn’t do anything with it:
Before I hit the delete key, though, I always try to look at a worthless picture and imagine it after a session in Photoshop CS6 Beta or PaintShop Pro X4. When I finished a PSP X4 session with my underexposed train, I had this:
Not only do I like the picture as a whole — I really like the reflection on the rail — but I like it so much that I think I’m going to have it printed (without the black frame), matted and framed, and hung on my wall.
What if you were waiting for a train to pass? One like this:
Most people would sit there patiently and wait for the train to go by. But what if you saw some signs like these while you were patiently waiting:
I was a little freaked out. Locomotives weigh many tens of thousands of pounds and cannot stop on a dime. I’m not sure I’m comfortable knowing that those locomotives might be remote controlled. Lionel trains they are not!
This post is dedicated to Bob Willis, a real estate agent with Prudential California Realty in Whittier, California. I have known Bob for about three years through a real estate professional networking site. I highly recommend him for anyone needing real estate services in the Whittier, California, area.
Dedications are my way of trying to provide a little extra Google juice for people I have come to know and respect over the years.
A few decades ago I had a Canon A1. I loved that camera even when I goofed and created a double exposure. Sometimes double exposures were pretty neat. Accidentally taking a double exposure with my Canon Rebel XSi or my Canon 550D is virtually impossible. I’ve tried. However….
I’ve been thinking that creating a double exposure with all of these wonderful digital photo editing programs should be relatively easy to do. Well, it’s not relatively easy to do, but ultimately I did succeed.
Using Adobe Photoshop CS5, I was able to take a picture of some train tracks and a picture of a beautiful protea flower and superimpose one on the other to give me this beautiful double exposure:
I have Adobe Photoshop CS5, Adobe Lightroom 4, Corel PaintShop Pro X4, and Corel Photo-Paint X5. As with probably 80% of the population that has any one of those programs, I have never learned how to use layers. This evening I sat down with Photoshop CS5 with the sole purpose of being successful at doing something — anything! — with layers. That’s how I got my double exposure.
Today is the birthday of Ansel Adams
I’m hoping that all the photographers reading this know who Ansel Adams is. If not, see Wikipedia.
When I was about 12 and living with my wise old grandmother in Kingsville, Texas, she had a big book on her coffee table (do people still have coffee tables?). It was titled “These We Inherit: The Parklands of America,” and it was by Ansel Adams. I thought it contained the most beautiful pictures in the world.
Adams probably is most famous for his beautiful landscape pictures and I thought that I would post my most beautiful landscape picture today in his honor. Guess what? I have about five landscape pictures, none of them particularly good! Scratch that idea.
I thought about what type of photography I would like to be known for. I couldn’t answer that question. What do I like to take pictures of the most? Ah-ha! Maybe we’re getting somewhere. My favorite photography subject is trains but the trains and the tracks are not as accessible here in San Diego as they were back in my native Texas.
Then it came to me….
A couple of years ago, Liz Flint, a real estate agent in Tomball, Texas (northwest of Houston), sent me a train calendar. As I was looking through the calendar, I saw this:
I recognized that spot because I’ve driven over that bridge many times, and walked that beach many more times. It’s my favorite beach in San Diego — Torrey Pines State Beach. Here it is on a Google map:
The railroad tracks are still used, so shortly after receiving the calendar, I went out one Saturday determined to recreate the scene, albeit without a smoking steam locomotive. I got several pictures during the course of several hours; trains don’t run frequently on Saturday. The best picture I got was with Amtrak’s Surfliner:
There are about 50 years between the two pictures. If you look at the trees on the top of the hill in the background, you can see that the silhouette is still very much the same:
The trees on the top of the hills are Torrey pines. San Diego is one of only two places in the world where the Torrey pine grows. The other is an island off the Southern California coast.
Pictures taken by Russel Ray using a Canon 550D.