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-   -   Year In Review - Your Best Of 2015 (http://www.railpictures.net/forums/showthread.php?t=17623)

Kyle Korienek 01-02-2016 01:55 AM

Year In Review - Your Best Of 2015
 
A personal favorite thread of mine every year, and since it's officially 2016 now, why not start this thread sooner rather than later? Share your best of last year, it can be 1, 2, 5, 10, or however many you see fit, just don't be shy.

I guess I'll break the ice:

[photoid=558069]
This was my favorite photo of the year. It did not receive a tremendous amount of publicity on here, but that doesn't matter too much, it is a photo that very few have, as to get the shot, you have to set up on railroad property. But, thanks to a new job with Canadian National, and the blessing of superiors, I was able to set up and achieve this shot, and I was thrilled to be able to pull it off on the first try, which, anyone who does night flash shots, pulling off a shot with any sort of supporting structures in addition to the train on the first try is a nice feeling.

[photoid=552584]
This was my most viewed of the year, just proof that carnage sells on this site. I was very happy to be able to shoot it, since I had an unexpected day off from work (at least until they called me in to work...), but I was more happy that none of the new signal equipment that had been turned on for only about 2 weeks did not get hit.

[photoid=520611]

[photoid=517026]

[photoid=521411]

[photoid=518153]
While I did get a job with CN in March, about 2 months prior to that, I took a job with CSX. Part of the job was that I had to spend 6 weeks in Atlanta for training. I was skeptical to spend that much time in Atlanta, as I am a Michigan man, but I was fortunate to meet some great Atlanta area photogs; 2 of which that extended their southern hospitality were Brad Kindschy (A Michigan native) and Kyle Yunker. These 2 are great photographers and great people who know endless number of spots to shoot the greater Atlanta area. I am forever grateful to them for their hospitality and intend to go back someday.

[photoid=535847]
Part of my new job had me traveling a bit when I first started, that has changed for the time being, but that could change. While I am one who enjoys going home every night, being able to see some of the areas surrounding where we were staying was cool. This shot was a nice example, as I had very little desire to drive 2+ hours for the slim opportunity for this, but when the opportunity presented itself, I jumped, and I'm glad I did, as the power plant was torn down about 2 months ago, making this shot impossible now.

[photoid=557414]

[photoid=557072]
One of my goals for 2015 was to improve in flash shots. While some people are rather indifferent to them, the opportunity to shoot past dusk and before dawn is appealing, and can really create some cool opportunities (some that come with more sleep deprivation than others). I don't consider myself to be even close to the same plane as people like Gary Knapp or Kevin Burkholder, I think I could be doing a lot worse.

[photoid=551141]
Every year, I try for that signature fall color shot on my favorite railroad to shoot, Great Lakes Central. This year I feel was no different, as the color here in Michigan was outstanding. While this shot was possible thanks to some rather undesired bereavement time from work, sitting at home is not the way to use it.

[photoid=559868]
My last submission from the year 2015 is another prime example of the fringe benefits of working for CN signal dept. Another fringe benefit is utilizing the height of the signals to create a new perspective, which only a few months ago here, was not possible from this angle and would have been blocked by the old GTW searchlight signals. I must state that I do not condone climbing any railroad equipment, whether signals, freight cars, locomotives, etc. unless you work for the railroad, are in PPE, it is safe to climb, and have the blessing of superiors. All that aside, who needs a drone? I think they're overrated anyway...

Dennis A. Livesey 01-02-2016 03:47 AM

An excellent show Kyle. We are all fortunate that you are able to take advantage of your situation.

bnsf7562 01-02-2016 04:00 AM

Didn't upload as much in 2015 (30 or so shots) compared to 2014 (150 ish) due to other projects (and my recent move from PA to OH), but I did manage my first SC, which I'm very happy with! :)

[photoid=540935]

I'm hoping for more adventures in 2016!

railfanzone 01-02-2016 04:08 AM

Ah, yes, the year in review thread...I'll bite, as the caffeine I mistakenly had after dinner is keeping my old ass up after the 11pm news... :)

This year was kind of tough for me and that kept me from shooting much, and posting here even less (my father passed away in February). Of the dozen photos I added to the database in 2015, all my favorites were taken between September and December. I guess we'll go in chronological order for simplicity's sake...

[photoid=549121]
In the middle of September, I was able to take a (management sanctioned) ride with an overnight Providence & Worcester freight train crew, photographing how they worked in the darkness. The shot I posted from that night shows the train rolling through Taft's Tunnel in Lisbon, Connecticut. The tunnel, if I'm not mistaken, is the oldest tunnel in the US still in revenue service.

[photoid=554631]
If you know me, you're probably aware that I enjoy shooting after dark. And not taking anything away from guys like Knapp and Burkholder - they do damned fine work - but I try to do night photos differently. I like to keep shadows instead of eliminating them. To me, it maintains the "feel" of night - plus I like the challenge of planning how to set things up, shaping the light to achieve the look I envision. Anyways, back to the photo...this shot was inspired by two classic photos - "Luray Crossing, Virginia, 1955" by O. Winston Link, and "Night Ride, 1985" by Howard Pincus and Robert Hart, Jr., and was executed at the same crossing that Pincus & Hart took their photo 30 years prior. That crossing being Old Deep River Road in Centerbrook, Connecticut on the Valley Railroad - who runs steam-powered Christmas trains most of November and December (and is a mere 45 minutes from my home). I wrote up a whole discussion about my inspiration and execution of the photo here on my blog, if you're interested. Quite thankful for the SC on this one too...

[photoid=556856]
More steam under the stars...this time I visited the Black River & Western in Flemington, New Jersey. This was my first time photographing operations on this line, so I guess it was simply the newness of the line to me that made me put it in the "fave" list...

[photoid=557321]
Back to the "home road" of the Valley Railroad for the rest of my favorite shots. This one I went with the minimalist lighting setup - only one Alien Bee strobe was used, and it was placed behind the locomotive, pointing back at the camera (intentionally). A combination of a longer exposure and a pop from the flash give you enough details to figure out the scene, but also leave you feeling like it's nighttime.

[photoid=557609]
A few minutes after the last frame, this one was taken - this time with only ambient light. The locomotive has run around the train to the south end, preparing to head back to Essex after a successful visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus. The conductor standing still, and the faint plume in the distance completed the scene for me.

[photoid=560093]
More inspiration from Link - but not a specific photo. More like a type of photo he has done - taken from the inside of a building, looking out at the train passing by. This scene is inside the Chester, Connecticut station of the passing North Pole Express train, powered by the Valley Railroad's veteran Mikado No. 40. The challenging part for me was figuring out the lighting arrangement so I could only light the desk, some of the walls and chair, leaving the rest of the room dark, and at the same time, get enough light on the train to get it to pop in the window frame. Oh, yeah, and timing it so nothing "important" was covered up by the mullions or sashes of the window.

[photoid=560258]
And my last photo of 2015 - and hands-down my favorite of the year (at least for the moment) - was taken a day after the last one I posted above, at the same location, but outside the station - December 29. And yes, more connections to Link's work with the back and cross lighting, once again preserving shadows in the scene - something that, I think you can tell, I'm trying to achieve in most of my night work. This was the final train of the Valley Railroad's 2015 operating season.

That's my story, and I'm sticking to it... :)

Here's to a successful 2016 to everyone!

Thanks!
Tom

Dennis A. Livesey 01-02-2016 12:55 PM

Bravo Tom!

Growth! Growth! Growth!

Your already considerable skills are becoming even more focused and inspiring.

Here's to more success for you in 2015.

:-)

Dennis A. Livesey 01-02-2016 12:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bnsf7562 (Post 186922)
Didn't upload as much in 2015 (30 or so shots) compared to 2014 (150 ish) due to other projects (and my recent move from PA to OH), but I did manage my first SC, which I'm very happy with! :)

[photoid=540935]

I'm hoping for more adventures in 2016!

Excellent shot. Congratulations for bagging the rainbow with this soon-to-be-gone bridge.

RobJor 01-02-2016 01:52 PM

[photoid=558946]

Get them while you can. I hope them success in the New Year but consider this one in the don't wait too long category.



[photoid=517587]

I have figured how process this better now. Like with any street shot you just hope for no cars at the wrong time.



[photoid=549945]

A somewhat unsuccessful night chase rescued a little with a morning shot.

Bob Jordan

Greg P 01-02-2016 03:20 PM

Outside of the Amtrak Autumn Express, I didn't upload a ton in 2015, but I do still have a day trip of photos I'm saving to process on the flight to Israel.

This was my favorite, in Cardiff Wales.

[photoid=524614]

I finally got a sunny day to explore the 7 train in NYC. I really want to get back there this spring.

[photoid=543977]

I got a photo of Amtrak coming out of the Hoosaic Tunnel

[photoid=552177]

And last but not least, I finally got a photo of a train on the Pan Am mainline west of Deerfield.

[photoid=552800]

2016 I hope to get 1 decent day in Tel Aviv, and finally make that trip to Pittsburgh and Richmond.

kszok 01-02-2016 04:04 PM

Kyle started off with a stellar series. Love Toms wonderful series.

I don't play much on this forum, but I wanted to share some of my favorite shots from 2015. I did not make it out much in 2015 especially after my surgery to deal with my cancer of the prostate at the end of May.

2015 began primarily with night shots after teaching my ESL class. My campus is close to the Union Pacific West Colton yard, so I would head over after class and see what was happening.

[photoid=518781]
The photo above is my favorite hand held pan shot.

[photoid=518631]
This shot is a favorite because it resulted from my discovery of using live view to fine tune the focus.

[photoid=524243]
This show was pretty much a grab shot. I was driving down the maintainer's road when this train popped into view. It was a bit of scramble to stop, grab the camera, and shoot. This was the last outing I took before my surgery.

[photoid=524415]
One last image for the desert outing.

[photoid=545989]
This was the first image the the screeners' allowed into the pool after my surgery. I went out specifically capture a rail related image with what I anticipated to be a good sunset.

This next series is special for me because they come from my first road trip post surgery. I felt I had recovered enough to make a trip to Arizona and spend some time trackside with some friends who live out there.

[photoid=547025]

[photoid=547347]

[photoid=547868]

Finally, my last trip of 2015 was back out along the BNSF Needles sub.

[photoid=559415]

[photoid=560045]

I hope to get out a bit more often in 2016 when I am not busy with my daughter's swim meets (another thing that keeps me away from shooting trains).

bnsf7562 01-02-2016 05:17 PM

Thanks Dennis! It's truly an impressive structure. Sad to see it go, but I guess progress is progress.

Mberry 01-02-2016 07:25 PM

Here are some of my favorite from a fairly busy year.

With some early snow and fall colors and a variety of CSXT colors, this one came out really well. Hard to believe it became sunny 10 minutes later!
[photoid=550567]

This one is more about the lashup than the shot, but shooting three brand new ET44AC's at one of my favorite spots was something I was very happy about.
[photoid=549714]

Finally was able to shoot the Ontario Southland Railway in September, and this shot came out nicely with the hi-railer on the street meeting the light power with a freshly repainted F-unit leading.
[photoid=545263]

I was lucky enough to be invited to CN's open house at Joffre Yard in the Quebec City this year, and even luckier to be able to shoot a VIA special train that went to the impressive Cap Rouge trestle a number of times that day (on top of shooting it, I got to ride it in the morning).
[photoid=544552]

Hard to beat storm light and a nice EMD leader, just got lucky here with right time, right place.
[photoid=527489]

Ween 01-02-2016 07:34 PM

I only uploaded 6 photos to RP taken in 2015 since I made the switch to using Flick. Why? Frankly because I'm having more fun over there. Anyway, here's my favorite of 2015, mostly because it was taken with an iPhone:

[photoid=530745]

Dennis A. Livesey 01-03-2016 03:03 AM

One of the best aspects of life for me as of late has been meeting and shooting with people who's work I have long admired and striven to emulate. The conviviality, the support and exchange of ideas is beyond wow for me. I think these photos speak of those influences.

Here is a mix of favorites and popular shots of mine from 2015, in no particular order.

[photoid=557621]
This view of Manhattan, Brooklyn and the F train was my best location discovery of late. This was a case of tenacity for I went to this location about 5 times over the course of a year before I finally got one that captured the drama I thought the view deserved.

[photoid=548405]
This view of Steam Into History's North Central Railroad No. 17 did not get many views on RP but remains a favorite of mine. I like it because it was the successful rendition of the image I wanted to get. With steam, the goal is often to time travel and here I think it shows what train travel at dusk in the mid 1800's was like. Unlike surviving Civil War era B&W photographs, we get and idead that life back then was full of color and beauty in spite being a time of travail.

[photoid=553852]
This shot was taken from a new vantage point in New York City, a parking garage of a shopping mall in Harlem. While still I dream of helicopter views of this singular structure, the Hell Gate Bridge, this one came close.

[photoid=559332]
The restoration of any steam locomotive is always a celebration. However what Railway Restoration Project 113 did can only be described as a miracle. Against all odds, working on a shoe string, with no more than a tarp tent, they brought back a corpse from the dead. This shot speaks of the magic that is steam. Here 113, the sleeping dragon, awakes for another day in the sunshine of it's new life.

[photoid=541318]
How many times I have read about and seen photos of this legendary tower at Rondout Illinois. How often I have wished I could visit. I finally do and instead of an active tower and Milwaukee F-6's flying low, the tower is closed days before my visit and I get MOW critters in the rain. Farewell Rondout, I hardly knew ye.

[photoid=537629]
I have seen N&W No. 611 twice. Once in 1982 and the other in 2015. In the latter visit, instead of being alone and lost like the first time, I am with friends and hosts that know the territory. On this occasion, I get a shot that fulfills a long desired wish to see big steam at it's finest. Here is a home road engine on track it was designed to conquer and what a sight it was to see.

[photoid=531819]
My first train ride landed in Grand Central Terminal and I have had a love affair with the place ever since. With a little research, the presence of these stones came to light. No adequate photo could be found so I made like Indiana Jones and did the pilgrimage to the upper Bronx.

[photoid=527740]
Dramatic space. That is the singular feature of GCT and it never fails to inspire. This shot was the lead photo, and the only B&W, of my "Transitscapes" feature article in Railfan & Railroad magazine's August 2015 issue.

[photoid=525137]
New York, for all it's breathtaking skyscrapers and above ground wonders, has much to be seen in it's nether regions below. If there was a contest for what is the ugliest subway station in NYC, the J&M lines Chambers St would most likely take the honors. On the other hand, for time travelers it represents true rara avis since it is here that you can see time. Outside of the decay, nothing has be touched here since it was closed in 1931.

[photoid=524268]
The image is what it is. What I can add is do not be discouraged if all you have is a dirty, scratched Lexan window to shoot out of because you are seeing the results of what I had to work with. I am amazed myself it looks any good.

[photoid=521824]
In the tumult of urban living, with big machines squealing by each other, it takes a still photo to find a tranquilly out of light and pattern.

[photoid=558211]
Like the Chambers St station a thousand feet away, the City Hall Station is preserved in the amber of unrestored benign neglect. Note the absence of a lick of graffiti in either station. Surely that is another modern miracle.

[photoid=559533]
I have done a total of two pace shots in my life. In both instances Mitch Goldman was in the car. Obviously I feel he is the reason either of them came out OK. :-)

[photoid=559383]
What can I say? Every since I was little, I have been a sucker for wreaths of steam.

There are my personal and RP favs of 2015. I hope you enjoyed the tour. :-)

CSX1702 01-03-2016 04:15 AM

I hardly did any railroad photography this year due to work and as a result, didn't really upload to RP. I did however learn the basics of shooting in RAW which lead me to find quality in my camera I couldn't find previously.

I also discovered that I'm a better landscape/ scenery photographer than I am of trains. My photography improved in that aspect and that is what I'm most proud of.

These pictures are probably my most favorite I've ever taken. And in all fairness when it comes to scenery like this, you just have to be there.

<a data-flickr-embed="true" href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/106668245@N04/21878838299/in/dateposted-family/" title="Greenbriar Road"><img src="https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5643/21878838299_ceda6a76a7_n.jpg" width="320" height="213" alt="Greenbriar Road"></a><script async src="//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

<a data-flickr-embed="true" href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/106668245@N04/22075698641/in/dateposted-family/" title="Rushing Water of Greenbriar"><img src="https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5628/22075698641_d91cc1d37d_n.jpg" width="213" height="320" alt="Rushing Water of Greenbriar"></a><script async src="//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

I'm still learning and I could benefit from a good tripod. Lol. I look forward to actually shooting more trains this year and improving on my photography some more.

loomus78 01-03-2016 06:10 AM

My Top 10

[photoid=549915]

[photoid=550354]

[photoid=545704]

[photoid=532511]

[photoid=528201]

[photoid=515110]

[photoid=514178]

[photoid=552209]

[photoid=542300]

and my #1
[photoid=538068]

Dennis A. Livesey 01-03-2016 12:17 PM

Nice Jon; well done.

mersenne6 01-03-2016 12:54 PM

Here, in no particular order, are my favorites for the year.

[photoid=556361]


[photoid=558897]

and

[photoid=527551]

Coloradorailfan 01-03-2016 01:45 PM

2015 was definitely a fun year that took place in a few states, so it'll be hard to choose. However I'll go with these:

[photoid=556576]
[photoid=548705]
[photoid=539914]
[photoid=539664]
[photoid=537368]
[photoid=536357]
[photoid=533094]
[photoid=532609]
[photoid=514704]

KevinM 01-03-2016 02:05 PM

Keeping it short and sweet. The longer the thread gets, the fewer people are likely to slog through all of it. :wink:

Sunrise and sunset shots..... With steam, you virtually have to have a charter to get them. Some charter operators are good at getting to the right places at the right times. HTP is one of them.

[photoid=550003]
[photoid=552859]

The WW&F..... I call it the "Slim Gauge Field of Dreams". It needs to be on every steam enthusiast's bucket list.

[photoid=546525]
[photoid=559337]

People shots..... Can't beat a good "Rosie" scene. These gals made it easy:

[photoid=543173]

High sun..... I no longer worry about it. High noon in NC in May:

[photoid=537873]

Nevada Northern..... Another bucket list spot for steam-heads. Hint: The best shots almost never happen during the run-bys.

[photoid=519818]

Noct Foamer 01-03-2016 06:49 PM

I suppose this one was as good as any:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/968260...posted-public/


Hope to get back there this year as there will be a new, bigger engine. That calls for a new, bigger camera of course. I've been looking for an excuse to buy and start using an 8x10 field camera and this just might be it! It's really not harder than 4x5, and some things just look so classic on b&w film. So, my plan for the new year is to continue shooting at night, continue to refine my 4x5 film technique, and maybe add another tilt/shift lens for my Nikon.

This one was fun to make:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/968260...posted-public/


Kent in SD

Noct Foamer 01-03-2016 06:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CSX1702 (Post 186939)

I also discovered that I'm a better landscape/ scenery photographer than I am of trains. My photography improved in that aspect and that is what I'm most proud of.


I'm still learning and I could benefit from a good tripod. Lol. I look forward to actually shooting more trains this year and improving on my photography some more.

I see a tripod as absolutely essential, along with a top quality ballhead. I also use dedicated L plates for all my DSLR cameras. This stuff can be bought used on ebay. A Gitzo 1325 tripod with either AcraTech/RRS/Markins ballhead will be the best investment you'll ever make for sharpness. Don't go cheap on a tripod and especially a head. Get one that is the A/S type. As for landscapes in general, they aren't really any different from RR photos in that all good photos are about Use of Light.


Kent in SD

coborn35 01-03-2016 09:38 PM

Wow... I knew it was a slow year for me but I only submitted 25 pictures! Here are some of my favorites.

[photoid=560429]

Shot this on New Years Eve. Turned out neat with them moving at the 40MPH + track speed with fresh powder.

[photoid=555707]
[photoid=555708]

These were neat because the CN had just completed a somewhere around 50 - 100 million dollar upgrade to this former Duluth Missabe and Iron Range Ry. Interstate branch line.

[photoid=551047]
[photoid=550623]

I took another trip out to South Dakota to shoot the Black Hills Sub and man was I rewarded! One of the coolest areas to shoot.

[photoid=528673]

I was able to shoot my buddy a few months before he transferred elsewhere.

[photoid=531573]

Due to locomotive issues, I had to put together a power set not usually run together. Looked pretty neat with BNSF all-rail cars.

[photoid=537611]

HIGHLIGHT OF THE YEAR! For the first time since maybe 2008 or earlier the CN put together the two remaining maroon Missabe units with nary a CN unit to be seen. For a hardcore Missabe guy like myself this was truly awesome.

[photoid=560492]

My first real attempt at a good pan, and while it could be better, I am happy with the results!

[photoid=546972]

A photo charter our railroad ran for Railfan Weekend.

coborn35 01-03-2016 09:42 PM

Would someone remind my how to link these damn pictures lol I am out of practice

Missabefan 01-03-2016 09:59 PM

[photoid=xxxxxx]

JimThias 01-03-2016 10:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kyle Korienek (Post 186920)
[photoid=558069]
This was my favorite photo of the year. It did not receive a tremendous amount of publicity on here, but that doesn't matter too much, it is a photo that very few have, as to get the shot, you have to set up on railroad property. But, thanks to a new job with Canadian National, and the blessing of superiors, I was able to set up and achieve this shot, and I was thrilled to be able to pull it off on the first try, which, anyone who does night flash shots, pulling off a shot with any sort of supporting structures in addition to the train on the first try is a nice feeling.

I'd crop out that unnecessary, ugly leaning pole on the left. But that's just me. :-)


Quote:

[photoid=559868]

My last submission from the year 2015 is another prime example of the fringe benefits of working for CN signal dept. Another fringe benefit is utilizing the height of the signals to create a new perspective, which only a few months ago here, was not possible from this angle and would have been blocked by the old GTW searchlight signals. I must state that I do not condone climbing any railroad equipment, whether signals, freight cars, locomotives, etc. unless you work for the railroad, are in PPE, it is safe to climb, and have the blessing of superiors. All that aside, who needs a drone? I think they're overrated anyway...
My tall tripod will accomplish the same perspective, and I, as a non-railroad employee, don't have to illegally climb any railroad signals. :D

But anyway, I agree with Dennis. Well done! Nice set of photos.


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