Thread: Good job, Ben!
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Old 08-27-2009, 06:51 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by asis80 View Post
Funny note on that Allegheny Tunnel shot. I was with a friend, and it's dark as hell down there. Away from everything. And before anyone asks or says, because a certain Johnstown dwelling rodent called me out on it, I had permission to be there. A few MOW guys had to do some work on the signal and another one was doing track inspections in and out of the tunnel and didn't say a word to me. I actually initiated a convo with them asking if I could come down to the area later that night to get some tunnel night shots and they didn't have a problem. They said a lot of people come down there to hunt just off the road and on the other side of the tracks, since it's state gamelands. ANYWAYS!

Me and the friend were sitting in the car, listening ever so closely for a westbound. I knew it was going to happen, it was just a matter of when since 18G had some issues, so track 1 was out of service for a while. I was hoping not to screwed by a blaring bright headlight while I was getting this. Had the car headlights on, and set up the tripod and camera on top of it and preset the focus so I wouldnt have to worry about much when the train came. "37A, track 3 clear 245". Detector goes off, i go get ready. Had a flashlight with me to see what I was doing. Lone and behold, a damn skunk 10 feet from me. I initially thought, screw this. But in the back of my head, thought, I'll never be here soon again, this is what I came for really. He was more scared of me, so I thought. He ran up the hill only to come back down with a 2nd skunk, like a cartoon or something. They plotted this I thought. They ran off as I threw some ballast at them. Then I hear a rattle, they are prone to be up in the mountains there. I was a little worried then, moving the flashlight back and forth to watch myself. Meanwhile my buddy, he's half asleep in the car, we've been at it since 330 the previous morning. Here comes 37A, chugging around the corner, headlights right in my eyes. I turn to the tunnel, turn the camera on, check focus one more time, and I have a shutter release cable for the bulb mode. It was caught on the tripod somewhere, I was fiddling and fiddling and yanked a bit too hard and the trigger fell to the ground, and the wires connected to it were in my hand. I was about to cry. Literally, haha. Camera was still on and 37A is slowly approaching the tunnel. I turn the flashlight on to see what color wires there were. White, red, and black. Black, ground. Red, power or the actual release. White, ?. Later I found out the white was for focus. I disregarded the white and hit the red and black together, since the shutter goes off when I break the current of the power. It worked! I made sure they held contact for as long as the train exited the tunnel. The FRED wasn't planned. 37A only had maybe 15 cars. So I figured minds well add them in there. I thought the fred all the way through the tunnel would have been annoying. Let the shutter go, XTi is telling me wait, then whammo, the shot.

I've had that shot planned for months now, I knew it was going to be a challenge, but not THAT challenging. Thanks again guys, and listening to that story, haha. Didn't plan on going off like that.

Haha, nice story to go along with the photo! Night photography opens up a whole other series of wild life. Deer, skunks, possums, raccoons, etc. etc. all like to make their rounds during the night hours here. Unfortunately, I'm just as nocturnal as them.

Thankfully, you were able to get the shot!

Chase Gunnoe
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