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Old 05-31-2017, 12:57 PM   #2
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 2,077

As much as I dislike chasing, and the craziness that often accompanies that, I decided that this year, I needed to get down to VA. My only photos of 611 are from a yard shoot a couple of years back, and those really don't convey the power and grace of this locomotive in the environment for which she was designed. My plan had been to fly from Boston to Richmond last Thursday night, and then drive to Roanoke on Friday, spending the entire weekend riding with a friend and colleague who knows the area well. I was really looking forward to it. Unfortunately, mother nature and JetBlue had other plans. It was raining hard all up and down the east coast, and flight schedules were getting into the FUBAR region.

I knew things weren't going well when I got a text from Jet Blue before I even left work on Thursday, indicating that my 9:30 PM flight to Richmond would be leaving at 1:30 AM and getting in just before 3AM. That wouldn't get me much sleep in Richmond before setting off for Roanoke. Still, I elected to head for Logan and deal with it. When I arrived at the airport, I was greeted with more good news. My departure would now be at 2AM. I munched down my Subway sandwich and settled in for very long evening. At about 10PM, the friendly Gate Agent gave us all an update on the PA....we would now be leaving at 3:30 AM. I was hoping to get to use the hotel room I'd paid for to get a shower and a shave. At 11PM, the roof fell in. JetBlue was canceling my flight altogether. The Gate Agent didn't even know where the jet was, much less when it might arrive. She didn't have much to offer us either. Nothing but standby for most of the next day, and a confirmed reservation on the same flight the following evening. Not good. As it later turned out, JetBlue's schedule didn't get a lot better the next day. When I checked it Friday night, the 9:30 PM departure was again scheduled for 1AM. That was the 3rd night in a row. I think that flight is a perpetual loser.

While in line to get a refund from the airline, I called my hotel. They were nice enough to actually cancel the reservation free of charge. They didn't have to do that. I headed home in the rain and while on the bus, I made a mighty attempt to find other ways to get to Richmond. I looked at rail and air options. All had long travel times and the last-minute prices were ridiculous. I reluctantly decided to pull the plug on the entire trip.....perhaps a bit prematurely, but I was dog-tired. This is the first photo trip I have bagged in the last 10 years. I was pretty bummed all weekend, despite the fact that the Civil Air Patrol (my other expensive hobby) let me fly about 6 hours on Uncle Sugar's nickel.

I have been watching for the pics all weekend to see what I missed. It looks like there was some sun on at least Saturday and Monday and the run directions should have been mostly favored by the light. Still, I haven't seen many shots that were particularly well-lit....just a few here and there. A lot of the ones I see are down-the-throat shots, which don't really show off the pretty paint on the sides of this engine. I also see a lot of drone-shots, which certainly offer a different perspective, but many of them are shot at too high an angle for my tastes. If I had a drone, I'd be shooting on the tree-tops, at a fairly shallow down-angle. A little elevation can really add to the impact of an image. Too much altitude and/or down-angle, and the photo starts to take on the look of a "U2" surveillance least in my humble opinion.

Hopefully, I will get to see the 611 at even a moderate gallop before I die...... From what I hear, it just might not be in VA or NC.

My RP stuff is here.

Link to my Flickr Albums. Lots of Steam Railroad stuff there from all over the US.

Last edited by KevinM; 05-31-2017 at 01:04 PM.
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