Old 01-29-2010, 03:00 PM   #26
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The comparisons to Link are almost always from those who come onto a forum to knock a shoot. Link was documenting the end of an American era, these shoots (day or night) are designed to give railfans an opportunity to take otherwise impossible photographs of trains because they enjoy it. Completely different purposes. And frankly, the quality of images from these shoots in recent years, especially Lerro's, has been nothing short of incredible. He has a fantastic understanding of light which he shares (for a fee) with other photographers, allowing many of them to capture some awesome images. Maybe not every one is completely original or unique, but why is the idea of photographers enjoying photography so frustrating to some people?
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Old 01-29-2010, 04:29 PM   #27
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Then who would all those imitators have to look to for "inspiration"?
The next person in line who would have been "first."

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The comparisons to Link are almost always from those who come onto a forum to knock a shoot. Link was documenting the end of an American era, these shoots (day or night) are designed to give railfans an opportunity to take otherwise impossible photographs of trains because they enjoy it. Completely different purposes. And frankly, the quality of images from these shoots in recent years, especially Lerro's, has been nothing short of incredible. He has a fantastic understanding of light which he shares (for a fee) with other photographers, allowing many of them to capture some awesome images. Maybe not every one is completely original or unique, but why is the idea of photographers enjoying photography so frustrating to some people?
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Old 01-29-2010, 04:40 PM   #28
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"Minimizing the railroad aspect" is only one approach - why are you so stuck on that concept? Who declared that the standard?
No one. Maybe I failed at showing the differences between Link and what are his apparent heirs on here. It's an approach that has worked for me and I think is useful in looking beyond common approaches to railroad photography.

[/quote]You ARE???? Well, you are doing a fine job of disguising yourself as closed-minded.[/quote]

It is close minded to discuss the the differences between O. W. Link's work and the current pictures that are made to look like them?

[/quote]This sounds like one of those quotes that is believed to be profound but is actually without meaning.[/quote]

I thought it was clear. I was responding to Joe's post where he suggested that prior photos should be brought back verbatim, along with implying that historical events/themes should be recreated. Think Civil War reenactments and historical-looking photo charters. It's an attempt to recreate a long-dead historical event for the satisfaction that comes along with re-experiencing the emotions associated with that timeframe. But what of documenting today's events? Certainly a comparison to Link would be more justifiably directed to someone who is not emulating the past, but creating something -- which just may utilize techniques of the past -- which shows things in a new light.

Creating new photos of faux historical scenes, when it has already been documented in its time, seems misdirected if one is looking for a new approach... but again c'est la vie.
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Old 01-29-2010, 04:50 PM   #29
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I thought it was clear. I was responding to Joe's post where he suggested that prior photos should be brought back verbatim, along with implying that historical events/themes should be recreated.
Huh?

Where did I come close to implying that? I just thought the Roanoke shots which you had previously kinda shot down were pretty cool and bemoaned the fact that I wasn't able to go.
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Old 01-29-2010, 05:06 PM   #30
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No one. Maybe I failed at showing the differences between Link and what are his apparent heirs on here. It's an approach that has worked for me and I think is useful in looking beyond common approaches to railroad photography.

Quote:
You ARE???? Well, you are doing a fine job of disguising yourself as closed-minded.
It is close minded to discuss the the differences between O. W. Link's work and the current pictures that are made to look like them?

Quote:
This sounds like one of those quotes that is believed to be profound but is actually without meaning.
I thought it was clear. I was responding to Joe's post where he suggested that prior photos should be brought back verbatim, along with implying that historical events/themes should be recreated. Think Civil War reenactments and historical-looking photo charters. It's an attempt to recreate a long-dead historical event for the satisfaction that comes along with re-experiencing the emotions associated with that timeframe. But what of documenting today's events? Certainly a comparison to Link would be more justifiably directed to someone who is not emulating the past, but creating something -- which just may utilize techniques of the past -- which shows things in a new light.

Creating new photos of faux historical scenes, when it has already been documented in its time, seems misdirected if one is looking for a new approach... but again c'est la vie.
I was born in 1988. I missed the "steam era" but find it slightly more interesting than the modern diesel era. When I'm not "documenting today's events" during the week, I want to revisit the era that I missed, and put my own spin on it. Charters or as you call it "imitating O. Winston Link" is the best way to do this. I am not copying the photos but am creating something new by using my own artistic approach.

You're comparison is like calling out those who play basketball for copying Michael Jordan because he is well known. Everyone has their own style and approach and this is true for photo charters and night photo sessions, too.

Come to think of it I never saw Link, or anyone else for that matter, shoot a Southern Pacific 4-8-4 next to a Nickel Plate 2-8-4. That is documenting today's events, no?

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Old 01-29-2010, 05:18 PM   #31
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I have several images on this website.
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Old 01-29-2010, 05:33 PM   #32
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But what of documenting today's events? Certainly a comparison to Link would be more justifiably directed to someone who is not emulating the past, but creating something -- which just may utilize techniques of the past -- which shows things in a new light.
Now THAT is a great point. Off the top of my head, some of Nick Suydam's night images from Chicago, Keith Burgess' winning shots from last years CRPA awards, and a few of Gary Knapp's night shots call to mind that same kind of contemporary documentation, though on a less grandiose scale. Of course, IMO diesel images will always be a bit less grand and dramatic than steam, and besides, an image doesn't need to be lit to high heaven to be powerful and impactful.

Then if you want to expand to daylight images (because we don't want to just emulate O.W.L's most famous shots!!) you can start to include folks like AB2 who has really done some great documentation of central Jersey's current scene mostly in the day.

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Creating new photos of faux historical scenes, when it has already been documented in its time, seems misdirected if one is looking for a new approach... but again c'est la vie.
I'm not sure that's necessarily true... I think you're equating recreating the scene with recreating a photograph, not to mention assuming that everyone at one of these charters aspires to change the railroad photography landscape forever. There's infinite ways to photograph any scene, and most of them have been done before, but that doesn't diminish the enjoyment of the process and the challenge for those that follow their own vision.
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Old 01-29-2010, 06:00 PM   #33
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No one. Maybe I failed at showing the differences between Link and what are his apparent heirs on here. It's an approach that has worked for me and I think is useful in looking beyond common approaches to railroad photography.
Where does this "apparent hiers" concept come from? Who is imitating Link? Just because there is a steam engine and darkness doesn't mean shots are trying to copy Link. People are pursuing their own visions of photography, using interesting subjects (steam) shot in interesting light (night), using the main vehicle one has to get such shots (photo charters).

Quote:
It is close minded to discuss the the differences between O. W. Link's work and the current pictures that are made to look like them?
It is closed-minded to think that the only reason to take pictures currently is to look like Link's.

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Certainly a comparison to Link would be more justifiably directed to someone who is not emulating the past, but creating something -- which just may utilize techniques of the past -- which shows things in a new light.

Creating new photos of faux historical scenes, when it has already been documented in its time, seems misdirected if one is looking for a new approach... but again c'est la vie.
A search for a "new approach" to photography or an attempt to "show[s] things in a new light" does not require limiting oneself to contemporary subjects, and documentation is not the only motivation for photography. These statements also lead me to consider you closed-minded, or perhaps narrow-minded is a better term. At least in your approach to photography, as expressed in this thread.
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Old 01-29-2010, 06:08 PM   #34
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- I won't be there, but have been on several charters. And will continue to attend them.

Yes, some do try to emulate Link's style of images, at times I could be guilty as charged, but there is absolutely nothing wrong with this. What is wrong with trying to apply a concept one artist uses, and interpret into our own work? This has been done since animals have been painted on cave walls ten thousand years ago. Is it completely original? No, but neither was Link's work, he did not after all invent the night photo of a steam train, or placing a subject in a larger context. So does that take away from Link's work? Of course not. Some of these interpretations follow closer to his style bordering on the literal, some less, where you would really have to study the image to get an idea where the inspiration came from.

Not every single photograph we take, needs to be its own, original masterpiece. Sometimes I just go out for the fun of it, and do simple documentary type photos, for the joy, and not necessarily to make a statement or meaning about anything, which often turns out to be some of my better work.

Let's not forget, Link also went out trackside, simply because he liked the smoke, cinders, and sounds of steam, oh yeah, and he also took pictures. we are all no different in that regard.

At times some of the set-ups on charters are a bit kitschy for my personal taste, and go over the top. So what. BUT what I do like about a charter, is that it actually opens up a lot of possibilities you would normally not have as a photographer, on these things. You can follow the crowd or do your own thing. You can stand in photo line with 50 people and still get something different. The world is your canvas.
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Old 01-29-2010, 07:11 PM   #35
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And the fact that, for most of us, the photos are only a small part of the reason for attending - it's fun.

So yeah, I'll be there at sunrise, not imitating anyone.
This is the real bottom line. The vast majority of us who attend these events don't go out there looking to be the next OWL. We go because we enjoy watching steam engines, we get to see things that we'd otherwise never see, we meet lots of new, like-minded friends and we hopefully come away with some digital memories of all of the above. If someone doesn't enjoy the resulting pictures, they don't have to click on them.
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Old 01-29-2010, 08:12 PM   #36
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Having grown up with the revival of both 611 and 1218 and having many great memories of riding in, behind and chasing them both I went to the Lerro event in Roanoke simply to relive some of those memories.
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Old 01-29-2010, 09:31 PM   #37
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Where does this "apparent hiers" concept come from? Who is imitating Link? Just because there is a steam engine and darkness doesn't mean shots are trying to copy Link. People are pursuing their own visions of photography, using interesting subjects (steam) shot in interesting light (night), using the main vehicle one has to get such shots (photo charters).
I think what a lot of people are getting at is that several of these events they try to actually recreate the moment of some of Link's famous pictures, like the much debated and bashed "cleaning the headlight" pictures at the Roanoke event. There are certainly other examples.

I think it would be neat to attend one of these things, but would try to "do my own thing" rather than try to just capture very staged and cliche'ed moments like the one I mentioned. I also think it is unfair to just bash these events just on principle like a couple of people here have done. Just my .02

I was in Strasburg in early November and unfortunately I only had one day to spend there and wouldnt you know it rained all day so I spent several hours in the Pennsylvania Transportation museum across the street then did what I could to actually take some pictures of the steam runs and facilities, but it was a brutal rainy, cloudy, cold, windy day and I wasnt going to ruin my equipment to get a picture or 2. It should be a good opportunity if they dont ham it up too much with the contrived stuff.

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Old 01-29-2010, 09:54 PM   #38
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Thanks to Pete twisting my arm, I will be there. And personally, I never think of Link when I'm out shooting on a charter. I enjoy being around the trains, taking pictures, meeting new people, and catching up with old friends. After being on a couple, I have learned quickly that most of my favorite shots are ones where I wandered off from the staged shots and did something different. Hmmmm....wonder who I was watching to learn that????
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Old 01-30-2010, 12:46 AM   #39
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I think what a lot of people are getting at is that several of these events they try to actually recreate the moment of some of Link's famous pictures, like the much debated and bashed "cleaning the headlight" pictures at the Roanoke event. There are certainly other examples.
I did not know the headlight shot was a Link imitation. I think it makes a nice scene, so I did my imitation along with everyone else ...

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A standard night charter shot, but fun to shoot. Not every shot at a charter is based on a fantastic scene; the basics are nice to do also. BTW, if I am imitating Link by attending a charter, does that mean I am necessarily imitating Beebe everytime I shoot a wedgie? Or am I instead shooting a reasonable composition? Put differently, had Beebe never lived, would RP not be full of wedgies, or would someone else have done what now seems to be obvious?

I guess when I think of Link I think of the community scenes: drive-in, swimming pool, gas station, etc. I have not seen those sorts of shots done at a night charter, I have only seen more RR-topical scenes, such as this loading of a boxcar (I took something like this but mucked it up, so the link is to someone else's shot):

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or these

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Now, maybe they got more adventurous in Roanoke, but I didn't see any shots like that. Just good RR scenes like already shown in this thread.
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Old 01-30-2010, 02:54 AM   #40
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Im not one for fighting on the internet but:

Guys like Gary Knapp have the privilege of being able to see and photograph the trains they love at any time of day or "night". Unfortunately steam doesn't usually run at sunrise, sunset or nighttime so the best way to see this is to charter the train. I'm not a fan of modern railroading (diesels) but believe me, if steam ran all night like they did back in the day, I'd be out there doing my thing.

I have alot of original ideas I'd like to do but when there are 50 paying customers who want to photograph the same train I am, I need to compromise and create a scene that works for everyone.

If I have a few minutes before everyone shows up, I will do my own thing.
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As long as people keep asking me to create scenes from the 1930s-1950's so they can "relive" a by gone era, I'll keep on giving it to them.

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BTW - What ever happened to the original question from this post? My wife just gave me permission to go so I should be there.
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Old 01-30-2010, 09:06 PM   #41
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They used to burn the rails not that long ago. What happened that they had to go static?

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I sure miss the chasing, the sound, the smoke.....

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Old 01-31-2010, 05:27 PM   #42
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BTW - What ever happened to the original question from this post? My wife just gave me permission to go so I should be there.
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Old 01-31-2010, 10:02 PM   #43
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What sense of humor? He is being serious!!! Hahaha!
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Old 01-31-2010, 11:13 PM   #44
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They used to burn the rails not that long ago. What happened that they had to go static?

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Old 01-31-2010, 11:31 PM   #45
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They used to burn the rails not that long ago. What happened that they had to go static?
Well, there's tons more about this on various websites and discussion forums, but the bottom line is that NS management killed their steam program in 1994. The Claytor brothers started it back in the 1960s on the Southern, and it continued on after the NS merger. When the Claytors died, their influence in the company was gone (they were major NS stockholders), and the board of directors, citing increased insurance and waste of materials and manpower, ended the program and sent the engines back to the museums that owned them. Many people are quite bitter about this, as NS used to run a very ambitious steam program... but it was pretty much doomed because it served no clear purpose to the company, other than for public relations which wasn't enough for NS apparently. They just ran passenger trains all over the place all the time. That's why you see UP steam used for corporate purposes and community events moreso than passenger excursions.

Don't get me wrong, I miss the NS steam program terribly, I'm probably a railfan today because of my early experiecnes with the 611... but from a business standpoint, it just didn't work, so no wonder it's gone.

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Old 02-02-2010, 02:51 AM   #46
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I seem to remember that the 611 derailed at speed and pretty much put the entire train on the ground. I think it was filled with railfans and rumors had it that a lot of lawsuits were filed. That caused the insurance rates to drastically increase and that is what killed the steam program on the NS. I'm only going by memory which is somewhat fading and it was just a rumor.

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