Old 09-14-2009, 04:35 PM   #1
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Default Gallery: Only in Summer

With Sept. 21st quickly approaching, the sun will soon be rising/setting due east/west bringing an end to the days when you could get noselight on a northbound or shoot from the usual "dark side" of the tracks. What were you able to get with the extra sun in the early morning and late evening that isn't possible in the spring, fall or winter? Note: This can also include runs/trains that usually occur at night but can be seen in daylight in the summer.
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Old 09-14-2009, 04:42 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Blaszczyk (2) View Post
What were you able to get with the extra sun in the early morning and late evening that isn't possible in the spring, fall or winter?
Cool gallery topic!

This shot took two summers to get right - of course, simply because I didn't get out there as often as I would have liked. There is another forthcoming, maybe I'll upload it this week. And plans for one or two more, didn't quite work this year but another summer will come soon enough.

Having done this one, I will say that it isn't what I thought/hoped it would be, in some subjective dimension that can't be expressed verbally. But it is done and I can move on.

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Old 09-14-2009, 04:53 PM   #3
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First, here's a CSX Q132 running almost due North on the Toledo Branch:

Image © Michael Harding
PhotoID: 293214
Photograph © Michael Harding


And an Ann Arbor switcher working the North end of their yard in the evening:

Image © Michael Harding
PhotoID: 289773
Photograph © Michael Harding


I have a bunch of early morning/late evening shots on the NS Chicago main which is close to a due E-W line from the North side of the tracks, like this morning shot looking West:

Image © Michael Harding
PhotoID: 289867
Photograph © Michael Harding


Evening shot near Toledo yard looking East (from Westwood Rd):

Image © Michael Harding
PhotoID: 289631
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Old 09-14-2009, 04:55 PM   #4
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With a call time of 4PM and a usual depature time of 6PM, SA33 is a late spring-early fall run when it comes to photography. It's departure time is dependant on another train, SA22, so if they haven't left the yard neither has '33. On this particular afternoon, SA22 didn't leave the yard until 6:15 pushing back SA33's departure time to 7PM just minutes before the shadows would consume the South River bridge at the west end of the yard.
Image © Andrew Blaszczyk (2)
PhotoID: 294319
Photograph © Andrew Blaszczyk (2)

The twists and turns on NJT's Gladstone Branch make photography a joy and challenge depending on the shot you want. Just a few miles from the western terminus, Gladstone, the line turns due east/west and crosses the North Branch of the Raritan River and then turns south/north at the other end of the bridge. The north side of the 'Hogback Bridge' is free of tree obstructions unlike the south side but is only lit for an hour or so during the longest days of the year when the sun rises in the northeastern sky.
Image © Andrew Blaszczyk (2)
PhotoID: 297087
Photograph © Andrew Blaszczyk (2)

Another NJT shot I was able to cross off my list was a northbound passing ESSAY Tower in South Amboy which was taken at 6:11AM (yawn) and was terribly lit just minutes after.
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While the shots above were just happened-to-be there photos, I did plan on getting two shots that are only possible (or the best) in the summer. The first is only a few miles away from home but requires tons of luck and patience, but mostly luck. Local SA31 works the Freehold Industrial (FIT) one to three times a week depending on customer demands. There is only one customer, Honeywell, east of "downtown" Freehold where both the PRR and CNJ stations still stand. Since the FIT is the ex-PRR, running past the station is necessary to get to Honeywell which only gets served two to four times a month. The first problem is that the switch for Honeywell faces east with no run-around so if empties are taken out they shove back west. The second problem is that Honeywell is at the far end of line and SA31 doesn't depart until 1PM or later with a 10mph max on the line. The third problem is that the largest customer on the line, Bayshore Vinyl gets served first for 30 mins to an hour. This means in order to get a shot of a westbound move past the station they must leave AT or as close to 1PM as possible, there has to be little or no work at BVC, they can only be leaving loads at Honeywell and return light, and all of this before the sun sets. That's exactly what happened on June 8th.
Image © Andrew Blaszczyk (2)
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The second shot I set out to get was a northbound passing the ex-Reading station in Hopewell, NJ. Trees cast shadows for most of the morning until the sun swings further east. This also means that it is getting higher and the shadows on the first level of the station are getting longer and lower. As I waited for a train and the sun to get perfect, some major brush cutting was required to make the tracks visible which took about 3 hours. Finally, as the last small tree/plant came down the signal in the distance showed "clear" and EMD roar could be heard approaching from the south.
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Old 09-14-2009, 05:57 PM   #5
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Aw yeah, time to cram in that bit where I did a lot of railfanning last summer.
These ones are all taken at the same time of day in the same area from the north side of the tracks, and within a couple days of the longest day of the year.
Image © Matthew Hicks
PhotoID: 240084
Photograph © Matthew Hicks


Image © Matthew Hicks
PhotoID: 240108
Photograph © Matthew Hicks


Image © Matthew Hicks
PhotoID: 240082
Photograph © Matthew Hicks


Glint shots:
Image © Matthew Hicks
PhotoID: 246557
Photograph © Matthew Hicks


Image © Matthew Hicks
PhotoID: 242488
Photograph © Matthew Hicks


Tracks pointing north:

Image © Matthew Hicks
PhotoID: 246703
Photograph © Matthew Hicks


And, of course, the ever-elusive perfectly lit Morant's shot. When nailed, it's a guaranteed PCA.

Image © Matthew Hicks
PhotoID: 246817
Photograph © Matthew Hicks


Image © Matthew Hicks
PhotoID: 247475
Photograph © Matthew Hicks
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Old 09-14-2009, 07:25 PM   #6
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I think my summer was successful. There was one shot I wanted to try, but it didn't quite work out this year. My goal was to catch the evening Amtrak (usually arrives in Charleston at 8:10 pm when on time). It was very rare that he'd be on time and sunny at the time time. He'd be five minutes early and there would be a huge thunderstorm approaching. He'd be 20 minutes late, and the sun would've have already set. Oh well...

Although, I would imagine my Hawks Nest trip was the most successful this summer..

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Summer is the only time in the year that you can photograph the westbound Cardinal in daylight at Hawks Nest. Not to mention, the 1st image was purchased by Amtrak around a month ago.

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Old 09-14-2009, 07:59 PM   #7
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I must confess, I generally loose interest in doing much railfanning throught the summer. Getting up that early for a few decent hours of light, then finding a way to burn through high sun hours for a few more hours of light got boring real quick. One major contributing factor is few trains thanks to a bad economy means fewer opportunities. There was at least one morning on CN and CP's Toronto - Montreal mains wher I went out earlyand shot one freight (on CN) going the wrong way for the light, CP between 0545-1000hrs sent nothing my way, and I can't recall even getting a VIA!

My old fav, the Havelock Sub is not running on weekends anymore, so that turkey shoot is gone. I shot some GO Trains, but that gets boring real quick. The only real rewarding shooting I did over the summer was in WY/UT/CO, but that's it.

The light is getting real nice now, and yesterday I caught a SLH SD40-2 leading CP train 121 and a decently light shot of a CP WB at Colbourne, ON., that I got cloud fornicated on earlier this summer, so things are looking up. Honestly, if I didn't have this train loving monkey on my back, I'd just sit out from mid-May to early September.

Oh, a photo, right. This is not recent, but you do need long days to get this shot... and a chainsaw to open it up today! Taken at 0736hrs in Gods country.

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Old 09-14-2009, 11:15 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Blaszczyk (2) View Post
With Sept. 21st quickly approaching, the sun will soon be rising/setting due east/west...
Depending upon what your latitude is.

Quote:
What were you able to get with the extra sun in the early morning and late evening that isn't possible in the spring, fall or winter? Note: This can also include runs/trains that usually occur at night but can be seen in daylight in the summer.

All shots taken with the trains heading due north:

Image © Jim Thias
PhotoID: 291028
Photograph © Jim Thias

Image © Jim Thias
PhotoID: 290243
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Image © Jim Thias
PhotoID: 289301
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Image © Jim Thias
PhotoID: 285889
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Image © Jim Thias
PhotoID: 282548
Photograph © Jim Thias
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Old 09-15-2009, 12:55 AM   #9
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Despite having a very slow shooting summer, I had a few "summer" shots to share.

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Image © christophersmuller.com
PhotoID: 287140
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Image © christophersmuller.com
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Old 09-15-2009, 01:58 AM   #10
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Depending upon what your latitude is.
Well, I thought that on the equinox that, regardless of latitude, sunrise/sunset would be at 90/270.

It turns out that, according to
http://www.spectralcalc.com/solar_ca...r_position.php
it isn't. But it isn't far off. For -76.5 longitude (and I presume longitude shouldn't matter at all), here are the compass degrees to the sun at sunrise and sunset.

latitude sunrise sunset
27 88.9 270.8
37 88.7 271.1
47 88.3 271.4
57 87.7 271.9

So sunrise is not north of 90, and sunset is just barely, probably imperceptively for photography purposes, north of 270. No idea why that might be true, wobble around the earth's axis?
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Old 09-15-2009, 02:36 AM   #11
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Here's one where I managed to benefit from the sun angle, the train is heading north in this shot. The summer months are about the only time a northbound train can be shot on this line in good light (even though the line has a few east-west areas most trains run in darkness).
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Old 09-15-2009, 03:57 AM   #12
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Slot in the trees where the sun has to line up and the train has to get there. Train leaves after dark from late summer on.
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Old 09-15-2009, 08:20 AM   #13
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A few from the UK

First a shot that isn't sunrise/sunset. This train is running NW and the sun doesn't come onto the nose before mid afternoon, but outside of summer, the deep cutting ensures that the lines are at least partly in shadow

Image © Stephen Dance
PhotoID: 288308
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This one was taken only a few mins before sunset with the sun on the north side of the train as it heads west. The last train of the day (and the only one late enough for the light to get round that far), which didn't operate every day of the week

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Finally a sunrise shot. The line heads pretty much due north here, and these days the opportunity for a shot of interesting motive power at this location with light on the nose is very rare.

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Old 09-15-2009, 12:02 PM   #14
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My third accepted shot shows northbound tram around 6 PM in early June when the sun was high enough to get over surrounding buildings:
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Old 09-15-2009, 02:10 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JRMDC View Post
Well, I thought that on the equinox that, regardless of latitude, sunrise/sunset would be at 90/270.

It turns out that, according to
http://www.spectralcalc.com/solar_ca...r_position.php
it isn't. But it isn't far off. For -76.5 longitude (and I presume longitude shouldn't matter at all), here are the compass degrees to the sun at sunrise and sunset.

latitude sunrise sunset
27 88.9 270.8
37 88.7 271.1
47 88.3 271.4
57 87.7 271.9

So sunrise is not north of 90, and sunset is just barely, probably imperceptively for photography purposes, north of 270. No idea why that might be true, wobble around the earth's axis?
So, Nick in Minnesota is going to see the same sun angle as Bob in Florida? Hmm...

We talked about this a few months ago, J...the date is almost here!
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Old 09-15-2009, 05:15 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimThias View Post
So, Nick in Minnesota is going to see the same sun angle as Bob in Florida? Hmm...
On the equinox the location of the sunrise/sunset on the horizon is about the same in Florida as it is in here Minnesota, to within a degree or two. The difference is how high in the sky the sun gets at noon. On the equinox it'll peak at 45 degrees off of the horizon here in Minneapolis, in Miami it'll shoot up to 64 degrees - big difference.

In any event, I love incorporating water (and water related activities) into my shots. Since all of it freezes from December-March each year, and the trees are more or less barren (ugly) from November-May, I'm left with a summertime window where I can shots with nice green/orange/red vegetation and liquid water.

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Old 09-15-2009, 05:49 PM   #17
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I had a awsome summer as well, many trains I met a new fellow railfan and railfaned with him many a sunday. Here are some shots that got in the database and a few that i kept for my self
The brigde work was done late august, while there the forman incharge made a comment on his boss couldnt figure out why we suck it out all day long watching the new cut in for track 2
http://www.railpictures.net/viewphot...=294968&nseq=4
http://www.railpictures.net/viewphot...294979&skip=-1
http://www.railpictures.net/viewphot...296914&skip=-1
http://www.railpictures.net/viewphot...297027&skip=-1
http://www.railpictures.net/viewphot...297129&skip=-1
http://www.flickr.com/photos/iowa_railfan/3847801925/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/iowa_ra...n/photostream/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/iowa_railfan/3583969882/
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Old 09-15-2009, 11:26 PM   #18
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Terrific gallery idea Andrew. During the changing of the seasons I usually travel and stray away from my usual haunts because most of the shots I've envisioned are either straight summer or straight winter shots. I'm sure I'm not the only person who runs into the problem where in the summer all they can do is think of the winter shots they want to take and vice versa. I greatly looked forward to the summer months this year as a chance to really knock out some shots I'd been eye-balling, and I was quite successful. Although I haven't put many of the recent shots on RP, here are some of the summer shots I've grabbed where the light just doesn't work at other times in the year.

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Old 09-16-2009, 12:38 AM   #19
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Here is a link, set for Phoenix Az, but you just need to go to the main page, type in your zip and got to the sunrise part. Not going to give you the direction of sunrise but you will know about what time and how long you have to shoot on a given day.


http://aa.usno.navy.mil/cgi-bin/aa_r...&FFX=1&ZZZ=END
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Old 09-16-2009, 01:25 AM   #20
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I love shooting during the long daylight hours of summer. When I lived in Burns Lake (halfway up the province) I would drop my wife off for work at 5:45 a.m. and go check out the track before going to work myself.
Here is an iffy pan from the north side of the track. There was not enough light for a stop action.
Image © Jim Dorst
PhotoID: 241134
Photograph © Jim Dorst


This one is at 8:45 p.m. with lots of daylight left.
Image © Jim Dorst
PhotoID: 239729
Photograph © Jim Dorst

I do have a number of evening shots that are not on the data base.

Now that I am in the mountains the sunshine hours seem shorter as it takes longer for the sun to come up over the high mountains and hit the tracks.
In the canyons the change of season is really noticeable.
I think this one will be hard to duplicate - I barely got enough side light.
Image © Jim Dorst
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And driving through the Lower Kicking Horse Canyon today I realized this picture is definitely seasonal.
Image © Jim Dorst
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I'll have to wait till next season before photographing CP 566. The sun comes up well after this train leaves Golden at 7:00 a.m.
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Interesting topic - and up north where the seasonal daylight hours swing from 18 hours in June to barely 6-7 hours in December, it really makes a difference on what we can shoot.
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Old 09-16-2009, 01:32 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trainboysd40 View Post
Aw yeah, time to cram in that bit where I did a lot of railfanning last summer.
These ones are all taken at the same time of day in the same area from the north side of the tracks, and within a couple days of the longest day of the year.

Can't have been too awkward - your exif data says it was early afternoon.
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Old 09-16-2009, 01:33 PM   #22
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Interesting thread......

This shot is one that comes to mind:
Image © Kevin Madore
PhotoID: 291451
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The rock cut pictured is one of the more distinctive features of this railroad and it seems like I've been trying to do something with it for years. Unfortunately, the line runs north-south with the locomotives always facing north. I've got lots of silhouette shots, but nothing that fits the mold here. The last run of the day is 3:30 PM and for most of the year, sidelight is the best you can hope for. Only around the solstice does the sun high stay high enough and go far enough west to allow some nose light. I've got a few more ideas for this location, but alas, they will have to wait another 9 months. Now, the shadows there are deep and cloudy days are the only real option:

Image © Kevin Madore
PhotoID: 267889
Photograph © Kevin Madore

Image © Kevin Madore
PhotoID: 265624
Photograph © Kevin Madore


The latter is probably the most noise-free ISO 800 frame I've ever shot.
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Old 09-16-2009, 07:05 PM   #23
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Quote:
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On the equinox the location of the sunrise/sunset on the horizon is about the same in Florida as it is in here Minnesota, to within a degree or two. The difference is how high in the sky the sun gets at noon. On the equinox it'll peak at 45 degrees off of the horizon here in Minneapolis, in Miami it'll shoot up to 64 degrees - big difference.
Thanks for putting it into simple terms, Nick. Makes sense to me now.
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Rhymes with slice, rice and mice, and probably should be spelled like "Tice."

This pretty much sums it up: http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Thias
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