Old 04-03-2008, 01:44 AM   #26
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No, thats tame compared to some of the ones I've seen that look like they are going to make the person's scalp bleed.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich a.k.a bigiron
what would you consider proper railfan attire?
Jeans or anything other than sweatpants is fine with a clean T-shirt, sweatshirt or as I usually wear, a button-down shirt. Like someone once told me, you just look like you belong if you dress up.
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Old 04-03-2008, 01:49 AM   #27
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Rivet counters.
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Old 04-03-2008, 01:53 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Freericks
What is MLU?

Oh, for me, the word "foamer." I'm a railfan, not a foamer.
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Old 04-03-2008, 01:57 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lock4244
My first rule... railfan alone.

My second rule... if someone must tag along, they can do it in their own car while I'm in mine.
Hey I need someone to help pay for the fuel on the 250km round trip to the railhead...That plus we usually get one or two interesting stories to tell. Like the one of me trying to get out of the car before it came to a full stop (I was the passenger that day) and I was still buckled in because the grade crossing protection activated. Then the ballast tamper rolls on through.
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Old 04-03-2008, 02:04 AM   #30
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I think we all know the feeling...you wait at the spot for that 'perfect shot' for a while...one, two, three hours pass as the shadows encroach on your shot and the sun sinks toward the horizon...and then the Hi-Rail pickup truck motors by...........................

And, Road trip, you round the bend and there is a picturesque vista with a sweeping S-curve and beautiful fields adorning the background...You park the car on the shoulder, explode out the door, aim your camera, and then you realize that cameras tend to work better with the lense caps OFF...and that if you want to preserve the image in the viewfinder, the camera should be ON!

And and, you take an nice evening to maybe catch a shot or two... a headlight appears down the line, bound for your shot bathed in the best of light... time passes, until you realize that the headlight you have been intently staring down was the sun reflecting off a parked car miles down the line............

And and and, You wake up early to resume your photographic adventures, after a night of timed exposures...only to realize that a shutter speed of 30 sec. will allow more than enough light to capture a 9:00 AM shot....
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Old 04-03-2008, 02:12 AM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Blaszczyk (2)
Jeans or anything other than sweatpants is fine with a clean T-shirt, sweatshirt or as I usually wear, a button-down shirt. Like someone once told me, you just look like you belong if you dress up.
Dress up? What kind of railfanning are you doing? I don't have time to dress up when I'm dressing to go hiking through woods, over hills and on dirty trails trying to get the best shot. I suppose if I were a city-shooter, I might dress up to try to impress the ladies, but this is a DIRTY HOBBY. I'm not dressing up for it. Jeans, hiking boots, sweatshirts, etc.

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Old 04-03-2008, 02:14 AM   #32
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My biggest pet peeve is people that think they are the only railfans around and believe that they can do whatever they want to get their "perfect shot". They will always get into your photos and will tell you to get out of their photos even if you were set up at a location previously. These railfans often trespass on railroad property, and are also usually the first to whine about being "harassed" when they get caught.
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Old 04-03-2008, 02:20 AM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimThias
Dress up? What kind of railfanning are you doing? I don't have time to dress up when I'm dressing to go hiking through woods, over hills and on dirty trails trying to get the best shot. I suppose if I were a city-shooter, I might dress up to try to impress the ladies, but this is a DIRTY HOBBY. I'm not dressing up for it. Jeans, hiking boots, sweatshirts, etc.

Thats why I said dress for where you are obviously a suit will just look silly when you're knee deep in a remote creek somewhere. LOL I should have specified dress up if you are shooting in the city or around commuter/passenger line such as NJT or the NEC in my case. Trust me I went to school dressed to 'fan the Portland Secondary, a heavily-wooded line, and a friend of mine wasted no time telling me I looked like I was about to go hiking and camping. Needless to say, I never hear the end of it when I go trackside directly from class and dressed in layers in the winter to avoid the "WTF looks".
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Old 04-03-2008, 02:24 AM   #34
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Hey Andrew - I have some pins on my camera bag... is that poor railfan attire?
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Old 04-03-2008, 02:29 AM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CG_F45
And and, you take an nice evening to maybe catch a shot or two... a headlight appears down the line, bound for your shot bathed in the best of light... time passes, until you realize that the headlight you have been intently staring down was the sun reflecting off a parked car miles down the line............
Hahahahaha! Not sure if this is worse or the same, but I've spent an hour+ staring at a clear signal telling me "something has to be coming north" until the headlight of a southbound appeared and I realize it was some other green light no where near the tracks.
Quote:
And and and, You wake up early to resume your photographic adventures, after a night of timed exposures...only to realize that a shutter speed of 30 sec. will allow more than enough light to capture a 9:00 AM shot....
Ahhh, a lesson I'm sure we've all learned at one point in our lives...think ahead and reset to your 'comfort settings'. For me the camera is always put away set to 1/200, f/6.3, ISO 200 (since its cloudy more often than sunny). If I'm out and haven't taken a test shot and a train is barreling towards me I know where I'm set to and can scroll to where I know it will be "close enough". If all else fails I know my TV setting is always at 1/30 so I can settle for a pan.
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Old 04-03-2008, 02:32 AM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CG_F45
Hey Andrew - I have some pins on my camera bag... is that poor railfan attire?
LOL! I knew I would get some heat for that one! I'm all for pins, heck I even collect them, but for those of you who have seen the movie Office Space, there is such a thing as too much "flare"! On camera bags and a few here and there on a shirt or hat is fine by me.

For some reason this question reminded me of railfans with one too many bumperstickers! Unless you actually own one...you're other vehicle is not a steam locomotive, buddy. On the contrary I feel one cannot have enough antenni on their cars and unfortunately, I only have one but it makes people hit the brakes when they find me tucked off of the side of the road somewhere behind a tree aiming a radar gun at them. Okay, maybe not that last part...
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Old 04-03-2008, 02:40 AM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Blaszczyk (2)
LOL! I knew I would get some heat for that one! I'm all for pins, heck I even collect them, but for those of you who have seen the movie Office Space, there is such a thing as too much "flare"! On camera bags and a few here and there on a shirt or hat is fine by me.

Hehe... I hear ya!

My camera bag has pins and buttons ranging from fallen flag railroads to Lynyrd Skynyrd to motorsports to the 2001 Cheyene Frontier Days to a button from when I was an exhibitor at a World's Greatest Hobby On Tour (model railroad) show. I also have a Canon bag, even though I shoot Nikon!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Blaszczyk (2)
...I only have one [antenna] but it makes people hit the brakes when they find me tucked off of the side of the road somewhere behind a tree aiming a radar gun at them. Okay, maybe not that last part...
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Old 04-03-2008, 03:20 AM   #38
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I like the freedom to do what I want to do. Fanning with others means compromise... a four letter word.

I don't mind fanning with others, just not in the same car. When I want to leave and/or reposition, I can without having to "ask". I came into this world alone, and I shall railfan alone
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Old 04-03-2008, 03:35 AM   #39
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Originally Posted by Andrew Blaszczyk (2)
LOL! I knew I would get some heat for that one! I'm all for pins, heck I even collect them, but for those of you who have seen the movie Office Space, there is such a thing as too much "flare"!
You'll like the guy's jacket in this one then...

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Old 04-03-2008, 03:42 AM   #40
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Default Ahhh, how delightful.

I was wondering when this topic would surface. I have a few pet peeves myself, but I think it is interesting to look at them in the context of the Sociology of Railfanning. We'll look at railfans themselves first.

Let's take a minute and talk about normal. Those of you I call close friends know that I'm a unique individual myself, and that I'm no poster boy for normalcy. That said, I try to present a rational and respectable personality when out railfanning. It's suspicious enough to be "loitering" by the railroad tracks with an obscenely large camera, but I can see how it wouldn't help do do anything that would help paint myself as crazy.

I think it's important to look respectable when railfanning. You're more likely to be accorded courtesy and respect when you project it yourself. Let's think about it: people viewing you from afar have only seconds to classify you as normal or "terrorist." Jumping up and down, waving your arms excitedly, or wearing overly flash clothing is a way to be classified as a potential problem. Being well-dressed and of calm demeanor encourages people to dismiss you as harmless, rather than dial 1-800-AL-QAEDA (1-800-257-2332).

What qualifies as "respectable" varies from location to location. If you're in Connecticut and you plan to evade the East-Coast-Self-Important-Gestapo, then one should take your Amtrak photos from the docks of exclusive yacht clubs. This requires khakis and some form of dress shirt. If you are waiting for SD70ACE's in Montana, try to wear some sort of solid-toe leather shoe with your worn (but not ragged) jeans. When in California, T-Shirts are certainly appropriate, and best with some ambiguous squiggly design. And if you are in Kentucky or several other Southern states, simply wearing pants at all is an improvement over the local dress code.

Things that will destroy credibility include, but are not limited to the following:

- Any sort of stained clothing. No one wants to see what you ate for breakfast on your shirt, especially if it was from last week.

- Strange open-toe shoes. Sure, they're comfortable, but totally inappropriate for walking near railroad tracks

- Choo-Choo belt buckles. These baubles were in style in the 80's, and appeared as part of many railfan outfits during that time. Unfortunately, like many other styles from that era, this item is passe. The larger the buckle, the sillier it looks.

- Parallel to the belt-buckle rule, the number of train buttons and iron-on train patches you have is inversely proportional to your credibility.

- Don't dress like a stereotypical railroader. Striped denim overalls are only to be worn if you plan to crawl under a steam locomotive. Likewise, keep that VIA conductor's uniform you bought on eBay at home. Most railroaders today dress like average people off the street but with protective eyewear.

- Suspenders are for old people. It is okay for you to wear suspenders when you get up in years, otherwise you're advertising that your excessive trips to Steak & Shake have adversely affected your waistline. (Though, I must confess, if you've gone the Steak & Shake route and your pants are about to fall down, we'll overlook your suspenders on account of them saving us from a far greater horror.)

- Train or "Choo-Choo" T-Shirts do not impress railroaders or members of law enforcement. They're like an enormous label that advertises your particular brand of train-fetish. If the shirt is dirty or worn, it's not a macho credit to your time spent foaming, just an acknowledgment of your inability to do laundry.

- Erratic behavior is another great concern. One of the things stressed by the government as a sure sign of a terrorist is erratic behavior. I've always felt that a calm and purposeful demeanor is your best ticket to avoid trackside hassles. Whatever you do, don't run. Every time I see a demented foamer squeal with delight and start tearing back and forth at the sight of a train, I want to puke. Restraint! Likewise, don't hop up and down, wave your arms, shout "Train! Train! Train's coming!" and point at the headlight. We see it too.

- Stay off railroad property. You'll command more respect if you don't run around on the tracks. When a train is moving in the area, acknowledge the train crew by looking them in the eye or giving a short wave. Don't wave a wipeout sign or the crew may dump the air. (I've seen it happen.)

- Courtesy to your fellow railfans is a must. Whoever gets to a location first has first dibs on where to shoot from. Any photographers that arrive after that must stay out of the way of the first photographer's shot. This goes both ways. If you were there first, feel free to cuss out anyone that gets in your shot.

- Courtesy Part 2. If you see another foamer with a video camera, turn down your scanner, put your cell on vibrate, and keep your mouth shut. If they were there first, stand where you won't be in the way if they swing their camera around for a follow-through shot.

- Courtesy Part 3. Don't be a pig. If you are throwing trash everywhere, the next photographer will have to spend time picking it up.

If you're a messy railfan with funny clothing who gets in front of other photographers and talks loudly, you won't impress the other railfans. If you run around the tracks with no safety gear, point and gesture wildly, and flap your arms in the air, you run the risk of the train crews calling law enforcement.

I've seen so many poorly-behaved railfans that I've lost count. Anytime you get more than five railfans together, you're bound to turn up someone who will fit several of the above categories. Unfortunately, though it's their way of enjoying the hobby, these individuals give railfanning a bad name from the public's and the railroad's perspective.
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Old 04-03-2008, 03:50 AM   #41
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Default i am putting something here for lock4244

Thanks For all who answered so far.

As For Me with "Pins" and "Bumper Stickers" i do not display them. The pins, if they were in plastic bags, are still in the plastic bags. And the Bumper Stickers Go in page protectors.

Usually I railfan alone also. The one time I "HAD" to take my cousin with me, which i was not thrilled about and i asked before we got there if he was hungry, and he said no. We get there, NO MORE THEN 20 minutes later and He's hungry. So I got in the car sped off asked him if he liked McDonalds, he said no and i said good, pulled into the Local Mcdonalds and told him eat or dont eat. (sorry for telling that, i know its kinda boring and rude of me but, he should of said he was atleast a little hungry before we got there)

AS FOR ANDREW, i agree with you 100%. there is a railfan that comes to a backroad in Blandon, who talks and talks and you should see him... Imagine Lewie Anderson(or if you dont know who he is Rossie O'Donald) size with a SMALL T-shirt on and a hat that looks like its been in the war witch does not show ANY part of the hat due to the pins on it.

Kevin M, that is not a problem for me because where i go there is LOTS of space to shoot. There is like 1/4 mile of open land where you can shoot.

as for the train that never comes, i had this happen TODAY actually.

For the Non-Rail related pet peeve, BIG ONE FOR ME i also purposly load my car up then go back inside to Pee off the one waiting. I had someone actually PUSH my car foward(he got i trouble, i got 200 out of it) so he could park there. the spot on the other side was empty, why he just didnt go there is beyond me. *God forbid he would have to walk that 10 feet further.
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Old 04-03-2008, 03:58 AM   #42
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All i can say is wow. just out of curousity, how long did it take you to type this? it took me about 10 minutes to read this.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------


Forgot this in my last post
For how i dress, i really do not care what i am wearing. I ALWAYS wear Jeans and i always wear a t-shirt, and i always wear sneakers. On colder days, i will wear up to 2 sweatshirts. I really do not like to wear a coat. Gloves, yes sometimes. I am NOT a hat person, if my heads cold i will put my hood up.
(having me wear a hat is like seeing a Norfolk Southern in Aferica)
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Old 04-03-2008, 04:04 AM   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by norfolksouthern
All i can say is wow. just out of curousity, how long did it take you to type this? it took me about 10 minutes to read this.
Only three times as long as it took you to read it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by norfolksouthern
(Having me wear a hat is like seeing a Norfolk Southern in Aferica)
Norfolk Southern locomotives would be at home in Africa.
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Old 04-03-2008, 04:05 AM   #44
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Here's one for you.....had my car off the road in a pullout area, and was standing well off the road down just a bit from the car. I had my camera up to my face....was composing the picture....and was just about to get the shot, when a guy driving by stopped, backed up, and said "oh, car trouble eh....do you need a lift somewhere"....I looked at him thereby missing the shot, and politely (not really) declined. He actually drove away looking confused. I think this qualifies as a pet peeve!!!
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Old 04-03-2008, 04:10 AM   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Ryan
Norfolk Southern locomotives would be at home in Africa.
Mmmmm hmmmm.

What about the Albinos?
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Old 04-03-2008, 04:11 AM   #46
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Mmmmm hmmmm.

What about the Albinos?
Ahem. *Cough* Haven't you seen those GEVOs in primer? *Cough*
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Old 04-03-2008, 04:18 AM   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Ryan
- Courtesy to your fellow railfans is a must. Whoever gets to a location first has first dibs on where to shoot from. Any photographers that arrive after that must stay out of the way of the first photographer's shot. This goes both ways. If you were there first, feel free to cuss out anyone that gets in your shot.
This is a big one guys. John couldn't be more correct. And believe me, there are some of us out there who completely ignore this.
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Old 04-03-2008, 04:19 AM   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Ryan
Norfolk Southern locomotives would be at home in Africa.
OK how about this,
Me wearing a hat would be like seeing a norfolk southern in Hawaii.
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Old 04-03-2008, 04:34 AM   #49
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Originally Posted by norfolksouthern
OK how about this,
Me wearing a hat would be like seeing a norfolk southern in Hawaii.

::shakes head::
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Old 04-03-2008, 04:49 AM   #50
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My biggest pet peeve? Probably railfans (or know-it-all, self-proclaimed photography experts who also happen to take photos of trains, mostly at night because it's challenging and makes them somehow better than other train shooters) who use their first name followed by "in" and then state they live in.

If you don't know what I'm talking about, consider yourself lucky...
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