Old 05-16-2009, 03:22 PM   #1
Alan
Member
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: W.Bloomfield, MI
Posts: 66
Default Why Michigan!!!

Dear fellow members,
When I look at most of these great pictures on RP, many of them are trains going over or around mountains, over great trestles, running next to freeways, crossing rivers or lakes. I think you get the idea. I live in Michigan which is flat as a pancake. All of the locations I have been to (in Michigan) have turned out to be terrible photo locations. I know your probably thinking there are many photo opportunities you just have to find them. Well I'm not going to drive across the whole state looking for locations. If anybody can recommend any locations in Michigan I'd be very appreciative.
Alan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-16-2009, 04:09 PM   #2
JRMDC
Senior Member
 
JRMDC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 11,202
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan View Post
Dear fellow members,
When I look at most of these great pictures on RP, many of them are trains going over or around mountains, over great trestles, running next to freeways, crossing rivers or lakes. I think you get the idea. I live in Michigan which is flat as a pancake. All of the locations I have been to (in Michigan) have turned out to be terrible photo locations. I know your probably thinking there are many photo opportunities you just have to find them. Well I'm not going to drive across the whole state looking for locations. If anybody can recommend any locations in Michigan I'd be very appreciative.
I'm sure you will get some suggestions, but first, you make the best of what you have. You make use of trackside objects or structures to make shots more interesting. You experiment with shallow depth of field. You look for interesting sunrises and sunsets, go for glint or silhouette. You step back from the track and get the scene. You try some pan shots. You make the best of what you have.

I've taken a lot of shots from Gaithersburg, MD, but there are a lot of shots yet to be taken there. I may never be finished.
__________________
My RP pix are here.
My Flickr pix are here.

My commentaries on rail pictures are in my blog.

RP Photo Albums:
Cabooses
Engine Details
Farm and Train
Plumes!
Railroad Details
Signal Details
Switchstand Shots
JRMDC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-16-2009, 04:17 PM   #3
nikos1
Senior Member
 
nikos1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 1,775
Default

I suggest you take a look at Jim Thias's work. His photos are shot almost exclusively in Michigan, and there are definitely some very interesting locations to be had, including numerous bridges and atleast one good wooden trestle.
__________________


Wedge shots of blue HLCX SD60's http://www.railpictures.net/showphotos.php?userid=7861

More wedge shots of blue HLCX SD60's http://nikos1.rrpicturearchives.net/

Video wedge shots of blue HLCX SD60's
http://youtube.com/profile?user=nikosjk1
nikos1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-16-2009, 06:18 PM   #4
Joe the Photog
Senior Member
 
Joe the Photog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Columbia, SC
Posts: 7,899
Default

Judging from some of the shots I see from Michigan, including the neat shortline Michigan Central, I'd love to visit the place. I think a lot of us get stung by the Where We Live Sucks Railroading Wise. I live in Columbia, SC and am so tired with my options that I can't see straight. Most of the trains through Columbia run through what is called "the ditch." Which should tell you a lot about photo ops. The bridges are interesting, but it takes a little hike to one and a long hike to another, albeit through city parks. And then you actually have to get a train come through.

So, yeah, I hear you and I feel your pain.
__________________
Joe the Photog Dot Com
Joe the Photog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-16-2009, 07:01 PM   #5
Ween
Senior Member
 
Ween's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 4,861
Default

Quote:
When I look at most of these great pictures on RP, many of them are trains going over or around mountains, over great trestles, running next to freeways, crossing rivers or lakes. I think you get the idea.
And I'm guessing many of those great pictures took some work to get, like driving or hiking a ways to make them happen.

If the amount of effort you're willing to put into getting shots is any indication of the results, I'm guessing we're not going to be seeing 'great' things from you:

Quote:
I'm not going to drive across the whole state looking for locations.
That's kind of harsh, but many times it's trial and error. Great pictures don't just happen (most of the time)...
__________________
Ween is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-16-2009, 07:47 PM   #6
Alan
Member
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: W.Bloomfield, MI
Posts: 66
Default

Don't get me wrong. I don't mind driving an hour or two to a location. What I'm not going to do is drive 4-6 hours somewhere and HOPE a train comes by.
Alan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-16-2009, 11:22 PM   #7
Joe the Photog
Senior Member
 
Joe the Photog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Columbia, SC
Posts: 7,899
Default

That's why you do research before going on a trip. Join a couple of relevant YahooGroups or some such. An hour or two drive in South Carolina doesn't always get you to a lot of great locations.
__________________
Joe the Photog Dot Com
Joe the Photog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-17-2009, 03:29 AM   #8
JimThias
Senior Member
 
JimThias's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
Posts: 9,800
Default

Hey Alan, you need to join this site: www.railroadfan.com

LOTS of Michigan info on there including train locations and tons of pictures from around Michigan.
__________________
.
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
JimThias is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2009, 04:25 PM   #9
MDH
Senior Member
 
MDH's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 287
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by JimThias View Post
Hey Alan, you need to join this site: www.railroadfan.com

LOTS of Michigan info on there including train locations and tons of pictures from around Michigan.
Alan - what Jim said. And look at his pictures also - great stuff! I drive up from Ohio to get away from the "really flat" and "boring" local scenery so I guess the grass is always greener on the other side?

You didn't say where you're from, but Ann Arbor's got some great scenery and scheduled trains:

Image © Michael Harding
PhotoID: 273784
Photograph © Michael Harding


Image © Michael Harding
PhotoID: 270961
Photograph © Michael Harding


There are quite a few interesting shortlines and you can get nice shots even where it's flat:

Image © Michael Harding
PhotoID: 248027
Photograph © Michael Harding


Image © Michael Harding
PhotoID: 270621
Photograph © Michael Harding


And as suggested you can always use "props" to spice up shots:

Image © Michael Harding
PhotoID: 245583
Photograph © Michael Harding


I've seen tons of other good Michigan shots from other contributors - just search on the main page for "Michigan" and start getting some ideas...

Regards,
Michael
__________________
Michael Harding
P&WV fan in HO

Click Here to view my photos at RailPictures.Net!

Click Here to view my Toledo Railfan Photo Location map!
MDH is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2009, 10:31 PM   #10
Watain
-_-
 
Watain's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Hiltons, Virginia, USA
Posts: 953
Send a message via MSN to Watain
Default

Ah this is why I like Virginia ''oh look a mountain placed conveniently 5 miles behind a railroad track''...

Image © Wayne Stumbo
PhotoID: 264396
Photograph © Wayne Stumbo


Jim has excellent work, the only thing I know about Michigan is my favorite car of all time is built in Flat Rock...
Watain is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2009, 10:41 PM   #11
ssw9662
Senior Member
 
ssw9662's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 839
Default

I think everyone suffers from the "grass is greener on the other side" syndrome, but with some work it is possible to take great photos in just about any area. As the others have said, take a look at the work of Jim Thias (or John Ryan, at least when he takes photos in his home state). I actually happen to be quite fond of the flat, open farm field type shots, probably because open fields are rather scarce where I live (most areas here are either built up or forested). I know I complain about the lack of photo ops in PA sometimes, but when I step back and review the other parts of the country I am glad that I live here.
__________________
Austin
Canon EOS 7D
Canon 70-200mm f/4 L
Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM
Canon 50mm f/1.8
My Railpictures.net Photos
flickr
ssw9662 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2009, 10:56 PM   #12
Mgoldman
Senior Member
 
Mgoldman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 3,641
Default

There's been more then 1 PC and SC in MI - I'll echo previous advice, look at Jim Thias's pics. There appears to be a wealth of opportunity in shortlines as well - now that we are down to a handful of major railroads, you might want to go out and capture the smaller and sometimes more appealing shortlines.

The Holly Grail image to get in MI would be that of the former D&H Sharks currently locked up and off limits to all at the E&LS shop in Wells, MI. Maybe you can befriend the owner, millions have tried.

/Mitch
Mgoldman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-19-2009, 12:21 AM   #13
John Ryan
Senior Member
 
John Ryan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan
Posts: 497
Send a message via AIM to John Ryan
Default

A few words about Michigan ... Being a Michigan native, I can attest to this state being very low on the totem pole. Usually Ohio is the butt of railfan jokes, but at least Ohio has a high volume of train traffic. I tend to do most of my photography outside of Michigan, and this is for several reasons:

1) No mainline action. The current highest traffic volume anywhere in the state is still less than 20 trains per day, meaning you might see one every hour if you are lucky, and they will all run at night if you are unlucky.

2) Boring shortlines. Sure, the RailAmerica affiliates have a mess of engines, but three rusted-out tubs in different paint schemes doesn't stir my soul to the same extent that some shined-up, run-with-pride operation like the Iowa Interstate does. It doesn't help that half the shortlines run at night, and most of the rest run against the sun.

3) The good stuff is gone. Sorry, but you missed the scenic lines in the Upper Peninsula, the north end of the Pere Marquette, the car ferries, the Wabash, the Detroit & Toledo Shore Line, steam on the Grand Trunk Western, and so on. And none of that is coming back. What we're left with doesn't hold a candle to any of that.

That said, there are some diamonds in the rough that are worth photographing. The Adrian & Blissfield runs with a pair of high-nose GP9's in a hybrid NYC / GTW paint scheme. They are not friendly (nothing is perfect), but you can photograph their operations from public property. Marquette Rail runs a nice operation, with a classy paint scheme and dedicated, friendly employees. Unfortunately they only have one engine painted and they run mostly at night. You can still catch classic Alco and MLW locomotives on some Lake State trains, though how long that will last is questionable. There's also a spectacular show in the fall when the leaves turn along the Lake Superior & Ishpeming.

As far as suggesting individual locations, it would help to know where you live and how far you would consider driving.

Lastly, a note to Mitch Goldman. It is *not* impossible to see the Sharks, nor are they stored at the E&LS locomotive shop. They are in a warehouse on the other side of Escanaba. Sadly, they have deteriorated to such a condition that they will require a Doyle-McCormack-NKP-190-style restoration to ever run again.
John Ryan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-19-2009, 02:46 AM   #14
Mgoldman
Senior Member
 
Mgoldman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 3,641
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Ryan View Post
A few words about Michigan ... Being a Michigan native...

Lastly, a note to Mitch Goldman. It is *not* impossible to see the Sharks...
Got a pick, native?

: )


/Mitch
Mgoldman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-19-2009, 11:27 PM   #15
LSRC Railfan
Senior Member
 
LSRC Railfan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 274
Default

Where in Michigan do you live? Maybe a few of us can point you in the right direction. But, your story reminds me of my recent feelings about Alpena in particular. I've been whining and complaining about Alpena railfanning for quite some time (something John Ryan can attest to). The lack of trains, the bad photo locations, the inconsistency, the lack of volume, the weather, the UGLY and BORING ex KCS geeps really sucks. In fact, there was a period in time for about two months where I just wouldn't go out and railfan in Alpena. But, even though the scenery sucks, there are still plenty of quality photos to be taken. You just really have to keep your eyes peeled and you mind working. I'm not to the point yet in my photography where I can correctly analyze a scene and pull a killer shot off every time. In fact, I think my photography isn't that great to begin with, but it's a learning process. The point is that if you can't go someplace with killer scenery and you're stuck with Michigan than you're just going to have to make the best of it. I'm trying (and it is very frustrating at times). I have a ton of quality shots that I'd like to get. Unfortunately, I have about a .1% chance at getting one of them the way it plays out in my mind. But, maybe I'll get lucky one of these days...

I know it's terrible, but just make the best of it.
-Jim
LSRC Railfan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-20-2009, 12:41 AM   #16
SCFrankie
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Greenville, South Carolina
Posts: 42
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe the Photog View Post
Judging from some of the shots I see from Michigan, including the neat shortline Michigan Central, I'd love to visit the place. I think a lot of us get stung by the Where We Live Sucks Railroading Wise. I live in Columbia, SC and am so tired with my options that I can't see straight. Most of the trains through Columbia run through what is called "the ditch." Which should tell you a lot about photo ops. The bridges are interesting, but it takes a little hike to one and a long hike to another, albeit through city parks. And then you actually have to get a train come through.

So, yeah, I hear you and I feel your pain.
South Carolina isn't all that bad for photos.. Granted, scenery is a bit lacking, but maybe that's because we are so used to seeing it? I think SC makes up for it with shortlines, I am centrally located near the Carolina Piedmont, Pickens, and Greenville & Western, so I guess I don't have much to complain about.. Are there even any shortlines near Columbia?
SCFrankie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-20-2009, 08:58 PM   #17
lock4244
Senior Member
 
lock4244's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: The City Below Vaughan
Posts: 1,048
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by nikos1 View Post
I suggest you take a look at Jim Thias's work. His photos are shot almost exclusively in Michigan, and there are definitely some very interesting locations to be had, including numerous bridges and atleast one good wooden trestle.
You're only saying that because Jim's damned dog avitar is controlling you with those demonic eyes
__________________
Mike Lockwood

Insert witty comment here

Hot girl on girl action here!

More Pics Here
lock4244 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2009, 04:38 PM   #18
JimThias
Senior Member
 
JimThias's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
Posts: 9,800
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by lock4244 View Post
You're only saying that because Jim's damned dog avitar is controlling you with those demonic eyes
Thanks for the laugh, Mike.
__________________
.
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
JimThias is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2009, 06:42 PM   #19
Shi-Ku Chishiki
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 15
Default

Alan said in part..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan View Post
I know your probably thinking there are many photo opportunities you just have to find them. Well I'm not going to drive across the whole state looking for locations.
Take it from the voice of experience, saying something like that will get you eaten up around here.. and don't I know it, especially when you're called ignorant by one of the members responding to a post you've made.

Shi-Ku Chishiki
Shi-Ku Chishiki is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2009, 06:49 PM   #20
JRMDC
Senior Member
 
JRMDC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 11,202
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shi-Ku Chishiki View Post
Take it from the voice of experience, saying something like that will get you eaten up around here.. and don't I know it, especially when you're called ignorant by one of the members responding to a post you've made.
Gosh, can it get any sillier than this? The entire thread, in between Alan's post #1 and your post #19, completely disproves your statement. Alan wasn't eaten up at all! All responses were respectful and there was lots of helpful information.

Shi-Ku, are you making any effort at all when you read? Are you just holding on to your sour grapes forever? What do you want to achieve in your participation here? I don't understand.
__________________
My RP pix are here.
My Flickr pix are here.

My commentaries on rail pictures are in my blog.

RP Photo Albums:
Cabooses
Engine Details
Farm and Train
Plumes!
Railroad Details
Signal Details
Switchstand Shots
JRMDC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2009, 07:08 PM   #21
Joe the Photog
Senior Member
 
Joe the Photog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Columbia, SC
Posts: 7,899
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by SCFrankie View Post
South Carolina isn't all that bad for photos.. Granted, scenery is a bit lacking, but maybe that's because we are so used to seeing it? I think SC makes up for it with shortlines, I am centrally located near the Carolina Piedmont, Pickens, and Greenville & Western, so I guess I don't have much to complain about.. Are there even any shortlines near Columbia?
I do think I am getting a little too used to see the same old stuff. Maybe a better way to put it for me is that I find Columbia in general boring. The closest short line to me now is proobably a tie between the CPDR and L&C, about 55 miles to each. But that's a little misleading because I'd hit the end of the line to each and then have to cover the line from there. The South Carolina Central might be a little closer, but for the most part, the Bishopville end of the line is the least exciting and photogenic.

I did mean to ask you though about the CPDR running at night. When do they leave Laurens? I'm working second shift now and I'm thinkming there may be one night I want to head out for a bit after midnight.

Spartanburg seems like it would be nice to live in. You've got the two Class 1s, some interesting scenery, including that tunnel. But you'd also be close to the shortlines you've mentioned, not far for a day trip every now and then to the Hartwell out of Lavonia and in the other direction, the Extension Cord Line in Blacksburg.
__________________
Joe the Photog Dot Com
Joe the Photog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2009, 07:13 PM   #22
JRMDC
Senior Member
 
JRMDC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 11,202
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe the Photog View Post
in the other direction, the Extension Cord Line in Blacksburg.
What an interesting name, do tell!
__________________
My RP pix are here.
My Flickr pix are here.

My commentaries on rail pictures are in my blog.

RP Photo Albums:
Cabooses
Engine Details
Farm and Train
Plumes!
Railroad Details
Signal Details
Switchstand Shots
JRMDC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2009, 07:17 PM   #23
Joe the Photog
Senior Member
 
Joe the Photog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Columbia, SC
Posts: 7,899
Default

A veryu interesting NS branch line where they run the MU cables between the engines through a 40 foot box car. Jim Wrinn wrote an article in Trains about the line in the 90s. Can't remember if gave it that name or not. I'd write ore, but it's time for me to get my flash light and go to work. Meanwhile, here are my shots from it --

http://www.railpictures.net/showphot...%20Cord%20Line
__________________
Joe the Photog Dot Com

Last edited by Joe the Photog; 05-21-2009 at 07:17 PM. Reason: Oops.... the link....
Joe the Photog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2009, 07:21 PM   #24
JRMDC
Senior Member
 
JRMDC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 11,202
Default

Cool stuff Joe, thanks!
__________________
My RP pix are here.
My Flickr pix are here.

My commentaries on rail pictures are in my blog.

RP Photo Albums:
Cabooses
Engine Details
Farm and Train
Plumes!
Railroad Details
Signal Details
Switchstand Shots
JRMDC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2009, 07:37 PM   #25
Freericks
Met Fan
 
Freericks's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 4,040
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shi-Ku Chishiki View Post
Alan said in part..



Take it from the voice of experience, saying something like that will get you eaten up around here.. and don't I know it, especially when you're called ignorant by one of the members responding to a post you've made.

Shi-Ku Chishiki
Isn't it funny Shi-Ku that I have been reading this thread since the beginning and didn't respond with any negativity?

If you can't see the difference between his posts asking for help and your posts making fun of everyone for helping, then I am truly sorry for you.
Freericks is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 04:12 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.1
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.