Old 12-24-2007, 06:59 PM   #1
EMTRailfan
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Default Solo or with a pal???

I see quite a few photographers here on RP that go out with a pal or two on their outtings. Just curious on your trip preferences. Do you prefer to go solo, or go with a pal, and who?

For me, it all depends on my mood whether I go solo or not. Working a minimum of 84 hrs/week and working 24/36 hr shifts with my partners, I sometimes like alone time. At other times, it is nice to have my brother, John along too. My wife likes to go too, but I can't say that she actually enjoys the trains, just the quality time out together, although SHE is planning a few weekend trips for next summer already Our day trips of railfanning for me usually end with a nice dinner and/or a movie or something for her on the way home.
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Old 12-24-2007, 08:22 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EMTRailfan
I see quite a few photographers here on RP that go out with a pal or two on their outtings. Just curious on your trip preferences. Do you prefer to go solo, or go with a pal, and who?
Well, seeing that my brother live together and neither of us work weekends, we usually team up on for trips. This year especially with us presenting a slideshow at EastRail in Washington, NJ on March 29, 2008.

Anyway, I actually prefer going solo or driving if I do go with another person. I just like having control over the spots I shoot at and making decisions on the fly. Its nice being away from "everyday life" on a weekend such as my latest weekend jaunt to Maryland and PA in the snow. It was the most relaxing vacation I've ever been on. I do have to admit it is nice being driven around from time to time and not worrying about paying for gas.

As for who, my bro is the usual partner in crime but a few times a year we make it into a family affair and my dad and mom will come along. I've fanned with Mitch Goldman, Pete Lerro and Greg Dahbura a fair number of times. I usually bump into a few friends from particular areas on trips depending on where like running into Bill Merlavage last weekend.

I like to let the 'usuals' from RP know when I'll be around to get the chance to meet them.
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Old 12-24-2007, 10:45 PM   #3
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I prefer to go with a buddy of mine. Honestly, it can get pretty boring out there when the signals are dark.

Another reason why I like to go with a buddy of mine is if I'm railfanning in a neighborhood that isn't the safest. In that case, it's always good to have a buddy or two with you.
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Old 12-25-2007, 12:31 AM   #4
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I have a friend who I've known since grade 3, and he enjoys accompanying me while I'm fanning. He's not a railfan, but he knows more about the CPR than 99% of the population!
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Old 12-25-2007, 12:44 AM   #5
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I fly solo most of the time, because no other fanners live close to me.

I keep an open invitation to anybody that drops into the Southern WV area. I'm ugly, but sociable!

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Old 12-25-2007, 02:09 AM   #6
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Im with my dad all the time.

Normally I go only with my dad unless someone comes to town or one of my buds are out railfanning.
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Old 12-25-2007, 02:16 AM   #7
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I almost always go solo, at least if I am driving an hour or more one way. My wife comes along occasionally if there is one specific shot that I am after, usually a Caltrain or something very close by to us. Never really made friends with any railfans but I'm sure there are some in the area. I'm still kind of finding my style in rail photography, and this site and it's members have helped with that a lot.
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Old 12-25-2007, 02:18 AM   #8
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I would rather be out track side with someone, however due to my schedule, I'm generally alone.
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Old 12-25-2007, 03:29 AM   #9
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I generally head out alone. Sometimes I go with my dad or occasionally with a friend that doesn't know much about trains, but I like the freedom of being on my own.
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Old 12-25-2007, 03:50 AM   #10
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Solo. Sometimes I've met up with a fellow railfan and sometimes family/friends are drug along, but I prefer to be alone...
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Old 12-25-2007, 04:29 AM   #11
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I usually prefer to go with friends. Since most of my friends are about my age, we can usually find some trouble to get into.

The 23rd marked my biggest trip yet, with about 7 of us in two cars, you get some interesting photo line-ups. Plus it's fun when you're parked and start throwing empty coffee cups between cars.
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Old 12-25-2007, 05:08 AM   #12
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For me, railfanning is about exploration, patience and spontaneity. I don't know many people like that, but I do have one railfan friend who is VERY much like me in that regard. Most of the time I go solo, but about once a month we'll get together and usually take a roadtrip somewhere...and I'm always the driver and he's always the navigator, which works out extremely well. He's quite the expert with trains, and even more amazing to me, can figure out exactly what the train is and where it is when he hears a VERY distant and static signal call on my scanner. We can drive around non-stop for hours, or sit in one place for hours at a time. I guess it also helps that our political views are similar, so we've always got something to talk about besides trains to make the time go by while we wait.

I love railfanning solo, but it's also nice to have a friend who enjoys it from a very similar perspective.
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Old 12-25-2007, 07:36 AM   #13
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Much of the time I am with my husband . However we do go out separately in the UK due to both being shift workers and not always getting the same days off.

I / we never go out photographing with other people, though, especially in the UK these days, there is nearly always somebody else out after the same thing. We also ride around on a lot of special trains and in this case we have a loose circle of friends who do the same, it is very rare for either of us to travel on a special and not see at least one of them.
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Old 12-25-2007, 03:51 PM   #14
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That's great Janet, it's good to share an interest with one's spouse. My wife doesn't share my interest, and while at one time she was happy to come for a day out, one too many late running trains and consequent very late meals put paid to that. So we rarely grice (i.e. railfan in UK language) together. She is, however, tolerant of my interest, and puts up with the resultant early starts and late finishes - mind you, she's used to that after my years of shift working.
I have a number of good rail enthusiast friends who live locally and we may hunt singly, in pairs or in a pack, depending on other commitments any of us might have on the same day, ot whether we have compatible thoughts about locations we might want to 'do' on a given day. Or sometimes, for shorter trips not more than a couple of hours away by road, or if I have a particular photo in mind, I will go on my own. But choice would always be for some good company and conversation, and someone to assist with driving/navigating on longer trips. I never do overseas trips - US or Europe - alone.
Seasons greetings to all.
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Old 12-26-2007, 05:23 AM   #15
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I almost always go solo, but my tennager kid enjoys accompanying when not have classes on the school.

On this travel to Brazil, where i have some friends, maybe one of them can go with me and my kid too.
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Old 12-26-2007, 06:31 AM   #16
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I am a pretty private person so for the most part I railfan alone. I do occasionally go on a road trip with a fireman friend of mine, and there is one particular spot I can visit that has a few "regulars" (mostly retirees) who are almost always there if I feel like being able to shoot the breeze with someone between trains.

I prefer going by myself because I am in control of where to go, when to leave, when to call it a day, etc. Also, I seem to concentrate better when I am not distracted by conversation and other interaction.

There are locations that are in risky parts of town, and I would never venture into these areas alone.
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Old 12-26-2007, 01:13 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbassloyd
I fly solo most of the time, because no other fanners live close to me.
Same here. I know there are Columbia-area railfans. I see them from time to time, chat with them when I can and see their posts on Carolina Rails. But I typically don't railfan like most guys do. I get an hour here and there and shoot what I can.

And when I do go on a railfanning trip, it's usually with my wife and kids!


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Old 12-26-2007, 03:17 PM   #18
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Mainly alone for me. I like to be by myself a lot. I'm not against going with other people, but I've found that I'm usually distracted when someone else is around because we wind up talking quite a bit.

If I really want to focus and concentrate and get the best shots I can get, I need to be alone. Traveling with others is fine when I want to learn about other locations, but I can usually be sure that most of the shots I get aren't going to be my best unless I get lucky.
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Old 12-26-2007, 06:37 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ccaranna
If I really want to focus and concentrate and get the best shots I can get, I need to be alone. Traveling with others is fine when I want to learn about other locations, but I can usually be sure that most of the shots I get aren't going to be my best unless I get lucky.
Exactly! Very well said!
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There are locations that are in risky parts of town, and I would never venture into these areas alone.
Yeah, I went into Camden, NJ once by myself, never gonna happen again. Only problem is I can't talk anyone else into going and I'm certainly not going to bring someone who is used to being out in the open country who thinks it necessary to say "Hi" to everyone they see!
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Old 12-26-2007, 06:57 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ccaranna
If I really want to focus and concentrate and get the best shots I can get, I need to be alone. Traveling with others is fine when I want to learn about other locations, but I can usually be sure that most of the shots I get aren't going to be my best unless I get lucky.
Actually, I find that I'm fine either way...either I'm quite lucky, incredibly skilled (hah) or just have tunnel vision as the train approaches. Actually, it's probably the latter, and if a semi ever gets onto a sidewalk while I'm there, chances are I won't notice until it's too late.
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Old 12-26-2007, 10:21 PM   #21
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As a rule, I railfan exclusively solo. There are lots of reasons for this, but the biggest one is that railfanning is a hobby that I view as being a means to express myself, challenge myself, and get away from it all. There are other things I can partake in if I want to socialize. I have no problem meeting up with other railfans for a short period of time, and there are many who I'd like to meet, but extended time together is out.
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