Thread: Top shot
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Old 06-03-2020, 07:37 PM   #87
Moffat Road
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 50

I wasn’t going to respond to recent posts in this thread since they refer to my photos. But…

I have always enjoyed railroads in scenic settings for my photography, but everyone has different tastes. Because the Class I railroads today are so large, and many locomotive fleets are very homogenous, to me, scenery and a scenic location is more important than ever for a good photograph.

Loyd’s surely tongue-in-cheek remark about doing western railroad photography is “like shooting fish in a barrel” is not really true… or fair. There a lot of lines in the west that see very few trains and it can require a fair amount of time and effort to get good light and a train at the right time and place. Union Pacific’s Moffat Tunnel Subdivision gets a lot of SC awards, but train counts today can be 4-5 trains per 24 hours, with counts as low as 2, both being Amtrak’s California Zephyr! Getting good photos of trains on this line is challenging and definitely not “like shooting fish in a barrel.”

J-M Frybourg illustrated one of his points with five of my photos of Sheep Canyon on BNSF’s Casper Sub in Wyoming. Photos at this place requires 4WD and/or hiking to do any photography. And you’d be lucky to photograph three trains in daylight on a long June day, with two of them a local. “Shooting fish in a barrel,” I think not.

Mr. Frybourg also compares the inequities of U.S. and Canada photos in SC and POTW awards compared to the rest of the world. Yes, there is a U.S. bias, but the RailPictures is a U.S.-based website! If a similar railroad photo website was located in Switzerland or Germany, or somewhere else, I would NOT expect U.S. photography to have majority of the SC or POTW images.

I appreciate the “awards” like SC, POTW and PC that my photos get on this website. But what I really enjoy is sharing my photos with everyone here, maybe showing them a new location, or a different way of looking at a familiar place, or perhaps presenting a railroad or locomotive that doesn’t exist anymore. I think that no matter where railroad photography is done, it could be a challenge and some work, but hopefully in the end, the results are something worth sharing.

Mike Danneman

Last edited by Moffat Road; 06-03-2020 at 08:55 PM.
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