Partial privatisation studies included in DB restructuring
The Next Federal Election and Passenger and Freight Rail
Transport and Logistics symposium to gauge railway link
Rail gets another CRC. Third time lucky?
Chinese high speed rail should confine the XPT to history
Hendy heads to NR
Urban rail news in brief - July 2015
Inland rail a trifecta for Toowoomba region: mayor
Well, the results are in, and All of the staff agree that Steve Boyko of traingeek.ca Wins the photo contest with his shot of VIA’s Canadian in a golden sunrise.
Congratulations, Steve! I sent him some questions, here are his answers.
How did you get your winning shot of VIA rail’s Canadian? What settings did you use? where did you take the picture?
VIA 1 (the westbound “Canadian”) was scheduled to arrive in Winnipeg at 8 AM. They have a tracker website (tsimobile.viarail.ca) where you can see the current position and expected arrival times for all of their trains. I checked it before I went to sleep on August 8, 2018 and saw it was pretty much on time. I set my alarm a little early for the next morning, got up a little before 6 AM, and hit the road toward Dugald, Manitoba to catch them coming into the city. I saw it was pretty foggy, so I thought that might produce an interesting photo.
I pulled over en route to check its position and determined that I had enough time to get just east of Dugald to catch it. I had photographed at a certain private crossing just out of town, and I knew it had good visibility in both directions. I arrived on site at 06:45 and the train showed up at 06:55.
I took a few test shots to get my settings right. I wanted a high enough shutter speed to freeze the train, and since VIA often zooms by at 60 MPH or faster, I chose 1/500s for a shutter speed. ISO was 100, of course. That left an aperture of f/4.5 to get the exposure right. If it was clear, I would have liked a narrower aperture like f/8 to get a greater depth of field, but since it was foggy it didn’t matter.
When/where/how did you get interested in trains?
I’m not the typical railfan who was interested in trains since they were a child. I became really interested in trains in 1998 when I visited the Salem & Hillsborough Railroad in New Brunswick (now known as the New Brunswick Railway Museum, www.nbrm.ca). Seeing that equipment started me on the path that I’m on now.
What are your tips on getting great, eye catching shots?
You have to get out in all kinds of weather. If you stay home when it’s raining, snowing, foggy, dark, or otherwise “not ideal”, you’re going to miss a lot of great opportunities. Many of my favourite photos were taken when it wasn’t sunny. Get up early in the morning to get those sunrise photos. Get out when it’s freezing cold outside – the colours are bright and the air is clear.
Don’t just photograph the locomotive. The most interesting photos include the setting, the scenery or buildings around the train. We need to see trains in context. Some of the best railway photos have the train only occupying a small percentage of the pixels.
Most of all, think of what kind of photo you want to take. Visualize it. These days, I am usually “on a mission” with a specific shot in mind. Everything else is gravy as long as I get what I came for. For the photo of the “Canadian”, I wanted VIA – a CN train wouldn’t do. Once I saw the fog, I needed a photo that featured the fog.
What is your favorite place to railfan?
It’s along the CN Rivers subdivision, just west of Winnipeg. It’s a double track main line, one of the busiest in Canada with many, many trains each day. I like it for that reason and also because it’s wide open – prairie railroading right outside the city. I can be there in 20 minutes from my house so it’s pretty convenient, too.
What gear/strategy do you use while railfanning?
Beyond my cameras, I don’t use a lot of gear. I have two DSLRs, a Canon 77D for stills and my trusty Canon T1i for video. I usually put the T1i on a tripod, start it when a train is approaching, then make photos with the 77D. I might move the T1i after the head end goes by, but still photography is usually my priority. I don’t generally use a scanner – it’s illegal to use one in a motor vehicle in Manitoba. I do use the VIA tracker app I mentioned earlier.
I might also use my iPhone for stills if I have a telephoto lens on my 77D. It’s decent enough but not nearly the same quality as a DSLR.
Tell us a little about your model railway.
I wish I had a snappy name for my model railway. It’s a “proto freelanced” version of Portage la Prairie, Manitoba in the late 1980s. CN and CP both run through the town, with an interchange that’s surprisingly busy. I’m operation focused. I use timetable and train order operation and there’s a lot of switching in my sessions. You can read about it at modeltraingeek.com.
What railfan/railroader/model railroader do you most want to meet?
I would love to meet Greg McDonnell. I admire him and his work so much. His photography is great but I think it’s his writing that really sets him apart. I wish I could write half as well as he can.
I see some of your photos include birds/animals. Do you plan to capture them, or does it just happen?
The birds or animals are accidental. Sometimes I will see birds on or around the tracks when a train is approaching, so I make sure I capture them flying up as the train gets near. Doing that, I was lucky with my “Wild Goose Chase” photo to get a Canada Goose flying ahead of a CN locomotive. As the Roman philosopher Seneca is supposed to have said, “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.”
If you could railfan anywhere, anytime, where and when would it be?
That’s a good question – I’d love to have been railfanning in the mid 1980s when Alco/MLW power was roaming the mainlines and branch lines of CN and CP… in New Brunswick, Canada I suppose.
What’s your favorite railway?
I love shortlines so I’d have to say the (now defunct) New Brunswick East Coast Railway with its crazy collection of ex CN SD40s (not SD40-2s) and ex CP RS-18s and C-424s.
Current railways? CN, for the current variety of power and volume of traffic.
Thanks, Steve for answering those questions, I sure learned a lot. Me and dhfan5 haven’t decieded about the “model railroad” category, That will be coming out soon. -Harrison
This article first appeared on northcountrytrains.wordpress.com
About this website
Railpage version 3.10.0.0037
All logos and trademarks in this site are property of their respective owner. The comments are property of their posters, all the rest is © 2003-2019 Interactive Omnimedia Pty Ltd.
You can syndicate our news using one of the RSS feeds.