Category: Railroad

Sun Sets on One Project and Rises on Others


The sun has set on my longest project of the year.  That was photographing the work of the model railroaders here at Homewood at Plum Creek as they built and prepared their displays for their annual open houses during the holidays.  I finalized that project by creating a video with the images.

The reason that I am mentioning this on my blog is that many of the pictures that I now take are not shown on my blog due to privacy reasons.  This creates a slight dilemma for me since I have less and less time to find and take pictures to display.  While I have already decided to take on another major long-term project from now until the end of the year, and while such projects usually mean fewer pictures for my blog, I am not giving up on my blog.  There will be gaps between posts, but I have some additional ideas in mind for other projects outdoors after it warms up.  If I go forward with them, these might generate some interesting pictures for this blog.

The changing nature of my photography is also having an impact on my cameras and lenses and I hope to be writing about some of those changes as time goes on.  I will also be having more to say in the future about my past purchases of the Canon SL1 and the 24 mm pancake lens.  In addition, I will be mentioning some other pending acquisitions as well as about how the sun is setting on some of my cameras and lenses … maybe on the majority of them.

Model Railroads Open House … with Micro 4/3 Gear


The Model Railroaders had an open house here at Homewood the day after Thanksgiving so that the residents and family members could come and see the displays.  It was well attended but they will have other open houses in Dec. if you missed it; but, that isn’t what I want to write about here.  As you read in previous postings, I am trying to decide on whether or not my micro 4/3 gear, along with my Ricoh GR, is good enough for the majority of my photography.

So far it seems to be working OK for me as long as I’m careful with the processing of the raw files.  The above picture was taken when the room lights were turned off with the Olympus E-PL5 camera and the Panasonic 20 mm f/1.8 lens.  The settings for this picture were f/1.8, 1/60 sec., and ISO 5000.  I held the camera up high and used the tilted LCD to compose the image.  I also cropped the image some to cut out a few people who were facing the camera and used the LR WB dropper to select a different white balance.

So far, the biggest thing I miss with my E-PL5 is the lack of control dials.  I wish it had a thumb wheel since it is a pain to make adjustments of aperture and shutter and exposure with the rear wheel.

Since I do not wish to spend any more money on currently available cameras at this time, I am thinking that I will concentrate on using prime lenses on my E-PL5 and GR cameras for the majority of my photography for a while.  I enjoy the element of challenge in seeing what I can do with just my prime lenses with these two cameras.

Plum Creek Model Railroaders Flying High


The plane is flying high over one of five different model train platforms that the Plum Creek Model Railroaders have at Plum Creek.  All five of the platforms will be on display over the holiday season.  The group has been hard at work all year getting ready for their open house and displays to be put into the Community Center and Town Hall lobbies.  Their open house will be in the Farmhouse on 28 November and 20 & 27 December, from 9 am till 12 pm.

I have followed their work for most of the year and have taken lots of pictures to create a photographic record of their work.  More and more of my time has been spent taking pictures of groups and activities at Homewood for use in local TV and publications in-house.   The downside of this is that I have not been acquiring many pictures for my blog since many of my pictures are for internal use only.

Railroader’s Hands at Work

I have started my weekly rounds of photographing the Railroaders at work, and it is making me anxious to get on with this long-term project.  It is different for me in that I am just capturing various aspects of the preparation and completion of a long-term project.  I am not wondering about looking for, and thinking about crafting an eye-catching image just for eye-candy on my web site, nor am I playing with various styles of displaying them other than color or B&W, nor am I just playing with the camera to test out various features … but I still am learning a lot.

Model Railroaders, Craftsmen in Action

140513-100544_Trains In addition to the things I mentioned in an earlier post, I also like to show stories; therefore, I am thinking about doing a series on craftsmen in action at Homewood.  My next long-term project hopefully will be photographing the Model Railroaders at Homewood at Plum Creek as they build a new portable display.  I hope to follow their progress weekly as they design it, build it, and display it to the public.  I won’t know how I will present it until it is finished, but I am thinking of an article for print and a video show. One problem that I have is that it probably won’t be completed until December and during the interim I doubt that I will be posting many of the pictures on my blog.  Depending upon the number of long-term projects I pursue, the amount of time they consume, etc. could result in fewer, less-frequent posts on this blog, so if you see gaps in my posts it isn’t because I’m not taking pictures.  It will be due to the length of time required to photograph and finish projects.

Strasburg, PA Railroad

The Strasburg Railroad goes through the Amish country side taking passengers 4.5 miles and then back.  The car we were in had just been refurbished costing $0.25M dollars.  You can see the ceiling lights and the reversing seat backs.  After we went 4.5 miles we flipped the seat back and rode back facing in the direction of travel.  On the way back we stopped for a picnic along with many Amish and Mennonite families.

Steam into History



Yesterday we took a day trip down to New Freedom, PA to ride a steam train up to Hanover Junction and back.  I did take some pictures of scenes along the way but I haven’t decided what to do with them yet so I’m putting these two pictures up as sort-of a reminder or place-holder.  I’m considering making a slide presentation and if I do I will probably put it up on this blog as a video presentation … just to mix-it-up a bit and do something different.

Plum Creek Railroad

Yesterday I walked across the street and looked at one of the model train layouts here at Homewood of Plum Creek.  They have quite an investment in equipment and time, and have ambitions for major expansions.  From what the “engineers” told me they generally tear everything down and build something totally different every two years.

Naturally, I had my E-P3 with the 14 mm, f/2.5 lens on it in my jacket pocket … well I’m trying to carry it with me more.  Taking pictures of the train layout presented a challenge for the E-P3 due to the poor lighting.  It was poorly lit with various color temperature sources, and I had to use the flash, but the results were “ok” after a little processing with Adobe’s Lightroom.