February 17, 2010 | Comments Off on Daily Life Along the Chicago Burlington and Quincy Railroad

In 1955, the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad hired Newberry President and Librarian Stanley Pargellis and newspaperman and historian Lloyd Lewis to edit a book documenting the social and economic impact of the railroad. This resulting book named Granger Country: A Pictorial Social History of the Burlington Railroad contained historical materials and photographs taken by Esther Bubley and Russell Lee.

Three thousand negative images shot by Bubley and Lee were discovered in the Newberry Library’s unprocessed 20th century CB&Q archives about ten years ago.

This collection now available online contains a selection of these black and white photographs, showing the Illinois scenes, the railroad, its workers, the travelers and stations.

View the entire collection at the Newberry Library.

February 9, 2010 | Comments Off on Most Crowded Train in the World?

Devotees taking the train for the Annual Biswa Ijtema event in Bangladesh.
Photo By: Phil Cotterill

February 4, 2010 | Comments Off on Railroad Pictures from the US National Archives

Some old black and white railroad photos from the US National Archives.

February 3, 2010 | Comments Off on Michael Paul Smith Model Photography

This is not a railroad-related post but Michael Paul Smith’s method of photographing models might help us model railroaders take better photos of our dioramas.

It’s the oldest trick in the special effects book: line up a model with an appropriate background and shoot.

He models in a larger 1/24th scale so it will look better using his methods but i’m sure if the HO-scale diorama is placed strategically, we might be able to pull off a “great railroad scene”. Scan through his photostream and hopefully like me, you might bring out your diorama’s into the sunlight.

January 13, 2010 | Comments Off on Black and White Train Photo Winners

The results of the DP Review Black and White Train Photo Contest are in.

Steam Locomotives have character and definition and these black and white close-ups prove just that. Congrats to the winners!

January 7, 2010 | Comments Off on 2010 Railroad Calendars

Around this time every year, one sees many railroad related calendars at book stores and the malls. You might have also got a few as gifts from friends and co-workers. Nothing wrong with it, though after a while all the photos in these calendars begin to look the same, year after year.

This year, i tried looking for user-submitted calendars that one finds in sites like lulu or zazzle. Here is my list of 5 good 2010 calendars i found there: (in order of my preference)

Railroads after Dark by Tom Nanos

Tehachapi 2010 by Richard Chambers

Steam Railroads of North America by Christopher Muller

Steam Railroads of North America by Christopher Muller

For UK Steam lovers: Railway Calendar by Jim Parley

Please Note: I am not an associate at these sites and will not get any benefits (monetary or otherwise) should there be a sale of these calendars.

December 28, 2009 | 1 Comments »

DP Review is having a Black and White Train Photography contest. The contest will try to capture the feel of the old steam era. Entries should be close-ups of train engines (steam or otherwise), cars, tracks, and other rail-related machinery, in B&W, monochrome, or duotone.

Contest is open until Thursday, 31st December, 2009.

December 14, 2009 | Comments Off on Blue Train – Pride of Africa

Pictorial essay on Africa’s Blue Train.
(click on the right side of the picture to view next in slide)

November 11, 2009 | Comments Off on Bern Hill Railroad Posters

I had never heard of Bern Hill before but last week i saw an old episode on PBS’s Antique Roadshow and was blown away by his railroad posters. Each of them showed his great control of perspective and playfulness with light and shadows. The posters were appraised at $2000 a piece and that’s great considering that the collector bought most of them for $1.

You can view the Bern Hill episode below or check out other posters and transcripts of the show.

Some of his other posters:

October 28, 2009 | Comments Off on Upcoming Trains Shows

Here in the North East, as the trees change color and winter approaches, the various trains shows begin to come to town. Attending train shows is a great motivation tool to make one start or complete a layout. The Craftsman and the Springfield shows are particularly interesting.

I love to take photos at train shows. I use a Canon 570IS and it gives me satisfactory results. Here are simple ways to take better pictures at the show:
# Use the camera’s Macro mode (the tulip/flower icon) to get up close.
# Do not use flash. It drowns the scene with bright light.
# Since we cannot use a tripod and clicking on the shutter might shake your camera, try getting sharper pictures by using the camera’s timer. Pull your arms closer and hold your breath just before it takes the picture. Or, you could try making a real cheap tripod.

I am not very successful at taking video. The lighting is poor and not being able to use a tripod makes it challenging. Some of my train show videos from last year

So what do you love to do at a Train Show?

Previously on the PassingLoop
Guide to attending Train Shows.
Macro Photography for your railroad world

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