Trains

The new “addiction” with these beautiful vintage Kodak Brownie cameras is really getting bad. The Kodak Brownie Hawkeye I have been shooting with is 55 years old, yet looks brand new. Of course, the camera is so simple, with a minimum of moving parts, that it is very easy to get one up and running, and looking beautiful and showroom new.

Walker Evans, the great American photographer, who documented the impact of the Great Depression, really has served as my inspiration here. Particularly relevant, given how challenging today’s economic times are. I believe someone lives, or has lived here, along the train tracks of the Providence-Worcester Railroad-

A Home Along The Tracks

A Home Along The Tracks

Moving down the tracks a bit…..the 6×6 square negatives these cameras yield, like the Hasselblad, forces a different aesthetic, and thankfully forces one out of the ‘rule of thirds’, which is somewhat of a silly, outdated rule, which assumes a 4×6 ratio. If you take a look on Flickr, you can usually tell someone new to the square format when the photographer places the main subject in the far right third of the frame. Not really applicable here. It’s hip to be square.

Switching

Switching

The Pan Am freight trains are very tempting to photograph. The retro logo really makes for some great shots, as do the classic blue tones-

Pan Am - Providence Worcester RR

Pan Am - Providence Worcester RR

Just after photographing this car, it was raided by a couple of young graffiti “artists” spouting obscenities.

Not very colorful, but still a great subject, this Iowa Grain car really tests the exposure latitude of Portra 160VC. Maybe the new Portra 400 would have been a better choice, if LB Wheaton’s Camera And Supply, my local shop, ever gets some in stock. Can’t really figure out why they carry Ektar 100 in 35mm, yet won’t stock it in 120, as the owner says “we won’t sell enough”. With regards to 400 speed, I am sure he wants to sell through the existing VC and NC’s, before stocking it. Anyways, too much of a digression and a soapbox. here is the Iowa Grain car, with fading available light-

Iowa Grain

Iowa Grain

Sun begins to set. The train starts up, after a brief stop. One last exposure-

Moving On Down The Tracks

Moving On Down The Tracks

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