Thursday, January 4, 2018

Random shots and thoughts to start 2018

I had an interesting finish to 2017. I was the only person on my team at work in between Christmas and New Year's Day, so I had some time to relax a bit. When I was scrolling through Twitter one day over lunch, I found something interesting that made me think. This photo, above, is what I saw on Twitter. No, I haven't started a BBS Twitter feed. Someone found an image I took of a Via corridor train near Cedarview Road and used it in their tweet. This shot was taken in January 2016 and was one of my periodic attempts to capture some quality winter shots for my collection.

I'm  pretty fond of that shot, so I was naturally quite surprised to find the image front and centre in an Ottawa Police tweet. I am always flattered when someone notices my work, but I was a little bit disappointed that no mention was made of where the photo originated. I realize there is no room for such courtesies on Twitter, but the discovery left me a little disappointed.

I wasn't all that upset, mind you, because I have always taken a laissez-faire approach to posting photographs online. I don't include any watermarks on my photographs and it hasn't been a problem, for the most part. Only twice have people tried to use my photos with no permission, attribution or credit. I don't mind the police service using this shot to illustrate an important public safety issue.

A little while ago, someone used one of my photos in a forum and seemed to be passing it off as his own. I had to politely tell him that this shot was, in fact, mine.

I understand that the online world can sometimes seem like the Wild West, but most people connected with this blog or other groups that I frequent are quite respectful. I'm wondering what you think of this use of my photo. What's your take on this?

I should mention the fact that the recent cold snap has played havoc with many things in the city, including the Rideau Canal skateway (too cold to skate on, if you can imagine that). The cold has also messed with the crossing signals on the Smiths Falls Subdivision through Barrhaven. This is nothing new in this part of the city, as these signals have had their share of problems over the last several years. I'm surprised with how little reaction there is to these malfunctions now.

The cold has also hampered my efforts to get out and get some shots. A freaky string of ailments and bitter cold has prevented me from getting some shots of late. Just today, I had the chance of getting a nice shot, but I was not able to safely pull over on a snow covered road to get a nice winter shot. Oh well.

I was going through some old shots that have been forwarded to me and decided to share this shot, sent to me by my brother Marc. He caught an unusual display of power on the Point Edward Spur in downtown Sarnia, near Front Street last October. I haven't seen these geeps on this line often, although my experience is admittedly limited. I have seen the old warhorse GP9s and slugs on this spur, but very few of these newer geeps.

I like this shot because the geeps are pulling an interesting covered hopper back from the grain elevator on Sarnia Bay. It's still labelled Conrail but its reporting mark is from the old New York Central (that mark is now a CSX mark). Think about how that reporting mark has changed hands: from NYC to Penn Central to Conrail to CSX.

I also like the limo in the shot. This image has a lot of cool elements.

Here's another shot my brother caught from Waterworks Road, near Bright's Grove, as a westbound CN freight train made its way down the Strathroy Subdivision toward Sarnia Yard last October. This is a cool shot, given that my brother was fairly close to the crossing and the motive power looks pretty dramatic.

Sticking with the random theme, I should mention that the consortium behind Ottawa's new Confederation Line LRT informed the city that the line will not be ready on time in May, as had been previosuly expected. This is not terribly surprising to those who have followed this project. The city has not been discussing the official launch date of the new line for quite some time, which has caused many in the media to speculate that the project will not be ready in time.

I recall early talk about an April 2018 launch of service, but more recent media has noted that city documents have pegged the launch of service as being closer to the end of May. Now, it appears the actual launch of O-Train service is anyone's guess.

One final note. This shot is a little preview of some railfanning I was able to get in on a recent trip to Kitchener-Waterloo. I managed to document a fair bit of action and railway history while in the Waterloo Region recently.

I have also been chipping away at some more rail history posts, including some material about the old Lachute Sub and the old Ottawa & New York Railway. I am hoping that this year will allow me to continue exploring rail history on this blog.


DaveM said...

I'd probably suggest watermarking the images. It isn't a silver bullet, but it at least does force (even the police force) some attribution for the images. :)

I've spent sometime recently taking pictures on the Lachute sub and am looking forward to the upcoming post on it.


Michael said...

Sounds good, Dave. A reader sent me some photos along this sub so I am starting to put together some material about that line. And I might have to start watermarking my photos.

DaveM said...

If you need any additional pics for your post, you can use some of mine located at:


Eric said...

Folks ask if they can re-tweet photos at least sometimes. I'm not on Twitter but I've heard of it.

I don't want to spend time watermarking.

I don't want to sit on my material.

In posting, I recognize (and employ) the Print Screen or Copy Paste and now the image is mine to use.

But I do draw the line at using my material as someone else's, and then a polite email is the next step.

But above all, keep shipping ideas!

Anonymous said...

In a previous post you mentioned that you were going to discuss the history of the station sign by Sarnia's station. Did you do it yet and I just missed it?

Michael said...

Thanks, Dave. I will take a look at your Flikr feed. I think my first foray into the old Lachute Sub will focus on Masson, since it has an old station that is in danger of crumbling. As a history nerd, I would like to see the old place survive, but I understand this is not always possible.

Anonymous, I'm not quite sure what you might be referring to. I will take a look at my Sarnia Station photos and see if I can jog my memory. I don't recall ever discussing station signs in Sarnia. I will review old posts and see if I can't tie up that loose end.

Thanks for your thoughts, Eric. The instances of people using my material have been surprisingly rare, so I'm mulling over what I might do. I have no problem with people sharing my work, so long as we are all respectful of each other. But I do sometimes get annoyed when there is no consideration given.

Anonymous said...

From October 21, 2016:

Here's the tail end of the tunnel train making its way below the gantry. I've really come to love the shots of the tail end of long freights. You can see the CN Hobson sign in the distance. More about Hobson in a future post.

AJ said...

I would probably be kind of annoyed about it if I was you. I mean for the most part is is helping the cops do their jobs and keep people safe by giving them a nice image to go with the warning. Nothing wrong with that when it is ultimately done for a good thing. It's just too bad they couldn't have provided the credit (and maybe some added foot traffic for the blog). I'd likely do nothing about it, but if it continues to be a trend, I agree with others where a watermark or calling people out would be needed.

I too didn't bother braving the cold. I had the week off, which normally would mean an attempt at catching a few local trains, but it was too cold to bother with.

Either way looking forward to 2018!

Michael said...

Thank you Anonymous for jogging my memory. I am going to look into that for sure! You've piqued my curiosity again and have given me a good idea for some future FAQ posts. Thanks. I am on it.