Friday, March 15, 2024

Wednesdays at the Overpass (Part II)

In the last post, I explored some different ways of shooting the same train at the same spot, since I often meet westbound Via Rail Train 59 around Hunt Club Road on Wednesday evenings. Let's be honest. If you are going to take up rail photography in Ottawa, you have to be prepared to catch lots of Via Rail corridor trains and think of creative ways to mix up your images. I often see photos taken at Fallowfield Station on various social media channels and I have to say, the shots all look pretty much the same. I am as guilty of this as anybody, which is why I don't go to Fallowfield much these days, unless it's in search of Via's new Siemens trains or something unique. 

The last post covered my shots taken from the spring through to the end of July. In August and into the fall, the elements around the tracks began to change, which at least gives you something else to play with other than your angle. 

August 9

In August, I returned to a spot just east of the tracks at the edge of a plaza on Antares Drive. This time, I tried to get a shot of the train before it proceeded under the overpass. This time around, P42 911 in the Love the Way wrap is leading the charge west toward Fallowfield. The sunlight on this evening was a little harsh, as the cloud cover was almost nonexistent. But I like the lines of the overpass. Also, note the switch stand in the left of the frame. That switch stand was soon to be removed.

August 23

Okay, so this is not the Hunt Club overpass, but this flyover over Prince of Wales Drive is very close to the overpass. I chose this spot on this evening, since it allowed to assume a perch in the shade. This flyover, made of stone, is just past the point where the Beachburg Sub crosses the Rideau River. I have considered trying to get a shot of the train crossing the river, but I haven't yet found a vantage point to capture this image. Something to work on for this year. Still, I love this spot. The only downside is there are a fair number of hydro wires to work around. You can see the tip of one in the top right corner.

Sept. 14

The following week, I decided that I would try to capture an image of the train beneath the overpass, as it made its way past the concrete pillars. This experiment almost didn't work because, as you are following the train past the stationary pillars in front of it, your camera will sometimes focus in the pillars and not the train. That obstacle, combined with the harsh sunlight at this spot in the evening, made for a few wasted frames. I did manage a few frames where the F40 came into view fairly well, so I think it was worth a try. I'm not sure I would try this shot again in this spot, without a better game plan.

Sept. 20

The following week, I decided to try a wider shot from a vantage point quite a bit west of the spots I had tried before. The problem on this evening was the sun was washing out the train in most shots, especially since the consist was made up of silver HEP cars. I stuck with it since I figured I could work with some shadows. Even this shot is somewhat unsatisfying. I left this shot unedited, just to show you how difficult the sun can be at times. The sky is washed out and the only thing really saving the shot is the shadows from the nearby brush. You will notice that the spur serving Bentley Avenue is in the process of being dismantled in the foreground.

Sept. 27

I've used this angle before but my goal on this evening was to capture some of the changing colours in the leaves trackside. You can even see the signals peaking out from beyond the turnout at Federal Junction. I always like it when I can capture those signals in a shot, which is not always possible. On this evening, I made sure to set up a fair bit west so I could capture the bend on the track. I tried to get a shot of the train coming around the bend, but my focus was distracted for a moment and I didn't get the train on the curve.

Oct. 11

October was a bit of a lost month for me, due to many factors, so I wasn't really thinking of anything creative when I took this shot, although I like the colours trackside. The evening light at this hour was beginning to dim significantly, which made for less glare, but the trackside colours hadn't really changed the way I wanted to them to change, since the warm summer seemed to delay the colours in the Ottawa region. The P42's headlights also didn't help.

Oct. 18

Note the difference in daylight from the last shot. This was my first attempt at getting a vertical shot at the overpass, although I was in a familiar spot, looking toward Federal Junction, on the north side of the overpass. This shot is blurred, as I was only armed with my iPhone on this evening. I don't think I was planning on getting any shots that evening, but I decided to do something at the last minute. I don't mind a blurred shot, as it conveys speed and drama when done right. I'm not sure I achieved that with this shot, but it's different than the shots I had captured earlier that summer, so there's at least that.

Nov. 1

This was the end of the line for my experiment with Train 59. This shot does not really convey how dark it was on this evening. There was a storm cloud making the daylight disappear rapidly, in addition to it being November. I didn't do much in the way of experimenting on this final meet. I figured a shot in the evening twilight would be enough to make this shot stand out. Sadly, many of the shots didn't come out as sharp as I would have liked, so I chose this one, which was reasonably crisp, even though it has the guy wire in the way.

Now that the time change has come and gone, I have more daylight to play with, which means I am starting to think of new areas in this part of the city to get some train shots. I'm not sure I will be able to get new shots, but I'm willing to give it a try. As I said, you have to take what you can get in Ottawa, since there are few options. At the very least, you can change the background, even if you can't change the trains.

1 comment:

Rakoo said...

Your blog has become a virtual classroom for me, and I'm grateful.