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Edition #80, June 15, 2008

Bad Motive/Foreground Clutter

Photographer: Tom Granville

                                                                                      Photo by Tom Granville

Bad Motive/Foreground Clutter

Sometimes I wish people would judge a shot by its whole value and not its, how do I want to put this, adherence to the standard pattern.

I had just gotten into railfanning not too long ago, and a buddy and I decided to go chase the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad between Cumberland to Frostburg, MD. I was excited since I had never seen a live steam locomotive run, so I didnít know what to expect.  As we drove we noticed that the sky was starting to get gray and it was beginning to sprinkle. We decided that a little rain wouldn't hurt us.

When we got to Cumberland we scoped-out the route the train followed. We picked a few spots to shoot, most of the normal ones. Helmstetters, Slabtown, and the stations in Cumberland and Frostburg. After watching the train come over from Ridgeley, we caught some shots around the station and took off. As we got to Helmstetters, the rain was picking up. We got our shots on the curve and took off for our next spot, Slabtown. As we waited the rain got much harder. We got our shots there and then it was off to Frostburg.

At the station it was now dropping buckets of rain on us. I found a place to park and we got to the station as the train was unloading the passengers. I stood in the protection of a porch watching this go on, snapping pictures galore. After everyone was off, they uncoupled and backed the locomotive toward the turntable. As the conductor walked toward the locomotive to talk to the engineer, the machine let out a huge belch of steam, nearly hiding itself and startling the conductor and me a little bit. I raised the camera and pushed the button. Although it isnít a pretty, clear locomotive photo, I think it captured the day.

Tom Granville

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