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Edition #207  October 15, 2013

The Engineer

Photographer: John Fasulo

                                                                                                         Photo by John Fasulo

The Engineer

I have news that has me both proud and humbled. A while ago, John Bentley, Editor of the Journal at the BLE-T called and asked if he could use my photo of the Engineer on the cover of the history book of the BLE-T  I was stunned.

I've always thought that the photo of Kevin McGarvey coming off the front of #38 in Livonia NY in 1974 was the one photo that represented the American Railroad worker more than any other. Not because its my photo, but because of its timelessness. It was 1974; it could have been 1954, or 44, or 24. The other factor is the moment in time or as Bresson would term it, the Decisive Moment.

I usually shoot full frame and print accordingly. As Kevin came off the locomotive, I framed the shot and took it when I thought I had the image. Since it was film, I wouldn't know for another week if I had the photo or not.

When I returned home, it was the first roll of film to be developed. Developing the film, I timed the development for ten minutes, At 9 minutes 30 sec, I poured out the developer and poured in the stop bath. Next the fixer went into the tank. I shook the tank on and off for a few minutes. Since it was rapid fixer, after 5 minutes I felt it safe to open the tank and inspect the film.. I unrolled the film from the reel, slowly looking for that image... and there it was, The Engineer, and indeed a decisive moment.

The use of the photo on the BLE-T history of their Union, the oldest in the country, validates my contention that The Engineer indeed is an image that represents the American  Railroad Worker more than any other that I can think of. Not because itís my photo, but because of its timelessness and power.

John Fasulo

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