(More unused stuff from 2006--Click To Enlarge)
With the flood of honors and contest wins/losses coming in for my photo "Waiting To Cross Over" I got distracted enough to forget about posting the rest of the story.
There were three trains in rapid succession that night, and my shooting partner that day--C. Moore--and I were experimenting like crazy. Neither of us had ever tried shooting moving trains in the dark before, so there were lots of failures to go with our successes.
The photo above was close to what I intended, but not completely since my goal was to catch the blinking crossing arm in it's full travel from vertical to horizontal.
The shutter speed I picked was long enough; I just hit the button a few seconds too soon. While it isn't too bad it's not what I wanted, either.
This is what the loaded SATX cars look like when they aren't blurred in a long exposure. The Wyoming coal inside them is what's producing the electricity I'm using to power my computer right now. At least three such trains of 140-ish cars each (a train that's well over a mile long) pass through town each week headed for the powerplants southeast of here.
After taking the flash photo above, I composed the next shot and did a test exposure.
Everything looked good color and brightness-wise, so as the end of the train approached I waited for a bit and then started what was the last 8-second capture possible.
After the shutter had been open for a moment, the mysterious stranger walked right in front of my camera and asked me what time it was, then wandered away a few steps to wait for the train to pass so he could cross over.
I was furious at the time, but once I saw what he had done for the resulting image all was forgiven.
See the original post and photo here.
An important update is here.
Out of all the excitement this picture generated, the only tangible "prize" is that I finally get spam in my email every day, traced directly to becoming a daily winner at Steve's Digicams' photo contest.
He needs to do a little coding or hiding of the winner's email address from spambots, like replacing the @ with 'at'.
Seriously, I never understood why people complained about spam so much since I had never gotten more that a handful in all the years I have been online. Now I get it.
Of course, all of the kind comments and praise the photo has received is prize enough for me. Of the 18,000+ photos I have taken it's my most popular by far, and that it happened right on the 2-Year Anniversary of getting my camera--when I really wanted to capture something special to mark the occasion--makes it all the sweeter.
So that's the rest of the story.
I also want to mention that I seem to have passed the 300-Posts mark sometime recently, so a big Thank You to all of my visitors for hanging in there with me as I learn to take better pictures and write better stories.
Y'all are very kind, and I really do think about each and every one of you when I venture out with my Sony F717 looking for things you might be interested in seeing.