My Shooting Style

A Reading & Northern EMD SD50 eases past a parked Norfolk Southern train on top of Penobscot, Pa. on a foggy fall morning circa 2005.

A Reading & Northern EMD SD50 eases past a parked Norfolk Southern train on top of Penobscot in Mountaintop, Pa. on a mild and foggy winter morning in late 2004.

The Gear That I Use To Document Today’s Railroads

My earliest railroad photos were recorded on Kodacolor and Fujicolor print film until 2004 when I converted to Ektachrome and Fujichrome slide films. I shot slide film exclusively from then on until 2006 when I bought my first video camera and my first digital SLR and I’ve been shooting digital ever since.

I adapted my shooting style to try to get angles, locations, perspectives and operations that no one else is getting.

Lighting is also a very important factor for creating stunning images and video but let’s face it, no matter how well you plan a rail fanning trip, the lighting and weather is what it is when you get there and you’ll just have to live and work with it.

I don’t like tripods and one of the first things you’ll notice about my videos is that I often don’t use tripods. This is because I feel that tripods limit you from moving with the train as well as capturing other interesting things “on the fly.”

I will use tripods if necessary or when it’s practical to do so. When I’m not using a tripod I try to remain as statuesque as possible when filming but human hands are human hands so you will see some camera shake from time to time.

My videos are numbered consecutively from the first videos I produced to the most recent so you can “follow in my footsteps“ so-to-speak and follow the path that I‘ve taken. Numbering also provides an easy way to reference and find specific videos when the need arises.

With the exception of my earliest videos which were recorded in Standard Definition, all of my videos are recorded in HD.

If you’re interested in my equipment, as of January 2015 when I’m starting this site my equipment is as follows:

  • Sony HDR-XR160 Digital HD camcorder
    Canon 40D Digital SLR
    Canon Rebel XT Digital SLR
    Canon F1.8 50mm lens
    Canon F3.5 – 5.6 18-55mm zoom lens
    Canon F3.5 – 5.6 28-135mm zoom lens
    Canon Speedlite 430EX external bounce flash
    Several tripods, mini tripods and securing and mounting devices

Videos are edited using Adobe Premiere on a Compaq Presario laptop computer.

My goals for the future are to add an aerial drone as well as newer, more sophisticated cameras and recording equipment. As I upgrade and add to my current setup I’ll be sure to update this page and even give reviews on the new equipment I purchase.