Turn Around

Often it pays to look at something from more than one angle.

I almost missed a good photo opportunity because I didn’t consider every angle.

In Search of Sunset

Your basic sunset wedgie
Your basic sunset wedgie

Late one afternoon, I was in my house, wrapping up work and thinking about supper when I looked outside and saw a beautiful sunset developing. I grabbed my camera and headed out to the CN Sprague subdivision, hoping to get some train photos.

Nothing appeared to be leaving Winnipeg, so I headed east along the Sprague toward Dufresne and Ste Anne. As I approached the siding at Lorette I could see that there was a train in the distance. I stopped at the siding but it soon became clear that the train wasn’t moving. They were stopped short of the east end of the siding.

I drove over and decided to photograph them from the west side / sunset side. The light was nice and I recorded the five locomotives, but it was really a “meh” shot. As my caption above says, “your basic sunset wedgie”…

As I drove toward the highway, I saw a car stop across the highway. The car looked vaguely familiar. I saw someone get out and start taking photos, so I made a guess that it was a railfan and decided to swing by to see if I knew the person.

It turned out to be Jack Hykaway, who you might remember from a 10 Questions post a few years ago. Jack has switched from shooting video to taking photos, and his talent has followed him to that area of photography.

I said my hellos – from a social distance – then I turned around.

Wow!

Non HDR view of the train
Non HDR view of the train

This view was so much better than what I had chosen. I started taking photos.

HDR view of the train
HDR view of the train

I was mostly taking HDR photos. For those who don’t know what that is, HDR stands for High Dynamic Range, and it involves taking 3 or more identical photos with different exposures. You can read more about HDR here.

HDR can lead to oddness like the photo below, where you have the same vehicle passing by the train twice in the same photo.

Double exposure
Double exposure

I was clicking like a madman, trying to capture different views and angles while the sunset lasted.

Just for fun, I took a shot with my iPhone for comparison with my “real” camera. It does a pretty good job too, but it can’t zoom like my camera can.

Phone version
Phone version

I liked the “x ray” look of the photo below.

X-Ray Vision
X-Ray Vision

Eventually the light failed and it was time to go. I said my goodbyes to Jack and hit the road back to Winnipeg.

Bonus Train

Crossing the Floodway
Crossing the Floodway

As I headed toward home, I saw a train leaving Symington Yard. This was the train that CN 2906 West was waiting for.

I quickly turned onto the little side road south of the Floodway off the Trans-Canada Highway (49.82622597650363, -96.94850280309879). It’s so small that it doesn’t appear to have a name. I think this is where the “Mile 142.4 Grain Elevator” used to be. Today I think there’s a Manitoba Hydro depot there. I parked on the side of the road and waded down through the snow to get in position.

The above photo shows them about to come off the bridge over the Winnipeg Floodway. I switched to my phone to record them passing the signals. Another silhouette shot!

Passing the signals
Passing the signals

I chose not to chase them, as it was getting pretty dark and my stomach was grumbling about the missed supper. Time to head for home.

Just One More Thing

I’m about to read A Promised Land, Barack Obama’s memoir. I bought it for my wife for Christmas, and she’s finished it, so it’s my turn. That’s an affiliate link, meaning I get a commission if you buy something using it.

It seems particularly appropriate to read it now, given the recent… unpleasantness… of the transition of power in the USA. I hope our neighbours to the south have a peaceful transition and a return to normalcy.

2 thoughts on “Turn Around”

  1. Great shots, Steve! Your advice about photography has a lot of application in the political arena, especially here down south. And thanks for the coordinates – I enjoy going to the maps to see exactly where you took the photos. In this case… exactly down to the atomic scale 🙂

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