I have one last batch of testing before I start my 2019 train chase. And I had an idea for one shot that – if I pull it off – would be fantastic.
But it’s a mighty big “if,” brother.
The SUNY Administration Building – the old Delaware and Hudson headquarters – is a castle-like structure at the foot of State Street. It’s also adjacent to the CP rail yards, and trains have to pass it – and travel alongside Interstate 787 – for their journey to their eventual destinations.
So let’s see if I can get a photo of a train as it passes this ornate structure.
I’ve got a few frames left in my Nikon EM setup from a previous photo shoot … let’s give it a try.
I parked my car on Broadway and hiked across the Corning Preserve bridge. And in a small area between the end of the Corning Preserve bridge and the walkway down to the Alive at 5 amphitheater, I saw an opening that would be perfect for a photo.
I set up my gear as quickly as I could. Remember, I’m going to need to set this stuff up quickly during the train chase. The train’s not going to wait for me to get my stuff put together.
There were a few tanker cars on the tracks, so I shot some frames.
Here’s the best of the batch.
A few things to note.
I used a “hyper-stereo” setup for this image – our eyes are only 67 millimeters apart, so I stretched my cameras apart to the maximum spaces on the camera rig to create more depth. It sorta works here … but not as well as in my previous 3D pictures.
That, and my Nikon EM setup has two 50mm lenses, which aren’t wide enough to capture the entire length of the D&H Building (yes, it’s the SUNY Administration Building, but work with me on this). And I don’t have time to order two 28mm f/2.8 pancake lenses that would give me a wider field of view. Gotta dance with the girl you brought.
That, and I have to time the exposure of this photo so precisely – so as to capture the train and the building, but not the Safety-Kleen panel truck that just cruised down 787 and photobombed my shot at that exact moment.
I think that instead of going 3D for this spot, I’m going to use a different camera. Most likely my Rolleiflex Automat MX shooter, which can grab pictures in medium format.
Trust me, I’m bringing six cameras to this two-day train chase – my Nikon Df for digital, and my Leica M3 (“Leica Green”), my Kodak Medalist II (“Kodak Red”), my Nikon EM “c’est schisse” two-camera setup, my Krasnogorsk FT-2 super-ultrawide (“Raskolnikov”), and the Rolleiflex. Maybe I’ll even pack the AGFA Clipper Special f/6.3 if I can get around to packing it with color film … but six cameras right now is plenty.
I gotta make this train chase work. I need the right cameras for the job. Every time.
And that’s why I’m preparing like a lunatic to get every possible successful image of it during this run.
Even when I get a dud image like the one above – it gives me data and information that I can use to try for better pictures when the moment comes.
Trust me, folks … you saw what I did two years ago in preparing for the Great American Eclipse.
This is just as intense. I cannot allow myself to fail.
Failure is not an option.