The Whole Was More Powerful than the Parts

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It is August 12, 1972, and Mike Ondecker and I have been given permission to take photographs around the Rock Island engine facility at Joliet, Ill.

At the time, I took mostly roster shots instead of train shots. Had I concentrated on a roster shot of Rock Island 641, the shadow of the sand tower on the rear of the unit would have driven me mad.

Here was an E7A in beautiful light, yet it had that distracting shadow. Thankfully, I stepped back and got more of the whole scene.

That engine house had certainly seen better days and while the rectangular 35mm slide format cut off part of the sand tower, enough was there so that there weren’t two strange diagonally-running pipes appearing out of nowhere.

Also, a roster shot would have cropped out part of the reflection. Did I plan the image this way? No. I just took it to have something.

Yet 40 plus years later, it serves as a good example of the whole image being far more powerful than its individual parts.

Article and Photograph by Robert Farkas

 

 

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One Response to “The Whole Was More Powerful than the Parts”

  1. Richard Bagnell Says:

    I was working here in August of 1972, but mostly the night shifts. It must have been the weekend because this unit would have been out making commuter runs. This dual unit and its cars stored down by the station was called the “Banker”……Nice pictures and a lot of memories for me.

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