It wasn’t the most ideal of conditions to be photographing a train, even with a digital camera. But this wasn’t just any train that was coming.
OK, so a stack train is any train. But on the point was Norfolk Southern No. 8104, the Lehigh Valley heritage locomotive.
I’ve only seen the 8104 once and that was more than four years ago. And it was trailing.
The light was good then, but, you know, trail equals fail.
The Lehigh Valley H unit has not been a frequent visitor to Northeast Ohio. It got stuck in service down in the West Virginia and Virginia and took a long time to escape.
So when word came that the 8104 was leading a westbound 25Z, off to Olmsted Falls I went.
It was almost 5:30 p.m. when the 25Z showed up. It was cloudy and the sun was setting.
There was barely enough light to record anything. I shot at f3.5 at 1/500th of a second at ISO 6400 and at one full f stop over.
That netted a grainy, though usable image. But, hey, I finally got on the lead a heritage unit that had eluded me since June 2012.
As I processed my images in preparation for this post, I also came to appreciate how the conditions enable me to create some mood and effects that don’t exist in broad daylight.
Given a choice, I would rather have had ideal lighting when the 8104 showed up. But sometimes making do with what you have can yield some surprisingly pleasing images.
Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders
Tags: heritage units, Lehigh Valley heritage locomotive, NS 8104, NS Heritage locomotives, NS in Olmsted Falls, NS Lehigh Valley heritage unit, Olmsted Falls Ohio, Olmsted Falls railroad depot, Railfanning at Olmsted Falls Ohio