I have been a member of a number of internet mailing lists concerning railroads in the Upper Midwest for some years. These included Twin Ports Rail, Orerail, MNRail, and most recently Northern Minnesota Rail. As a member of these lists I have admired the photography of other members and made some amateurish attempts at making photos of trains myself. I have been lucky to live near faily busy tracks for at least 15 years while some of the contributers to these lists travel great distances to see what I see just in the course of my daily affairs. I have described what I've seen going on in occasional posts but never took photgraphy seriously enough to produce pictures I wanted to share unless they showed something very unusual or newsworthy.
After my move to Wadena a couple of years ago and frequent travel along Highway 10, which parallels the Staples Sub of the BNSF in many areas, I came to the conclusion I should make the leap in technology that would allow me to shoot pictures that I could be proud of and willing to share on a day to day basis. After some questions and answers and time spent researching cameras on the internet, I came to the conclusion the a Canon S2IS would be the perfect tool for me to fulfill my desire to take good pictures. Dell was happy to provide the camera, and a orders to Newegg and Lensmate completed my outfit to start. I was off and running.
The gold standard of online rail photography, in my opinion, is railpictures.net. Of course with a fancy new camera and abundance of confidence and trains I was off to the races, submitting a few pictures the first day of my new hobby. All of them, including the photo at right, were promptly rejected by the screeners at rp.net, leaving me angry and frustrated. I know that my entrance into the forum there was not the most conducive to winning friends and influencing people.
Since I had the new camera and the abundance of trains I figued that getting into the rp.net database would be a piece of cake. Overcoming these thoughts provided me with my first valuable lesson in photography-no matter your equipment, you still need to point the camera in correct direction,pay attention to the light, and frame your subject correctly in order to make a quality photo. How you process your photos after shooting them (the "digital darkroom") also matters a lot. It seems I got myself into something a lot more involved than just pointing and clicking!
Next-a big surprise and success!
Edited to fix broken lensmate link.