Sunday, July 25, 2010

There are Days

Days that make you consider throwing in the towel, buying a great big flash unit and a pinhole lens, and retreating to the basement to take train pictures. At least down there you have some control over the lighting.

Today was one of those days. And it all started out in Staples, on the way to the DQ. Sometimes, when we are out looking for trains, I mumble something that makes Mrs. L4T look at me with confusion in her eyes. Rolling past the west end of the yard, I spotted a pair of cascade green SD40-2's on the point of a freight on the north yard track. And while that was interesting in and of itself, I had just passed a loaded COLX train with a matched set of grinsteins up front and another shoving. So, my comment referred to some "EMD revival" going on in Staples.

I actually had to pull over and stop when I stumbled upon another pair of EMD's at the east end of the yard-this time SD75M's, although they weren't in matched paint. Of course, my frustration was with the extremely difficult lighting conditions in Staples on July evenings. Here's the best I could do with the MACs:

This is one case where having the sun sneak behind one of those clouds would have actually been helpful, but of course it wouldn't.

So after a DQ stop, with nothing showing ATCS, it was back to Wadena, with a brief stop to shoot the SD's at the west end of the yard. Somehow a GE snuck into the shot as well.

Note: the Woodland Container plant on the north side of the yard is being demolished. The work was well along when we went by tonight, and I suspect the tall chimney that is included in many shots in this area will soon be no more.

And then, just the EMD's, again in terrible backlight:

And soon we were home. I was looking at these photos, when all of a sudden a westbound showed out of Staples. Feeling a little frustrated, I rounded up the Mrs. once more and headed west. Our timing was almost perfect. Amazingly, as the westbound approached, an eastbound blew for the Bluffton crossing-a nice meet shot was in the making. However, those clouds that were so uncooperative earlier in the evening finally found the sun, fouling up my chance with this:

So, today was a tough railfanning day for me, not so much due to a lack of trains as to a very unfriendly sky. I guess the lesson is that no amount of trains and technology can make up for what Mother Nature can do. And another lesson-when you do get a nicely lit shot, be thankful, knowing all that could have gone wrong to spoil it.


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