The Two Hours Drives – Part 3: The Train and The Trestle

The third post documenting the mid-February picture-taking drive consists of pictures which drew their inspiration from this post:

As it happens, there is a railroad trestle about four miles from my house, just on the outskirts of Larkspur, Colorado.

Here is the west-end of the trestle

For reasons which now escape me, I did not take a picture of the whole thing.

Here is a portion of the eastern end of the trestle

The center support

But . . . before I continue, let me recount a funny story about what happened to me on the way to the trestle.  I had stopped to shoot this small bridge over a tiny creek, when . . . 

A fortuitous happenstance . . .

Did you laugh? No?   Hmmm . . .

OK, back to the trestle.  So, no way I was going to let the Headless Photographer show me up.  I set about taking artsy photos of the thing.

Artsy #1

Artsy #2

One tiny problem . . . I be not know nuthin’ about no artsy stuff.  Take the shot above . . . I started to look at it as an engineer which, coincidentally, I am . . . although I should stress I am not a train engineer.   Anyway, parts of the construction did not look especially elegant.

It looks to me like someone who had not worked out the exact loads slapped as much metal as they could in all sorts of “structural-looking” configurations.  In the olden days that was called “know-how” . . . these days it might be termed “throw everything at it, and hope it works”.  Both methods work, but we’re not talking aesthetically.

Of course, you always need the crucial nail to hold it all together.

As usual, I mostly kid.  The thing had a good measure of structural aesthetics as evidenced by the following pictures.

Pseudo HDR shot

I wanted to play with HDR, but I did not have my tripod, and my efforts in hand-holding and trying to merge pictures failed miserably.

B&W Pseudo HDR shot

However, these are pseudo HDR photo, where I played around with the light fill,brightness, exposure, saturation, sacrificed a couple of chickens, and murmured nonsensical incantations to get close to the appropriate “look”.

(Note: no real chickens were injured in the creation of these shots . . . but I did have chicken fried rice that very evening)

I like this next one a lot.

Shot from under the trestle . . . daring the black rain

Black rain?  What Black rain?  The bridge was dripping some gooey black stuff I presumed was tar-oil.  It looked like the wooden beams were slathered in it, and it was seeping through.

In this close-up, you can see the drops forming.

The sign just under the bridge showed evidence of it

Anyway, I shot a number of pictures from under the bridge, but was spared being tarred. 

I liked this one as well . . .

. . . but I was not overall pleased with my efforts.  Surely the Headless Photographer would mock me, deriding my puny efforts. 

So, I went back the next day.  Unfortunately, a thin layer of clouds was about, and the light kept changing. 

But I got lucky in other ways . . .

Yup; a dang train got there at the same time I did . . . many pictures were shot.  More than I can show here. 

That’s right; I’m pointing to SmugMug.  Finish reading this post first, you know, for the brilliant writing, but then go to SmugMug . . . the incentive is 1) more pictures, and 2) a slightly different narrative.  OK, so maybe not an incentive so much as I might think, but some may find it so.

Anyway, I snapped away, capturing railroad cars as they thundered not 20 feet from my head.

Some were very colorful

At some point I started to notice the various graffiti on the cars.

I missed most of them, but got a few.

Soon the train was history, and I started in on my photography proper.  This time I brought a tripod, and shot a number of sequences that will appear in my upcoming post about HDR photographs (High Dynamic Range).

I wanted more shots of the underside, but the fresh droppings worried me . . .

Literally, many were still wet . . .

I figure I would chance it, and got a few decent shots. 

Looking straight up . . . I would not have been happy had a drop hit my lens.

Does this qualify as "artsy"?

The last shot I took was of the small creek bed spanned by the trestle.  The light by this time had changed to pretty solid gray . . . still, not too bad.  There is an HDR shot of this as well, but it will have to wait until I write them up.

Reasonably pleased with this

As usual, the shots in Smugmug are livelier, richer in color, and better all around. 

I packed up my stuff just as another car stopped and two photographers stepped out.  I almost told them I had already stolen all the good shots, but they were not even looking at me, them being busy avidly eying the trestle as if it were the turkey at Thanksgiving dinner.

Yep . . . the same train

A few miles back toward home, I noticed the same train was stopped, waiting for another train to come through Palmer Lake (going the other way), an area with only one set of tracks.

I snapped some of the more interesting graffiti.

I thought some were quite good . . .

And yes, there are a few more at SmugMug.

I pulled a little bit forward of the train and saw the opportunity for one more shot . . . the locomotive coming around the bend.  It started to move just about the time I set up, and I only had to wait 3-4 minutes for this . . . my last shot of the train.

For those interested, this is on Spruce Mountain road, a few miles outside of Palmer Lake, CO

There are more pictures in the SmugMug Album (fifty seven, like the ketchup thing).  You can get there by clicking any of the photographs, or click HERE to start at the first one if you intend to read the other narrative.

Well, I don’t know how I fared going head-to-head against the Headless Photographer, but I figure I’m ahead by a head.

Man . . . a looong way to go for that joke.  Know that I kid;  Sarah shoots wonderful pictures which are different from what I shoot.  There is really nothing to compare, as we choose to focus on different things. 

I do advise people who like my stuff to go see her stuff as well.

Thanks for visiting, and for reading my stuff.


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