Friday, March 1, 2013

Catching the 8:05

I was out photographing the prairies here around Fort Worth one morning.  I had parked near a railroad track and was photographing a ranch road as it went across the prairie grasses.  After making my shot I packed up and put the large format camera back in the SUV.

Then I heard the train.  I decided to see if I could get an image with the 4x5.  I knew the train was close, I had maybe 90 seconds to get set up.  Maybe.

I sprung into high gear.  Set the tripod back up.  Opened the camera pack and grabbed the Arca.  Racked it out.  Put on the 75mm.  Did a quick rough focus.  Leveled.  Put in some Efke 25 and used what I had metered before as my exposure.  Cocked the shutter and pulled the slide.  The engine was less than 100 yards away.  As it sped past I fired this image.

Speed and luck were with me this day.

The Arca made this possible as it is so easy to set up and use it can be done quick.  My buddy with a folding wooden field camera also tried setting up but got no where near ready.  

Gotta love the Arca!!

FWIW, I took the top image after the train had passed.  I was lucky to get set up so quick but had no time for the obligatory camera on tripod shot before.


Alastair said...

I think this is a wonderful shot! Real sense of speed and power. Well done! It's interesting that the developing/processing has given the image something of a (albeit saturated) coloured look and feel. The foreground is very green for black and white film! How did you process this?

Darren Huski said...


The color cast is the DR-5 process. I was shooting Efke 25 B+W negative film and the DR-5 process develops it as a positive (like a slide or chrome). It also gives it a warm look. On the chrome it looks slightly sepia the slight green is probably from the scan.

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