snow

Chasing trains

I believe I’ve mentioned before about the lack of railroading in Ottawa. Let me iterate; there is very little in Ottawa for a railfan/train person to see beyond VIA trains, which are very typical. In fact, most trains in Ottawa are typical and predictable. So one must make the most of what little there is.

I live near the main track that VIARail uses, and passenger trains just don’t do it for me. I like freight trains. Again, there is very little in Ottawa as I mentioned here. Where I work, I do have a limited vantage of the track going up to Arnprior. There is a weekly local that takes some tank cars up there and that really is the only thing to see. From my cubicle, I can hear the train coming and watch it trundle up the line. Its about a five hour turn to come back, and if its a later train, I can make a stop after work and wait for its return. Of course, the camera comes with me every Wednesday, just in case.

Such was my luck last week. It was a late one going up, meaning I could get to a spot to see its return. Being winter and all, I kept to a spot that I knew I could access easily with all the snow (although, not as easy as I’d imagined). After a short wait, I heard the tell-tale horn and got ready for some shots.

I brought my Fuji X100T. Not the best for variable shots, but I like the camera, and I can learn to make do. As it approached the level crossings, the bells and lights went off. As it came around the corner it blew its horn. As it went under the highway bridge, the echoes made it very loud.

And shortly thereafter it came by. It goes at a fairly slow pace, so there is time to get ready for the picture.

The consist is typically three to four tank cars from (and to) the Nylene plant. Again, very predictable. Even the engine is typically the same. Sometimes there is two locomotives, which I suspect is only because one has had some repairs, and it is sent up the line with the other as a backup should the “fixed” one fail.

And within 30 seconds, the train has passed, and I wait another week to possibly see it again.

Fleeting as it is, I look forward to potentially seeing this train each week. As the warmer temperatures approach, I hope to catch it in a few different locations and scenery.

Winter Wonderland

Happy New Year!

January in Ottawa always brings some crazy weather. Storms, rain, snow, warm and cold. In this first week of 2017, we had a nice bout of freezing rain followed by 10 cms of snow. It made for crappy driving, but the ice on the trees looked magical.

This shot is from my office. I was hoping to catch some sun before it became to warm and everything melted away. As expected, the sun came out, it got above zero and the wind picked up, shaking off the icy designs on the trees.

And believe it or not, this is a colour image.

Taken with my Fuji X100T.

Blue Sky

Yesterday winter made one of its last hurrahs with a moderate snow fall. I was up to Carp to see my doctor and the snow on the trees looked fantastic. As I have mentioned before, a local freight runs up through Carp on a regular basis, and I always ensure that my appointments are on the correct day and rough time that it comes through. So I had my camera with me.

After the appointment (all is well) I drove around the area to scout out a new position for the train. In doing so, I caught a few pics of the snow covered trees. The blue sky just looks awesome.
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And after shooting this, I noticed the yellow fire hydrant. Blue and yellow are complimentary colours, so…

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Sadly, no train came. It seems to be a no luck week for the limited freight trains around here. Did make this shot down the line heading just outside of town.

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All shots with the Fuji X-T1 and 16-55 f2.8.

Record Snowfall

Last week in Ottawa, we had a record snowfall for one day at just over 50cm, or 20 inches. It made for a commuting nightmare going home from work, and knee-deep snow to clear up from the driveway. However, the next day was bright and clear, showing the results of the previous day’s storm. On the way to work, I took some shots of the snow with my X100T.

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Dusk

For me, the best part about the new year is the days, or at least the daylight, lasts longer. I’m not a fan of it being dark by 5pm. Once the winter solstice hits, then Christmas, its all about getting more daylight! I especially like it when its cloudy for a few days. When then becomes clear, the extra daylight is like a little present.

This was my view tonight on the way home. I sometimes catch a bus that will drop me about 10 minutes walk away. The sun sets by this time, but the resulting deep blue in the sky with the silhouettes looks awesome.

This was shot with the Fuji X100T with the Classic Chrome film simulation. Its straight from the camera. No post processing other than a little crop to take out an unwanted element. The camera is awesome.

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Shine

It’s been a long, and very cold winter. The Rideau Canal has been opened for a record 47 (and counting) consecutive days. That’s cool, but it means it’s been cold for a long time. And after these long cold days, one starts to look longingly at the calendar for spring. And it’s the little things that crop up, unknowingly that brings out the hope of warmer days ahead.

This photo is one of those signs. It’s a garden lamp that runs on a solar-rechargeable battery. It has been dark for much of the winter, with little sunlight available during the day to charge the battery (and cold temperatures on it don’t help).

But last night I looked outside and saw it glowing away. Still holding its own above two feet of snow. The hope lies in that there is enough daylight hours to charge the battery and have it enable the little LED inside. I was excited, and the pattern it threw on the snow was perfect.

I grabbed a smallish tripod and my X-T1 with the new 16-55 f2.8 on it and put it outside. Being the wuss that I am, I stayed in the house and placed the tripod in the snow outside. And thanks to the wi-fi on the camera and my iPhone, once I framed up the image, I shut the door and did all exposure adjustments from the warmth and comfort of the living room.

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The end result is great. A black and white treatment looks the best, compared to the odd blue cast of the LED.