While visiting my old train watching haunt, I walked up a path and saw an old, abandoned signal box.
Normally, in the summer months I wouldn’t have seen this as it would have been obscured by foliage. But it stood out now. I ventured over to check it out. On approach, it looked kind of like Dr. Who’s Tardis; but of course it wasn’t. It had been well taken over by graffiti and rust. I took a few shots of it to add to my graffiti collection.
Shot with my Fuji X-Pro1.
A Christmas tradition of sorts is going to visit family in my home town of Dundas, Ontario a week or so before Christmas. This is a way to visit, do the Christmas thing and avoid the typical bad weather (or try to) that hits around the end of December.
If I can, I like to find time to go up the “hill” to where the main line of the CN Dundas sub runs. When I was younger, on Saturdays I would ride my bike up to this location to watch trains in the morning, returning around noon. There used to be a station there, which by then was a whistle stop, but it has a washroom (if one could call it that) and a place to hide out from the weather if needed. That station is long gone, burned down by vandals in the mid 90s.
Access to the area is now by foot only. A bit of a walk, but no big deal. The line up to Copetown is uphill, so the trains are struggling to make the grade, and you can hear them coming. There is also signal lights to help know if there is something coming. On the opposite direction, you can see the headlights long before the train passes.
So I went up. I stayed for about an hour, and nothing came, even though there was a green light. Still, I wandered and took a few photos with my X-Pro1.
Train watching in Ottawa is, to be kind, limited. This city is definitely not blue collar or industrial in any way. As such, there is very little in the way of rail traffic other than passenger trains. For the railfan, it is a wasteland. Basically, the only freight is local 589 that services a couple of industries, and this is on a weekly basis. Oh, and not on a particular schedule, so to see something is pure luck.
So double-bonus for me! My new job has a view to the railway up to Almonte. The once-a-week delivery to the Nylon plant up there. The window behind my cubicle looks that way, and if I’m at my desk, I hear the horn of the train approaching the level crossing. If I see/hear it, I know six hours later (at the end of the work day) it returns, and I can potentially catch it.
Such was last week. I heard the horn, and looked to see two locomotives pulling five tank cars up the line. I looked at the time, and knew when they would be coming back. The time is random, but the day is not, so I had my X-Pro1 with me to hopefully catch the return. Luckily, I did.
I knew where I wanted to be, so I hung out there a bit early to make sure I’d catch it. When it did come, I got some shots. When I came home and looked, I saw that in my excitement to see the train (remember, nothing much happens here) some shots were not very crisp. The one below looked better with a black and white treatment.
The other shot, though not much better, worked in colour.
As a bonus, this Sunday while I was sweeping up the walkway, I heard a train coming. I’m just across the street from the tracks served mostly by Via Rail. The train sounded different and when I looked, it was the local delivering lumber to the nearby lumber yard. I immediately grabbed my camera and made for the tracks. There is a bike/walk path along the tracks on either side. It was a quick job, and I caught it on its return to Walkley yard.
What the photos don’t show is motion. The locomotive is pushing the box car. As I saw it coming down the tracks, I could see the flashing red light of the End of Train device coming towards me.
I’ll leave out the train-geek reasons for this. But suffice to say, for a very barren train location of Ottawa, I had a pretty good week.
The theme of the month on a Facebook group is “down low”, or “pet perspective”. I placed my Fuji X-Pro1 right on the rail, shooting somewhat blindly as I couldn’t look through the viewfinder or the LCD at the back.
Now, I’m a big train fan. I like trains. I don’t believe in hanging out on the railway tracks, or shooting photos around them. Safety first. I believe in the mantra “anytime is train time”. Even though mostly scheduled trains run through here, there are the odd freight train can come by. I will also point out that this photo was made at a level crossing, which is right behind me. So there was little risk of getting hit by a train. The bells and lights would have alerted me. And even this shot was very quickly done and I moved on.
Anytime is Train Time.
Spring is arriving and temperatures are above the freezing mark. It makes for a lot of melting, water and slush. But, it also drives one to be outside in the fresh air again.
Yesterday I went out with my X-Pro1 for a walk. I haven’t used it in a long time, as the X100T has become my go-to carry around camera. But, with all the recent activity about the X-Pro2, I decided to reacquaint myself with this camera. While waiting for a train to come by, I spotted a fence that has been there a while, and took a few shots.
Its still a fine camera. The only thing really desirable to me with the “2” version, is the weather sealing and the newer film simulations. Not worth the upgrade though, as between my X100T and X-T1, I have all I need. Sadly, I waited a bit long to sell it on ebay or online locally. I suspect now that the “2” variant is out, there will be a glut of “1s” on the market. However, it is still fun to use, so its not all that bad to have some choice.
Every once in a while, one needs a project to keep the creative juices going. I’ve been in a wee bit of a slump lately. Partially because I’ve been busy in other avenues to focus on making pictures.
The last post I put up, the reflection of the Laurier bridge over the Rideau Canal, coupled with a “missed shot” (I didn’t have a camera with me and the picture showed up) has me inspired to do a project of reflections. Specifically, but not limited to, water reflections. Each lunch time, I walk down the Rideau Canal and see the reflections of the buildings in the water, or the boats in the water, and think what a neat shot that would be. So hey, why not do a series on reflections!
Take this shot to the left. It is the Department of National Defence headquarters. I’ve seen its reflection a number of times but today as I saw this. I had my Fuji X-Pro1 with me with the 18mm f2. I had to back up a few steps (a few times) to get it all in.
Yesterday was not the best day as a bit of a wind rustled the waters. I would prefer a calm water like the bridge shot. But, there were still some opportunities for some shots.
This one for example, of the trees in the water, and some runners along the pathway. Surely better with a still water. Also with the X-Pro1 and the 18mm f2.
I’ll keep trying. I found some great Lightroom presets from Thomas Fitzgerald. Check them out. They are pretty cool.
At the end of a long day a Disney, we had dinner in Epcot in the UK pavilion area. We were heading back to the Magic Kingdom for the fireworks, and came across the sphere that greets you when you arrive, all lit up.
Shot with the Fuji X-Pro1 with the 18mm f2.
We were in Florida a week or so ago to take in a Rush concert. Well, I was. we went to Disney on the Friday, and that evening while exiting the Epcot Centre, a storm was approaching during sunset.
The sky was brilliant. I managed to snap a shot as we headed to the monorail to head to the Magic Kingdom for the fireworks.
Shot with the Fuji X-Pro1 and 18mm f2.
As Spring arrives, so does the honour guard at the Canadian War Memorial in Ottawa. This tradition starts April 9 (the anniversary of the battle of Vimy Ridge) and continues until November 10. It was initially instilled a number of events from youth with no respect for those who fought for their freedoms. From Wikipedia:
Dr. Michael Pilon, a retired Canadian Forces major, observed and photographed a group of young men urinating on the war memorial on the evening of Canada Day 2006. Two teenagers later issued apologies and undertook community service, while another man, Stephen Fernandes, 23, of Montreal was charged with mischief by the Ottawa Police Service…The incident, along with the common sight of persons skateboarding and riding bicycles on the memorial’s podium, prompted the posting of sentries at the site, though they are only present between 9 am and 5 pm from 9 April to 10 November.
The guards are there continually, except for that day in October, when another loser shot a sentry in the back, then made an attempt to storm Parliament Hill.
It was a short-lived halt. You see, we Canadians are tough and stubborn, and don’t let such idiocy and slow us down.
Now that Spring is here, the guards are back. Each lunch, I walk by the memorial, and when timed right, I hear the bagpipes as the change of the guard occurs. On this occasion, I was front and centre for the change.
This year they have included the huts as well, as you can see in the back. I learned this is to prevent any other loser…er…person from getting up behind the guards.
I have been to the Arlington cemetery as well, where they have an honour guard.
It it a great tribute to those who keep us safe.