Monday, November 29, 2010

On Pictures and Video of trains

The Internet has given a different understanding of the term, to take pictures. In the old days it was the physical act of taking up camera, looking through the viewfinder, and snapping the picture. This was often followed up by waiting for the processed film to be returned and sorting the pictures. Occasionally, at least in the railroad photography, you might be given or purchase a group of pictures. However, today, we can search the Internet and download pictures and video directly and without further cost. The same holds true for video. On the net, this will include old footage of film transferred to video.

There are three means of saving online pictures and videos. First, is the direct copy of the media directly to your hard drive. This is easier for pictures but harder for videos. I use to do these but have since removed them from my computer. This can be good so that the video conforms to personal standards. I rarely video and entire freight consist, but will a passenger consist. If I were to copy, I would edit it to conform to standard.

The next is the embedding into a web page. This works for blogging and doing personal pages. The video is never on your computer and it location is easy to determine. The only problem is that you have the entire video to watch, not edited to standard. This is a good method if storage is a problem. I do this for personal use, I copy the author and description into a web page and save it as I would save a video or picture.

The last option is to link to the video. The viewer has to go to the site to view.

A real problem with these last two, is that they are download each time you view. This can be slow. A video you save will be faster to access.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Selma, NC, part 4

The Southbound Carolinian was a tad late and did not arrive until 4:20. After its passing, I drove by the NS yard to see if any activity. I drove to the other end and crossed the tracks and the best possible location to turn around (location B). When I did, I saw the headlights of an engine, way in the distance. For all I knew it was a local switching out cars and would take hours to get to me, if at all. I continue to the next crossing and still the lights were there. I continued to what I though might be the next crossing making guesswork truns. When I approached the next crossing (location C), The engines were crossing. You guessed it, the chase is on. Fortunately the highway parralled the tracks and the train was slowing down as it approached the yard. I got ahead by enough and took the video at location D. In all the perfect ending to a railfan's day off.
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Thursday, November 25, 2010

Selma, NC, part 3

My train chase was not  very hard. I returned to the station to get myself into position for the train 89, the Palmetto southbound.
While waiting on the southbound Carolinian, I had some time and explored to see this Trackmobile.
I had time to bring myself into position for train 79, the Carolinian southbound. In the distance I heard the horn of the approaching train. To my surprise, it was not the Carolinian but a CSX southbound freight.
Finally, the Carolinian southbound.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Selma, NC, part 2

Shortly after the arrival of the Palmetto, I was surprised by a Norfolk Southern Freight, eastbound. I caught it here on the diamond as it passes.
We railfans tend to gather as here. We were talking about the good spots to sspot trains when a southbound CSX freight was heard in the distance.
Having some time before the southbound Palmetto so I went to see what activity is in the Yard to the east. As I was photographing the engines, the head light began to blink, indicating that it was ready to head out. Unfortunately, I did not have either my camera or camcorder ready. I simply put the car in gear, letting the camera and camcorder come on as I drove. 10 blocks down the road I was ahead and ready to video the passing train.
Now to get into position for the Southbound Palmetto, due soon.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Selma, NC, part 1

After all considerations, I decided to take in, Selma NC. Twice as many Amtrak trains was one draw. Besides, there is the CSX and NS interchange and crossing. I took my tripod so I could have both stills and video.

 I lost the video of the first trains. The problem came when I finalized the DVD. I did get picture, however. First was the northbound 80, The Carolinian, led by 52 and 95, running an hour late.

After a bite of lunch I arrive to a southbound, CSX freight, but being out of position, I got no pictures. However, I was in position for the northbound no. 90, the Palmetto. The northbound, pulls out of Selma, NC, led by 180

Friday, November 19, 2010

Day Trip to Fayetteville or Selma?

I am now planning my daytrip to Fayetteville, NC or Selma, NC. Most of this visit willl be railfaning. I have been to both place more than once in the past. Some situational pictures of Fayettville are below.

The trip to Fayetteville begins at Aberdeen and roughly follows the Aberdeen and Rockfish. I all the trips to Fayetteville I have never seen The A&R in operation, but have seen them in the shops.

The alternative to this trip is Selma, NC. It is in Selma that Amtrak's Florida trains take different routes. On route goes through Raleigh. The other goes South through Fayettevills. In Selma I can than see twice as many trains. It would be a nice out and back train trip if it were not for the fact that the train I would take, does not stop there. However, these are some pictures taken on my last trip to Selma, NC

As I plan my activity On this trip, What do I take. I would love to do more video. Hand held video would be nice, however, even while shooting video I still want to take stills. Therefore, I need a tripod to hold the camcorder so I am hand free for the stills. This was one of the considerations when I went to Boston. At last minute I did not take my tripod. Carrying it would be hard if I were not in my car. There were a place or two where it might have been nice but carrying every place else would be a problem.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Winston as in Winston-Salem, NC

Winston-Salem is a merger of Salem, a Moravian town, and Winston. Winston has been know as the home of Reynolds Tobacco. In fact their two famous brands are named for the city: Winston and Salem. First we can see the skyline, Winston from Salem.

Despite the movement of the skyline upward, the real creativity comes in the street level structures.

Than, again, there is the fact that the city rises from the pavement and rises, it does. It might be notes, that like Charlotte, the rise begins from a higher point in the city.

Like all cities, there are public spaces which might be private owned.

Other space are very public both in use and ownership.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Old Salem as in Winston-Salem, NC

Winston-Station has been a destination on many a vacation and business trip. Years ago I stoped by the courthouse. My first visits were intended for Old Salem, the restored Moravian town. I have been back to visit on more than two visits. I think that the last visit was just a pass through, almost 20 years ago. One of my memories was of being on the edge of the old town of Salem and seeing high rise buidings. These were the new town of downtown Winston which merged with Salem to become Winston-Salem.

First visit was Old Salem with its new (since my last visit 20 yr. ago) visitor center. A quick walk was taken up the street with a few pictures taken along the way. I left the old part of town for a few blocks to get some pictures of the skyline and than returned. I walked back to the information center, and to lunch. I had been into the buildings that were open and knew more about the town, before arriving.

Here are a few of my pictures:

Saturday, November 13, 2010

More notes on railfaning and bloging

As I plan my effective recreation, the question that comes up is what do I take. In the early days, I simply carried a camera. Before that it was just myself but that was too long ago. My first camera was a good one. It was a simple manual SLR. In time, it ages a bit and I moved to a better, automatic SLR. Both of these film cameras. I took thousand of slides, half were of trains. Some were good. I eventually got a 8ml camcorder to widen my options in filming. I could never get the hang of using both in the same excursion. The camcorder was purchased after my last train excursion, so it never became a problem.

Now we are in the era of digital. I got a very simple point and shoot digital camera. It was too simple and user friendly. I would take a picture of a engine but the headlight would throw the exposure off so it gave me an error message to correct. By that time, I missed the egine. There was not a manual or bypass setting on the camera, that I could find. So I use both cameras for a long time. Trains were film and everything else degital. However, I paid extra and had the slides committed to digital format when processed.

Finally, I got myself a digital SLR and it was the best thing I could have. My camcorder got lost in the shuffle. I finally invested in a mini-dvd camforder. It works well. Now comes the question of what to use when. In reality there are three forms of cameras. The DSLR has the best optics, resolution and control. Second is the camcorder. It does pictures as well as video, however there is less resolution of the pictures. There is one last item to add to the photographic equiptment and that is the cell phone. A few more choices to make.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Spencer Shops, NC Transportation Museum, roundhouse

After crossing the yard, we enter the old round house. Now the roundhouse serves as display space for much of the restored collection of the museum but also as repair and restoration space for the collection.