Nevada Northern Railway 2021 – Day 3

After two days of class room and shooting around the East Ely Yard, on Day 3 we climbed aboard the train and headed out for Grand Landscape Day. It was chilly, but it wasn’t snowing so that was a big plus. We boarded the train and headed out to the Hy-Line. This section of track leaves the East Ely Yard and heads toward McGill, where the smelter was located.

For the workshop, I carried two camera bodies with different focal length zoom lenses. On the tripod, I had my Canon EOS R5 with a Canon RF 24-240mm lens. My Canon EOS 6D Mk II hung from my body with a Tamron 28-300 lens. When making images of trains, I love having my camera on a tripod. I set the tripod to a low height for the vantage point I want, and I have a stable platform for exposure bracketing and focus stacking. Sometimes the action is fast and a tripod-mounted camera is not ideal, so I carried my 6D II for those quick handheld shots. In addition, the second camera body provided redundancy in case I had a problem with my primary camera.

Workshop Instructor Mike Massee captured me a couple times during the workshop. Big thanks to Mike for letting me include these images.

Nevada Northern Railway Winter Photography Workshop on February 12 through February 14, 2021. Photo by Mike Massee while acting as the workshop instructor. This image was made on Friday – no snow on the ground!
Nevada Northern Railway Winter Photography Workshop on February 12 through February 14, 2021. Photo by Mike Massee while acting as the workshop instructor. Sunday in Robinson Canyon. Note the height of the camera on the tripod, typical for my railroad photography.

And so, on to my images from the day.

A somewhat unique shot – the black smoke is from the boiler, while the white smoke is from the whistle.
The train crew makes several runs at each location so we can change position for different views. I liked this one in black and white.
A little different interpretation. Great sky in the background. Some participants rode in the Caboose (the yellow car) and the rest rode in the Outfit Car, just ahead of the Caboose. The view from the cupola of the Caboose is amazing.
Since I’m in a line of photographers, I keep my eyes open for other perspectives. For this shot, I crossed the tracks and crouched down in a ditch (to stay out of the other photographers shots). I was by myself, so I was the only one to get this shot.

After several runs on the Hy-Line, we headed up to the Tunnel.

I love the east side of the Tunnel. Great background for the locomotive.

We returned to the East Ely Yard for lunch and prepared for the afternoon shoot at the Tunnel and Robinson Canyon. The crew reconfigured the train for a different look.

In that ‘road less traveled’ theme, I climbed the side of the Tunnel to shoot down on the train. Again, I was by myself.
When a locomotive exits the Tunnel, the smoke does amazing things. Since the 93 is pulling uphill in this shot, it’s working hard and making a lot of smoke. This view from just behind the guardrail on U.S. 50.
Robinson Canyon is a marvelous venue for shooting. For this shot, I went high on the slope. I had my Canon EOS R5 camera and tried some new techniques on this portion of the shoot. One of the great things I learned about this amazing camera is the AutoFocus system is wonderful. When used in combination with the Touch Sensor Shutter Release (touching the LCD screen on the back of the camera to release the shutter, the AF system focuses on the point that I touched), I adjusted the position of the camera body with the tripod head, recomposed for focal length and composition, and touched the screen to focus on my desired focal point and release the shutter. I need to perfect my technique, but I liked the process for slow action such as this moving train. The resulting image files were easier to process.
On the way back from Robinson Canyon, we stopped at the grade crossing at County Road 19 for some shots. In this shot, I am looking east, with the East Ely Yard in the background. I processed this image using a different filter than I usually use, providing a softer look for the locomotive.

That ends three days of fun but challenging photography. I learned more about using flash, but also learned how to take pictures in driving snow and cold. A trip to the Nevada Northern Railway is always great, but also wonderful when one’s photographic skills are pushed to the limit.

On the drive home, I stopped by Eastgate Canyon. This canyon is located 5 miles from U.S. 50 on State Highway 722., and is the home to a band of Desert Bighorn Sheep. My lovely bride and I found them last October when we drove by, so I checked to see if I could find them. Sure enough, they were grazing on a hillside within range of my camera.

A young Ram, making sure I wasn’t getting too close.
The view looking west towards U.S. 50 through the entrance to Eastgate Canyon.

Thanks for reading. I hope you enjoyed this series from the Nevada Northern Railway. Enjoy – PHOTOROGR

2 thoughts on “Nevada Northern Railway 2021 – Day 3

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