Nevada Northern Railway Part 2…

The morning was chilly, but enthusiasm was high as we gathered for Day 1 of the Nevada Northern Railway Photography Workshop. I ate breakfast in the hotel, so I passed on the selection of donuts provided by the staff (my body was very happy with this choice). We got to know each other a little more as we shared images from past shoots. The group included accomplished photographers. Some had been to Ely before and had great images to share. One participant was from Nebraska, and was a regular contributor to the Union Pacific Railroad with his images of the steam locomotive 4014, the legendary Big Boy, recently restored and touring the country.

After our morning classroom session, we headed out into the rail yard. First stop was the Engine house, where I grabbed a few shots.

One of several images inside the Engine House. I used a softening filter to give this a more abstract look.

We spent much of the morning in the yard watching the locomotives move around the yard as they gave us photo opportunities and set up for tomorrow’s action.

The 40 powering through the yard. RIP Building behind and Coaling Tower on the left.

The 40 was our primary subject in the yard today. I tried this sepia-style filter and like the result.

The 40 approaching the ‘service station’ – the legs of the Water Tower and the dump chute of the Coaling Tower.

A popular shot among the instructors, this view of the 40 under full steam on the east side of the yard . In our final session, I was told this would make a great magazine cover.

A fun picture of the 40 framed by the base of the Coaling Tower. Great sky and the mountains in the background.

After lunch, we all enjoyed a class in lighting. I’ve never taken a lighting class before, so I really enjoyed the learning opportunity. The instructor pulled me out of the crowd and had me sit in the subject chair while he moved lights around and showed us different techniques. He gave me all the pictures he took. No, I won’t be sharing them.

A few more shots around the yard and some dinner, then we moved inside the Engine House for some strobe lighting shots. The staff set various scenes for us, we set our cameras and opened the shutters, the strobes popped and we had images. Here’s a sample of the evening’s activities.

The 40 in the foreground and the 93 in the back, with a sepia filter. Most of my night shots are black and white, since the black of the locomotives and lack of background lends itself to monochrome shooting.

Lots of steam and smoke, giving these images a surreal feel. Another participant shared his secret for enhancing the smoke and steam during processing – and it works!

The trick for enhancing the steam also works on the lights. In this image, it helped disguise that I had removed the ugly modern sodium vapor lights in the ceiling, maintaining the old time feel of the image.

I never imagined I could make images like this.

I returned to the hotel very satisfied with the day and almost 500 image files to process. Working around the coal fired locomotives is interesting. Safety First – as it says everywhere in the yard and on the front of the locomotives. I emptied a few cinders from my shoes and out of the hood on my jacket, and detected a slight odor of train in my clothes, but it was all worth it. Two more days of shooting and learning. Stay tuned and enjoy – PHOTOROGR

Nevada Northern Railway Part 1…

Living in Nevada, gaming is all around you. When you roll the dice, sometimes you hit snake eyes and sometimes you hit big. I had heard great things about the Nevada Northern Railway’s Photography Workshops so I rolled the dice and drove to Ely. Oh boy, did I hit the jackpot!

The Nevada Northern Railway ( https://nnry.com/) was a short line serving the mining community in White Pine County. The Railway began operating in 1906 and ceased operations in 1983 when the mine closed. In its heyday, the Railway transported ore from the mines to the smelter, workers from their homes to and from work, and students to and from school. When the mines closed and the Railway ceased operations in 1983, the workers put everything away and locked the doors anticipating that the mine would reopen as it had in the past. Long story short, the mine did not reopen for many years and when it did, ore processing had changed and the Railway was no longer needed. The mining company donated the Railway assets to the local community and the rest is history (pun intended). The Nevada Northern Railway is a National Historic Landmark, America’s best preserved short line and complete rail facility. They have all records and most of the equipment from the time the Railway began operations to present day.

The Railway is based in the East Ely Yard. The Depot houses the museum and gift shop, and is the first stop on any visit. The workshop began on Thursday afternoon with a get together. I arrived in Ely the day before and spent some time in the East Ely Yard to explore on my own. The following pictures are around the Yard.

 

The East Ely Depot. The Museum on the 2nd floor is a ‘must see.’

The Freight Depot.

The Coal Tower on the left and the Water Tower on the right. Like a service station for locomotives, but they didn’t wash your windshield!

The Paint Shop.

The RIP Building.

Around the Yard.

Snow plow?

Around the Yard.

The Number 40 Locomotive was built by the Baldwin Company in July 1910. A 4-6-0 type, Number 40 was purchased new for $13,139 and used for passenger service. It’s called the Queen of Steam.

Around the Yard.

And a new adventure begins. Stay tuned for the rest of the photo weekend! Enjoy – Photorogr