Friday, December 02, 2005

The Snow Train

SNOW TRAIN
In addition to being able to sit in the 110VAC provided car in the back with the crew, and shooting out the very back of the train, we had many stops for a number of reasons. There was very cold weather, and many freight trains we had to yield too. This delays most people got mad at. I was very pleased. Our snow-speed was only about 25-40mph. My GPS worked most of the way. Because of the stops and slow speeds, I was able to capture unique pictures I am amazed at getting. I also have to thank the Cannon A520. If it were not for it's speed, reliability, accuracy and flexibility while taking pictures--I would not have gotten many of them.

CAMERA OVERLOAD!
I was running two digitals, my DX-for the big details and the A520 and two film cameras. One I'm testing. I had enough time to get in shots with all of them. Usually this is a stupid move. You should devote most of your time to one or two cameras. If you try to capture the same shot with several cameras you will probably get garbage pictures. At least my mind, can't handle all those settings and conditions.

RECOMMENDED COMPACT DIGITAL CAMERA (Above A520 shot-low light) This little pocket-rocket manual digital camera comes highly recommended by me for those of you who can't afford a digital SLR. With a 1gig card I get around 400 pictures, a computer remote link standard which lets you take time-laps and even have complete manual control over the camera on your computer, and great shots with almost no shutter lag. To top it all off the price is now under $200. Have some trust in a 4mp camera with a kick. 4mp at 180dpi is pretty good. You can make a sizeable print if your smart about it. Lots of color modes, histograms and other features puts this camera close to some of the DSLRs. Complete with lenses for macro, teli-photo-and several others. It's the best adapter system I have ever seen. It is an ultimate snapshot camera with a serious twist. It's Cannon's newest.
There is a high and low end model. The A510 is 3.2mp and I don't know if it has as many features but I'm guessing it does. It runs for about $130. And the A520--a near-35mm comparable 4mp system you can put in your pocket. Heck, they even make an underwater housing for both of them! I can't think of all the features this powerful compact has. Right now I see it in most of the stores--if you got 200 bucks in Christmas money--check it out. Many of the snow shots in motion where shot with this camera. I'm tired--so I did not touch any of these pictures with Photoshop other then add my mark. These are all straight of the camera as most of my shots are. (Below A520 shots--low light and in motion)

What you see here will be film and digital--6mp and 4mp. I downsize my on line files considerably--but my new system of doing this permits better close views. Don't forget to click on the pictures for larger view.


With the outlet I could proof right on the train. It was a great setup. The whole trip up took about 28 hours. About half in the dark and half in the day because of delays this time. Up in the very frozen mountains--all the way to central Oregon, there was tons of snow--breaking into high desert which made for fantastic landscapes at a distance with my DX.

A quick reminder of the dangers in such travel--an entire number of freight cars that went over the side. Some of those turns were pretty frightening up over the mountains. I kept imagining the early days of rail--when 1000s met there death in horrific crashes up here. Back then--lack of communication and technological factors made any train wreak about as survivable as today's jumbo-jet crashes. Usually only a handful of people of 100s lived, much of this was due to fire
and wood. The wooden cars made over 100 years ago were death traps of fire and splinters. They shattered like matchsticks and killed everyone inside. If you were not dead out right--you were sure to burn.

A quick reminder of the dangers in such travel--an entire number of freight cars that went over the side. Some of those turns were pretty frightening up over the mountains. I kept imagining the early days of rail--when 1000s met there death in horrific crashes up here. Back then--lack of communication and technological factors made any train wreak about as survivable as today's jumbo-jet crashes. Usually only a handful of people of 100s lived, much of this was due to fire
and wood. The wooden cars made over 100 years ago were death traps of fire and splinters. They shattered like matchsticks and killed everyone inside. If you were not dead out right--you were sure to burn.
Now days--the chances of going off track or hitting another train is very un-likely. I don't like to fly. Even when I half too. My camera gear is a hit with security. They want to see anything and everything I've mcgivered together. It makes air travel for me an extra 4 hours long at least. So if I can take the train where security is not so extreme--I do! Not only that you can usually find a seat you want. Two seats
to yourself or at least one with a view or outlet. The observation car is great for pictures sometimes, and there is food and plenty of time to stretch your legs. The night-train is a couple hundred less then they day-time version because of the scenic situation. I recommend it to anybody who does not want to deal with airports, lines, long searches and other such things that drive you crazy.

Every time I go into a plane I wonder how the hell this can happen accurately every time. Had I not flown all over the world--I would not believe it. Despite the fact that it's statically more dangerous to take the train, I like being on the ground--especially now days. The night train is cheaper then flying from Portland to San Jose. It's real name is the Cost starlight, the night-time version of a day-time I have several rare shots of the tunnels up in the mountains
I got out of the back of the train as above--some of them very old. I have not converted them yet for my website.

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