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B&O Photo Tours

Steve's Picture Picks
Modern day photo tour

Accompanying each photo below are:

Click a photo to see a larger view. Please send your comments and corrections to Steve.



#10 Mt. Clare

#10 Mt. Clare
Mile: OML 0.0 Date: Feb 1999
Ease: A+ View: W
Area: B IC2: 338, 368
Map: Ba 42 K 1 Topographic Maps

My very first trip to snap railroad pictures resulted in this appealing shot of Mt. Clare station. It was a brisk February day and sunset was approaching.

This is an excellent example of how important lighting is to good photos: you need either 1) bright light, 2) dramatic light, or 3) lots of luck.


#9 Under I-70

#9 Under I-70
Mile: OML 16.0 Date: Jan 2000
Ease: B View: NW
Area: A IC2:
Map: Ho 12 G 3 Topographic Maps

Snow, river, bridge, train. What more can you want? OK, the sky color could have been better, and the train could have been closer. I tried for many closer shots of the train, but the auto-focus on my Nikon picked that moment to act stupid. With a speeding train approaching (OK, even one rumbling along at 20 mph) there's little time to recover from cranky equipment.

The temperature was well below freezing this day, and the ground frozen hard. I was a half mile away when I heard this train's horn, and scrambled to get into position for this shot at the bridge. The train arrived just as I grabbed the camera out of the bag.


#8 CSX 736

#8 CSX 736
Mile: OML 16.0 Date: Jan 2000
Ease: B View: NW
Area: A IC2:
Map: Ho 12 G 3 Topographic Maps

This is one closer shot for which the auto-focus was successful.


#7 C&O 1604

#7 C&O 1604
Mile: OML 0.1 Date: Jul 1999
Ease: A View: E
Area: B IC2:
Map: Ba 42 J 1 Topographic Maps

Yes, this photo is a bit overexposed, but that helps bring out the detail on this incredibly massive steam locomotive. Bright lighting also helps the camera to achieve a sharp focus.


#6 Carrollton Viaduct
NEW! Dec 2010

#6 Carrollton Viaduct
Mile: OML 1.4 Date: Oct 2010
Ease: B View: N
Area: C+ IC2: 35, 339, 386
Map: Ba 42 F 3 Topographic Maps

The sounds of a train's horn encouraged me to get in place for this shot. Though the train never arrived, foliage plus reflections created an autumnal scene.


#5 Patterson Viaduct

#5 Patterson Viaduct
Mile: OML 10.7 Date: Nov 1999
Ease: D View: NW
Area: A IC2: 115, 390
Map: Ba 40 K 7, Ho 13 A 1 Topographic Maps

More autumn colors and reflections in this shot. In 1999, I just happened to venture out on the right day and captured the Patapsco Valley foliage at its peak. Despite annual attempts in later years, I've never been able to visit again at peak color.

The only improvement to this photo would have been the addition of a train crossing the bridge at right.


#4 CSX 263

#4 CSX 263
Mile: OML 19.5 Date: Dec 1999
Ease: C View: E
Area: A IC2:
Map: Ba 31 J 8 Topographic Maps

This Old Main westbound surprised me when it emerged from Dorsey Tunnel. But, this time the auto-focus worked and I had the chance to rattle off a series of shots.

This shot has the train so close it's starting to blur, and this was probably 800 speed film. Yes, serious photographers use slower speed film, but then they have better glass (lenses) than I do.


#3 Scenic Bridge

#3 Scenic Bridge
Mile: OML 19.0 Date: Dec 1999
Ease: D View: SE
Area: A IC2:
Map: Ba 31 K 9, Ho 12 A 1 Topographic Maps

I love this picture: serene, interesting reflections, and the smallest arched stone bridge on the Old Main. This bridge became disused around 1900 when a shorter bypass route was built on the opposite bank of the river. I might be too late to image a steam train puffing away as it hauls good upstream here, but I can still imagine it.


#2 PSINet Stadium

#2 PSINet Stadium
Mile: CCS 0.5 Date: Mar 2001
Ease: B View: S
Area: B+ IC2:
Map: Ba 43 A 2 Topographic Maps

Good composition and interesting setting make this one of my favorites. I like that the colors of the CSX engine compliment the colors of the Ravens banner. The train is off center, but nicely balances the stadium on the right.

This is the only digital photo to make my favorites list. The colors produced by the digicam are more accurate, but less dramatic than those generated by film. Digicams also suffer from a troublesome delay between the time you hit the shutter button and when they actually capture the photo. That makes action photography very tough. I got lucky with this shot, hitting the shutter button just enough in advance to capture the engine where I wanted.


#1 Savage Mill

#1 Savage Mill
Mile: Wash 10.4, spur 1.0 Date: Sep 2000
Ease: A View: NW
Area: A IC2: 393
Map: Ho 20 B 8 Topographic Maps

This is my #1 favorite photo within these tours. The lighting is excellent, the colors dramatic, the Bollman bridge beautiful, and the occasion important: the ceremony to designate the bridge a National Historic Landmark.


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