You Know It Don’t Come Easy
Above is the set-up shot. All I needed was a south-bound freight train rolling by that lovely old Brookhaven station for a great train picture. So I waited. I had no idea how long I would have to wait, but I wanted the perfect shot that was dancing in my head. I wait some more. A headlight down the track! I get in position, but the locomotive in the distance stops, and then backs up; just an engine switching cars.
I wait some more. After nearly two hours of waiting, I see a headlight in the distance, the crossing guards sound off, and in just a few seconds the train is on me, moving right through downtown Brookhaven at about 50 mph. I got off about five frames as the engine roared by.
In the excitement though, I panned on the fast moving locomotive, completely forgetting about the station, so instead of a nice shot of a locomotive passing the brick station, I have an very ordinary shot of a train passing, well, me.
Perhaps in your imagination you can put the locomotive above into the picture of the old brick station with the nice clouds. I can see it in my head, but that’s not the same thing as a photograph. The clouds were thickening and a sprinkle of rain cooled the Mississippi summer air. I packed up my camera and headed back to the car forming dark thoughts about the vagaries of railroad photography. Sometimes, it just don’t come easy.
By the way, the little stone marker next to the station has two round brass plaques, one of which reads “For 100 Years—1851-Illinois Central-1951—Mainline of Mid-America.” The other plaque displays an Illinois Central route map. I know because I took a picture of it while I was standing around waiting for the train.
Edd Fuller – Photographs and text Copyright 2017