Editor’s Notebook

Rockingham County, Virginia – March, 2018

Do Cameras Matter?

Most of you are probably aware of the flurry of new camera announcements that have come out in the past few weeks. Nikon, Canon and Panasonic have unveiled full-frame mirrorless offerings, and Fuji has once again stepped up the game in APS-C.

Normally, I wouldn’t be paying too much attention to all of this, but recently my seven year old DSLR has been acting flaky which has started me thinking about a replacement. My Pentax MX film camera is still going strong after thirty-five years, so why am I thinking about replacing my digital camera after only seven years? But that is a topic for another day. Read more

Editor’s Notebook

East Broad Top Railroad – Photograph Copyright 2018 by Edd Fuller

Saving Our Past

 
I have been thinking about the role of photography in historic preservation lately.

This summer, plans were announced to widen the intersection in a crossroads town here in the county where I live. The change will require the destruction of an old wooden store building, and it is the last vestige of the town as it once was. After the “improvements” are completed, there will be nothing left but a post office, and a four-lane highway lined with fast food restaurants and gas stations. Read more

Editor’s Notebook

Legacies

Mexican Central Railway train at station – between 1880 and 1897

It is often said that knowledge and art advance as we stand on the shoulders of the great men and women who have gone before. Their legacy is a gift that lights our way forward.

Legacies are built on legacies, and in a new series of videos, we will meet some of the photographers who influence and inspire.  Some of these photographers are well known, perhaps even legendary, but others are more personal, a father or mentor who helped us see the possibilities, and how to realize them. Read more

Editor’s Notebook

The color of railroading . . .
Town of Shenandoah, Virginia – March, 2018

A while back, a friend said to me that in his opinion, black and white is the color of railroading. I didn’t disagree. When we look at well known railroad photographers, most all of them worked in black and white. Richard Steinheimer, Jim Shaughnessy, Philip Hastings, O.Winston Link, David Plowden and many others produced outstanding bodies of work in black and white. In fact, there was a time that I would have said that the color of photography is black and white. Most of the great photographers that I admire worked in black and white. Of course, part of the reason for the predominance of black and white is that color came fairly late in the history of the medium.

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Editor’s Notebook

Samuel Morse Day


Last Saturday (April 28, 2018) I attended the Samuel Morse Day celebration at the former N&W depot in Boyce, Virginia. Samuel Morse was the inventor of the telegraph which was adopted by the railroad in its earliest days.

Mr. Abram Burnett, from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, was on hand to demonstrate the early telegraph and he graciously agreed to let us make a video as he demonstrates the telegraph and relates some of its history. In the video, we are inside the N&W depot in the trainmaster’s office overlooking the current Norfolk & Western tracks. The office retains much of its original furnishings and looks very much like it would have looked nearly one hundred years ago. Read more

Editor’s Notebook

“Connectedness”

Former Norfolk & Western Depot – Boyce, Virginia

Earlier this month, I boarded a plane for Chicago to attend Conversations 2018, the annual gathering of the Center for Railroad Photography & Art. The weather was awful—freezing rain, snow and wind, but it was a fitting contrast to the warm welcome I felt at the reception and dinner Friday night.

It was a pleasure to be in the company of so many talented railroad photographers and artists. I not only made new friends, but also had the opportunity to meet several people who have contributed to and supported The Trackside Photographer—David Kahler, Matthew Malkiewicz, Dennis Livesey, Brandon Townley, Jeff Brouws and Matt Kierstead. Read more