Editor’s Notebook

A Year-End Miscellany

Gordonsville, Virginia

The year is drawing to a close, and this will be the last Editor’s Notebook for 2018. But there are still a few weeks to go, and we have several special articles for your enjoyment during the Holidays.

✒ This coming Thursday, December 13th, Jason Paul Sailer will take us along as he chases the Canadian Pacific Holiday Train across Alberta to the foothills of the Rocky Mountains.

✒ Then on December 20th, Steve Crise brings us the story of how memories of an American Flyer train under the Christmas Tree come to life again after almost fifty years.

✒ And be sure to catch the Holiday Extra on December 24th, as Danny Johnson remembers a Christmas Eve many years ago in a small Mississippi town on the Illinois Central mainline.

Read more

Editor’s Notebook

A Story to Tell

Mississippi Central depot – Bude, Mississippi – April, 2013

One of the benefits of a digital workflow is the ability to easily catalog and review our photographs. Instead of going through stacks of prints and slides, or poring over contact sheets, our photos are easily accessible and organized on the computer for instant viewing.

I like to look back through my old photographs. Some are good, some not so good, some downright awful, but they all have a story to tell. Read more

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.

Read more