Monday, September 22, 2014

Hello, Autumn - Time to pack a camera bag (or three)

"A Country Lane" - Early Autumn Impression from an Ektachrome original.

It's about an hour into autumn.

I love it when a new season debuts with its weather "in sync" - especially when it is my very favorite season of the year.

That was definitely the case here in the eastern U.S.  Great to awaken this morning to all that nice low humidity sunshine arriving well in time for the autumnal equinox at 10:29 PM...and to know it will be in place for the next several days at least.

Guess you can imagine what I'll be up to.

Ah yes...

The cameras are there on their neat little beds
And visions of Fujichrome dance in their heads
Not to mention the Tri-X, T-Max, Adox, and Foma
For I dearly love that black and white "aroma"
Here, a Canon loaded with Infrared
There, a Nikon with slide film instead
A new roll of Ilford in the Contax G2
While little brother the G1 cries "Wait a minute. Me, too!"
So it's open the freezer, and load him I do.

There they sit on a big old shelf, but my belt feels empty, so I reach for the Elph
For, as much as I love those film cameras dandy
A digital point-and-shoot might come in handy
And speaking of digital, to the car I can't shag
Without the D-SLR in my over-stuffed bag.

Then come the lenses, which ones shall I choose?
And film is a quandary - which types will I use?
And filters, adapter rings, cable releases
I do hope my bags will hold all these pieces
And then there's the lens wipes, and batteries, and such
And a tripod can be an indispensable crutch
So out to the car I stagger and stumble
The weight of one pack has caused me to grumble.

But when I get where I'm going and take in the view
It somehow seems worth all the packing I do.

Here's wishing you a golden autumn! 

And if you have a moment, I'd love for you to stop by and view my photos.
They're a wee bit better than my poetry ;-)  

©2014 Steve Ember

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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

A woman, a boy, a curious trunk in the December mists...that sign post up ahead...

   ...from a photographer's notebook


They certainly look “of the present” in their almost-matching stripes.

But there was something about that old-fashioned trunk…

And the side of the platform at the old Point of Rocks station where they’re standing on this misty Sunday evening.

There must have been another track closer to that platform, back when the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad still operated passenger trains along the “Old Main Line.” 

But no more.

At the E. Francis Baldwin-designed old brick station, the tracks of the Old Main joined the dual track Metropolitan Branch at a “wye” on either side of the platforms. After so converging, the broad main line continues  west to Harpers Ferry, and onward through Pittsburgh toward Chicago.

As I edited this image, from an Ektachrome slide shot on an early December evening, and looked at the contrast between the woman and boy…and that trunk…a sort of “Twilight Zone” scenario took over, as I imagined Rod Serling materializing from the mists.

The “Capitol Limited” has just streaked by on its westward course to Chicago. It no longer stops here. Only the MARC commuter trains do, but not on weekends. All that remains is a faint scent of diesel exhaust in the chilled evening mist, from the “Capitol’s” two speeding locomotives.

A woman…a boy…waiting… on a platform where no trains will stop…
with that very old trunk…a trunk old enough to remember swirling steam and coal smoke as a B&O local from Baltimore chuffs its way up the “Old Main” and stops…right there.

Amidst the swirling clouds of steam and coal smoke, the woman and boy climb aboard, as a porter hefts the old trunk from the platform into the  dark blue 1920s baggage car at the front of the train.

The signal turns green, a blast of the whistle…and with a great commotion of steam, coal smoke, and a rhythmic, syncopated CHUFF…CHUFF…CHUFF, the train eases away from the platform, past that signpost up ahead, disappearing in the winter mists…heading for a rendez-vous with a destination station...somewhere in the Twilight Zone.

©2014 Steve Ember

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