Thursday, December 3, 2015


...from a photographer's notebook

No doubt, you have already gathered today's ramble will have nothing to do with crazy conversation or, for that matter, chatty locomotives.

It’s my birthday today.

As regular visitors know, your loyal scribe rarely misses the opportunity to link his birthday and trains, whether the full size or the model variety.

I was delighted to have my photograph “Loco-Chat” selected for inclusion in the Maryland Federation of Art’s annual “Small Wonders” Show at the Circle Gallery in Annapolis.

“Loco-Chat” was taken at Steinbach in eastern Germany’s Erzgebirge region, close by the Czech border, along the Preßnitztalbahn narrow gauge steam railway.

Before being attached to its train across the way at the Steinbach station, the little steam locomotive is having all of her needs seen to by an attentive staff. That means sufficient coal in her tender and ample water for making lots of steam. The water spout has been pulled away, having done its job, and the engine driver and his colleagues are confirming that all is “in Ordnung.”

I love shooting steam trains in the snow, and while this particular photo doesn’t speak to it, the afternoon along the narrow gauge route from Steinbach, through the pine forests to its other terminus, Jöhstadt, was intermittently alive with huge swirling snowflakes.

The MFA “Small Wonders” show takes place during the Holiday Season each year, featuring smaller than usual items in the Gallery that just might appeal for gift giving.

So, if you have a steam train lover on your list, this one might make for a nice surprise; and, measuring only 11 inches square, it would not require moving the Rembrandt from its place of honor. The photograph is available for purchase during the show, either at the MFA Circle Gallery or by visiting the MFA web site:, and, afterwards by contacting me directly via my web site

The show will be on view through Christmas Eve. The gallery is just across State Circle from the State House.

You can see a fuller rendition of "Loco-Chat" here; and, if you remember the children's story "The Little Engine That Could," there is another version of the photograph, especially for the young and young at heart.

Alle Einsteigen - All Aboard!

©2015 Steve Ember 

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