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Crockett Crossing - number four

Posted by
Stephen Phillips (San Francisco, United States) on 28 July 2008 in Transportation and Portfolio.

Taken on 26 July 2008 - This is the most recent addition in my on-going series of train images. I keep getting my camera closer and closer to the passing train - so the wind pushed ahead of the locomotive becomes my biggest concern. Sandbagging the tripod seems to work. I'm also employing a wired release so I can stand as clear as possible. I'm using passenger trains for the most part as their cars are aluminum and reflect the lights around the crossing. Another benefit is their schedules are published, so I can plan on the time and set-up accordingly.

[Canon 5D w/ 16-35mm L 2.8 lens]:
ISO: 50 - 16.0mm - 20 sec. @ f/5.6

Adobe CS3 for perspective correction and minor color tweaking as the image - as shot - had a slight green cast.

© copyright 2018 by Stephen Phillips Photography / Oakland, California /
please respect these rights - do not copy or use these images without permission.

Paco Díaz from Palma de Mallorca, Spain

It makes a beautiful combination of lines and lights. I like it very much.
Take care, this is a dangerous collection! :)

28 Jul 2008 6:14am

@Paco Díaz: No worries, Paco - as I mentioned in my narrative, I use a wired cable release so I'm not too close. I will confess I started using this after getting closer than I should have and experiencing the air being pushed in front of the train. It almost blew me off my feet! This was the one:

dj.tigersprout from San Bruno, United States

bravo Stephen -- this series is truly captivating!

28 Jul 2008 6:23am

Eleftheria! from Athens, Greece

Great photo!

28 Jul 2008 6:35am

~Kylie~ from Richmond, Australia

This is truly an amazing shot Stephen and sounds like you have done a fair bit of preparation for it, it has payed off... great lines and colour, very striking image...don't get too close though... we enjoy your posts here on Aminus! Get an extention cable for your remote release ok? ;o), great work.

28 Jul 2008 6:38am

Mirko Herzner from Mühlheim am Main, Germany

Cool shot to show the risks you need to take sometimes when hoping for outstanding photos. Hope you checked the schedule for the second track, too ;-)

28 Jul 2008 6:56am

@Mirko Herzner: Hey Mirko, thanks for the concern. I'm being careful - the other active rail is on the far side of this train. The rail I'm on is a spur with freight cars parked on it - behind this view.

chrissy from London, United Kingdom

Great shot, amazing colours, sounds quite dangerous what you are doing, be careful!

28 Jul 2008 7:15am

Erik from Amersfoort, Netherlands

Nice work !

28 Jul 2008 7:49am

Stefan from Thiersee, Austria

Cool night shot!

28 Jul 2008 8:22am

Frank from Germany

Wow, the lights are very interesting.
A dangerous point of view.

28 Jul 2008 8:26am

Shaahin from Tehran, Iran

Hi Stephen! you are great at this kind of pics ;)
The composition and leading lights are great!
Thanks for info and we are waiting for others ;)

28 Jul 2008 8:41am

@Shaahin: Hey, Shaahin - thank you. More are in the works. I've just discovered another location / crossing that I want to try. I just need the fog over San Francisco Bay to clear - the forecast is for fog at sunset all this week.

Betty from New Jersey, United States

This shot is just amazing! And beautiful. Very well done, Stephen... but be careful!

28 Jul 2008 9:35am

Ron from Saint Louis, United States

Amazing image, Stephen ... there's a delicate beauty in the ghost of the train.

28 Jul 2008 10:22am

hugo poon from hong kong, Hong Kong

Superb perspective and wonderful lighting... but the colourful and beautifully composed trails are the element that have heightened the mood of the scene so remarkably! Fantastic!

28 Jul 2008 10:48am

Eric Fry from Houston, TX, United States

Wow! That is just too cool, Stephen! The arc of the crossing arm lights is great!

28 Jul 2008 11:12am

April from Wuhan, China

magnificent shot!!! love it love it love it....have been trying to do the same thing but I can't seem to find a perfect subject for this shot. bravo!

28 Jul 2008 3:00pm

@April: Thanks, April. Several people have asked me to be careful doing this. I'm using a wired shutter release and I'm very aware of my surroundings and the system rail signals as well - I caution you as you try this - to do the same.

Nataly from Santa Monica, United States

Really good shot! The play of light and speed. Really good

28 Jul 2008 3:27pm

sherri from Little Rock, Arkansas, United States

Wow, I love the streaks of lights and of course the tracks are always a favorite.

28 Jul 2008 3:30pm

@sherri: Sherri - ...knowing this, I'm always thinking of you while out on the rails.

Evelyne Dubos from Le Mans, France

Like a ghost-train, we can see through it... :-))
nice effect, well done.

28 Jul 2008 4:31pm

Thomas Griffioen from Bocas del Toro, Panama

Just awesome!

28 Jul 2008 7:52pm

kerfendal from Paris, France

the impression of speed is perfect

28 Jul 2008 8:09pm

Marcie from United States

I'm speechless! Love the color of speed and motion. Fantastic image!

28 Jul 2008 8:21pm

danthro from Suburbia, United States

very cool!!

28 Jul 2008 8:37pm

Sharon from Brooklyn, United States

awesome shot.

28 Jul 2008 10:20pm

dj.tigersprout from San Bruno, CA, United States

congrats on the spotlight Stephen! terrific job and very well deserved! bravo!!

28 Jul 2008 11:59pm

@dj.tigersprout: Well, this feels a little awkward. Both you and Eric Fry are offering congrats on the spotlight - to which I say - thanks - and, what spotlight? I suspect I've been missing something.

DarkElf from Perth, Australia

fantastic light trails and the photo does look perfectly still so your efforts to stabilise the tripod have paid off! how close were you to the tracks?

29 Jul 2008 1:59am

Eric Fry from Houston, TX, United States

A very well deserved spotlight feature, Stephen! I disagree with some of the choices some days, but today I heartily concur! Congratulations!

29 Jul 2008 2:02am

@Eric Fry: Thanks, Eric - I'm grateful but don't know what or where the spotlight is. I'm sure I'm honored to be there.

linus. from Singapore, Singapore

wow.. i like this alot. the lights blend in with the background so nicely.

29 Jul 2008 3:19am

Jerry from Malang, Indonesia

Excellent night shot...

29 Jul 2008 8:53am

Hooman from Mashhad, Iran

i love this capture. well done!

29 Jul 2008 11:03am

Daniel from Kenmare, United States

pretty nice

29 Jul 2008 2:22pm

Pavla from Saint James City, United States

So great! great and original idea, we usually don't see trains like this :)

29 Jul 2008 2:34pm

Ana Lúcia from Leiria, Portugal


29 Jul 2008 3:22pm

Michael from TX, United States

Very cool shot.

30 Jul 2008 12:44am

Francesc B. from région parisienne, France

Hello Stephen... 20 seconds on a rail !! you play with your life… (even if I read the comments above...)
This pic is very graphic and dynamic... and with a fantastic light... and congratulations for your spoltight... take a look HERE
Thank you very much for all your comments... they touch me much.

30 Jul 2008 7:24am

@Francesc B.: How lovely, Francesc - thank you very much.

Arps from Hyderabad, India

Really dangerous shot stephen but it has come out very very well. Great job.

30 Jul 2008 9:21am

lucie from san francisco, United States

this is absolutely fantastic. i love the idea. the best part is the arcs of the crossing guards.

30 Jul 2008 3:51pm

eddy from Tehran, Iran


31 Jul 2008 7:36am

@eddy: thank you very much.

Fliss from Melbourne Beach, United States

Great shot... this is one thing I want to practice but have not had the chance where I live... besides, we don't exactly have alot of trains where I live but one day will go to the bridge to get the lights of the car...

31 Jul 2008 11:18pm

Brian from Seattle, United States

This is a beautiful long exposure, very fun colors.

2 Aug 2008 6:17am

Sriram from Chennai, India

Fabulous... inspiring work.

Stephen, Best wishes for more such smashing work!

2 Aug 2008 7:33pm

shahab from Qazvin, Iran

Fantastic work!!!Great perspective.Fabulous colors!Just perfect!

2 Aug 2008 10:17pm

Walter from Watkinsville, United States

I am blown away to say the least. Not too long ago I watched an episode of Mythbusters and the theory that a train creates a vacuum that will pull things into it path. Although somewhat plausible, the push from the lead car will not let the object get to the tracks. However, it did knock a 150lb+ dummy over. Be careful, but wow this is impressive.

5 Aug 2008 1:55am

@Walter: Thanks, Walter. Don't be concerned - my survival instincts are well developed.

Ian Bramham from Manchester, United Kingdom

An amazing photo!....I'm glad that you are being so careful about where you stand. It looks like you are standing on the other track here and a train could hit you from the other direction so I was pleased to read your explanation to Mirko.

5 Aug 2008 6:06am

@Ian Bramham: Thanks, Ian - nice to hear from you.

Jean-Benoît Maréchal from Dinant, Belgium

Woah ! Isn't it dangerous ? ;-) Sublime shot. Perfect.

13 Aug 2008 11:34am

Andre Muliana from Jakarta, Indonesia

wow... superb..!

30 Sep 2009 3:50pm