IN THE FIELD: Vignette Of A Streetcar

When I first made the transition from traditional film to digital cameras, I always carried both types of cameras with me. Partly to be sure I would capture what I intended to and partly because I was learning the capabilities of digital photography. As it turns out digital was then, and is now, capable of rendering what I envision. During my film days, I always had to be aware of how many shots I left on a roll of film, and how many rolls I had with me. And I had no way of knowing whether I captured the scene the way I had hoped until the film came back from the lab. The waiting was the hardest part, but when those little yellow boxes of slides showed up, they were filled with two inch square little presents. Some of those presents needed to be returned to the waste basket.

With digital, I have to be aware how many shots are left on a data card. Although, these days most digital cards hold way more photos than a roll of film ever could. And extra data cards take up very little space in a camera bag or pocket. Digital has the advantage of instantaneous review of the photos taken, and the ability to delete unwanted photos in the field.

Back in the days of film, I loved photographing rusty old machinery and that passion carries on with me in the digital age… almost to the point of obsession.

This photo of the front of an old streetcar, or what is sometimes known as a trolley, was taken on a clear day in the back lot of a railroad yard. It was built sometime in the mid 1940’s. Maybe someday the folks from a railroad museum will haul it off to do a complete restoration and bring it back to it’s full glory.

  1. Jo Woolf
    February 20, 2012 at 8:52 am

    Amazing shot – I think you must notice details that most other photographers would pass by! Love the rich colour and the texture of the rusting paint.

    • February 21, 2012 at 11:49 am

      Thanks Jo, the whole streetcar was in pretty neglected condition, but the front had the most interest. I have often wondered why paint color from long ago stays so vibrant…

  2. February 20, 2012 at 8:57 am

    Amazing for me too. As alwaya you camera and your writing fascinated me dear David, Thank you, with my love, nia

    • February 21, 2012 at 11:49 am

      Thanks Nia, glad you found it interesting!

  3. February 20, 2012 at 9:49 am

    I agree with Jo. A great shot and an equally great post. I couldn’t have said it better. 🙂

    • February 21, 2012 at 12:01 pm

      Thanks Bob, the good ole days vs the present days !

  4. February 20, 2012 at 3:28 pm

    The textures and colors meld together so weld. It looks like something those auction guys would be plowing around trying to buy.

    • February 21, 2012 at 12:03 pm

      Pretty cool huh!! Ya know…that’s who those two guys from Iowa were! They kept following me around the railroad yard asking me to sell stuff!

  5. February 20, 2012 at 7:05 pm

    It’s amazing how old rusty things can have so much character – unique from it’s original state.

    • February 21, 2012 at 12:04 pm

      I really do have this weird attraction to old rusty stuff…there certanily is a lot of it near where I live!!!

  6. February 21, 2012 at 11:05 am

    That would be quite the restoration project. I love your shot, the textured green and rust and even a bit of chrome still shining after all these years.

    • February 21, 2012 at 12:08 pm

      Oh my gosh it sure would be…inside and out. But it sure would be cool if it was restored. I found some photos of one that was restored in Minneapolis…

      • February 21, 2012 at 3:06 pm

        Wow! Amazing what some elbow grease and (I suspect) a lot of money can do!

  7. Nandini
    February 21, 2012 at 12:38 pm

    Oldness is quite noticeable here.. Great photo, David. 🙂

    • February 22, 2012 at 9:39 am

      Thanks Nandini, yes this old street car could use some new paint and some tender loving care!

  8. February 22, 2012 at 8:40 pm

    I keep coming back to this photo. It’s a great shot David. It inspires me.

    • February 24, 2012 at 2:07 pm

      Thanks Gerry, the whole back part of the yard has is full of old railroad stuff. Gondolas, cabooses, weird machines, small switcher locomotives and maintenance of way cars. Photo ops are everywhere!!!

  9. February 23, 2012 at 2:46 am

    love the colors , beautiful contrast between the rusted elements and the somewhat fresh looking (even though its old) greens

    • February 24, 2012 at 2:08 pm

      This was one of the more colorful “antiques” that are tucked away among the other railroad stuff that is present.

  10. February 23, 2012 at 10:43 am

    Digital cameras are a true revolution in the world of photography! Love the shots, looks very vintage! 🙂

    • February 24, 2012 at 2:09 pm

      Thanks Kristina, yes …digital cameras are pretty darn amazing pieces of technology!!! And they just keep getting better!

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