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Steam & Excursion > When A Nighttime Stillness Is Interrupted By Steam & Flashbulbs!


Date: 01/07/17 04:16
When A Nighttime Stillness Is Interrupted By Steam & Flashbulbs!
Author: LoggerHogger

A certain handful of photographers of steam in it's day are clearly in whole other class by themselves.  Their inherent talent for the craft of capturing steam railroading at it's finest sets them apart from all the rest and we are lucky to have them.

One such talented lensman is my old friend Jerry French.  Before Jerry embarked on a career in the field of photography, he was a young man who had accidentally stumbled across the Pickering Lumber Corp. logging railroad in the Sierra Mountains above Standard, California.  He was so impressed with the grandeur of the operation and the scenery that it operated through, that he had to spend time capturing this line on film.  Unfortunately, Pickering had a strict rule against any photography of it's logging operations by anyone other than employees of the company.  This did not deter young Gerald as he took a job on the bridge crew one summer with the sole intent of fulfilling his desire to photograph the Pickering railroad operation in full swing.

I have included here a single example of Jerry's artistry with a camera at work.  Jerry set up his camera on atop the logs loaded on a log car in the yards at Beardsley one night so he could wait for the late night arrival of Pickering Shay #11 and her log train.  In order to light up the nighttime scene Jerry had strung out his flash bulbs along the yard tracks so he could illuminate not only the camp building and Shay #11 but also her train of logs and her caboose.

In the time-lapsed image Jerry has captured the trains conduct with his lantern moving though the yard scene as well as the train and it's mountain surroundings.  Well done Jerry!

Martin

P.S.  Several years ago I was honored to help Jerry with his book "When Steam Was King" that chronicles the history of the Pickering Lumber Co., West Side Lumber Co. and Sierra Ry using period photos and many Jerry's own images.  This book is still available and well worth picking up.



 



Edited 8 time(s). Last edit at 01/07/17 09:12 by LoggerHogger.




Date: 01/07/17 08:31
Re: When A Nighttime Stillness Is Interrupted By Steam & Flashbul
Author: CPengineer

I second the recomendation for  Mr. French's book "When Steam Was King."  It's one of those books that you pick up, thumb through, and know right away that you're not leaving the store without.   I pruchased a copy several years ago at the Midwest Old Threshers Reunion, and spent the better part of one hot afternoon reading about the West Side Lumber Company as the real West Side No. 9 trundled by our campsite every half-hour or so.  



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/07/17 08:33 by CPengineer.



Date: 01/07/17 09:02
Re: When A Nighttime Stillness Is Interrupted By Steam & Flashbul
Author: scalzia

Martin,

Looks like this is Pickering's Pacific Coast Shay #11, judging by the spot plate.  A very nice photo none-the-less.

The book mentioned, "When Steam Was King", is full of similar photos.

Scott



Date: 01/07/17 09:17
Re: When A Nighttime Stillness Is Interrupted By Steam & Flashbul
Author: LoggerHogger

Scott - good catch on the number.  The fron handrails should have been my clue.  Thanks.

Martin



Date: 01/08/17 09:48
Re: When A Nighttime Stillness Is Interrupted By Steam & Flashbul
Author: BAB

Back then flash bulbs were not cheep either those look like the big ones. Oh for those of you who dont know they were a one shot deal poof and they were dead. And hey sometimes they would exploded that took a lot of setup time and looks great. Thanks



Date: 01/09/17 13:21
Re: When A Nighttime Stillness Is Interrupted By Steam & Flashbul
Author: hogantunnel

Very nice, love the laundry on the line!



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