Teleconverters just don't work very well with zooms...

Started Jan 28, 2013 | Discussions thread
overniteman Senior Member • Posts: 1,099
Re: Some changes have come about post 9/11

rsn48 wrote:

There have been some changes to rail fanning since 9/11 but because of our population size of our country, less people than the state of California in a land mass larger than the States, the railways go through massive areas of little population; translation: its hard to police.

And since its hard to police, us rail fans take advantage of that fact and are able to take some fairly effective pics. But one example of change are the two of the pics I submitted above for you to see. Any area where we could freely drive is now blocked off and only those working the area can enter, so fences everywhere to stop intrusion.

The picture of Central Station at night is a perfect example of security changes, and a dumb one at that, I'll explain latter. So to get that picture, I was working at a local Army reserve unit and driving home. I had brought my camera and gear as I was planning to take that shot. But in the "old" days there was no fence, there is one bordering the tracks now.

So here's how I took the shot. I followed the fence along until I found some cement parking blocks close to the wire. I had a monopod on my camera but the fence was so high, the monopod was useless as to get a view over the fence, I climbed the cement block, and placed the camera on the top of the wire. I left the monopod on the camera, but unextended, the weight from the pod added to the stabilization - slow shutter speed.

When I viewed the pic on my computer screen, you could see some fence on my left side so I cropped it out (I was using my old Original Digital Rebel for these pics with the Canon 35mm f2 lens on).

Now why the exclusion of people from the area is dumb. Again in the "old" days, my son and I ever Friday night on the way to a friends home with an HO basement layout we would stop off at the station and watch the Via leave. We could walk out onto the platform, down to the engine and stay there as the train left. Now you can no longer do that, no ticky, no admission to the area.

The reason the rule is dumb is that you can go to any number of stations along the Via route and there is no security, you can walk the length of the train and stand beside the engines. So I guess security thinks the Taliban might hit the train in Vancouver, but not - lets say - Jasper Alberta?

Here is the link to the Jasper Web cam, you can see the station and track as you move the camera around; I lived in Jasper on and off for a total of a few years, a wonderful place to live. My grandfather drove the Super Continental (pre-Via) from Jasper to Edson and back.

[So hit on "Jasper" and you might have to wait as some one else is using it, but hit 'start" to get into the cue. Then you can zoom in and out, and you can see part of the train station and track, might be Via, or in the summer Rocky Mountaineer, or freight, parked or going through]

Might as well give you a video of my favourite rail fanning area:

-- hide signature --

Hind sight is always better than foresight, except for lost opportunity costs.

Thanks for the reply. And yes, I see Canada has the 9/11 syndrom (my label for it).

I live very close to New York and have been railfanning since the early 1970's. It is like an armed camp here. Most, if not alll the places I used to frequent are off-limits now. Here they see a long lens and you're a terrorist, no questions asked. God forbid I drag out my tripod.

Even in the rural parts of NY/NJ, the police presence is big. I attribute that to all of the unlimited Homeland Security money flowing unquestioned to all of the state and local governments.

Anyway, I try to continue shooting undder these conditions and play it smart and safe. I'd hate to end up on a "no-fly" list for taking a photo of an Amtrak train.

Here's a pair from Ontario in the 1980's. The VIA was in Brockville 

and the CP Rail was lensed in Smiths Falls.

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