Burlington Northern Railroad locomotive 816
night photography at Essex, MT

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In the Summer of 1979 I tried some night photography. I made a 50 foot cable to connect the flash to the camera. I would set up the camera at a good spot. I had the flash unit set up on another tripod. I would snap a picture. Move the flash to a new location. Reset the camera shutter without advancing the film and take another shot. I would repeat this process about five times for each picture. Essentially, I was painting the locomotive with light. Each picture would take almost an hour to shoot.

Railroad Night Photography

Because I only had a 50 foot cable I could never get the camera far enough away from the engine to get a more natural composition. Also I had to be very careful moving the flash not to tug on the cable and move the camera or the resulting picture would be ruined. Also the flash unit could never be in the field of view of the camera. These pictures are not on a CD.

Burlington Northern Railroad locomotive 816 night photography at Essex, MT

Locomotive 816 was one of a group of four F units waiting at Essex, MT for the next helper assignment. Locomotive 816 was an F9A built for the Northern Pacific in 1954. The date was June 25, 1979. The F units would continue in this assignment until July 1980.

BN Engine 816 night shot at Essex, MT