My 2 Biggest Rail Fan Mistakes

Gotta love that Kodachrome! I shot this in Chicago in the late 1970’s. Back then we didn’t have the luxury of taking mass photos. It was all film. I had no money. Every shot mattered. We had to “bracket” one over and one under on every shot to make sure we got it.

For the up and coming, rail fans out there….my two biggest rail fan regrets are:

2. Not taking shots of run-of-the mill lineside structures…subjects such as sheds, depots, ratty industries. Related to that was assuming these buildings would always be there and I could photograph them another day. Then you arrive on that “another day” and the wrecking ball has had the last say. They’re gone forever.

1. Only taking 3/4 view “glamour” shots. I should have taken a lot more 90 degree views of rolling stock and especially structures. I should have worked harder to shoot all four sides of subjects. The world has enough 3/4 views of trains but consider how often we search for hours looking for the shots that convey information not artistic intent.

I’ve learned my lesson but I can never go back in time. For the teens and twenty somethings out there, learn from mistakes.