Monday, November 18, 2013

Pick Up Your Toys

Hard Working Crew on a Cold, Windy Day.
Every kid gets told to put away their toys when they are through playing with them. I guess it even happens in the adult world.

Well, I'm sure they didn't think of it as "playing." It looked much more like hard work.

These guys are removing the train tracks from a short bridge near the parking lot of the Nebraska Furniture Mart. An older industrial area is being converted to retail space and the train tracks are in the way.

They were earning their pay. It was a very cold, windy day. It didn't look like fun. It looked like the job would take a while, they were moving one or two ties at time to the back of a large truck.

I snapped this photo with my phone from the NFM parking lot while sitting comfortably in my heated car.


Monday, November 11, 2013


These hopper cars are about 1" tall.

While I was in the hobby shop buying a circle of track to go around the Christmas tree I spotted these little N-scale coal hopper cars.

They are painted and lettered for our local power company. Since I had worked there for so many years it would have been wrong not to buy a couple. I only bought two, even though there were several available, each with different road numbers. I rationalized the purchase by telling myself that these little trains would make great subjects for macro photography.

Taking a quick photo of that exquisite little lettering for this article was interesting. The camera (yeah, it was my phone) was only about 4" from the car sides. Even so, it's a fairly severe crop of the original image. Given that the photo was taken with the built in flash of the phone, it's not horrible.

So why did I use the phone? It was in my pocket and I didn't want to take the time to set up a tripod or lights for a larger camera. Think of this photo as a sketch. Artists and designers often make pencil sketches of their ideas before committing time to a bigger project. In this case, setting up the camera, tripod and lighting would take a while. "Sketching" several ideas with the phone (or a small compact camera) is quick and involves little setup time. There are obvious differences in lens focal length, minimum focusing distances and lighting angles. But, it's a quick way to test a concept. It's a technique I've used quite often in the early stages of projects.


Monday, November 04, 2013

Working High

I'm not sure what these guys were doing, but the job must have been made more difficult because of the height.

The base of that lift truck is about 4 stories lower than you see in the photo. It's in an alley behind the parking garage.

In the detail photo you can see the fellow on the lift passing what looks like a pipe to the fellow on the roof.

This all took place several years ago and I never did hear what they were doing. It must have been necessary, you don't go through that much trouble on a whim.

The original photos aren't very good. they were taken through an office window with an old compact camera. The sun had not fully risen and the photo was a bit dark and very noisy.

I used Lightroom to make it a bit lighter, reduce the noise and highlight the two workers. L
ightroom couldn't do anything about the dirty window that I shot through.

Like so many of my photos, these are not fine art, I'm glad a took a minute to make a couple of snapshots to remind me of the unusual activity of the day.