Foliage, Trains and a Camera

For those that may not already know it…..I take a liking to trains and photography. Have been around trains all my life, from my toy train set, to the rails behind my old house (that are now unfortunately abandoned).  Anything diesel gets my attention.  Not a big steam buff, but with a camera in hand I guess I could take a liking to that for sure.

For photography, I have been around cameras perhaps just as long. My mother used to have an old 120 film camera (twin lens reflex) and at that time she had gotten me my 1st 110 camera.  Somewhere in there I also had an 8mm movie camera.  Over the years I did make it to SLR and eventually to SLR full frame.  Is there a path to medium format??? To be determined.

Every year there is a special passenger train that goes from Port Clinton, Pennsylvania to Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania. This is part of their autumn leaf excursion which draws hundreds of people every October weekend.  The Reading and Northern Railroad hosts this vintage train ride that takes over 2 hours one way.  You get to spend the afternoon in Jim Thorpe which in itself is a nostalgic and historic area and then take the train back to Port Clinton.  They do run both diesel and steam on different days of the weekends.  I have only done the diesel runs (have done the ride 3 times) but perhaps I need to switch it up the next time I go and try the steam ride.

So liking trains and photography, this was a pairing just as good as a great steak and wine.  But to throw in some fabulous color as the leaves are changing was a bonus!

Now it does look odd to have a diesel engine towing antique passenger cars.  But once you get inside the car and sit down you are sent back 85 years in time and you just forget that a diesel is pulling you.  Of course with steam you will definitely get the audible as well to help set the mood back to 1929.

So as my title states, its foliage, trains and a camera.  We already have 2 of the 3 on point (photography and trains).  But for foliage, I just couldn’t decide which photo to place on my blog since I took so many.  This year had to be the best year out of the 3 times I went.  The weather this summer and fall had the right combination of water and sunlight to produce some spectacular shots.

The shots above were taken from another train ride that you can also take while visiting Jim Thorpe.  The Lehigh Gorge excursion will take you along the Lehigh Gorge and the scenery there is just as beautiful and gives you some additional vantage points to take some awesome shots. Even though this train ride is only 40 min long, there is plenty to keep you and your camera busy since they utilize open cars so you can look directly outside at the scenery with no windows.

Not to leave out the town of Jim Thorpe, I took a couple shots of the downtown area where there were thousands in town to partake in their fall weekend festivals which of course coincide with the train trip (good marketing!).

Everyone has to have a hobby. We can’t deny that. I am not sure boredom can be considered a hobby but to some, perhaps.  As photographers, we need to apply our other interests in life to the photos we take as it can only be a win-win and makes the day go that much faster and that much more fulfilling. For me, its trains.  Others with other interests should look to what they love the most and go with that.  Branching out of our comfort zones to other interests that we may find lacking or just downright boring could be difficult, but as a photographer, we need to not let those boundaries hinder us.  I may not like tennis but to consider taking shots of the game and its players could be of interest and perhaps I could take a liking to the sport once I am there snapping off a couple hundred shots, and then reviewing the photos and seeing what it takes to play the game and from there perhaps become more involved in the game (maybe watching it on TV and knowing actually what match point or set point really means)

For next year…maybe I can take the trip with this pulling us along the way:

Till next time….

P.S. If you want to see all the pictures taken from the subset above, please head over to my smugmug page:

Reading and Northern Autumn Leave 2014


Avid amateur photographer always looking to enhance my skills and to learn from others through workshops, photowalks and just meeting up.

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6 comments on “Foliage, Trains and a Camera
  1. Train ride to Jim Thorpe? Er. Sign me up!

  2. velezphoto says:

    Excellent. I am going to check to see if the misses wants to go in Oct and may will most likely try and book mine on the 23rd as well.

  3. […] town of Jim Thorpe on the Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway, I put the date on my calendar. Ed had ridden the train two years prior. I knew the experience was well recommended, so I bought my tickets in […]

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