Night trains

night train in Schaghticoke by william gill

Schaghticoke, July 2012.

This Friday as part of Troy Night Out local photographer William Gill will be at Anchor No. 5 talking about his collection of train photos taken at night -- and how he does it. William explains in an email:

A few years ago, Troy resident Jim Shaughnessy released a new railroad photography book and I saw his night photographs from the 1950s for the first time. Very inspiring work. So much so that I went out and started shooting at night. The first photos were pretty terrible but they got much better quickly. Soon, I started wandering the capital region (and beyond), doing large lighting setups along the tracks, capturing some of our unique scenery and built environment. Working at night allows me to capture images from the half the day that few see and also to photograph some scenes that would be difficult to under sunlight.
The process is unbelievably slow, which is as much a reaction to the complaints about digital photography and the ubiquity of cameras as it is anything else - if everyone has a camera, I want to make images that few others would try to make. In the end, slowing down the photography has been very rewarding - while many chase trains from their car and shoot photos from a few, well-worn locations, I'm able to spend all night setting up in hard to reach locations. ...if I'm only going to get one shot in a night, why not spend an hour paddling a canoe full of lighting gear to a remote location?

His website includes a bunch of photos, along with backstories and some of the unusual setups he uses.

photo: William Gill

Comments

Reminds me of the work of O. Winston Link who shot the last days of steam rail in southwest Virginia in the 50's. Great museum in Roanoke if you ever get down that way. I look forward to seeing this show.

I'm excited that Will is taking the time and making the effort to do this kind of documentation. It's true that "everyone has a camera" these days, but he proves that it takes more than that to have a photographer's eye -- and a photographer's drive.

I certainly hope they will be looping this song at the Anchor show.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2oYyPLPhr40

And of course serving the drink that inspired the song

http://www.bumwine.com/nighttrain.html

Nice job, Will! I've loved his train photos for a while, but he is also really good at lighting just about anything, naturally or artificially, and has a great body of casual, snapshotty style stuff that's excellent.

Say Something!

We'd really like you to take part in the conversation here at All Over Albany. But we do have a few rules here. Don't worry, they're easy. The first: be kind. The second: treat everyone else with the same respect you'd like to see in return. Cool? Great, post away. Comments are moderated so it might take a little while for your comment to show up. Thanks for being patient.

What's All Over Albany?

All Over Albany is for interested and interesting people in New York's Capital Region. In other words, it's for you. It's kind of like having a smart, savvy friend who can help you find out what's up. Oh, and our friends call us AOA.

Search

Recently on All Over Albany

Exploring Washington County

The rural, rolling hills of Washington County are just about an hour northeast of Albany on a scenic ride along Route 40. The county is... (more)

Morning Blend

Next Albany police chief + Kathy Sheehan has appointed Eric Hawkins to be the next Albany police chief. He's currently the police chief in Southfield,... (more)

The Cornplanter pipe tomahawk

We got a chance this week to stop in the State Museum and see an interesting artifact that's newly on display, Cornplanter's Pipe Tomahawk. The... (more)

Stuff to do this weekend

We're in the thick of the summer now. Long days, lemonade, blueberries, ice cream, and a bounty of stuff to do. We collected a few... (more)

"I departed this life unexpectedly, but peacefully..."

So begins the first-person obituary of Ruth Johnson, whose very full and long life took her from Jamaica to the United States and ultimately to... (more)

Recent Comments

... Locally, I'd recommend, Truly Rhe in Troy, Ten Thousand Villages, and Sweater Venturer. TJ Maxx, Marshalls and Target also have a good selection.

Scanning that New York State Department of Health report that argues the case for legalizing recreational marijuana

...has 9 comments, most recently from Greg

Hanging around the film shoot

...has 2 comments, most recently from Rob

The Cornplanter pipe tomahawk

...has 1 comment, most recently from chrisck

Stuff to do this weekend

...has 1 comment, most recently from Cynthia Freedman

Today's moment of summer

...has 3 comments, most recently from Jeff D