The Bow Valley Parkway is deserted. No cars, no wildlife, just the crunch of old snow underneath the rental car's tires as I make my way south from Lake Louise toward Morant's Curve in the darkness. AM radio stations from as far away as Oregon and my home in Denver drift in to the car stereo, keeping me company as I wait with the lights off, watching the stars play hide and seek behind swift-moving clouds and jagged peaks. Eventually the scanner gives me hope that the next train by will be an eastbound. I set up the tripod, and watch as the headlights, still miles away, become visible as reflections on the low-hanging clouds. Or am I imaging that? I hear what MUST be the train... no, just a truck on the Trans-Canada Highway across the valley. I wait on. Finally the sound of dynamic brakes grow louder to an unmistakable pitch and volume, joined soon after by the squeal of the welded rail. Brighter and brighter the headlights now grow. The shutter opens as the lead unit rounds the bend to illuminate the river and hillside. Seconds go by, the shutter closes, and I quickly change angles for more shots. But I already know this was the one I'd been hoping to get all trip.
Landscape photography is difficult due to the challenge of combining good light and good scenery. Good railroad photography enters another level of complexity since it requires the first two while there is a train in view.
A continuously growing album of photos that IMHO reveal the awesome and seldom seen beauty of railroads from the dimming of day to dawn's early light! From dusk to dawn, trains roll on! (I'm still finding sunset to sunrise surprises!)