Approve the Cookies
This website uses cookies to improve your user experience. By using this site, you agree to our use of cookies. Read More.
OK
Index  •   • New posts  •   • RTAT  •   • 'Best of'  •   • Gallery  •   • Gear  •   • Reviews
Guest
New posts  •   • RTAT  •   • 'Best of'  •   • Gallery  •   • Gear  •   • Reviews
Register to forums    Log in

 
FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre People Talk 
Thread started 01 Mar 2012 (Thursday) 16:55
Search threadPrev/next
sponsored links
(this ad will go away when you log in as a registered member)

Shooting on railroad tracks...

 
JWright
Planes, trains and ham radio...
Avatar
18,399 posts
Likes: 26
Joined Dec 2004
     
Mar 01, 2012 16:55 |  #1

I am a "foamer" (slang for a railfan) and a commentary in the April issue of Trains magazine prompted me to make some comments about shooting people on or around railroad tracks.

Union Pacific Railroad (and this applies to other railroads as well) has issued a very firm policy about photography on their right-of-way. It can be found HERE (external link) and HERE (external link). Of particular note is the last line in the photo/video policy and I'll come back to that later.

You might think "Well, we can hear the train coming." Guess again... Trains are not as loud as one may think and by the time they get into sight it's going to be too late. Once the engineers sees you on the tracks, he's not going to be able to stop in time...

If you're shooting on the right-of-way there are a number of things that might happen. You might get away with it, you might be told to leave, you might get a citation for trespassing, you might get arrested and all your gear confiscated or, worst case scenario, someone might get hurt or killed.

Sure, there are a lot of inactive rail lines in the country, but do you know if they are truly inactive? And even if they are, they still belong to someone, most likely one of the railroads and you're still trespassing.

And if you do get away with it, take note of that last line of UP's policy I mentioned above: "Union Pacific will seek removal from publication any photograph or video that violates this policy." This is of particular importance for those doing Seniors because I'm sure your Senior and their school would just love to have the railroad go after them to have all the offending shots removed from the entire yearbook run.

If your client absolutely has to have their picture taken on tracks, then seek out a rail museum near you and find out what it would take shoot on their property. I'm sure most museums would be glad to accommodate you in turn for a donation or the payment of a fee.

I work around trains a lot as a volunteer at a railroad museum and the best advice I can give anyone about shooting on the tracks is:

DON'T DO IT!!!


John

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
sponsored links
(this ad will go away when you log in as a registered member)
djentley
Senior Member
386 posts
Joined Sep 2010
     
Mar 02, 2012 07:46 |  #2

Surely no photographer anywhere is stupid enough to use "live" rails. Rusted, short sections of track that don't go anywhere must be fairly common in places outside restricted areas.


My 500px. (external link) I like action (external link) and volcanoes. (external link) Dragons (external link) and temples (external link) are fine, too!
I don't think the Earth revolves around me. It revolves around the Sun, which shines out of my ass.

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
JWright
THREAD ­ STARTER
Planes, trains and ham radio...
Avatar
18,399 posts
Likes: 26
Joined Dec 2004
     
Mar 02, 2012 10:37 |  #3

djentley wrote in post #14005825 (external link)
Surely no photographer anywhere is stupid enough to use "live" rails. Rusted, short sections of track that don't go anywhere must be fairly common in places outside restricted areas.

Apparently Union Pacific seems to think so. After a more detailed reading of the Trains magazine commentary, it's apparent UP thinks photographers that specialize in Senior photography are the ones suggesting pictures be taken on the tracks.


John

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
Snydremark
my very own Lightrules moment
18,093 posts
Gallery: 43 photos
Likes: 1209
Joined Mar 2009
Location: Issaquah, WA USA
     
Mar 02, 2012 10:47 |  #4

djentley wrote in post #14005825 (external link)
Surely no photographer anywhere is stupid enough to use "live" rails. Rusted, short sections of track that don't go anywhere must be fairly common in places outside restricted areas.

You would be terribly, terribly disappointed, unfortunately.


- Eric S.: My Birds/Wildlife (external link) (7D MkII/5D IV, Canon 10-22 f/3.5-4.5, Canon 24-105L f/4 IS, Canon 70-200L f/2.8 IS MkII, Canon 100-400L f/4.5-5.6 IS I/II)
"The easiest way to improve your photos is to adjust the loose nut between the shutter release and the ground."

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
Geonerd
Senior Member
Avatar
541 posts
Likes: 3
Joined May 2009
Location: Aridzona
     
Mar 02, 2012 11:03 |  #5

What is it with you people and "Trespassers?"
Why do so many rail fans rush to demonize anyone who gets within 20 feet of the tracks? Youtube is full of videos of people innocently crossing the tracks, or walking alongside, narrated by a frothing camera man making sanctimonious commentary about how "They'll be sorry!" when the rail cops catch up with them. Watch a few of these and you'll quickly detect a deep seated meanness on the part of the rail fan. Where does this come from? How do you justify it?


"Consulting the rules of composition before taking a photograph is like consulting the laws of gravity before going for a walk!" - E. Weston

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
JWright
THREAD ­ STARTER
Planes, trains and ham radio...
Avatar
18,399 posts
Likes: 26
Joined Dec 2004
     
Mar 02, 2012 11:23 |  #6

Geonerd wrote in post #14007218 (external link)
What is it with you people and "Trespassers?"
Why do so many rail fans rush to demonize anyone who gets within 20 feet of the tracks? Youtube is full of videos of people innocently crossing the tracks, or walking alongside, narrated by a frothing camera man making sanctimonious commentary about how "They'll be sorry!" when the rail cops catch up with them. Watch a few of these and you'll quickly detect a deep seated meanness on the part of the rail fan. Where does this come from? How do you justify it?

There isn't any meanness intended on the part of railfans. It's a safety issue. It's also possible to find many videos of people doing stupid things around trains...

Most railfans are responsible when it comes to trains, but there are always the idiots. One of the things that spurred Union Pacific's policy is a railfan placing a video camera between the tracks to shoot UP's 844 steam locomotive recently.


John

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
District_History_Fan
Goldmember
2,286 posts
Likes: 1
Joined Dec 2008
     
Mar 02, 2012 11:27 |  #7

Geonerd wrote in post #14007218 (external link)
What is it with you people and "Trespassers?"
Why do so many rail fans rush to demonize anyone who gets within 20 feet of the tracks? Youtube is full of videos of people innocently crossing the tracks, or walking alongside, narrated by a frothing camera man making sanctimonious commentary about how "They'll be sorry!" when the rail cops catch up with them. Watch a few of these and you'll quickly detect a deep seated meanness on the part of the rail fan. Where does this come from? How do you justify it?

I guess for me it was the time that a coal train coasting downgrade caught me by surprise (years ago). Fortunately I was on a road beside the tracks, but when I finally heard the train and turned around, it was very close and moving at a good clip...

Many people are killed or seriously injured every year tresspassing around railroads. Of course, then the railroad get sued by the survivors. :rolleyes: You know, Mamma's little biscuit eater couldn't have been a fault, the big bad corporation needs to pay Momma for raising an idiot.

I've seen kids climb between railcars on trains waiting for signals to resume movement (think jerking couplers as the slack is pulled in), idiots drive thru/around flashing gates. Once I even saw a dumb kid stand in front of a locomotive that was sitching a local industry as if to "dare" the engineer to move. Then there was the time a a punk jumped across the tracks as a train approached to impress his friends. He was within feet of being hit by the locomotive.

Many of the images posted on photography forums show people with absolutely no clue how to behave around heavy equipment sitting/standing on active rail lines. If I were a railroad policy maker, the UP policy would seem to be entirely reasonable.

BTW, youtube is also full of footage of people getting hit by trains. ;)


www.ericmcferrin.smugm​ug.com (external link)

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
JWright
THREAD ­ STARTER
Planes, trains and ham radio...
Avatar
18,399 posts
Likes: 26
Joined Dec 2004
     
Mar 02, 2012 11:53 |  #8

District_History_Fan wrote in post #14007375 (external link)
I guess for me it was the time that a coal train coasting downgrade caught me by surprise (years ago). Fortunately I was on a road beside the tracks, but when I finally heard the train and turned around, it was very close and moving at a good clip...

Many people are killed or seriously injured every year tresspassing around railroads. Of course, then the railroad get sued by the survivors. :rolleyes: You know, Mamma's little biscuit eater couldn't have been a fault, the big bad corporation needs to pay Momma for raising an idiot.

I've seen kids climb between railcars on trains waiting for signals to resume movement (think jerking couplers as the slack is pulled in), idiots drive thru/around flashing gates. Once I even saw a dumb kid stand in front of a locomotive that was sitching a local industry as if to "dare" the engineer to move. Then there was the time a a punk jumped across the tracks as a train approached to impress his friends. He was within feet of being hit by the locomotive.

Many of the images posted on photography forums show people with absolutely no clue how to behave around heavy equipment sitting/standing on active rail lines. If I were a railroad policy maker, the UP policy would seem to be entirely reasonable.

BTW, youtube is also full of footage of people getting hit by trains. ;)

Good example:

http://www.youtube.com …eEgXnIkhc&featu​re=related (external link)

Watch the second idiot in the white shirt...


John

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
District_History_Fan
Goldmember
2,286 posts
Likes: 1
Joined Dec 2008
     
Mar 02, 2012 12:42 |  #9

JWright wrote in post #14007563 (external link)
Good example:

Another of Momma's little buscuit eaters in action. Note the speed of the train.
http://www.youtube.com …xcGLPpE4w&featu​re=related (external link)

BTW, around my area, local AMTRAK passenger trains travel at up to 80mph...


www.ericmcferrin.smugm​ug.com (external link)

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
nathancarter
Cream of the Crop
5,456 posts
Gallery: 32 photos
Best ofs: 1
Likes: 575
Joined Dec 2010
     
Mar 02, 2012 12:45 |  #10

Good post.

Gotta admit, I'm guilty of using "live" rails for a very brief photoshoot. It was in an area where the track is straight and flat, and we could see for miles in either direction. A stupid thing to do, but far from the stupidest thing I've ever done in my life.

A train did come by on a nearby rail while we were shooting. We saw it coming from far away, and got off the tracks and back to the car, several minutes in advance.


http://www.avidchick.c​om (external link) for business stuff
http://www.facebook.co​m/VictorVoyeur (external link) for fun stuff

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
District_History_Fan
Goldmember
2,286 posts
Likes: 1
Joined Dec 2008
     
Mar 02, 2012 12:52 |  #11

nathancarter wrote in post #14007883 (external link)
Good post.

Gotta admit, I'm guilty of using "live" rails for a very brief photoshoot. It was in an area where the track is straight and flat, and we could see for miles in either direction. A stupid thing to do, but far from the stupidest thing I've ever done in my life.

A train did come by on a nearby rail while we were shooting. We saw it coming from far away, and got off the tracks and back to the car, several minutes in advance.

It sounds like you were using a little common sense. Tresspassing policy applies to all nonemployees because of those that don't use sound thinking. The bad apples spoil access for everyone else. I guess that is why most railfans are passionate about this subject.


www.ericmcferrin.smugm​ug.com (external link)

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
russ71satellite
Goldmember
Avatar
2,258 posts
Gallery: 52 photos
Best ofs: 1
Likes: 696
Joined Sep 2011
Location: Mount Vernon, Washington
     
Mar 02, 2012 21:27 |  #12

Beside the point of this post, but I do not see the fascination so many have with taking pics of people on railroad tracks.


Canon EOS 5D, 85mm 1.8, 50mm 1.8, Yongnuo YN560II, Dynaphos strobe, 16 inch beauty dish, Vagabond mini.
https://www.facebook.c​om/Rj2photoconcepts1?r​ef=h (external link)
https://www.flickr.com​/photos/rj2_photoconce​pts/ (external link)flickr (external link)

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
Zansho
"I'd kill for a hot pink 40D"
Avatar
2,537 posts
Gallery: 9 photos
Likes: 658
Joined Feb 2008
Location: Austin, Tx
     
Mar 02, 2012 21:34 |  #13

Where I live, there is a rail that is totally dormant, and has NEVER been in use in the last 10 years, since we've had a train derail back then, and one of the bridges in the town is deemed un-safe for use due to structural integrity.

So, I've got a railroad track to use if I ever need one. And I did about 2 months ago, and got this shot:

IMAGE NOT FOUND
IMAGE IS A REDIRECT OR MISSING!
HTTP response: NOT FOUND | MIME changed to 'image/gif' | Redirected to error image by FLICKR

http://www.michaeljsam​aripa.com (external link) creating beautiful images for myself, my clients, and the world. Shooting with a mix of Canon, Fuji, and Sony.

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
District_History_Fan
Goldmember
2,286 posts
Likes: 1
Joined Dec 2008
     
Mar 02, 2012 21:47 |  #14

Zansho wrote in post #14011365 (external link)
Where I live, there is a rail that is totally dormant, and has NEVER been in use in the last 10 years, since we've had a train derail back then, and one of the bridges in the town is deemed un-safe for use due to structural integrity.

So, I've got a railroad track to use if I ever need one. And I did about 2 months ago, and got this shot:

IMAGE NOT FOUND
HTTP response: NOT FOUND | MIME changed to 'image/gif' | Redirected to error image by FLICKR

Hummmm, rails look polished from use. Nice shot though.


www.ericmcferrin.smugm​ug.com (external link)

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
Zansho
"I'd kill for a hot pink 40D"
Avatar
2,537 posts
Gallery: 9 photos
Likes: 658
Joined Feb 2008
Location: Austin, Tx
     
Mar 03, 2012 07:37 |  #15

It''s the morning fog on the rails :). That's what makes them look so shiny along with the sunrise.


http://www.michaeljsam​aripa.com (external link) creating beautiful images for myself, my clients, and the world. Shooting with a mix of Canon, Fuji, and Sony.

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
sponsored links
(this ad will go away when you log in as a registered member)

15,999 views & 0 likes for this thread
Shooting on railroad tracks...
FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre People Talk 
AAA
x 1600
y 1600

Jump to forum...   •  Rules   •  Index   •  New posts   •  RTAT   •  'Best of'   •  Gallery   •  Gear   •  Reviews   •  Member list   •  Polls   •  Image rules   •  Search   •  Password reset

Not a member yet?
Registered members may log in to forums and access all the features: full search, image upload, follow forums, own gear list and ratings, likes, more forums, private messaging, thread follow, notifications, own gallery, all settings, view hosted photos, own reviews, see more and do more... and all is free. Don't be a stranger - register now and start posting!


COOKIES DISCLAIMER: This website uses cookies to improve your user experience. By using this site, you agree to our use of cookies and to our privacy policy.
Privacy policy and cookie usage info.


POWERED BY AMASS forum software 2.0forum software
version 2.0 /
code and design
by Pekka Saarinen ©
for photography-on-the.net

Latest registered member is apaulavicius
575 guests, 274 members online
Simultaneous users record so far is 6430, that happened on Dec 03, 2017

Photography-on-the.net Digital Photography Forums is the website for photographers and all who love great photos, camera and post processing techniques, gear talk, discussion and sharing. Professionals, hobbyists, newbies and those who don't even own a camera -- all are welcome regardless of skill, favourite brand, gear, gender or age. Registering and usage is free.