When photographer Mike Brodie was 17 years old, he had his first train hopping experience in his hometown of Pensacola, Florida. Over a number of days, that train would take him to Jacksonville, Florida and then back. It was as short trip, but sparked a lifelong passion for train hopping and exploration in Brodie.
Brodie would then spend more than 10 years exploring the United States through train hopping, hitchhiking, and walking. Throughout his journeys, he would document the lifestyle through photography. Images from 2006 through 2009 have now been compiled into a photo project titled, “A Period of Juvenile Prosperity.” Read more…
The short 1-minute video above is a beautiful time-lapse showing a train ride in Norway that spans not just distance, but seasons. It was created by the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation, which recorded the exact same scenic 453-mile journey from Trondheim to Bodø in each of the seasons. The footage was then synchronized to show the same location at each time, and then made to transition from one to another in a seamless fashion.
You can find the full 10-hour videos and a behind-the-scenes explanation of how this project was created over on the company’s website.
When doing trainspotting photography, it pays to be extra alert and aware of your surroundings. The video above, captured at the Thurston, Suffolk train station, shows how one camera-wielding trainspotter almost learned (or didn’t learn) that lesson the hard way. Read more…
Model train enthusiasts often photograph their miniature locomotives placed in realistic dioramas, but for his project titled “The Canadian: Ghost Train Crossing Canada,” photographer Jeff Friesen decided to use the real world as a backdrop. He photographs the train in various outdoor locations across Canada to capture its scenic journey. In some of the photos, its difficult to tell that the train is a tiny model rather than the real thing. Friesen says that his goal was to document the beauty of his huge country in a creative way. Read more…
An American tourist traveling from Beijing, China to Pyongyang, North Korea pointed his camera out the train window to capture this rare 1-hour-long look at what North Korea looks like on the interior.
This was a propaganda tour that brings tourists to the country’s showcase cities and most fertile regions. [...] I was mostly allowed to film openly because, again, it was of the best areas with the better fed and dressed elite population that the NK government wants the outside world to see — which is poor, yet not much worse off than Eastern Europe or China was in the late 1970′s. Don’t be fooled though, these images are not representative of most of North Korea. Look for hidden videos smuggled out to see how too many North Koreans live, with oppression, famine, orphans, and not to mention the 200,000 political victims living in soviet style Gulag camps.
The record for world’s largest camera is currently held by an aircraft hangar camera, but back in 1900, a photographer by the name of George R. Lawrence built the massive camera seen above. He was commissioned by the Chicago & Alton Railway to shoot the world’s largest photo of one of its trains — a photo measuring 8 feet by 4.5 feet. The camera weighed 900 pounds, required 15 men to move and operate, and cost a whopping $5,000 — enough money back then to buy a large house.
Flickr user Céline Ramoni has a beautiful set of photographs shot from the Yurikamome rail line connecting the cities of Shimbashi and Toyosu in Japan. The exposure times aren’t too long (they’re all less than a second), but the speed of the train creates plenty of motion blur — even in daytime. Read more…
Last year we featured a pretty neat slow motion video shot from a moving train. British band SixToes decided to use the same idea for a music video, placing people all along the platform doing various things, and slowing down 7 seconds of footage into an entire music video.
The idea could be improved on by having what’s happening on the platform reflect what’s being sung in the song, but would require tons of planning and perfect timing — though the end product would be totally mind-boggling.
Graeme Taylor took his Casio High Speed EXILIM EX-FH20 camera and shot some 210fps footage out the window, resulting in some pretty beautiful slow-motion footage. On his blog Taylor writes,
In all my slow-motion work so far, I’ve used a static camera to capture a high-speed event. But, I wondered, what would happen if the camera was the fast-moving object? For instance, if you use a 210fps camera at 35mph, on playback at 30fps it’ll seem to the observer that they’re moving at walking pace- but everything observed will be operating at 1/7th speed.
What I’d hoped to do was film the people on a railway platform from a train as it blasted past, but since the places they don’t stop at tend not to be listed in the timetables, this would be hard to co-ordinate. I figured that being at the very front of a fast train as it approached a stop would suffice; although the ‘frozen in time’ effect is less pronounced towards the end of the video, the platforms at non-stops tended to be mostly empty, so there’d be less to capture anyway. Helpfully, people don’t seem to move too much as their train arrives!
Now someone needs to take this idea to the next level with a Phantom camera and a bullet train.