This one will fall into the category of being quasi photographic in that it uses photography in no artistic way to show you why it is so cool where I live.
First of all: I love where I live. I have lived in Cambridge, MA since the mid 70's and have been in the small condo I am currently in since about 1990. Cambridge is right across the river from Boston. I live in the lower non-posh part of Cambridge known as Cambridgeport. I am close to the Boston University Bridge that spans the Charles River.
Last weekend was the first time I'd been home in about month. It was also the "Head of the Charles" boat races and it is always fun to go. Best way? Ride my bike and cruise up and down both sides of the river. My favorite view is from the middle of the BU bridge
which also has about the best view of my favorite city, Boston.
But also, as I was riding to the gym to work out, I came across this:
Yup, the Ringling Brothers Circus was in town and they use this RR spur in Cambridge for their amazingly long train while they are here. This is where they live while on the road. It is also how they transport the circus and the animals from city to city. Some circus train facts:
Ringling Bros. is divided into two simultaneously traveling unit trains: the Red Unit and the Blue Unit.Each circus train has a designated trainmaster who is responsible for the safe operation and timely movement of the unit train. Each railroad train crew is provided with a circus radio for operational and emergency communications. In addition, the circus trainmaster monitors the carrier railroad's radio frequency to be aware of other traffic on the railroad.Ringling Bros. provides an instructional booklet detailing train operations and emergency procedures to all employees.Maximum train speed is 60 miles per hour.The stock cars, for the elephants and other animals, ride directly behind the locomotive where the ride is the smoothest.Individual stock car water tanks and electrical generators provide continuous water and power supply while the stock cars are separated from the coaches for unloading.
Average number of personnel who ride the train (performers, staff and maintenance crew): 326
33 conventional passenger cars for circus personnel and their families
4 custom-designed animal stock cars
2 container flats for concession storage
17 piggyback flats which carry equipment, props and vehicles
6 hours to unload the train and 12 hours to setup the show
Red Unit: 55 cars, 3,985 tons and 4,877 feet long
Average number of miles traveled by train in the last six years: 16,378
Blue Unit: 56 cars, 4,055 tons and 4,959 feet
Average number of miles traveled by train in the last six years: 16,265
This is from Train Web
(The above picture from the Web, no attribution)
Both of these very cool things were here simultaneously about 2 blocks from where I live. Like I said: I love where I live.
Do you love where you live? Do you photograph close to home? Do you carry a camera with you and take pictures of things as you walk your dog or head off someplace? Do you use a Smart Phone to capture things close to home? I always carry a camera with me, these days a Sony DSC RX 100 II, a wonderful little camera that is best at just that: grabbing a picture of something because it is unique and unusual, funny, ironic, sad, or just happening in front of me right now.
A friend of mine says that my photographic preoccupation is with imagery of the highest possible quality and he's right. I use a DSLR a little like I used the 8 x 10 view camera for 25 years. If hand holding, I work to keep the camera steady and use it in enough light to allow ideal shutter speed and aperture settings. When using a tripod (over 50% of the time) I make sure everything is set for maximum quality so as to allow large prints. I guess all those of working with the 8 x 10 had its effect. But I also like having a small camera with me, to pull out and take a picture of something as I see it.