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Subject: "My Pet Peeve" Previous topic | Next topic
mklass Platinum Member As a semi-professional involved in all manner of photographic genres including portraiture, sports, commercial, and events coverage, Mick is always ready to help Nikonians by sharing his deep knowledge of photography and printing. Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014   Tacoma, US  Nikonian since 08th Dec 2006 Thu 08-Nov-12 02:50 AM
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"My Pet Peeve"



This has been bothering me for a while, so I though I would vent. (I'll try to be nice.)

I am disturbed by people who do portrait sessions on railroad tracks.

First of all it is foolish, especially if you are on track with shiny rails. That means it is used... a lot. I've worked in the railroad industry since 1978 and the first thing you learn (and the last thing you forget) is expect a train at any time from any direction. Trains cannot steer around you and they take a long time to stop. It's bad enough to see the results of a train hitting a car, bodies are really gruesome.

Second, if you've ever walked on railroad tracks, you know it isn't easy. The stones (ballast ) move and the ties are uneven. Switches are tricky to navigate. Make it wet or slippery with leaves and it is worse. Fall and hit your head on a rail and you will probably not remember it, or much else about your life.

Lastly, you are a trespasser. Railroads are not public property, any more that your backyard is. Would you like a photographer to come into your yard and just start taking pictures?

So if you take pictures on railroad tacks, and:
- you or your subject gets hit by a train; or,
-someone gets something between a sprained ankle to a concussion; or,
-you or your client get arrested (railroads have their own police departments with full police powers on their own property and they hate trespassers)

How are you going to recover that cost in your fee?

Thank you

I'm Mick and I approve this message.
http://www.mickklassphoto.com
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jbloom Gold Member Awarded for the continuous and generous sharing of his high level expertise and his always encouraging comments in several forums. Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014   Wethersfield, US  Nikonian since 15th Jul 2004 Thu 08-Nov-12 05:44 AM
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#1. "RE: My Pet Peeve"
In response to Reply # 0



Is that common? I didn't realize people did that! It sounds like a remarkably foolish thing to do for all of the reasons you cite, but I guess there is nothing so foolish that some people won't do it.

-- Jon
Wethersfield, CT, USA
Connecticut High School Sports Photos

  

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coolmom42 Silver Member Awarded for her enthusiastic support of the community and exemplifying the Nikonian mission “Share, Learn and Inspire”   McEwen, US  Nikonian since 30th Nov 2011 Thu 08-Nov-12 08:51 PM
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#11. "RE: My Pet Peeve"
In response to Reply # 1



It's pretty common around here... railroad tracks are a popular venue for senior pictures. There is one long straight stretch near my town that is pretty scenic.

Yes, it's possible the photographer or subject could fall and get hurt on the uneven footing. But the cross ties are wide and it's not difficult to step carefully on them.

I would hate to think that I couldn't hear a train coming at a distance far enough that I could get out of the way. They are constantly blowing the whistles a LONG distance before any crossing, aside from the inherent train noise. Now in my area we have 100% freight trains and they don't run over about 50 mph. They are neither high-speed nor quiet.

It might be prudent to have a person aside from the photographer and subject, charged exclusively for watching/listening for trains, in addition to the photographer and subject being aware.

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mklass Platinum Member As a semi-professional involved in all manner of photographic genres including portraiture, sports, commercial, and events coverage, Mick is always ready to help Nikonians by sharing his deep knowledge of photography and printing. Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014   Tacoma, US  Nikonian since 08th Dec 2006 Fri 09-Nov-12 12:39 AM
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#12. "RE: My Pet Peeve"
In response to Reply # 1



Interesting comments.

Here's a few responses for those that don't think it is that dangerous:
- 3 or 4 time a year, someone in my area gets run over by a train because they were walking down the middle of the track and did not hear the train come from behind them. Depending on whether the train is going uphill or down, it may be very quiet. A "hill" for a railroad is only a very slight gradient.
- A year or so ago someone decided to fall asleep in a tunnel on our railroad. He did not wake up when the train came through. The train wheels cut off his arms.
-Many locations now have "quiet zone" crossing warning devices. The train doesn't blow its horn or ring a bell. Simulated horns and bells sounds are made by speakers at the crossing and only are heard within a very short distance from the crossing.
-If you are on a railroad bridge and a train comes, where are you going to go?

Regardless of whether or not it is safe, I am amazed by the people who responded here thinking it is OK to trespass on someone else's property. If you had a house with a swimming pool, would you think it OK from some stranger to just come onto your property and use it just because they wanted to? Do you have that little respect for private property?

Mick
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ScottChapin Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in various areas, including Aviation and Birds Photography   Powder Springs, US  Charter Member Fri 09-Nov-12 04:52 PM
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#26. "RE: My Pet Peeve"
In response to Reply # 12
Fri 09-Nov-12 11:33 PM by ScottChapin


When I was a kid, other kids would walk across the NKP tressle over Commeaut Creek, and I thought they were fools. It was quicker than crossing the terrain below it. OTOH I would walk along the tracks and sometimes put my ears to the rails to listen for the iron horses. I always kept vigil of the tracks in both directions, expecting a train even if their weren't one.

I suspect I would be very vigilant while taking photos, being darned certain that I could see a considerable distance down the tracks in both directions. The problem is that some people don't know enough to get out of the rain. If the trains don't get them, something else will.

Scott Chapin
Powder Springs, GA, USA

Nikonians Team Member

  

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Floridian Silver Member  Tallahassee, Florida, US  Nikonian since 11th Feb 2007 Tue 13-Nov-12 09:28 PM
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#42. "RE: My Pet Peeve"
In response to Reply # 12



>...Regardless of whether or not it is safe, I am amazed by the
>people who responded here thinking it is OK to trespass on
>someone else's property. If you had a house with a swimming
>pool, would you think it OK from some stranger to just come
>onto your property and use it just because they wanted to? Do
>you have that little respect for private property?

My conjecture is that many people don't think of railroad property as anyone's personal property, even though it is privately owned. For example, lots of people will walk into a hotel lobby without giving it a second thought, even though they are not staying at the hotel, or buying anything there. (They would not walk into someone else's hotel room, though, viewing that as more private.)

I'm a jogger, and on one of my regular routes I cut through a bank parking lot, even though it's not my bank and I'm not doing business there. It never occurred to me (until now) that I have been trespassing on the bank's property for years. But now I see I have, and morally, I'm no better than people who are walking on the tracks.

I'm not making the argument that railroad property isn't private property. I'm saying that it's not personal property, and people view it differently than someone's private house, or private pool, much as they view a hotel lobby (or bank parking lot, mea culpa!) differently.

Randy

  

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benveniste Moderator Awarded for is high level skills in various areas, including Macro and Landscape Photography Donor Ribbon. Awarded for his generous suppport to the Fundraising Campaign 2014   Boston Area, US  Nikonian since 25th Nov 2002 Fri 09-Nov-12 02:35 AM
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#14. "RE: My Pet Peeve"
In response to Reply # 1



I wouldn't call it common, but it's hardly unheard of. You can view the U.S. DOT statistics for railrod tresspasser casualties here.

One of the biggest mistakes a photographer can make is to look at the real world and cling to the vain hope that next time his film will somehow bear a closer resemblance to it. - Galen Rowell

  

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SheriB Silver Member Awarded for sharing her exceptional images and details of rural farm life.   SouthernYork Co, US  Nikonian since 11th Sep 2010 Thu 08-Nov-12 10:17 AM
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#2. "RE: My Pet Peeve"
In response to Reply # 0



You are the second photographer I have seen post about this.A child photographer's blog I follow through FB posted this too, maybe within the past month. And yes it does seem to be somehwat common judging by some of the links she posted to others blogs and images.She even admitted doing it before she realized the dangers.Many replied they used abandoned tracks. I never knew it was illegal ( trespassing) As kids we used to follow the tracks back to the pond at the local brickyard. People saw us but no one ever said anything. Of course back then 1) people(kids) seemed to have more common sense, such as we didn't horse around,or do any destruction of property ( would never have thought of that.We just wanted to look at the frogs and ducks) 2) Our parents would never have thought of going after the RR or brickyard for damages if anything happened to us.

Glad you posted.Hopefully some will be enlightened and not be getting arrested anytime soon

Sheri Becker

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ScottChapin Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in various areas, including Aviation and Birds Photography   Powder Springs, US  Charter Member Thu 08-Nov-12 12:49 PM
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#3. "RE: My Pet Peeve"
In response to Reply # 0



Two drunks were walking down the railroad tracks. After a couple of miles, one of them says, "Man, all these steps are killing me!" The other drunk replies, "It's not all these steps; it's these darned low handrails!"

Scott Chapin
Powder Springs, GA, USA

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mklass Platinum Member As a semi-professional involved in all manner of photographic genres including portraiture, sports, commercial, and events coverage, Mick is always ready to help Nikonians by sharing his deep knowledge of photography and printing. Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014   Tacoma, US  Nikonian since 08th Dec 2006 Thu 08-Nov-12 03:23 PM
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#4. "RE: My Pet Peeve"
In response to Reply # 3
Fri 09-Nov-12 04:07 AM by mklass


Too bad they weren't walking the other way... it would have been downhill.

Mick
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gkaiseril Gold Member  Chicago, US  Nikonian since 28th Oct 2005 Thu 08-Nov-12 04:51 PM
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#5. "RE: My Pet Peeve"
In response to Reply # 0



It could have been possible the photographer worked with the controlling company of that section of track and had rail road employees working as crossing guards or safety guards to watch for on coming trains. They could not stop the train but they could get the photographer, model, and others off the track in time.

Even a slow moving train can take several miles to stop. It is a potential energy problem.

George
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jordivb   Manresa, ES  Registered since 01st Mar 2009 Tue 13-Nov-12 08:24 PM
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#41. "RE: My Pet Peeve"
In response to Reply # 5



I'd say it's a kinetic energy problem....
Sorry I couldn't help......

Jordi
-Barcelonian-

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Floridian Silver Member  Tallahassee, Florida, US  Nikonian since 11th Feb 2007 Thu 08-Nov-12 06:40 PM
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#6. "RE: My Pet Peeve"
In response to Reply # 0



I confess I've done a fair amount of walking on railroad tracks in my day, and fortunately, with no negative consequences. But really, how big are the risks you list? You can hear a train coming from a really long distance, and have plenty of time to clear the tracks. As to the specific risks you mentioned:

- I've never heard of anyone being hit by a train while taking photos on the tracks;
- I've never heard of anyone sustaining an injury while taking photos on railroad tracks; and
- I've never heard of anyone being arrested while taking photos on railroad property.

Surely these things could happen, but how many cases do you know of where they actually did happen?

Randy

P.S. I have seen, in old movies, females tied to railroad tracks by villians as a train approaches, but someone always unties them so they can clear the tracks before the train actually hits them!

  

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gkaiseril Gold Member  Chicago, US  Nikonian since 28th Oct 2005 Thu 08-Nov-12 07:37 PM
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#7. "RE: My Pet Peeve"
In response to Reply # 6
Thu 08-Nov-12 07:44 PM by gkaiseril


You only need Google to find the stories.

Coming to work this morning I saw a Humvee drive on the sidewalk on the right side of a school bus stopped at a stop light to pass ahead of the bus when the light turned green. Maybe this is what the driver thinks "Off Road" means.

Many cars have been hit while driving around RR crossing gates or stopping too close to the RR tracks.

If one is on a RR bridge between 2 curves one might not realize a train is coming, especially a fast commuter train.

There are also stories about people stepping backwards off a cliff or steep embankment to get a picture and falling down with various states of living or not.

George
My Nikonian Galleries

  

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Floridian Silver Member  Tallahassee, Florida, US  Nikonian since 11th Feb 2007 Thu 08-Nov-12 08:01 PM
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#9. "RE: My Pet Peeve"
In response to Reply # 7



>You only need Google to find the stories...

I did Google to look for stories, George, but didn't find any. I searched for "train accidents while taking photos" and all I came up with were stories that included photos of train accidents, and none that I saw where people were hit by trains while taking photos. If you found links to specific stories where photographers or models were hit by trains, I'd be interested in seeing them.

I agree with you that people do dumb things around railroad tracks, and that sometimes that results in people getting hit by trains. I also agree that sometimes people fall off cliffs or embankments, as you note, while trying to get photos, but I've not seen a story where they have fallen off a cliff while taking a photo and been hit by a train.

So, not having been able to find any stories about people being struck by trains while taking photos, I don't see evidence that taking photos on railroad tracks is a large risk. I don't know of any cases at all where it has happened, but would be happy to hear of them.

Randy

  

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gkaiseril Gold Member  Chicago, US  Nikonian since 28th Oct 2005 Thu 08-Nov-12 08:39 PM
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#10. "RE: My Pet Peeve"
In response to Reply # 9



Maybe they cannot find the pieces of the P&S camera.

George
My Nikonian Galleries

  

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Scotty Silver Member  Ely, Cambridgeshire, UK  Nikonian since 07th Feb 2002 Fri 09-Nov-12 04:40 AM
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#15. "RE: My Pet Peeve"
In response to Reply # 6



A nature reserve in the UK I used to shoot at had a railway line running through it - you'd be surprised how close the trains are before you hear them and how quickly they become close.

I never shot on the lines but did have to cross them to gain access to a fair chunk of the site. It was always a tad worrying crossing the lines. Trains are not as easy to hear or see as you would think, especially coming towards you on a long straight...

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blw Moderator Awarded for his high level of expertise in various areas   Richmond, US  Nikonian since 18th Jun 2004 Fri 09-Nov-12 01:38 PM
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#23. "RE: My Pet Peeve"
In response to Reply # 6



> I have seen, in old movies, females tied to railroad tracks by villians as a train approaches, but someone always unties them so they can clear the tracks before the train actually hits them!

I actually saw a shot like this done just a couple of months ago. But like on the movie set, in this case the trains were all stopped (and chocked), there was a derail at the entrance to the private tracks, and everything was fully staged.

I was laughing hard enough that I ended up missing the shot!

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agitater Gold Member Donor Ribbon awarded for his very generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014   Toronto, CA  Nikonian since 18th Jan 2007 Tue 13-Nov-12 10:05 PM
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#43. "RE: My Pet Peeve"
In response to Reply # 6




>- I've never heard of anyone being hit by a train while taking
>photos on the tracks;
>- I've never heard of anyone sustaining an injury while taking
>photos on railroad tracks; and
>- I've never heard of anyone being arrested while taking
>photos on railroad property.
>
>Surely these things could happen, but how many cases do you
>know of where they actually did happen?

A bit of easy online digging reveals much. Unless someone has been only gently kissed by the wafting zephyr of a 5,000 ton locomotive and freight train passing at 60 miles per hour, physical impact by such a train (absent a direct witness to that sort of hootenany) rarely results in enough identifiable bits left over sufficient to determine what the unfortunate homo erectus might have been doing immediately before his splashy demise.

Here's a quote from the December 2011 circular sent out by Union Pacific Railway:

"Anyone choosing to walk on or near railroad tracks could face a tragic consequence. Last year, 442 people died and 388 were injured while trespassing on railroad property throughout the United States, according to the Federal Railroad Administration. Do not become a statistic; stay off of railroad property when taking video or photographs of trains."

It's clear that not all 830 humans were photographers; only some of them.

Union Pacific and Amtrak are also very clear about photography trespass and policy violations here.

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Floridian Silver Member  Tallahassee, Florida, US  Nikonian since 11th Feb 2007 Wed 14-Nov-12 01:03 AM
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#44. "RE: My Pet Peeve"
In response to Reply # 43
Wed 14-Nov-12 02:19 AM by Floridian


>...It's clear that not all 830 humans were photographers; only some of them...

You may be right that some of them were photographers, Howard, but there's nothing here that says so. My conjecture is that the majority of those 830 people were drunk, drugged up, or suicidal. Surely some were also just careless. But in this discussion of the dangers of taking photos on railroad tracks, nobody has offered any actual facts about the frequency of photo-related accidents.

>...Union Pacific and Amtrak are also very clear about photography trespass and
> policy violations...

Agreed. But the trespass issue is a totally different issue from the question of how dangerous it is.

Randy

  

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mklass Platinum Member As a semi-professional involved in all manner of photographic genres including portraiture, sports, commercial, and events coverage, Mick is always ready to help Nikonians by sharing his deep knowledge of photography and printing. Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014   Tacoma, US  Nikonian since 08th Dec 2006 Wed 14-Nov-12 02:45 AM
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#46. "RE: My Pet Peeve"
In response to Reply # 44
Wed 14-Nov-12 02:49 AM by mklass


Yes, it's all conjecture on how many photographers or clients are injured or killed on railroad property. No one knows whether it is a lot or a few. Perhaps we ought to paint crossed out icons on the cabs like WWII fighter pilots.

I'll reiterate: You do not belong there and you have no right to be there. By doing what you do you encourage bad and dangerous behavior amongst fellow photographers, who may not be as immune to catastrophe as you, and the public in general.

A hotel lobby is a public accommodation up to a point, a stadium or race track is a facility open to those who want to pay. A railroad or abandoned building is private property and you have no more right to be there than I do to stroll into your house.

Whether you think being there is dangerous or not is a specious argument.

(Hmm, I've been wanting to use "specious" in a post for a while. Glad I got that out of the way.)

Mick
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agitater Gold Member Donor Ribbon awarded for his very generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014   Toronto, CA  Nikonian since 18th Jan 2007 Wed 14-Nov-12 05:35 PM
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#53. "RE: My Pet Peeve"
In response to Reply # 46




>Whether you think being there is dangerous or not is a
>specious argument.
>
>(Hmm, I've been wanting to use "specious" in a post
>for a while. Glad I got that out of the way.)

I'm delighted you finally got a chance to disbosom yourself! Yet another word which is too rarely used.

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agitater Gold Member Donor Ribbon awarded for his very generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014   Toronto, CA  Nikonian since 18th Jan 2007 Wed 14-Nov-12 05:24 PM
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#51. "RE: My Pet Peeve"
In response to Reply # 44




>But in this
>discussion of the dangers of taking photos on railroad tracks,
>nobody has offered any actual facts about the frequency of
>photo-related accidents.

I think you're bringing up a distinction without a difference. I think the OP did not imply or even intend to imply that photographers were frequently dying or being injured through mishaps on or near train tracks, but rather only pointing out that photography on or near train tracksw was a potentially dangerous practice. I've only agreed with him. The actual numbers of injured photographers resulting from such dangerous practices is somewhat irrelevant. In any case, not trespassing seems sensible.

>>...Union Pacific and Amtrak are also very clear about
>photography trespass and
>> policy violations...
>
>Agreed. But the trespass issue is a totally different issue
>from the question of how dangerous it is.

The OP brought up the matter, and I also thought it was an important point. I think that separating actual danger from the act of trespass is pointless - a distinction without a difference. One has to first trespass before the potential danger becomes relevant.

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ctdrummer Silver Member  Southern CT, US  Nikonian since 09th Feb 2012 Thu 08-Nov-12 08:00 PM
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#8. "RE: My Pet Peeve"
In response to Reply # 0





Wow, I don't even like driving over tracks.. Never heard of this actually, but a google search revealed many photos.


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esantos Moderator Nikonians Resources Writer. Recognized for his outstanding reviews on printers and printing articles. Awarded for his high level of expertise in various areas, including Landscape Photography Awarded for his extraordinary accomplishments in Landscape Photography. His work has been exhibited at the Smithsonian.   McAllen, US  Nikonian since 10th Nov 2002 Fri 09-Nov-12 12:40 AM
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#13. "RE: My Pet Peeve"
In response to Reply # 0



I rarely (nor do I enjoy) do senior portraits, but a friend asked me if I would oblige and shoot his daughter. When we were discussing the location (outdoors) he mentioned that she wanted to do the shoot at some nearby RR track. My better judgement discouraged that idea not even thinking about the trespassing issue but I knew immediately it that it was a dangerous idea. Thanks for sharing your pet peeve Mick.

Ernesto Santos
esartprints.com Ernesto Santos Photography

  

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greenday Silver Member  Nepean, CA  Nikonian since 20th May 2007 Fri 09-Nov-12 06:59 AM
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#16. "RE: My Pet Peeve"
In response to Reply # 13



I agree with the idea of railroad right of ways being dangerous but bringing in the idea of trespassing doesn't really make sense. We take pictures on private property often. There is a huge difference between public spaces where many people gather and a persons back yard. Not really comparable, IMHO.

Having worked on railroad right of ways as a private contractor to the railroad there are many hazards , many of them created by the railroads themselves. If I had a dollar for every time a flagman didn't perform his job properly I'd be long retired. The railroads were granted their land in generally shady deals that would never be permitted in today's world of anti-corruption rules. I look upon railroad right of ways as "public" land and I don't see using them as a problem for anyone but me. I know the risks and I'm prepared to accept the consequences of my actions.

By the way the private security of the railroads doesn't exactly have the best reputation . Their past not really a paragon of legal practices. Much as the past activities of our National Police (RCMP) do not bear scrutiny. Just saying that because something is illegal doesn't make it immoral.

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Cavy2 Silver Member Awarded for her continuing willingness to keep on learning and to share her knowledge with others in the Nikonians spirit   Newtown, US  Nikonian since 02nd Aug 2006 Fri 09-Nov-12 11:02 AM
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#18. "RE: My Pet Peeve"
In response to Reply # 16



Hi Mick,
I understand your passion around this. We are lucky here in Fishers, as our train only runs during very limited times of the year, the State Fair and during the Christmas season. The old train station in Fishers is such a wonderful backdrop!


http://kathycavallaro.smugmug.com/

  

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mklass Platinum Member As a semi-professional involved in all manner of photographic genres including portraiture, sports, commercial, and events coverage, Mick is always ready to help Nikonians by sharing his deep knowledge of photography and printing. Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014   Tacoma, US  Nikonian since 08th Dec 2006 Fri 09-Nov-12 12:15 PM
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#20. "RE: My Pet Peeve"
In response to Reply # 18



Kathy,

Yeah, it is my pet peeve. Everybody should have one. Plus we're waiting for our rescue dog (Airedale), so it is the only pet I've got right now.

I've seen some real idiots with cameras around railroads. Videographers are worse.

A few years ago, I looked out the window of one of our trains and saw a car chasing us, driving down a rural highway as 60 or 70 mph, with some guy standing on the passenger seat, with the top half of his body sticking out the sunroof taking video. A few miles later, some yahoo driving a minivan is shooting video out the drivers side window, while he's driving down the road at 60+mph, trying to keep up or get ahead of us.

When something happens to these kind of people, I think it may just be culling the herd.

Being at a railroad station, or on a public street near the tracks is one thing, wandering off onto the track or along the right of way is another. Most old stations in the US have been sold by the railroads are are now owned by someone else. In a place like Fishers, it may be the city or town or a local historical group the restored it. Whoever owns it will have their own rules.

I wonder how many people would consider wandering onto an airport near or on the runway to take pictures. I mean airplanes are big and loud, you can certainly tell when one is coming, and almost all major airports are publicly owned.

Mick
http://www.mickklassphoto.com
or
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Cavy2 Silver Member Awarded for her continuing willingness to keep on learning and to share her knowledge with others in the Nikonians spirit   Newtown, US  Nikonian since 02nd Aug 2006 Fri 09-Nov-12 12:45 PM
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#21. "RE: My Pet Peeve"
In response to Reply # 20



"Plus we're waiting for our rescue dog (Airedale), so it is the only pet I've got right now."

Good for you, rescue pets are the best. They know you've saved them and are forever grateful!


"When something happens to these kind of people, I think it may just be culling the herd."

Haha cruel by true!


http://kathycavallaro.smugmug.com/

  

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gkaiseril Gold Member  Chicago, US  Nikonian since 28th Oct 2005 Fri 09-Nov-12 03:39 PM
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#24. "RE: My Pet Peeve"
In response to Reply # 20



This type of activity can result in decapitation or amputation without the aid of a surgeon and unless your companions know about first aid and pressure bandages one stands a good chance of not surviving the trauma.

Many of these accidents are not publicized and if publicized they are not discussed in a serious manner so many fail to see the dangers or say the know 5 or 10 people who did this and had no problem.

Also on train excursions with cars that have open windows and observation decks, people leaning out to see the approaching tunnel can get a far tool close look at the side of the tunnel.

Could these people be nominated for a Darwin Award?

The story of a recent recipient:

"Consider a bus traveling along the streets of a busy modern city such as Serra, Brazil. The bus driver, guided by instinct developed over years of experience, is expertly navigating the narrow streets of the metro area. Suddenly a passenger throws in a new variable: He stands on the seat and hangs his torso out the window, wiggling around and whooping it up. The Darwin Awards editors are honor-bound to divulge that this sounds super-duper fun. Arms extended, hair a'flying, an undeniably W00T activity.

"Yet to do so effectively increases the width of a bus by two feet. Head, please meet your nemesis in the form of a utility pole. The streets are narrow. Now you know!"



George
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blw Moderator Awarded for his high level of expertise in various areas   Richmond, US  Nikonian since 18th Jun 2004 Fri 09-Nov-12 04:49 PM
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#25. "RE: My Pet Peeve"
In response to Reply # 24



> Could these people be nominated for a Darwin Award?

Not enough information. To be winners, they must remove themselves from the gene pool. If they have already procreated, they are ineligible unless their act for which the award is proposed also involves removing their offspring from the gene pool. For example, a year or two ago an entire family decided to go have a play in the Silver Apron, in the springtime, when the snow melt rivers are at their highest and fiercest. For those who don't know the area, this is a slippery rock surface a few hundred meters from the top of Vernal Falls, one of the spectacular signature waterfalls of Yosemite National Park. It's about 100 meters high. The Silver Apron is clearly and multiply signposted as highly dangerous, yet two parents went in with a child (8 years old?)... I don't know if they were nominated, but they certainly qualify.

_____
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mklass Platinum Member As a semi-professional involved in all manner of photographic genres including portraiture, sports, commercial, and events coverage, Mick is always ready to help Nikonians by sharing his deep knowledge of photography and printing. Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014   Tacoma, US  Nikonian since 08th Dec 2006 Fri 09-Nov-12 11:53 AM
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#19. "RE: My Pet Peeve"
In response to Reply # 16
Fri 09-Nov-12 12:51 PM by mklass


> I agree with the idea of railroad right of ways being dangerous
>but bringing in the idea of trespassing doesn't really make
>sense. We take pictures on private property often. There is a
>huge difference between public spaces where many people
>gather and a persons back yard. Not really comparable, IMHO.

Do you get permission first, or do you just go onto private property anytime you please? Public spaces where many people gather seems like an entirely different situation than what we are discussing.

>The railroads were granted their land in
>generally shady deals that would never be permitted in today's
>world of anti-corruption rules. I look upon railroad right of
>ways as "public" land and I don't see using them as
>a problem for anyone but me.

The land you live on was probably taken from a native tribe ("First Nation" in Canada-speak) in what was probably a shady deal. I therefor think it is public and will come use it as I please. Does that make sense?

By the way, railroad police departments are not "private security' or so called rent-a-cops. They are, at least in the US, recognized as a police force the same as the local town or city's. That you apparently don't like or respect cops is irrelevant to this discussion.

Now most of them, if they find you on railroad property, will tell you to leave. If they find you repeatedly on their property, or if you refuse to leave or act belligerent, they can arrest you.

Also, if a train goes by while you are on the property, it would be a good time to leave as quick as you can. With the heightened security concerns in today's world, train crews call in reports of unauthorized people on the property and police (railroad or otherwise) may arrive shortly thereafter.

Forewarned is forearmed.

Mick
http://www.mickklassphoto.com
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olivierrychner Gold Member  Awarded for his long standing high level of commitment to the Nikonians community and demonstrated excellence in the art and science of photography.   Boudry, CH  Nikonian since 03rd Jan 2005 Fri 09-Nov-12 11:01 AM
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#17. "RE: My Pet Peeve"
In response to Reply # 0
Fri 09-Nov-12 11:04 AM by olivierrychner


Well, I guess you're right about it. And I am guilty of wanting to go there, as I have done in the past and is visible in this old post of mine.

But... I was not doing a portrait session, and while I obviously had some kilometers of railroad in my lens, my wife was watching in the other direction. And I was standing on a public crossing. No train came during the short time it took to make the shot. So I guess it comes down to getting an authorization for shooting, which will eliminate the trespassing issue, AND getting a security team of two (at least) with the mission to get everyone involved out of harm's way - of course, the location should be chosen in accordance: visibility and space around the tracks!

We have a story here about soldiers from the Colombier barracks: their officer, a lieutenant, decided he did not want to go down a valley and then up the other side, so he chose to take the shortcut: the railroad bridge. Nobody was hurt when the train arrived, but the lieutenant never made it to first lieutenant, either...

Olivier Rychner
__________________________________________
Jetez un oeil à ma galerie if you feel like it! And it's a bit void as of now, but I also have a Nikonians blog

Auta i lomë! And my Nikon's only awaiting daylight...

  

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blw Moderator Awarded for his high level of expertise in various areas   Richmond, US  Nikonian since 18th Jun 2004 Fri 09-Nov-12 01:31 PM
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#22. "RE: My Pet Peeve"
In response to Reply # 0



For those who think that you'll necessarily hear a train coming, here is a true story.

About 35 years ago I was taking pictures a little north of Baltimore, Maryland. Of trains. I was something like 10 feet from the nearest track, at the edge of the wood line. (There was no fence, and I came from a public road that was only a few yards away.) I knew that there was a train coming northbound on the far track, and sure enough in a few minutes, I could hear it coming. Northbound was up hill, so it was working hard. Right about the time when it got into range of a 135mm lens, I took one step out of the trees, aimed and took the shot. As I was pressing the shutter release, I remember thinking "what is that little sound?" About three seconds later, before I had figured out what that sound was, a southbound passenger train absolutely FLEW by - yes on the near track - lead by a GG1(*). That little sound was the singing of the rails, and I'd never heard it before. Since then I've only heard it with very high speed passenger trains. I'd guess this train was going over 100mph, or at least it seemed like it. (I'm pretty confident that it was at least 79mph and I know that the GG1 could easily do 100mph on the Northeast Corridor, which this was.) I never saw it coming, I barely saw it going, and frankly it probably missed me by about 5-6 feet. That shook me up a lot. I'm actually pretty darn careful around railroads, and that was a very close call. An electric locomotive makes one heck of a lot less sound than a steam or diesel locomotive, and as others have noted, trains running downhill make a lot less noise than ones going uphill, especially if the grade is mild.

One might argue that this is a special case, and 35 years ago it was. Today the railroads are busy upgrading their rights of way to run time-sensitive freight at over 100mph, and soon it will be a lot less special than it was then. And it does not take 100mph to make a huge surprise.

OK, I suppose if it's an abandoned railroad and especially if it's physically cut off, it's probably safe enough. Those are just as much exceptions as the 100mph passenger train. Railroads are no place to fool around, and sitting on the right of way is just that. Even if you don't care to respect the trespassing laws.

-----
(*) For those who are very familiar with railroad operation, strictly speaking this passenger train should have been on the next track over (ie on track 3 of 4). But for whatever reason, it wasn't following normal protocol. Perhaps some slower train had failed to get clear in time and the dispatcher rerouted the faster train around it on the outer track. Or maybe it was even an accident (I'd hate to be the dispatcher that put a 100mph passenger train on the wrong track). But even if one knows the protocols, you can still get a big surprise.

_____
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ZoneV Silver Member  US  Nikonian since 08th Jan 2005 Fri 09-Nov-12 08:19 PM
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#27. "RE: My Pet Peeve"
In response to Reply # 0
Fri 09-Nov-12 08:20 PM by ZoneV


>This has been bothering me for a while, so I though I would
>vent. (I'll try to be nice.)
>
>I am disturbed by people who do portrait sessions on railroad
>tracks.
>
>First of all it is foolish, especially if you are on track
>with shiny rails. That means it is used... a lot. I've worked
>in the railroad industry since 1978 and the first thing you
>learn (and the last thing you forget) is expect a train at any
>time from any direction. Trains cannot steer around you and
>they take a long time to stop. It's bad enough to see the
>results of a train hitting a car, bodies are really gruesome.
>
>Second, if you've ever walked on railroad tracks, you know it
>isn't easy. The stones (ballast ) move and the ties are
>uneven. Switches are tricky to navigate. Make it wet or
>slippery with leaves and it is worse. Fall and hit your head
>on a rail and you will probably not remember it, or much else
>about your life.
>
>Lastly, you are a trespasser. Railroads are not public
>property, any more that your backyard is. Would you like a
>photographer to come into your yard and just start taking
>pictures?
>
>So if you take pictures on railroad tacks, and:
>- you or your subject gets hit by a train; or,
>-someone gets something between a sprained ankle to a
>concussion; or,
>-you or your client get arrested (railroads have their own
>police departments with full police powers on their own
>property and they hate trespassers)
>
>How are you going to recover that cost in your fee?
>

I totally agree with you!!!!

In fact, I've had to restrain myself posting something just like this many times. I've basically bitten my tongue. But I couldn't agree more.

I suppose if you wanted to do it in a safe way, you'd have various agents stationed up and down the trackside a mile in each direction at 100-foot intervals, with radio communication to warn you when the train was coming. But then again, I'm not a thrill seeker, so maybe I just don't understand the thrill of it. I just don't get thrills from a lot of the things that some people do...maybe some people find standing on the track exhilarating, knowing they might get run over at any time, and the photo makes it worthwhile...I don't know. To me, it's just stupid. But then, I've also been known to take risks to get shots...I probably do things that other people think are stupid, like shooting when there are football players coming at me on the sideline, and moving out of the way in the last few seconds...

I won't judge them if they don't judge me...

An undeniable paradox: To think that there is any such thing as an absolute rule is at worst naïve, and at best, shortsighted. There is no such thing as an always-true, all context- or situation-salient, absolute rule that always holds true…including this one!

  

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dclarhorn Moderator In depth knowledge and high level skills in a variety of areas including landscape   Berwyn Heights, US  Nikonian since 31st Mar 2002 Sat 10-Nov-12 03:16 PM
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#28. "RE: My Pet Peeve"
In response to Reply # 0



Mick, thanks for posting this and for the resulting discussion. I have never done this, but if one of my clients ever request it, I'll have this to consider.

Dan L.
http://www.danlarussophotography.com/

  

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2pixels_short Gold Member Laureate Ribbon awarded for winning in the Best of Nikonians 2013 images Photo Contest   Anchorage, US  Nikonian since 16th Oct 2003 Sat 10-Nov-12 05:33 PM
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#29. "RE: My Pet Peeve"
In response to Reply # 0



Take a stroll on the Alaska Railroad right-of-way and you can get a citation or arrest.

There have been several instances of hunters, hikers, campers, and casual trespassers being injured or causing delays in operation.

The AKRR encourages photographers but will not use any work that suggests or shows encroachment on the right-of-way.

Mike in Alaska


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km6xz Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in various areas, including Portraits and Urban Photography   St Petersburg, RU  Nikonian since 22nd Jan 2009 Sat 10-Nov-12 09:55 PM
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#30. "RE: My Pet Peeve"
In response to Reply # 0



Last year 47 fatalities were recorded on the single 392 mile route from Moscow to St Petersburg, a big increase from normal since new high speed passenger trains over take people walking on the tracks near villages that people have to cross every day. The victims grew up with slower trains which were louder so the 170 mph trains have been the target for protests for better warning methods.
Anything to do with railroads are dangerous for humans except riding in a rail car.
Stan
St Petersburg Russia

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RockyIII Gold Member  Raleigh, US  Nikonian since 27th May 2006 Sun 11-Nov-12 04:39 AM
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#31. "RE: My Pet Peeve"
In response to Reply # 0



I am not advocating walking or playing on railway tracks, but it seems like the odds would be greater of having an accident in your automobile on the way to there than they would be of something happening while there.

There are some railway tracks near my house, and I have some ideas of photos to take of them which would require me being on them. I had not considered the trespassing aspect.

Rocky

  

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Matto Silver Member  Glenwood, US  Nikonian since 20th Jan 2007 Sun 11-Nov-12 06:25 PM
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#32. "RE: My Pet Peeve"
In response to Reply # 31



I live near Baltimore Md, and until this fall I had to drive my son to school through the town of Ellicott City. The Old B&O (now CSX) RR goes right through town over a short trestle crossing Main St. I have often seen people on this trestle taking photos and videos of others posing on it. The track is very busy with commuter and freight traffic. This trestle originally had two tracks, and now has one track in the middle, so there is some space on either side of the central track. The trestle is not a short cut to anywhere (you can walk across the street under it). The RR put some fencing near it, but with only a little effort you could get around it. One night this Spring around midnight two young women were sitting on the edge of the trestle drinking when a coal train came along. The engineer blew the usual warning horn some distance from the trestle (confirmed by witnesses and the onboard event recorder on the locomotive). For some reason the women stayed sitting on the edge of the trestle as the train approached. A few hundred feet from the trestle some of the loaded coal cars derailed and dumped their coal all along the track, including over the trestle. The women were crushed under tons of coal. The town and CSX are again trying to find some secure way to keep people off this trestle, but i guess trying to protect some people from foolish and dangerous behavior is a hopeless task.

Matthew

  

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blw Moderator Awarded for his high level of expertise in various areas   Richmond, US  Nikonian since 18th Jun 2004 Sun 11-Nov-12 08:26 PM
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#33. "RE: My Pet Peeve"
In response to Reply # 32



No reason for CSX not to improve here, but really, that accident could have happened even if they weren't trespassing. As an example, if they had been standing at a grade crossing, when it had derailed, it could have buried them just as easily and just as thoroughly. Last year there was a video circulating about a train (Union Pacific?) that had some grain cars derail, drag on the ground and get spilled open. Two of them split open, meaning that I'd guess about 100 tons of grain were spilling all over the right of way. It would be bad juju for anyone happening to be where it landed. The guy filming the video was across the tracks, I think on a sidewalk (he definitely wasn't super-close), but if it had been on the near track and had veered toward him, it would not have been the same video...

_____
Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member

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mklass Platinum Member As a semi-professional involved in all manner of photographic genres including portraiture, sports, commercial, and events coverage, Mick is always ready to help Nikonians by sharing his deep knowledge of photography and printing. Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014   Tacoma, US  Nikonian since 08th Dec 2006 Sun 11-Nov-12 10:17 PM
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#34. "RE: My Pet Peeve"
In response to Reply # 33



True, Brian, they were in the wrong place at the wrong time, but still, they were in the wrong place. If they had not been there, they would not have been killed.

Being anywhere close to railroad track increases the likelihood of something going wrong. Just like being close to a race track when an accident comes your way, rather than back in the stands.

Of course at the race track, the public pays to get in and assumes some risk as part of the deal. On railroad right-of way, you are not supposed to be there in the first place.

Mick
http://www.mickklassphoto.com
or
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spiritualized67 Silver Member  Western PA, US  Nikonian since 01st Mar 2007 Mon 12-Nov-12 01:44 PM
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#35. "RE: My Pet Peeve"
In response to Reply # 0



I understand and respect Mick’s pet peeve – and can’t argue with the valid points that have been made about the inherent dangers, or the fact that it could be considered trespassing under some circumstances.

And not to minimize any of the people who have tragically lost their lives to trains, I would only add that the biggest issue I have with railroad track shots is the fact that they’ve become such a tired and worn-out cliché.

Of course, nobody can deny that trains and train tracks hold a certain nostalgic and old-school allure that many of us find irresistible – which would help explain their popularity, especially among the portrait photographer set.

In all fairness though, most of the train accidents I’ve read about are the homeless guy sleeping on the tracks, the person who had too much to drink and was walking home from the local pub, or the person who tried to beat the railroad crossing.

I have yet to hear about any photographer getting hit by a train – which is not to say that it has never happened. I did recently hear about a young lady who got swept away in a river during a photo shoot – which only underscores the fact that danger can occur anywhere.

I don’t see where this is any different than shooting in an abandoned building, which has also become somewhat of a common image backdrop on photo sharing sites like Flickr.

And we all know that abandoned buildings can be dangerous (and illegal for that matter), especially if you fall through the floor, have something land on your head, or if you get cut.

I think photography has become more popular than ever thanks in part to the digital revolution. People are always trying to emulate or outdo what they see on photo sharing sites like Instagram, Flickr or Facebook.

That’s not to say that original vision is gone. I just think people will sometimes make poor choices in their attempt to push the creative envelope – whether it’s the guy shooting on live railroad tracks or the landscape photographer getting too close to the edge of a steep drop off.

Like anything else, photographers need to exhibit “risk versus benefit” common sense when choosing an appropriate location – especially if others are putting their trust in us.

Unless the photographer in question has chosen a railroad truss bridge with limited escape routes, I can think of many locations that are equally, if not more dangerous, than the commonplace railroad track portrait shot.

~Dan
www.danielstainer.com

  

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agitater Gold Member Donor Ribbon awarded for his very generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014   Toronto, CA  Nikonian since 18th Jan 2007 Mon 12-Nov-12 03:36 PM
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#36. "RE: My Pet Peeve"
In response to Reply # 0
Mon 12-Nov-12 03:42 PM by agitater


Railroad operators' property rights are the first and most important reasons for not trespassing on railroad lands. As to the number of actual photographers injured or killed while shooting on or near tracks, there aren't any statistics readily available. The point is that shooting without permission on or adjacent to a track that is in regular or even occasional use is a monumentally dumb idea.

Movie, television and documentary production companies go through complicated permissions processes and must have in place expensive insurance policies when doing location shooting on railroad lands. Even with the cooperation of a railroad line owner, it's possible for signals to fail and create an awful problem. Even when a production is fully organized and permissioned - even when operating under controlled, limited conditions on a siding - there are still full-time spotters employed solely to ensure safety and who are sometimes also in live communication with railroad traffic controllers. Frankly, major movie productions rarely use railroad locations, preferring instead to create what's needed on a sound stage and do the rest in CG.

Getting permission to shoot from the relative safety of a station platform is easy and often cost-free. It takes a bit of effort - sometimes even a letter and/or email or two to the station operator and/or the railroad operator, in addition to phone calls. It's worth the effort. Pick a range of days to ensure your booking isn't rained, fogged or snowed out (unless of course you're actually hoping for bad weather).

Amateur photographers do all sorts of genuinely risky things in order to get certain kinds of shots. So do professional photographers obviously, the difference being that pros plan things sufficiently far in advance (or are involved with production companies that are helping to do the planning), so that risk assessment, permissions and safety are fully front-and-center.

Many of the dramatic train photos made by some great American, British and French photographers in particular over the years, are almost all the end result of processes which involved a lot of planning, persuasive conversations and written permissions. Many of those photos result from the efforts of professional photographers who were commissioned by various railroad operators.

Think of it this way. If nobody knows you're going to be in a particular location at a particular time, how on earth do you expect them to be safely alert for your presence. If you don't consult with the railroad operator, you'll never find out about the safest locations that the operator recommends for photographers granted permission. If you don't consult with the railroad operator, you'll never be able to sort out a location at which a train is traveling at just the right speed for the sort of shot you want to make.

Every time photographers thoughtlessly trespass on someone else's property, they make it more difficult for the next photographer who comes along and more difficult for photographers in general.

I think Stan's comment should be carefully read. High-speed trains are showing up everywhere, including older lines that have upgraded road beds and rails formerly used only by big, comparatively slow frieght trains. A high-speed train at cruising throttle in the U.S. or Canada can hit 100 kilometers per hour. If you're upwind, you won't hear the thing until it's frighteningly close. It can't stop and the driver won't even try to stop. As a matter of fact, I'm told that the train driver will be on his communications system before he hits or passes you and your gear, letting the traffic controller know there is a potential problem.

Avoid a whole carload of problems by not trespassing in the first place.

I think that self-entitled attitudes from people I've met (admittedly not through Nikonians) who insist on thoughtlessly trespassing in order to photograph certain things is a symptom of a deeper problem. Basically, the desire to photograph something that is apparently freely accessible seems to override all considerations about safety, property rights and trespassing. That's wrong on all levels.

Photographing trains while trespassing on railroad lands brings up another problem. If you happen to make a really great shot and then manage to sell it (for publication as a poster, card, or for use as stock), if the railroad operators find out about it their lawyers will sue you into hardship or bankruptcy and even try to charge you with trespassing after the fact (their insurance rates are high enough already). As well, shooting anything for a stock agency means you also have to declare your copyright to the photo. It's unlikely that you'll ever be the sole copyright holder even if you do get permission from the railroad operator to shoot. Shooting from the safety and distance of public lands is another matter. I'm not offering legal advice here, but rather just pointing out some obvious gotchas.

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Howard Carson

  

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spiritualized67 Silver Member  Western PA, US  Nikonian since 01st Mar 2007 Mon 12-Nov-12 04:17 PM
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#37. "RE: My Pet Peeve"
In response to Reply # 36



Hi Howard, you have brought up some very valid and well thought out points here – especially as it relates to trespassing. My main point was ultimately that trespassing and legality aside, that there are many locations that present some inherent danger (such as abandoned buildings) and that photographers should use common sense when choosing a shooting location.

Almost every town has railroad tracks and they have become a rather easy and accessible location for most portrait shooters. This doesn’t mean that I personally advocate or condone such behavior, it just is what it is – and people will continue to ignore common sense and legality in search of something different (although this sort of backdrop has become anything but different) – especially when they see these locations being portrayed so prominently in modern culture.

People are generally good at turning a blind eye to legality, just like a Jaywalker might do when crossing the street. Of course, cars come out of nowhere too, and the chances of getting hit by a vehicle are probably statistically much higher than they would be with a train. Yet we all do it. This doesn’t make it right, but it might give some insight into human behavior.

  

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agitater Gold Member Donor Ribbon awarded for his very generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014   Toronto, CA  Nikonian since 18th Jan 2007 Mon 12-Nov-12 05:09 PM
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#38. "RE: My Pet Peeve"
In response to Reply # 37
Tue 13-Nov-12 01:47 PM by agitater


I appreciate your comments and observations Dan. I won't venture to discuss so-called human nature in tempting situations any more than I'll venture to comment in any greater detail about the level of motivated self-entitlement that seems to be growing. Whatever legalities that some among us are motivated to ignore, the OP's "pet peeve" is I think extremely well founded.

As for jaywalkers, they're even dumber these days. Fully half of the ones I notice on the streets of Toronto are looking at their smartphones (texting, reading email, whatever) while jaywalking.

>Of course, cars come out of nowhere too (...)

I don't agree at all Dan - except in only one sense of the term. I think that's just what heedless jaywalkers and other people too busy concentrating on conversations or on texting, claim to the paramedics while being rushed in an ambulance to the nearest Emergency ward. Frankly, I'll bet real money that as soon as police investigating the events actualy hear such a statement, they immediately begin canvassing witnesses for any observations about smartphone distractions. There are the occasional tragedies in which a pedestrian actually looks both ways, checks again, steps out to cross with a green light also in his favor and then gets nailed by some idiot who's pulling out of a curbside parking spot under heavy acceleration while texting on his smartphone and without even realizing he's got a red light (never mind noticing the hapless pedestrian who ends up in an ICU).

In Toronto this year, some sort of gruesome record is being set because of the literally dozens and dozens of pedestrian killings and injuries involving distracted jaywalkers, distracted drivers and drunk drivers. Distracted driving and distracted jaywalking are, I think for the first time ever in Toronto, outstripping alcohol as the main cause of pedestrian deaths and injuries through vehicle collisions. What a world.

I watch pedestrians blithely cross uncontrolled intersections at crosswalks without even the merest left/right glance for oncoming traffic. It's like someone once told them all that pedestrians usually have the right of way, and they've taken that to mean they're entitled to do exactly as they please while everyone else has to look out for them. Combine that thinking with drivers of cars who also think they're entitled to a right of way of some sort or who are stressed from awful traffic conditions in major urban areas in dozens of cities which I regularly visit, and you have a recipe for frequent disaster.

Another interesting development in pedestrian/traffic safety in recent years has been the increasing use of bicycles for commuting. Especially in higher density downtown areas (there are approximately 350,000 people living in the downtown core of Toronto now - it's a high-rise condo and office tower jungle), cycling have been getting more and more popular for years, even in the colder weather. The public bicycle rental systems are all over the place. Problem is, between bicycle courier riders, a certain percentage of the so-called 'green' thinking populace who cycle and actively hate cars, and relatively inexperienced cylists newly arrived on the roads, some days it's like whack-a-mole out there. Back in June, a friend of mine told me about coming across the aftermath of a collision between a car, a cyclist and a pedestrian. The cyclist was badly scraped up. The car had a minor dent. The pedestrian was badly injured. After being nailed by a relatively slow moving car, the cyclist collided with a jaywalker who as a result was bounced into an oncoming vehilcle coming from the other direction. The mess made the news. The driver was distracted by a cellphone, the jaywalker was distracted by a cellphone, and the cyclist was riding across the street illegally too - crossing mid-block - while going curb to curb waving and calling to friends he'd noticed on the other side of the street. It's like a comedy of heedless idiocy.

Like a lot of other Nikonians, I walk a lot. When I travel, I explore cities. For the past few years I've been concentrating on stopping all conversation, phone calls, texting and so on whenever I'm crossing a street or intersection of any kind. I've also stopped all jaywalking - all chance-taking - after years of practicing really bad habits. It was a conscious effort. Predictably, no more close calls, no more being startled, no more cabs/cars/trucks honking at me.

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Howard Carson

  

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xrickx   Jarales, US  Registered since 17th Jul 2012 Tue 13-Nov-12 01:59 AM
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#39. "RE: My Pet Peeve"
In response to Reply # 0



On August 26, 1991 in Downers Grove, IL a woman was crossing railroad tracks at a station. Meanwhile someone was videotaping a classic train coming thru the station at high speed. People were walking around the gates to get to the other side. The woman walks in front of the train, gets hit and her body is thrown into the video equipment. Check it out on youtube. Search for 'woman gets hit be train'. The video was shot for the equipment. It lasts only 4 seconds.

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Floridian Silver Member  Tallahassee, Florida, US  Nikonian since 11th Feb 2007 Tue 13-Nov-12 06:22 PM
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#40. "RE: My Pet Peeve"
In response to Reply # 39



>On August 26, 1991 in Downers Grove, IL...

This was 21 years ago, but the woman who was hit was not a photographer nor a photographer's model, so I don't think this is an example of Mick's pet peeve.

Perhaps the lesson for photographers is that if you set up your equipment near train tracks, it could be damaged by people who are hit by trains and are thrown into your equipment.

Randy

  

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HBB Moderator Hal is an expert in several areas, including CLS Awarded for his excellent article contributions to the Resources.   Phoenix, US  Charter Member Wed 14-Nov-12 01:50 AM
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#45. "RE: My Pet Peeve"
In response to Reply # 0



Mick et al:

Has anybody thought about the aerodynamic effect of standing close to the tracks as a speeding train passes?

Consider the mass of air being parted by the engine and the eddy currents swirling about behind it as trailing cars pass. I suspect their force may be sufficient to push an unsuspecting observer into the speeding cars ... not a pretty sight to contemplate. There will also be a strong force toward the center of the rails when the last car passes and the air rushes in to fill the partial vacuum that exists behind it.

The older I get, the more keenly aware I become of my self-preservation and survival instincts,

Regards,

HBB in Phoenix, Arizona
Nikonian Team Member

Photography is a journey with no conceivable destination.

  

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Matto Silver Member  Glenwood, US  Nikonian since 20th Jan 2007 Wed 14-Nov-12 02:24 PM
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#47. "RE: My Pet Peeve"
In response to Reply # 45



Hal
I also wonder about the airflow effect near a high speed train. I live near Baltimore MD, and AMTRAK runs the Accela trains non stop through a lot of smaller commuter stations. There may be people waiting on the platforms for other trains as the high speed trains come through. There have been no incidents so for, but believe that the highest speeds are outside the more populated areas.

Matthew

  

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Floridian Silver Member  Tallahassee, Florida, US  Nikonian since 11th Feb 2007 Wed 14-Nov-12 04:02 PM
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#48. "RE: My Pet Peeve"
In response to Reply # 45



>Has anybody thought about the aerodynamic effect of standing
>close to the tracks as a speeding train passes?...

Some of our European members might have more insight on this. As an American who gets to Europe from time to time, I've been surprised to see trains passing at high speeds through stations with no warning, no horn sounding, and no barriers between passengers waiting for another train and the train speeding through the station. People on the platform barely seem to notice. It's just part of their routine.

Randy

  

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lovemy8514   Columbia, US  Registered since 05th Oct 2007 Wed 14-Nov-12 05:15 PM
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#49. "RE: My Pet Peeve"
In response to Reply # 48



I'd say photographing along a scenic road can be just as dangerous, if not more. There are roads in North Carlina that have numerous curves which happen to have some of the best views. I've seen people with cameras in hand walking along the narrow strip of land between the road and cliff to 'get the shot'.

I would say the thing to take away from this thread is "One should procede with caution, whether one is shooting along a road, a waterfall, a quarry, abandoned railroad tracks, etc!".


J a m e s
My Gallery

Using his camera as a pen, it is the photographer's job to tell a story: Each page authored in frozen moments of time.

All of my work is dedicated to my father, Terry Lee Geib (1943-2009)

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mklass Platinum Member As a semi-professional involved in all manner of photographic genres including portraiture, sports, commercial, and events coverage, Mick is always ready to help Nikonians by sharing his deep knowledge of photography and printing. Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014   Tacoma, US  Nikonian since 08th Dec 2006 Wed 14-Nov-12 05:23 PM
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#50. "RE: My Pet Peeve"
In response to Reply # 49



At least the highway is a public right of way. That still doesn't excuse risky behavior.
Mick
http://www.mickklassphoto.com
or
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greenwing Gold Member  Yorkshire, UK  Nikonian since 18th May 2006 Thu 15-Nov-12 04:35 PM
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#56. "RE: My Pet Peeve"
In response to Reply # 48
Thu 15-Nov-12 04:37 PM by greenwing


>>Has anybody thought about the aerodynamic effect of
>standing
>>close to the tracks as a speeding train passes?...
>
>Some of our European members might have more insight on this.
>As an American who gets to Europe from time to time, I've been
>surprised to see trains passing at high speeds through
>stations with no warning, no horn sounding, and no barriers
>between passengers waiting for another train and the train
>speeding through the station. People on the platform barely
>seem to notice. It's just part of their routine.
>
>Randy

We started to see yellow 'stand behind this' lines painted on through station platforms in the 1970s. 1976 saw the introduction of the High Speed Train (HST 125) on the east coast main line, but I think the yellow lines were there earlier for the electric-hauled services on the west coast.

Chris

  

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agitater Gold Member Donor Ribbon awarded for his very generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014   Toronto, CA  Nikonian since 18th Jan 2007 Wed 14-Nov-12 05:33 PM
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#52. "RE: My Pet Peeve"
In response to Reply # 45



>Mick et al:
>
>Has anybody thought about the aerodynamic effect of standing
>close to the tracks as a speeding train passes?

Like Randy, I've stood on dozens of different train platforms while high-speed trains roared past. I've also been within 10 feet of freight trains passing at speed without so much as a ruffle. Still, standing too close to a railroad train as it passes can be dangerous. The physics are straightforward. A moving train drags the air close to the cars along with it. This rapidly moving air, by Bernoulli’s principle will have a lower pressure than the still air a few feet away. The still air, having higher pressure, and being behind you if you are standing close enough will tend to push you toward the train. The effect is enough to actually move a person who is being careless. The effect on an average size male adult happens mainly with a train passing at very high speeds. The smaller/lighter the person, the greater the effect. The more aerodynamic the train, the smaller the effect.

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Howard Carson

  

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blw Moderator Awarded for his high level of expertise in various areas   Richmond, US  Nikonian since 18th Jun 2004 Wed 14-Nov-12 08:04 PM
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#54. "RE: My Pet Peeve"
In response to Reply # 45



> Has anybody thought about the aerodynamic effect of standing close to the tracks as a speeding train passes?

I certainly have, after having that train blow by at 80+ mph. As others mention, I've recently been standing on both British and French railway platforms as express trains go through. I doubt that any of them are going through stations at 100mph, but they're easily going 45-50, and there's enough air going by to be "interesting."

Fortunately the main thing that I remember experiencing is a push as the "bow wave" tended to shove me out of the way. I don't remember a tendency to be sucked back in afterward - but then again, I might have missed it.

_____
Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member

My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!

  

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2pixels_short Gold Member Laureate Ribbon awarded for winning in the Best of Nikonians 2013 images Photo Contest   Anchorage, US  Nikonian since 16th Oct 2003 Wed 14-Nov-12 10:58 PM
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#55. "RE: My Pet Peeve"
In response to Reply # 54



I have seen passing tractor trailers (semi's) blow 800# Harley's off their side stand. I would imagine that a locomotive would be able to knock over a tripod or give a good push to a body.

Mike in Alaska


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phil711 Silver Member  Williams, US  Nikonian since 08th Jun 2008 Thu 15-Nov-12 05:24 PM
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#57. "RE: My Pet Peeve"
In response to Reply # 55



Congratulations, Mick, on this extremely fine post. It has generated many thoughtful and thought provoking comments.

I routinely photograph along a RR right of way, in the train yards and in the locomotive shop. I do so with the approval of and under strict supervision of the railroad (GCRX). The railroad has specific safety requirements to which I adhere very carefully. I know most of the engineers and all of the dispatchers and over time have developed a level of trust that allows me more latitude than is given anyone I know.

These are dangerous places to photograph -- situational awareness is critical. Trust me on this and do not be decieved if some of my photographs appear to be a little too close for comfort.

Phil

  

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quenton8 Silver Member Awarded for bringing his experience to the Nikonians community helping members with printing and the use of post-processing software from the perspective of an IT professional. Ribbon awarded for his enthusiastic and repeated support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014   Toronto, CA  Nikonian since 11th Apr 2010 Sat 17-Nov-12 01:01 AM
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#58. "RE: My Pet Peeve"
In response to Reply # 57



I love photographing along a railroad.

However, I assume if I can see a couple of miles in both directions, AND if I am on a level crossing (which is public), I should not have a problem.

I certainly don't expect a train in under 1 minute if I can see 2 miles.

I CAN see a danger if one just ignore that its a working railroad, but if one takes that into consideration, I don't see a problem!

----
Dennis Smith.

  

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cosmicfires Silver Member  Lynnwood, US  Nikonian since 22nd Nov 2011 Tue 25-Dec-12 04:34 AM
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#64. "RE: My Pet Peeve"
In response to Reply # 45
Tue 25-Dec-12 04:36 AM by cosmicfires


I have stood 10 feet from a train traveling 50+ mph, the wind is negligible, I was not sucked under the wheels or onto the track by the partial vacuum behind the train. I was standing by the railroad company fence with an illegible sign on it.

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my website

  

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Clyde57 Silver Member  Punta Gorda, US  Nikonian since 16th Sep 2007 Sat 17-Nov-12 04:41 PM
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#59. "RE: My Pet Peeve"
In response to Reply # 0



It seems very clear to me that since no one has heard of anyone being killed or injured along railroad tracks while taking pictures, anyone walking along the tracks would be safe as long as they take a camera with them.

I wonder if that works for walking along lane dividers on a busy highway?

Clyde

Take a look at my nikonians gallery.

  

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mklass Platinum Member As a semi-professional involved in all manner of photographic genres including portraiture, sports, commercial, and events coverage, Mick is always ready to help Nikonians by sharing his deep knowledge of photography and printing. Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014   Tacoma, US  Nikonian since 08th Dec 2006 Sat 17-Nov-12 09:11 PM
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#60. "RE: My Pet Peeve"
In response to Reply # 59



I think you are on to something, Clyde.

I have never personally heard directly from anyone who has been killed while taking a picture in either circumstance. It must be safe, as long as you have a camera in your hands!

Mick
http://www.mickklassphoto.com
or
Visit my nikonians gallery

  

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benveniste Moderator Awarded for is high level skills in various areas, including Macro and Landscape Photography Donor Ribbon. Awarded for his generous suppport to the Fundraising Campaign 2014   Boston Area, US  Nikonian since 25th Nov 2002 Sat 17-Nov-12 10:28 PM
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#61. "RE: My Pet Peeve"
In response to Reply # 59



You may wish to look at the 50-second mark of this poor quality video. Or not.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SQbeEa5i-0A

One of the biggest mistakes a photographer can make is to look at the real world and cling to the vain hope that next time his film will somehow bear a closer resemblance to it. - Galen Rowell

  

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mklass Platinum Member As a semi-professional involved in all manner of photographic genres including portraiture, sports, commercial, and events coverage, Mick is always ready to help Nikonians by sharing his deep knowledge of photography and printing. Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014   Tacoma, US  Nikonian since 08th Dec 2006 Sat 17-Nov-12 11:28 PM
6448 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profile
#62. "RE: My Pet Peeve"
In response to Reply # 61



Even worse, as Im waching it a goolge ad pops up on the bottom of the video suggesting I sign up for Scott Kelby training. Good Grief!

Mick
http://www.mickklassphoto.com
or
Visit my nikonians gallery

  

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jbloom Gold Member Awarded for the continuous and generous sharing of his high level expertise and his always encouraging comments in several forums. Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014   Wethersfield, US  Nikonian since 15th Jul 2004 Wed 12-Dec-12 12:17 PM
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#63. "RE: My Pet Peeve"
In response to Reply # 59



>It seems very clear to me that since no one has heard of
>anyone being killed or injured along railroad tracks while
>taking pictures, anyone walking along the tracks would be safe
>as long as they take a camera with them.

Apparently not: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2246224/Kathryn-Mary-Carlisle-Art-teacher-killed-tracks-taking-photograph-oncoming-train.html

-- Jon
Wethersfield, CT, USA
Connecticut High School Sports Photos

  

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