I have been enthralled by trains since I was a young child, as many children are, and I just never outgrew it.  I have a deep fascination with mechanical things, particularly the living, breathing machine that is a steam locomotive.  I was also deeply interested in photography,  though that interest did fade for quite a few years.  It was the advent of digital photography, and particularly the tools of image manipulation in the computer that sparked this work
The key realization for me was that “taking the picture” - that moment of pressing the button on the camera - was just the first step of creating an image.  Once I got back from a shoot and brought the images into Lightroom and Photoshop (among other tools) a whole world opened up.  One of the first discoveries was high dynamic range (HDR) image processing, often from a single raw file.  The technical details of this aren’t important. What captured me was the fantastical look I could get with that process.
As I worked, I created images in the variety of styles you see here, and wondered if there was a commonality.  My goal was to simply create images that pleased me, and they came out in a number of different forms.  Eventually, I realized that what I was doing was making images about the fantasy of railroading rather than the reality. I was creating the world of trains and railroads that existed in my mind as a child; watching Conway Scenic Railroad’s steam locomotive 7470 charge up the hill into the station at what felt like an impossible speed, literally shaking the ground, during a simulated mail bag pickup “on the fly”.
This world is sometimes gritty, and other times filled with saturated colors far beyond reality. It’s the world I step into in my mind, even as an adult, pretty much every time I hear the horn of a locomotive at a crossing, and even more when I smell that coal smoke and see a steam engine simmering, ready to pull a train.  I hope you enjoy joining me there for a moment or two.
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