Farewell you blessed train tracks

Uploaded 30 Sep 2010 — 13 favorites
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© Mike Olbinski
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Photo license: © All rights reserved

These train tracks are something special to me. We're moving on Saturday to downtown Phoenix, which is around 27 miles from this spot in the photo above. I doubt I will be seeing them anytime soon unless next year's monsoon chasing somehow leads me this way. Or maybe I'll be on this side of town and swing by, but regardless, it's no longer going to be a 5-minute drive from my house.

I took the above photo two nights ago as a way of saying farewell to them. I actually hadn't been by this way in awhile and it felt only right that my last set of bracketing done on this side of town was on these tracks. Man was it a beautiful sunset...sadly the clouds on the horizon blocked a lot of the light and didn't allow for a nice fiery red sky...but the clouds were unique and appeared to be coming directly from the same horizon as the train tracks. God blessed me that night with a little farewell of his own.

There are two huge reasons why this place is so important to me. Both of them have to do with this photo(click to see it)

I had done an HDR photo or two by this point last November, but I don't think I had a real understanding of what it could do for me or what would look good.  I took a lunch break to drive around and just photograph stuff around my area as a way to learn to open my eyes a little more. I walked out onto these tracks, and for some reason decided to do an HDR of this scene. I believe the thought was that at least train tracks might look cool all HDR-ed up.

But this was shot in the middle of the day. The clouds were barely visible to me with the naked eye. Little did I realize how much the HDR process would showcase the amazing contrails from overhead airplanes that day. I consider this my very first real HDR photo. The few others prior were just practice.

I posted this on Wunderground.comlater that day (a weather website where I post all my weather photos, here is my profile there), and the response was overwhelming (you can see all the comments here). It received an Approver's Choice right away and I was kind of blown away by the love it got. I just hadn't been expecting it.

I kind of see that moment as an awakening for me. I had photographed something that moved people to say amazing things. It opened my eyes to what was possible within myself to do.  Since then...the sky has been the limit.

The second reason this photo and this spot are so important...it was the first print I ever sold. A woman knew her grandfather would love it hanging in the same room with all his model railroad stuff.

I, of course, agreed

12 responses

  • Lisa Toleno

    Lisa Toleno (Deleted) gave props (30 Sep 2010):

    Its a beautiful shot! lov the write up ! nice work and words!

  • Susan Littlefield

    Susan Littlefield gave props (30 Sep 2010):

    What a perfect farwell shot, Mike! How wonderful that your print was purchased!! I know you'll be back to this area as soon as those monsoons roll around next year!!

  • Mike Melnotte

    Mike Melnotte gave props (30 Sep 2010):

    Outstanding, Mike. Great background as well. Looks even more impressive in Lightbox.

  • ellie huntress

    ellie huntress gave props (30 Sep 2010):

    so. awesome.

  • Bruce Baker

    Bruce Baker   gave props (30 Sep 2010):

    Perfect cloudscape to go with this. Makes the depth almost tangible.

  • Regenia Brabham

    Regenia Brabham gave props (30 Sep 2010):

    It is stunning Mike! Funny how some of our images have so much meaning. I can see why this one is so special to you.

  • Charlena Cavender

    Charlena Cavender said (30 Sep 2010):

    Gorgeous shot

  • Alya Al Dhaheri

    Alya Al Dhaheri gave props (2 Oct 2010):

    Amazing sky! Excellent pov!

  • Carlo Pagan

    Carlo Pagan gave props (5 Oct 2010):

    Magic colors!!!

  • Bruce Miller

    Bruce Miller (Deleted) gave props (7 Oct 2010):

    You kill me sometimes!

  • Winky Vivas

    Winky Vivas (Deleted) gave props (14 Oct 2010):

    Absolutely beautiful! Wonderful color...

  • Noah Pellatt

    Noah Pellatt gave props (30 Jan 2011):

    Awsaome Job Mike!!!!!!!!

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