Getting Off Track

The title could apply to the fact that I've been MIA for so long with these posts.  Has it really been over three months??  All my bad there.  Totally inexcusable.  I had a goal to get these out at the minimum of once a month.  Actually, originally I had planned to do one with each shoot, but I realized that was a bit to ambitious.  Starting in the new year, I may adopt that philosophy like I intended. For now, I will probably just have to make up for lost time.

One thing the long gap in posts allowed me to do was to come up with more material and/or observations to post about.  Some I may have to filter a bit and won't address so as not to offend. I do like controversy, just not when it's bad for business.  Heck, this post alone may ruffle some feathers; however, it's still a topic that I feel passionate about so I feel compelled to speak on it.

The pic you see here was the last time I ever did a shoot on railroad tracks.  It was by design also. You see..when I first started shooting, I knew I wanted to do all the type of shoots that I had admired in the past. One of the trends at the time was the shooting on railroad tracks. I thought that would be so cool to do one as well. So I got my Frat Theotto and his then-girlfriend (now wife) Rikkia to help out and we made this happen.  I did like the way it came out at the time (given my limited knowledge of composition, editing, framing, etc.).  After this, I was good with raillroad tracks even before there would be issues in the photography world surrounding the use of them.

I would find out later that apparently it is illegal to shoot on railroad tracks in the first place. Something about how they are technically government and/or federal property so it's trespassing? Not that that matters a great deal. Anyone that has been shooting a while knows you will gladly trespass a time or two to get some good shots. I call it guerrilla photography.  As long as the photographer and/or his subjects aren't injured then it's all good. Which brings me to the next issue that would eventually arise...

Folks are getting killed while they are attempting to take photos on tracks. There have been more than a couple of instances now where the photographer is shooting on live tracks when a train has barreled down on them and the rest is history. I still don't know how it's possible that one could not hear and/or see a large locomotive coming. Are they shooting with loud theme music blaring? Even if the train is to their back, shouldn't the client see it coming and forewarn the photog?  Or maybe they thought it would be a cool shot to get the image of the train as it's right behind the client then they forget to move in time? 

The thing for me is shooting on railroad tracks has been come way to passe.  It's an image that has been played out and overdone by now. I don't understand why photographers are still doing it in the first place. Like anything else, it was a trend that had its moment but its time has now come and gone. I guess this is one of those things where I am in the silent minority though. Because even though I have refused to shoot that concept for the past few years now, I continue to see folks still doing it. And some getting killed in the process.