Stephen Rees's blog

Thoughts about the relationships between transport and the urban area it serves

Photo Challenge: Ooh, Shiny!

with 6 comments

CN 2627 and 2591 at Ballantine Pier

via Photo Challenge: Ooh, Shiny!

Pingbacks have been causing issues recently – and one reason might be that the way the URL appears in the “post about shiny” button is different to the one in the address bar. As is the one in the instructions at the bottom of challenge Ooh, Shiny!

(I did tell WordPress about this on Twitter and they have fixed it. )

So the challenge this week – “what is guaranteed to distract you? What is your “Ooh, shiny!”?”


Yesterday I was out in East Vancouver for the third day running trying to make sure I captured all of the new murals that have appeared due to the annual Vancouver Mural Festival. There are now three posts on this blog about the murals – just scroll down to see them. We were in Strathcona – down by the docks – where there are now two clusters of murals and I was checking the address on my phone when I saw the distinctive red and black of a CN C44-9W. I immediately knew that the two locomotives would not be there for very long. Trains – especially freight trains in North America – can be very unpredictable. Real train enthusiasts carry “scanners”: portable radios that monitor the frequencies used by train crews and dispatchers. That way they can figure out where a train might be photographable. I don’t do that as I can’t usually understand what they are saying and often it’s just chatter.

But while the murals will be around for a very long time, this train was going to being heading east with its load of containers sooner rather than later. While it was sitting about a block away from where we were, I could see at least a couple of possible angles. There is a new, real obstacle on Alexander Street: a high chainlink fence with the metal chain encased in heavy duty plastic. It is possible to get a lens into the mesh, but there is not much wiggle room for a clear shot. But at least the sun was behind me and the cruise ship terminal building was a decent backdrop. I tried several but the picture I chose to use was one that showed both locos and lots of nice blue sky – a novelty in Vancouver this summer – as well as the mountains.

Once upon a time I used to spend quite a lot of time trying to be a railway photographer. It is quite a challenge to get decent shots – and in this region it has got harder as more tracks have been fenced or more strenuously policed by officious security people who have nothing better to do than harass harmless photographers. And anyway there are now other distractions.

Written by Stephen Rees

August 16, 2017 at 9:50 am

6 Responses

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  1. GoodI love all related to trains. So, thanks for your good picture!

    Carlos Menéndez

    August 16, 2017 at 4:07 pm

  2. Thanks for sharing the information about pinback issues.
    I hope WordPress will fix it.
    Again: thanks!

    Carlos Menéndez

    August 16, 2017 at 4:07 pm

  3. […] Walker It’s the Clownfish! – indahs: dive, travel & photography Ooh, Shiny! – bob Stephen Rees’s blogPhoto Challenge: Ooh, Shiny! thechangingpalettethat’s the spirit The Ambitious DrifterEverything Is Art, Isn’t It? Zong Zi […]

  4. I also love trains. Your picture is both interesting, dramatic and beautiful. The scenery is not without importance here, I think. Love it!


    August 17, 2017 at 7:19 am

  5. I agree with you that trains are a bit fascinating perhaps as they remind us of bygone days. I also agree they are difficult to shoot as it’s tough to capture their “personality”. Good choice for the challenge!

    Tina Schell

    August 19, 2017 at 1:24 pm

  6. Beautiful photo. I like contrast between the upper and lower parts of the photo. The jagged mountains versus the straight, horizontal tracks. The colors are great. Im glad you were able to capitalize on the opportunity.


    August 21, 2017 at 8:22 am

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