Tim's One Photograph a Day

Night Train at Aldermaston.

Waiting for the Night Train.

Night Train: Passengers getting ready on the platform.

Passengers getting ready on the platform for the Night Train.

Having had a busy day, it was again evening by the time I got the opportunity for today’s photograph. The fact that it had again been a dull and cloudy day hadn’t given much inspiration either.

However, having taken photographs of trains passing a station at speed in the evening before, this was something I wanted to replicate. With Aldermaston Station just a few minutes away, I took the short walk.

To photograph a moving night train is more time consuming than the average night-time shot. Apart from the long exposure time, there is the fact that you only get one chance per train (two if you’re very lucky).

One train pulled in just after I arrived at the station, but I hadn’t had time to set up the camera. An express went the other way moments later – again, before I could get into position.

I could see from the timetables, there were two trains due to stop, one in each direction, within a couple of minutes of each other. As it was starting to rain, I picked a sheltered location that was suitable for both.

Two attempts at the first did not produce a result I was happy with. My plan was to capture my night train both stationary and whilst moving. Either as it pulls in, or as it sets off. The first option requires anticipating when the train is (on the 10 second exposure I chose) about 5 seconds before stopping.

I was a bit too soon pressing the shutter for this shot. The train was stationary for only about 1 second. However, the movement of the passengers has created interest, as has the one passenger who hasn’t moved. All in all, a shot I am happy with.

Photograph Details

  • Taken: 21 Feb 2017
  • Camera: Canon 5D MkIII
  • Lens: Canon EF 24-70mm 1:2.8 L II USM
  • Focal Length 45mm
  • F/9
  • 10 Sec
  • ISO 100

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