trains in art

Posted April 9, 2012 7:45 pm  

 Carlton Watkins was the greatest of all the great 19th century photographers of the American West. He photographed the Central Pacific and Southern Pacific Railroads in the 1980s and 90s as they changed not only the economy and culture of the country but also the perception of the landscape itself.

With the long exposures required for the photographic technology of his time, Watkins couldn’t capture a moving train; his most eloquent train pictures are of the empty track running off into deep space.











At the other end of train photography history is O. Winston Link, who took up the project of photographing the last of the great steam engine trains in 1955 and kept at it for five year. Link produced his many great images most often at night with a hand flash. For a succinct presentation of his life and work: Many artists shared Link’s romantic fascination with trains, but his pictures are unique. Imagine his setting up his camera in the dark and waiting for the arrival of the train and his one chance to catch the image: the train and its billowing smoke still for that one fraction of a second.



share    site feed

Comments are closed.