Train Depot

By: pbcmedia

Feb 01 2009

Tags: , , , , , ,

Category: Creativity, MOTION PHOTOGRAPHY, Trucks and Trains


Focal Length:35mm
Shutter:1/0 sec
Camera:Canon EOS 5D

I went to photograph the 12:47 PM train to South Station today in below freezing temperatures.

The sun was shining but the wind was gusting; the wind chill was easily in the single digits.  As I waited, along with the youth of the college nearby, I listened to a group of Asian students speaking their native language.  Like most college aged students, they didn’t look dressed for the weather but seemed unaffected by the mounting wait and strong winds.   The wait went beyond the usual five or ten minutes and I went to sit in my car.  I knew I’d hear the train whistle a mile down the tracks.

Twenty minutes later, whistle sounding, I came back on to the platform and the group of Asian students were still talking, seemingly not having moved even one foot to generate some heat.  Another girl was off by herself walking the edge of the track, talking animatedly into her phone, but also talking to the train, “C’mon, train…c’mon…”  She was a girl I could relate to: she was looking cold and talking cold.  “Oh,” she said into her phone,  as I began to take pictures of the oncoming train, “Now there’s someone taking pictures of this damn train!”.

As I waited the several minutes while people boarded, for some reason I remembered the trains in the movie, Dr. Zhivago.  Cattle cars for the fleeing Muscovites from the Revolution, private cars and well stocked engines for the leaders of the Revolution. Much of the train travel was done in deep, deep winter with vast moonlit snowscapes.   The train from Moscow finally deposited Dr. Zhivago and his family at Varykino, their ancestral home, at a depot not unlike this one waiting for the 12:47 to arrive at 1:23.

But, in the movie, there was an elderly attendant there—not with a camera–but waiting for the passengers with a horse and carriage and a smile of recognition not just clinical observation.   He welcomed them home after their long, arduous journey and, of course, and this is important—it was spring in Varykino.  Spring.


I went home knowing that somehow this commuter depot station was going to undergo a romantic transformation on this last day of January.

©Pat Coakley 2009


This is the fourth in a series called, “Trucks and Trains, The Series”.  The others can be viewed individually here:

Number One

Number Two

Number Three

7 comments on “Train Depot”

  1. Once again you’ve come up with an excellent image. I think it could be improved though, by integrating the people a little better into the scene. They look a little “inserted” and not really a natural part of the shot. Pehaps a shadow like blur at the bases that travel in the same direction as the rest of the “zooming” blur would help them look like they were actually there.

  2. Razz, you are absolutely right. I am going to rework it. I’d tried a few things but not what you suggested and that sounds promising! Thanks so much.

  3. But wait! Maybe the people were actually there, and the train and depot were imagined.

  4. Did you use orenthal on this picture on photoshop? Its got that dreamy quality to it…………. its beautiful…

  5. Oh, Don, that makes me smile, really! When I’m in this state, I can’t really tell what is real and what is imagined, but I do think these folks need some “tweaking”!!

    Amber, what in heck is “orenthal”?? I’ll have to look it up but I’m pretty sure I didn’t use any. Thanks!

  6. Gorgeous. Is the train really pink?

  7. Yes, Conni, that is the color of the train’s markings. It does not appear “pink” as much as something on the purple spectrum.

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