Friday, March 13, 2009

Amtrak Revises Photo Policy!

Port Townsend, today. Since “9/11” photographers in various parts of the country have reported varying degrees of harassment by minimum wage "deputy dawg," imposing illogical logic, to intimidate, frustrate, and alienate railroad photographers.

Not because there is a need, but by virtue of wearing a badge, packing a gun, and projecting an attitude.

As the former administration fades into the past, we may experience a gradual return to common sense and intelligence in Washington, and bogus fears prove to be baseless. Such is the case presented here, that shooting a train in a train station does not always equate to a terrorist gathering intelligence of a potential target!

Now to be fair to railroad operators, there is, unfortunately, a sub-species of rail photographer who steals builder’s plates, walks off with perceived goodies, and makes a general nuisance of themselves by putting themselves in harm’s way, creating a distraction to equipment operators who become worried about running over them!

It's because of them, the rest of us have to deal with "deputy dawg!"

6 Comments - Click here:

SDP45 said...

I don't need to worry about this anymore, since I took myself out of circulation a few years ago. Yes, I still take photographs, but they belong in the "difference of decades" category. I could really care less what flavor of GE techno-toaster is pulling trains by the house. Besides, where I take photographs now, the rails are usually long gone.


Robert in Port Townsend said...

I understand what you mean! I was startled to find out that a bunch of these MAD-MAC's are made in Mexico!

Nope, not since the merger madness took over have I been inspired to go over to the "main land" a spend a lot of time shooting BNSF. With my luck, I'd shoot the same engines that Kurt shot 20 minutes before me!

In addition to that, I'd have no idea what the hell I shot!

Bill ~ {The Old Fart} said...

I haven't taken a picture of a train in years, there is no variety now. I live in the land of the CPR and hardly look up when a train goes by. There are no Passenger to speak of anymore in Calgary and Freight Train doesn't feel complete without the Caboose. Oh well at least my Dad had the wisdom to take some pictures before steam was though in Nova Scotia. Yes, I'll get a new post up soon on his blog.

Robert in Port Townsend said...

Well, you know my feelings about the effects of the "Great Merger!" I was watching some old videos the other day, and low a behold, the freighter went by - with a caboose! I remember the absolute emptiness I felt the first time I saw a freighter without a caboose. Like sex without an orgasm! Remember the days of the "caboose hop?" See

LinesWest said...

I agree with you fellas - I haven't shot many photos of real trains these past few years. I was fine with the mix of colors that came after the last round of mergers but it seems that we've moved beyond that now and are firmly entrenched in yellows and super-pumpkins. I've also gotten to know a couple of friends who have shown how much you can have when you shoot a modern train as a secondary subject in a picture. The photo isn't about the modern power, but of the train lost in the vastness of the mountain range or prairie grasses. In those photos you have to worry more about getting land owner approval than what the RRs think. -Leland

Robert in Port Townsend said...

Well the other thing I don't want to have lost in this "discussion" is the different personality of the various railroads back then. There was a noticeable difference between South Tacoma (Milwaukee) and Interbay (Great Northern.) And the mixtures of cabs and general purpose units. I was always amused at the potpourri of power packs GN's dispatchers came up with, like I've said in the past: one from column "A" one from column "B" and so forth. In the final analysis, I enjoy Leland's treks without trains - letting the mind fill in those magnificent box cabs on that vast ocean of Eastern Washington ...

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