Alright it’s been forever since I’ve done one of these, so here’s the bottle of wine I picked out to pair with No Man’s Sky.
Posts Tagged ‘photography’
A year ago this month I was in Washington state to take in the scenery and learn some history at the 2015 Milwaukee Road Historical Association convention. It was the railroading trip of a lifetime for me for many reasons, foremost of which was that I was able to hear some MILW history from the people who actually lived it. As written about already, I have a personal connection with the area since my great and great great grandfather both worked for the railroad in this area. I may never take another pilgrimage quite like it again, but thankfully while I was there I shot plenty of video and photos to help keep my lousy memory fresh on what I saw while I was there.
Possibly the coolest part about traveling, to me, is the moods or unusual feelings it creates. Those vibes from the pine forests of western Washington stuck with me over the next month and crept into my music at a special time. 6/27 and 6/28 were the final recording session for 100% Juice, which still reigns as my longest-running and most prolific musical endeavor here in Houston. All of the jams from those sessions were named after places I saw while traveling, matched with the feelings they had given me.
On my Flickr page I posted a large number of photos from the trip, ending just recently with the pictures I shot in Tacoma of the Milwaukee Road S-Turn Trestle, which is scheduled to be demolished. These shots are geared towards model railroaders or people who are interested in things like bridge construction… but here is another album of shots I took while driving past Mount Rainier though an area literally named “Paradise, Washington” that should appeal to anyone.
Click on the image below to see the slideshow, then click on any image twice to see it full-size:
It was a trip to remember, and I’m glad I have these photos to help with that.
Here’s a collection of photos I took at the 2015 Milwaukee Road Historical Association conference in Yakima Washington. These pictures have been up on Flickr for quite some time now although it occurred to me that I never linked to them on here. This is a 120+ shot slideshow of cool railroad stuff I saw along the way, so, you know, only railroad buffs are allowed past this point…
Click on the image below to see the slideshow, then click on any image twice to see it full-size:
I’ve also got this 35 minutes of video footage I shot along the Milwaukee Road right-of-way between Easton and Cedar Falls Washington, also known as the Iron Horse/John Wayne trail which I rode on a rental bike during that visit. It sure is pretty scenery out there!
Some major model railroad inspiration here from the Puget Sound Model Railroad at the Washington State History Museum, in Tacoma, WA. I took these photos when I was visiting Seattle this summer. Unfortunately the glass keeps you pretty far back from a lot of the cool action but I think I got some decent shots. For a guy who models the Milwaukee Road and Northern Pacific, this layout is like a fantasyland. Check it out:
On June 17th 2015, a nearly cloudless day, I set out for a bike ride of the former Milwaukee Road railway between Easton and Cedar Falls in Washington state. It is now the Iron Horse state park AKA the John Wayne trail. This album shows the best of the many photos I took along the way, documenting the area for the purposes of reconstructing it via model railroading. Hence there is a heavy emphasis on tunnels and bridges, rocks, and small details that may only be of interest to railroad fans. There are also several large panoramas which you’ll need to download to view full size. I may use these to build a photo backdrop. There are 217 photos and I highly recommend viewing them on flickr if you want to enlarge anything. There’s a slideshow below which gives a preview but here is the full link:
Photographs of the model contest from the Milwaukee Road Historical Association 2015 conference in Yakima
As the title suggests, I recently attended the Milwaukee Road Historical Association 2015 conference in Yakima Washington. I’m really glad I did this, since it was centered on the region where my model railroad is located and there were lots of former railroad employees, historians, and fellow modelers in attendance.
As part of the conference, the MRHA held a model contest to which anyone could submit as many entries as they liked. I brought along several models and there were lots of excellent submissions. Naturally I had my camera along so I took lots of photos of all the models that were there.
The winner of the contest was Mr. Noel Holley, author of the book “The Milwaukee Electrics” which is widely regarded as the authoritative volume on the railroad’s electrified operations. He brought a superbly impressive model of the Hyak substation modeled in HO scale. To accompany the substation he had brought along a 2-3 foot section of track with his custom built catenary wire above it. We had an excellent conversation about how he had built his catenary (since I will be following in his footsteps to build my own) and he was kind enough to let me pose the two Creek series observation sleepers on the electrified track for some photos. He had brought along a 1952 maroon-stripe bipolar which is posed with the Coffee Creek and I had brought my E-1 in the experimental Olympian Hiawatha scheme, which is posed with the Gold Creek. I saved the best photos until the end in this slideshow. Click the title of the image if you want to go to flickr and view it in full resolution. Enjoy!:
Okay, I’ve got a few more photos worth sharing that show the models that I had been working on to take along to the 2015 Milwaukee Road Historical Association 2015 conference in Yakima. As seen previously, here is Bipolar E1 in the experimental Olympian Hiawatha paint scheme, this time from a different angle:
And here’s his buddy, the Skytop sleeper/observation car #16 “Gold Creek” in the 1948 paint scheme with gold lettering, additional maroon band and gray roof. I did a lot of work on this car: decals, dull coats, gloss coats, added stainless fluting to the rear, etched stainless lettering for “Olympian Hiawatha”, painted grabirons, interior partition, window glazing with Lee Filters #730 Liberty Green, and lightly weathered the trucks, which I swapped in from a Walthers car for better looks.
When running around Seattle’s Union Station on the unelectrified tracks, the fellow below would do the pulling: an NW2 switcher. It’s a custom painted (not by me) Kato shell on a Broadway Limited SW2 frame which has sound and DCC.
Below we have some trailers for TOFC service (Trailer on Flat Car), as they would have looked in 1980, right at the end of the Milwaukee. I did all decaling with Microscale decals, dull coat, light dirt weathering, and black diesel exhaust.
This week I’m heading to Yakima Washington to take part in the 2015 Milwaukee Road Historical Association conference, which will be focused on the very area where my model railroad is set! As part of the convention there is a modeling competition, so I decided to polish up a few models and be a part of it. Here is probably my favorite, Bipolar E1 in the experimental Olympian Hiawatha scheme. Weathered the trucks with Tamiya desert yellow, black weathering chalk to fill in surface details then wiped off, floquil hi-gloss over the whole body, added wires to the bells, white flags to denote a passenger extra. I’ll have more photos down the line…..
As posted about previously, I had encouraged my drummer to get the Marantz HD-440 speakers, since I have very much enjoyed owning a pair of their big brothers, the HD-770s. The “High Definition Series” speakers have walnut veneer cabinets and were built sometime in the 70s. In the Marantz 25th anniversary catalog (dated 1978) they are for sale as the medium tier product underneath the “Design Series”. For a mid-tier product though, these are extremely nice. And as an aside, that 25th anniversary catalog is a feast for the eyes if you’re into this kind of thing… here is a link to it at HiFiEngine. You’ll need an account to view it but it is easy to create one… it’s worth the effort to check out that super sweet catalog.
It’s clear they put some thought into the design of these units. The most attention-grabbing feature for me was the 1″ dome driver, which is labeled as a tweeter. I’d call that a misnomer though, since the overall frequency response is given as 33-22kHz +/- 3dB @ 125W of “program material”. Crossover Frequencies are 750, 2300, 5000Hz so that 1-inch “tweeter” is handling 2.3k-5kHz. I have always been a big fan of dome midranges for their lifelike sound, especially on anything of an earthy, organic variety like acoustic guitar, piano, or exposed vocals. Dome mids do a great job of putting those things “in the room” with you. Interestingly the HD-770 has a stated efficiency of 90dB which is very high for a speaker depending on a 12″ woofer to handle the low end, since the woofer is almost always the limiting factor on efficiency and high efficiency woofers are relatively rare in larger sizes.
From the factory HD series units were supplied with a “Vari-Q damping acoustical plug” which you could insert to tune the port if you wanted to change the bass response. The trade-off was more definition in the 50-75Hz range, at the expense of anything below. My speakers were bought secondhand off Craigslist and did not come with this accessory. I see some on ebay with the mention that the original foam is long gone… a running theme. Like the HD-440s, the woofer foam on the HD-770s also crumbles away with time. In my case the previous owner swapped out the original woofer for a replacement driver instead of re-foaming it. This can easily be spotted by the convex woofer dustcap; the original was concave. Given the apparent attention that the Marantz engineers paid to driver selection, I wish he had re-foamed the original. If an opportunity ever presents itself, I would like to acquire the original driver and restore these to their intended stock configuration, although the replacement is doing just fine for the time being. After searching a while on eBay that seems like a pipe dream though, since a pair in need of re-foaming recently sold for $227.50. That says something though–one, the original drivers were good and two, the market of people out there enthusiastic about keeping theirs in prime condition remains hot. My set is also missing the metal ring which mounts around the largest woofer, which is too bad because it does look cool.
The HD-770s have a three-section resistor (aka L-pad) control panel on the front which allows you to individually adjust the volume of the super tweeter, dome midrange and cone mid-bass drivers. When I built the green speakers for my brother I definitely learned that L-pads are a tremendous asset to any speaker design. They really allow you to tweak the “voicing” of the sound to whatever suits your liking. It can’t be over-emphasized just how much of an impact this has on the sound. Put it this way: never again would I built another set of speakers without L-pads.
These units have a really funky grille, which has brown fabric which comes outward at the center. I can’t decide if they look cooler with out without the grille on, so I keep the one closer to the door equipped with the grille to protect it from passing foot traffic and the one near the window exposed so I can enjoy the neat appearance of the drivers. Hopefully these units will last me a long time. They are certainly ready to pump out some serious dB’s but still have a soft touch for nuance at the same time. That’s a real nice combination.
Happy to report that I’ve finally gotten out and done some more shooting on my Infrared-converted Canon XTi. I don’t use this camera near enough so when we planned a camping trip, I knew this was my chance to get some great captures out in nature, where the IR SLR really shines. Here’s a gallery of my favorites. Some are color-shifted to appear blue instead of red, a few I left red and one is black’n’white. Enjoy: