Ken's Voyages Around the Sun

Iron Horse
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My latest contribution to the World Wide Panorama can now be viewed on the WWP web site. It's called Iron Horse.

Here's the description:

The Los Angeles County Fair seemed like an ideal place to capture a panorama related to transportation and while there I shot a few with great potential. I had particularly hoped for some horses and riders, but that didn't pan out (so to speak) and I settled for a backup shot of a 200-ton iron horse instead.

Looking at the photos well after shooting, however, I discovered several flaws with them, related to exposure and particularly bad chromatic effects showing significant bands of bright pink and blue along many of the engine's edges especially where they border the sky.

So... when life gives you lemons, make lemonade! It became apparent that the images might be salvaged into a decent panorama by converting them from full color to a duotone / sepia version, and then applying some aging techniques in Photoshop. The results of that effort appear on this page. The opening view is meant to communicate the sheer massiveness of this steam engine!

Southern Pacific 5021, shown here, can be found on permanent display at the LA County Fairgrounds, along with the other engines and train cars appearing in this photograph. Visit the web site of the Southern California Chapter, Railway and Locomotive Historical Society for more details about this particular engine and the others in their collection.

According to the engine's web page, "locomotive number 5021 is the only remaining member of a group of forty nine 4-10-2 Southern Pacific type engines which were built between 1925 and 1927 for both passenger and freight service, primarily for use on the line from Sacramento to Reno. The long driving wheelbase proved detrimental to the rails on that line and all of the locomotives were subsequently assigned to other portions of the system, ranging from Portland, Oregon all the way to the end of Southern Pacific's Coast Lines which terminated at El Paso, Texas."

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