Tuesday, April 6, 2010

A memorable outing to Niles Canyon

It is that time of the year and work has me buried with no time left for photography. As such, I have only been able to run two rolls of 120 films through my new "used" RB67 Pro SD I bought in Feb. This past weekend I finally had the negs scanned by a "pro" lab so I could use them for my blog entry. I have to say I am not entirely happy with the resulting scan, the overall color seems off with a light blue hue to it. Since I won't be able to do any darkroom printing myself for a few more weeks, I will have to contend with using these scanned images for now. The negs do look 200% better on my lightbox.

Below are a few images from the second roll. It was a Neopan 400. What happeded to roll #1? Ah, that is an embarassing story, I messed it up. (and it was a Velvia! uugh!!) How? you ask. Simply, I loaded the film the wrong way, with the paperback facing the camera body. Not until I was removing the exposed film from the cassette did I realise I had made such a blunder! (silly me. It is easy to do though. The way the cassette comes apart for loading can be confusing first time around. Long story short, I learned my lesson and I will never do it again)

"stone statuette of a child playing at the park, entrance to Sunol city park, RB67 Pro SD, 95mm f/3.5, low res digital scan"

Did not have to work that day, sunday March 28th for a change, and I was looking for a new place to visit for photography. A good friend had told me about Niles Canyon a charming town of quaint saloon style storefront....It sounded rather promising and off I went, heading northeast early morning on 680N. Gorgeous oak studded hills and crisp fresh morning breeze greeted me as I drove on Niles Canyon road along Alameda Creek. Unfortunately there was no way I could pull over for photography as the 7 mile long winding country road was also rather narrow. Population of about 900, (I was told), Niles Canyon has one main street of beautifully restored saloon style shops (remember old westerns?), a beautiful church named "the Little Brown Church of Sunol" built in 1885, a small post office, a city park and a historic Sunol train depot (circa 1884). Nestled in the charming hideaway are many private homes, pied-à-terre for some perhaps and homes for others that I would be imagine are so inviting to come home or escape to on weekends.

"A man chatting with the crew of locomotive 2472 before the train set out on its 5 mile excursion. RB67 ProSD, 95mm f/3.5, Fuji Neopan 400, low res digital scan, Lightroom Beta Sepia filter"

As you can see, I got lucky :) The Sunday morning I was there happened to be the weekend of the first of three Golden Gate Railroad Museum excursions of 2010. Organized in partnership with the Pacific Locomotive Association, the Golden Gate Railroad Museum train ride takes families aboard vintage Southern Pacific locomotive No. 2472 through the beautiful canyon hills. Many families came to join the fun and kids got their history lesson. There were photographers from as far as Santa Cruz and it was a real treat for all.

"Crew of locomotive 2472, (a scene one could only find in the movies today perhaps?). RB67 ProSD, 95mm f/3.5 Fuji Neopan 400, low res digital scan, Lightroom Beta Aged Photo filter"

"Southern Pacific locomotive 2472, Canon 10D, Tamron 17-35"

Finally for all you steam engine enthusiasts, here is a link to Golden Gate Railroad Museum, one of the organizers of the March 27-28, 2010 excursions. Be sure to mark your calendar for the next family event.


  1. This is a good one.......and I love steam engines.

  2. Thank you, I thoroughly enjoyed the outing, it was deja vu, remembering my first train ride a long time ago :)