Deep River Creek

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Steam train crossing a small bridge at night
Valley Railroad 3025 at Deep River Creek

Deep River Creek

Jan 22, 2013

For my second trip to the Essex Steam Train I wanted to shoot at the small bridge over the Deep River Creek. I paddled to the location and set up my lights in what was something between a light rain and a heavy fog. The plan was to light the engine’s exhaust from behind, the nose from across the tracks from the camera, and to light the passenger cars stretching back into the trees. Working in the marsh from the canoe proved reasonably comfortable and safe – I couldn’t imagine carrying gear in the marsh filled with December temperature water.

Leaving Deep River, the train’s forceful exhaust sounds could be heard a half mile north at the bridge. The steam and smoke rose above the trees and slowly approached the bridge. As the headlight rounded the curve, I dried off the camera lens and fired off the lights to alert the crew. A minute later the train was half over the bridge, drifting north, filling the air with the smell of hot oil and coal smoke.