Although a little shady at the left this image was worth the scan and adjust. The unit is EMD SW1500 and based on the RR Archives; its all of about two years old here … estimating by the other prints in this box.
That archive link shows it in pretty rough shape and makes me think that this little work horse was never repainted.
Also a guess but I think San Jose, California – or thereabouts. Dad did work in the Houston office for a time in 1970 where he bought a used Ford Maverick but the hills say California to me.
The Peninsula Commuter started in 1863 and made it as a private enterprise until Southern Pacific petitioned for dissolution in 1977.
Dad rode it from Burlingame to San Francisco and occasionally to San Jose for work. Mom & I used to take him in the ’62 Chevy Biscayne or he would take the Jeep. I recall him saying that if he was running late, he would get on at the California Drive Station and shut the Jeep off and hop out letting it “self-park” by rolling to a stop in gear and stalling against the parking stops made from telephone poles. Was ahead of Tesla on that score.
In the 1930’s and 1940’s, he and grandma would ride from San Mateo (well, Broadway, Burlingame Station) to San Francisco to go to Emporium for a day of shopping.
Kudos to Wiki for the link and the maps below here.
Now its CALTRAIN that is continuing the tradition of mass transit.
If he was alone and unhurried he would take his time to assemble an image. Some of his earlier work was that way, like from the 40s … and of girls mostly. Some of his Hawaii images from the pre statehood days are pretty good too link to : Wix FredsSlides.
The magic of black and white is never lost when one composes a shot. Matthew Brady, Ansel Adams and Dorethea Lang proved that.
Here we have the luxury to play with settings in Photoshop and I do that on occasion. I do more now that I am using Wordlress.Com (I cannot put the time in for .ORG version that is much more robust).
So I did that here.
I like the moody shadows of the Alco and the crisp detail of the support structure at left and the Chevy or Ford van. Even the ballast has depth and shadows.
Lighter brightness and lower contrast does enhance dome of the shadow surfaces and reveals the brake wheel detail.
I see some value to this of course. But I am no photographer and it can be learned I suppose.
Below reveals what a simpleton I am though :
This part looks like a face looking away and sticking it’s tongue sticking out.
Also note that this would have been made with Dad’s Rolieflex camera that he gave away ,,, grr.
Also note that Dad and brother both had a habit of slanted photos. Not sure if they had one leg longer than the other or a list issue but man, so much straightening to fit the photo frame only to see the +/- 2 to 3 degrees ha ha !
Anyway, comments that help educate the guy that has all this stuff (who was 3 1/2 years old when this image was made will help me learn.
If you don’t know, you are supposed to post an Alternative Text in a box when you post on a blog. It helps the sight impaired to have their computer read the caption for them; it’s an ADA thing. Some folks don’t do it but I always do…. My eyesight is shit and so was Fred III (Dad) and Fred IV (brother) were the same – so it’s respect.
The best part is that I have to actually think a bit about things when I post and really try to get an accurate description.
Part of the Alt Text rule is that you can’t just copy/paste over and over because it’s a disservice to the sight impaired and I agree.
Here is the copy/paste of that text “Southern Pacific engine 3031 with six passenger cars headed south toward San Jose, California”.
The page gets read as well and I feel like I can add more here :
First, giving credit where credit is due, there is a link to the rrarchives here that tells the history.
Secondly, I am pretty sure that this was in the South Bay where Dad and Brother would go photograph FMs on weekends, and Dad would on week days – they knew this generation of SP diesels was aging out.
Third, I did fiddle with the brightness and contrast since the original shot is dark. Nowadays, that is done in Photoshop and super easy. Honestly though, posting a dark shot of history still counts, so I’ll share good and bad.