Dodge & Burn: Old Train Car Windows at the Southeastern Railway Museum

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Dodge & Burn is a series of photo essays documenting local culture with a focus on artful imagery, movement, and light.
The Southeastern Railway Museum sits just outside of the city limits of Duluth, filled with trains dating back to the early twentieth century. Most of the trains are not renovated, remaining unaltered from the time they were retired to the museum. After several visits, the most unique quality that stood out to me were the windows. Some were stained, cracked, warped, some with what appeared to be bullet holes. Each created a unique quality of light, subtly changing the atmosphere of each cabin.

I approached this shoot as a study of light, and the abstract effects created in the photograph. I photographed this series with a Canon 7D and a 50 mm lens. I found that it was best to use manual focus, since the camera would sometimes choose to focus outside of the window. I used a very shallow depth of field, anywhere around 1.8 to 2.8, to ensure that no detail would be shown from beyond the window, and the blur created a necessary background.

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