Next Generation: John Crisanti

Posted by Chase Gunnoe
on Sunday, March 26, 2017

I’m delighted to reintroduce a blog series that focuses on aspiring railroad photographers of the next generation. It’s easier than ever to share your digital photos today and there’s no shortage of talented folks capturing rail landscapes all across the world. As we bring the monthly series back to Observation Tower, I’m thrilled to share the work of John Crisanti, a Longmont, Colo., native who spends his time railfanning the former Denver & Rio Grande Western west of Denver and other Union Pacific and BNSF Railway scenes in Colorado and the neighboring area. 

A self portrait of John Crisanti while railfanning the Union Pacific in Colorado.

Crisanti is 24 years old and has enjoyed railroads for nearly two decades. John’s father, Sal, who recently passed away, was an influential in John’s interest in trains. As we bring back the Next Generation series, I couldn’t think of a better photographer to profile. 

Let’s learn a bit more…

Q. When and how did you get involved in railroad photography?

A: I got interested in railroad photography when my dad, who recently passed, introduced me and got me to pick up a camera over ten years ago. I've been interested in trains since I was really young, maybe five or six years old. 

A Union Pacific green train rolls through Rock River, Wyo., at sunset. John Crisanti.

Q. What is your favorite place to visit for railroad photography?

A. Probably my favorite place to visit to railfan is between Moffat in Colorado and Sherman Hill in Wyoming for the diverse scenery.

Q. Any chance that your interest in photography could steer your career choice? If not photography, could you envision yourself in a railroad related career?

A. I don't believe photography will be in my career choice in the future and I do not envision a railroad career in the future.

Q. Any role models or photographers that inspire you?

A. A couple of photographers that inspire me are: Ansel Adams, O. Winston Link, and a couple of modern railroad photographers. 

Three Union Pacific locomotives lead the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey circus train through Chemical, Colo. John Crisanti.

Q. We all have one… So, for you… What’s your railfan bucket list?

A. My railfan bucket list includes visiting Montana, the Pacific Northwest, Canada, and Alaska as they offer different and quality railroading in beautiful country.

Q. What other general interests and hobbies do you enjoy?

A. Other hobbies I have include traveling to brand new places, enjoying the Colorado outdoors that include hiking, biking, and more. On my free time, I sometimes like to draw, but most of the time I'll just pick up the camera. 

Do you know someone who would make a good candidate for Next Generation? If so, email me at

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