Wanted: your compelling railroad photography

Posted by Jim Wrinn
on Thursday, January 19, 2012

The staff met for Trains’ annual planning retreat earlier this week, and we talked about the use of great photography in our print edition as well as on our website. Great imagery certainly abounds out there today, thanks partly to the widespread use of digital technology that has enabled the creation of so many amazing images. It’s also due to the keen eye of so many folks like you and me who believe that railroading is one of the most fascinating things on Earth. This is an amazing subject that lends itself to action photography so easily, and it’s no wonder that photojournalists find railroading one of the greatest subjects around.

Here at Trains, we see dozens of great photos come into our office every day via our FTP site, where you can upload photos straight from your computer to our system. From there, the staff studies the submissions to look for photos that are relevant to our news pages or that would be appropriate for feature stories that are on the horizon. Then, Librarian Tom Hoffmann reviews the contributions and adds photos to our digital library. There, they’re available for use to the staff later on, and I am glad to say that our digital library is now reaching the point where it covers a good portion of North American railroading.

But there is always room for more great photos for the staff to draw on! News photos, artistic images, creative views, close ups, people pictures, and more all have a home here. Our digital archive is one of the first places we turn when we’re starting research to illustrate stories on contemporary topics.

One of our sister magazines here at Kalmbach Publishing, The Writer, ran an announcement in 1918 from The Railroad Man’s Magazine in New York seeking “odd photographs.” The priorities for them at the time were to seek “the new, the novel, the quaint, the historical, the unique, the surprising.” You could say the same thing today, almost 100 years later, about what we’re looking for too.

We’d love to help you get started. If you’d like a copy of our contributor’s guide, which covers both photography and authorship, drop a note to editor@trainsmag.com, and we’ll send you one. If you’re ready to send us images, the address for our FTP site is www.contribute.kalmbach.com. As always, slides and prints are welcomed at P.O. Box 1612, Waukesha, WI 53187-1612.
Great photography and Trains magazine are one in the same!

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