This year's Trains' Photo Contest

on Tuesday, January 07, 2014

I'm neither a professional photographer nor an amateur photographer, but I know a well composed shot when I see one. My art background coupled with more than a decade of sifting through your train photos, I've come to know great photography. I recently acquired a "good" camera. My definition of good is it's not just a point and shoot. And, like many other people, I tend to use the camera built into my phone to take many shots of … my kids. Between my new camera, my phone's camera, and having an 18-month-old rambunctious little boy, I've been taking a lot of photos. What I find myself doing more and more is taking photos in rapid succession, which digital photography makes easy and cost effective. I think to myself: One of these won't be blurry, my boy will be looking at the camera, it won't be too bright, it won't be too dark, he'll be relatively centered, and maybe he'll be smiling? Well, you can't have it all, or at least I can't.

But as I sift through the photos on my computer or phone, I find some really cool sequences. I took about 80 photos of the kids at Christmas to put together a decent photo card. I ended up using two nice ones, but the outtakes are what I really enjoy. The ones where my son is pulling my daughter's hair and they're both laughing, and the ones where they're looking at each other and you can see the love between them. Here are a few of the sequential outtakes.

So where am I going with this? Trains' 2014 Photo Contest theme is "Sequence." Sequential photography can be interpreted in any number of ways. Your two- to three-photo sequence could be something that happened yesterday, or it could show the difference of decades. And with more than 150 years of railroading in the United States, you have a lot to choose from. So start looking back and also look forward. I'd love to see your photos.

Please send us two to three photos that show a sequence of events. You may interpret this theme to your heart’s content, but please send us one sequence, comprised of no more than three photos. Please do not alter your images. However, you may make minor color corrections, burning, dodging, and minor levels adjustments. When your sequence is ready, upload it to no later than May 31, 2014.

After choosing the winners, we will request those photographers submit a short paragraph describing how the sequence was captured, why this sequence stands out from the rest, and your camera details. Winners will be announced in the October 2014 issue.

For more details, go to

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