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My First Professionally Published Picture

This is a very exciting time for me. I have had many firsts while RailFanning, some we will not talk about, but some have been really exciting. I have met some real characters along the way, some railfanning also, some curious about railfans, some wearing badges.

NS 223 / NS 2599

This picture is the first one I have been asked by a professional entity for its use. And to think, I came very close to not even taking this picture, just waving to the crew. Here is the full story. A couple of months before I had an unfortunate accident while stepping out of the bed of my pickup truck after getting a picture. As I stepped out of the bed, I hooked my right boot heel on the tailgate and actually fell off the bumper, right on top of a two month old Digital Rebel. It broke the lens off destroying the lens, and doing enough damage to send the camera frame back to Canon. I had gotten my camera back from Canon and had purchased a replacement lens only a day or two before this weekend. I got out on Friday afternoon and took a couple dozen images, then came the two days of train chasing.

Two of the other railfanners from Central KY and I took out Saturday morning and stayed out all day, with pretty good results. I got a total of five pictures posted up on RailPictures from that day. We headed back out Sunday morning, knowing that it traditionally the slowest traffic day of the week. Again we had really good luck. That weekend we took two vehicles so we could be together, yet seperate out for different angles and locations of the same trains. Its nice to run with company, but also nice to get substantially different shots. Sunday was a run and gun kind of day, with lots of leap frogging locations and trains. First was a brand new CSX SD70MAC on NS 143 which we chased from Danville (MP 114ish) to Norwood (MP 155ish). At Norwood, we caught NS 223 with NS 2599 (a new clean SD70M on point, see below) and chased him far as we could, which for me was Parkers Lake (MP 183ish).

The clouds had been building all day and as I parked the truck, I got severely cloud covered and initially I left the camera in the truck. I decided, what the heck, the sun might just come back out, it didn't. I heard the engine rumbling, then saw it around the corner, and no sun, and came very close to waving to the crew. At the last minute I decided to get an image or three, even though I didn't think any would come out usable. When I got home, I worked up all the other pictures, and decided to just see what would happen with that image. It cleaned up ok, but was not sure about attempting a post, but I did, and it was actually accepted. Within four hours of it being posted (a few days later), I got an email from KATO, a model railroad manufacturer, wanting to know if they could use this image for advertising. They were thinking about making an EMD SD70M model and they thought this image would be a good one for print ads and the internet. My payment would be a model engine, should they actually start to produce that model. One year later to the day, they opened sales up for that model on the internet. I received my payment a couple of days later.

You just never know what someone else might like. There were so many ways that image almost didn't make it to RailPictures, but for some reason it did. I think it was one of the lesser of the twelve from the weekend, but what do I know.

Here is the first picture of that engine, in sunlight, and then pictures of the actual model. I hope you enjoyed the story and pictures.

NS 223 / NS 2599 KATO 2599 High Side KATO 2599 Middle Side KATO 2599 High Front KATO 2599 High Rear