Shooting Challenge: Trains

Illustration for article titled Shooting Challenge: Trains

You know why it's about to be Labor Day Weekend? Because in 1894, Grover Cleveland couldn't stop the Pullman (railroad) Strike. Blood was shed. Morale was down. And Congress rushed legislation to make appease workers everywhere and make Labor Day a national holiday. In gratitude, for this week's Shooting Challenge, let's pay homage to the railroad workers who made the day possible.


The Challenge

Take a photo of a train, railroad, or anything along those lines.

The Technique

Trains might be the easiest thing to photograph in the world—especially as this weekend, most won't be running! They're austere when parked. They're beautiful wrapped in motion blur. And they're a fantastic excuse to dust off the panoramic function of your phone.

The Example

Our lead image is from flickr's Jerry Huddleston. He must have panned his camera at the speed of the train, blurring out the world, except for the super sharp mechanics of the engine. The lines of this piece, too—not quite parallel—pull my eyes in wonky directions that I kind of dig.

The Rules

1. Submissions need to be your own.

2. Photos must be taken this week.

3. Explain, briefly, the equipment, settings, technique and story behind shot.

4. Email submissions to, not me.

5. Include 970px wide image (200KB or less) AND a natively sized image in email. I know that your photo may not fall into those exact high rez dimensions, so whatever native resolution you're using is fine.


6. One submission per person.

7. Use the proper SUBJECT line in your email (more info on that below)

8. You agree to the Standard Contest Rules - though we DO accept non-US resident submissions.


9. If the image contains any material or elements that are not owned by you and/or which are subject to the rights of third parties, and/or if any persons appear in the image, you are responsible for obtaining, prior to submission of the photograph, any and all releases and consents necessary to permit the exhibition and use of the image in the manner set forth in these rules without additional compensation. If any person appearing in any image is under the age of majority in their state/province/territory of residence the signature of a parent or legal guardian is required on each release.

Send your best photo by Tuesday, September 2nd at 9AM Eastern to with "Trains" in the subject line. Save your files as JPGs, and use a FirstnameLastnameTrains.jpg (970px wide) and FirstnameLastnameTrainsWallpaper.jpg (2560px wide) naming conventions.



Michael Walsh

My father worked for the Union Pacific, and every December came home with a colorful calendar with pictures like that on top, UP trains crossing the Great Plains, running along the foothills of the Rockies, or coming into Chicago. I must have been 8 years old before I realized that they also printed calendars without trains, but I never trusted them.