Photo Daily: 1953 Ghost Train (Short Film)

1953 Ghost Train, Chicago ©2014

Still from iPhone Short Film “1953 Ghost Train”, Chicago ©2014

A little departure from the Photo Daily today. Not really a photo. Not really a film. Somewhere in between. The 1953 Ghost Train.

I was finishing up work a couple Fridays ago, walking out of the studio with a producer friend of mine. Her boyfriend was picking her up and he mentioned that a vintage diesel train engine was going to be passing through in a few minutes, about a block away from where we were standing.

For the RailNerds, and I say that with love, it was an Iowa Pacific 515 Type EMD E8, 2,250 HP, built in 1953 for the Chicago & North Western. It was originally used to pull the C&NW’s long distance passenger trains into the 1960s.

Okay. I’m game. The 10-year-old boy in me is still fascinated by trains, especially of the vintage variety. So we walked over to the tracks and waited while I decided if I was going to simply watch it pass or try to do something with it.

I knew my iPhone was exactly the wrong camera to photograph the dark, fast-moving object with, but as Chase Jarvis likes to say, “The best camera is one you have with you.” It was what I had with me.

The next question was, still or motion? I went back and forth for a few minutes, and even fired off a couple of tests to see what the camera could do in the light.

Meh. Neither was very good. But I decided to go with 120fps motion. Maybe I could make something cool with it back at the studio.

Did I? You tell me.

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