Conversations 2016 reaches new heights

The Center’s annual Conversations conference sold out for the third consecutive year, with 180 attendees coming to Lake Forest College, thirty miles north of Chicago, from thirty-seven different states and four foreign countries. The weekend included lively social hours, stimulating discussions, and a diverse lineup of informative, engaging, and entertaining presentations.

Friday featured an opening reception banquet with live music by Charlie Castner and Ron Flanary, and a photography exhibition by John Sanderson. Saturday’s full day of presentations began with Wendy Burton and Kevin Keefe discussing their new book, Railroad Vision, followed by artist J. Craig Thorpe’s engaging look at concept art. Tony Reevy shared photographer Jack Delano’s trip across the Santa Fe from his recent book about Delano, while Ron Hill gave a retrospective of his black-and-white photography. Sanderson presented his railroad landscapes, and Steve Patterson concluded the day with a lively look back at his career as both railroader and photographer. A reception followed in the college’s elegant Glen Rowan House with print and book sales and signings.

Todd Halamka kicked off Sunday morning with his stunning color photography from around the world, and then Steve Barry provided an introduction to drones and railroad photography. Emily Moser shared her photography and reflections from “Riding the Harlem Line and Beyond.” Alan Shaw offered a look at Australia’s quirky railroads, while John Gruber and John Ryan wrapped up with the weekend and a detailed look at the lives and photography of Lucius Beebe and Charles Clegg. Mark your calendars now for Conversations 2017, April 28-30 at Lake Forest College.

See eighty photographs from the weekend on Flickr by Hank Koshollek.

Steve Barry
Steve Barry, editor of Railfan & Railroad magazine, gave an overview of using photography drones at the Center’s Conversations 2016 conference, which sold out for the third consecutive year.

Conversations 2016: Sold-out

Conversations 2016, April 8–10 in Lake Forest, Illinois, is sold-out. If you have not yet registered but still wish to attend, please call or send an email ASAP and we will do our best to accommodate you.

Print sales and raffles
Three limited edition prints are available in this year’s print program, featuring the work of presenters Steve Patterson and Ron Hill. Two framed and matted prints, one each from photographers David Plowden and Mel Patrick, will also be given away in raffles. Patrick’s will be raffled on Friday evening and Plowden’s on Saturday. Tickets will be available at the door, and conference patrons will receive free tickets for each raffle.

2016 Docents
The Center is delighted to welcome three new docents to this year’s Conversations. They are Joe Stroppel of Glen Cove, New York; Ryan Gaynor of Toronto, Ontario; and Aviva Gellman of Madison, Wisconsin. Stroppel is a middle school student who participated in the New York City Transit Museum’s “Art on the Tracks” photography workshop last fall. Gaynor is majoring in media arts and media production at Ryerson University in Toronto. Gellman is a recent graduate of the University of Minnesota and has been interning for the Center in Madison since 2013.

Colorado & Southern 641, by Ron HillColorado & Southern 2-8-0 steam locomotive no. 641 switching cars with a snowy Mt. Elbert in background at Leadville, Colorado, on December 13, 1961. Photograph by Ronald C. Hill and available in a limited edition as part of the Center’s 2016 Print Program.

Buy Our Publications

The Center’s journal, Railroad Heritage®, and other publications fill a unique niche: using photographs and art to inform the public and rail enthusiasts alike about the influence of railroads on economic growth and development, popular culture, and the lives of the hundreds of thousands of men and women who built and maintain North America’s railroads. Excellent images and highly researched and thoughtful writing characterize our publications. We launched Railroad Heritage in 2000 and now publish four issues annually, which our members receive for free as a benefit of membership. You can purchase previous issues here or by printing and mailing the order form (pdf).

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Railroad Heritage, Spring 2016: Ron Hill, European Posters, Colorization

Get ready for our annual Conversations conference with the Spring 2016 issue of Railroad Heritage. Author, photographer, and board member Jeff Brouws provides a preview of one of the conference presentations with his in-depth look at the photography of Ronald C. Hill. We then travel across the pond to Europe where Arjen den Boers of the Netherlands introduces railway posters from central Europe in the early twentieth century. Davidson Ward offers a brief glimpse into the world of digital colorization of old photographs, while editor Scott Lothes shares some industrial archaeology from New York’s Hudson River Valley. Jordan Radke continues his popular “Out of the Archives” column with a look at processing work and guidelines for submitting your collection for consideration to the Center or another archive. And we gratefully list our donors from 2015, the people who make the Center happen.

$7.95, 48 pages, color and b/w

Railroad Heritage 44, Spring 2016

Conversations 2016 lineup and registrations

Registrations are now open for Conversations 2016, April 8–10 on the campus of Lake Forest College, thirty miles north of Chicago. Conversations was a sell-out in each of the last two years, so register early to ensure your spot. You will not want to miss this year’s diverse lineup of talented presenters. Visit the conference page to register, learn more, and see the lineup of presenters.

Union Pacific in Idaho, by David SalterUnion Pacific freight train climbing out of Idaho’s Snake River Valley in 1953. Photograph by David W. Salter and courtesy of Trains magazine. Authors Wendy Burton and Kevin Keefe will discuss their book Railroad Vision: Steam Era Images from the Trains Magazine Archive at Conversations 2016.