2015 Photography Awards: Be Creative

First Place: Eric WilliamsEric Williams, Millburn, New Jersey, took first prize in the 2014 photography awards with this dramatic view of Junction 18 on Chicago’s ‘L.’ The theme was “lasting impressions.”

“Be creative” is the theme for the Center’s 2015 John E. Gruber Creative Photography Awards Program. Send us your best, your most creative railroad photographs—views you would be proud to share on the Internet or with friends. Stop, look, and listen, observe what is happening around you—then put your creativity to work. Create your photographs. We are not placing restrictions on your creativity and your opportunities are not limited by specific themes, but photographs must have been taken after December 31, 2010. Remember that interpretations of railroads can be subtle. Don’t ignore the personal side of railroading. Look to the future. What may have seemed creative in the past may be passé today.

Theme: Be creative
Deadline: October 1, 2015
Winners announced: December 1, 2015
Submit to: award [at] railphoto-art [dot] org
Format: Up to five (5) full-size JPEG files at “high” or “maximum” quality setting
Publication: Railroad Heritage and Railfan & Railroad
Exhibition: California State Railroad Museum
First Prize: $1,000
Second Prize: $500
Third Prize: $250

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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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Conversations 2015: Our best yet?

Axel ZwingenbergerWorld-renowned German pianist and photographer Axel Zwingenberger, one of the five best boogie-woogie piano players in the world, got Conversations 2015 off to a rocking start with his music on Friday night. The “Boogiemeister prophet of steam” also presented his stunning and, at times, death-defying night photography of German steam locomotives. Photograph by Henry A. Koshollek

Conversations 2015 is a wrap, and the foremost question on everyone’s mind at the Center is, simply, “What can we ever do to top this?” German guest Axel Zwingenberger played world-class boogie-woogie piano music and showed world-class night steam photography. Art collector Peter Mosse swept attendees into a whirlwind and globe-trotting tour of the fascinating world of railroad paintings. The curator of Britain’s National Railway Museum, Ed Bartholomew, presented a riveting overview of 175 years of British railway photography in less than forty-five minutes. Renowned photographers from across the country showed stunning images and provided insightful commentary on their methods and intentions, including J. Parker Lamb, one of the deans of American railroad photography. There were few dull moments for the close-to-capacity crowd of 175 attendees, who enjoyed sumptuous meals, lively social hours, and ample opportunities to converse with dozens of leaders in the fields of railroad photography and art. Topping Conversations 2015 is a tall order, but you can trust that the Center is up to the task. In the meantime, enjoy a “Top Ten” list about the conference from Trains editor Jim Wrinn and eighty views through the skillful eye of photographer Henry A. Koshollek.

Significant Images of Railroading

Significant Images of Railroading

Significant Images of Railroading, edited by Center president Scott Lothes, is a 78-page, softcover book that, for the first time, presents an overview of the Center’s photography collections. Of the nearly 200,000 images in those collections, ninety-three are presented here in vibrant color and rich, quadtone black-and-white. Those images come from ten principal collections, including the work of Wallace W. Abbey, whose circa 1950 photograph from Chicago Union Station is featured on the cover. A preservation award from Trains magazine helped fund processing of the Abbey Collection. Other major holdings include the works of Fred M. Springer, John F. Bjorklund, and Ted Rose. Biographical sketches written by Jack Holzhueter introduce each section. Archives manager Jordan Radke completed processing work on many of the collections; archival partner Lake Forest College also contributed greatly to the processing work. In addition to the Trains award, funding for this special publication came from Fred and Dale Springer, the Candelaria Fund, and Bon and Holly French.

$19.95, softcover, 78 pages, color and b/w

Railroaders: Jack Delano’s Homefront Photography

Railroaders: Jack Delano's Homefront Photography

200-page, hardbound, 11- by 11.5-inch book published by the Center. Printed in the US, it features 108 photographs, including seventy-three of Jack Delano’s 1942–1943 views of Chicagoland railroads and their workers, reproduced in full color with rich quadtones for the black-and-whites. Contempoary photographs by Jack’s son, Pablo Delano, and the Center’s John Gruber and Scott Lothes complement the catalog. There are essays by Pablo Delano, Gruber, and University of Texas professor Jeremi Suri, a leading public historian. Biographical essays prepared by Center editorial consultant Jack Holzhueter as well as Gruber and Lothes tell the life stories of the forty-nine railroaders.

$60, $50 for members of the Center, $5 s/h, 200 pages, hardbound, color and b/w


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