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Topics - Matthew Malkiewicz

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Work and Events / Photos - WW&F photo charter January 16/17
« on: February 11, 2021, 01:45:09 PM »
Follow the link below to a selection of my images captured last month at the WW&F Railway Museum in Maine during the Lerro Photography charter. Experimenting with a different technique of photo taking, I attempted to create with a more carefree and playful feeling. Recently I have been curiously studying the work of Japanese photographer Daido Moriyama; his distinct style was loosely mimicked in my approach to the event. Ignoring our western society’s photographic quote unquote ‘rules’; in some cases opting for sloppy composition, unprecise exposure, dark overtones, lack of clarity, purposely missing the decisive moment. Non-beautiful photos. The desire to accept imperfection. Prime examples are frames #3, 5, 8, 19, and especially 30. I feel the unfavorable weather played into my hand, hopefully the mystical draw I was trying to achieve conveys to the viewer. This is not a new direction I’m taking, rather a brief exploration outside the comfort zone. Let me know your opinion.

The last photo is not from Maine, but rather near home a week later. The lantern was purchased during the trip, my first blue globed light.


Work and Events / Thank you - WW&F photo charter January 16/17
« on: January 20, 2021, 04:29:09 AM »
On January 16/17, I attended the photo charter at the WW&F. I would like to thank everyone, both on the frontline and behind the scenes, who labored to make this a very smooth and successful event. The WW&F is first class, the scenes created were so timeless and accurate. Although the time was brief, it was great seeing you all.

Stay safe and well,
Matthew Malkiewicz

I first experienced the Maine 2-footers in August of 2008 with a visit to the WW&F Railway at Alna. Since then I’ve ventured back numerous times, with another planned in the near future. Every time driving north on Rt.295 I take notice of the abandoned Grand Trunk standard gauge swing bridge spanning the Back Cove in Portland. I always wanted to explore it but never did. The weekend before Christmas I was in Portland for the Maine Narrow Gauge Museum’s Polar Express train excursions; with some down time one afternoon I finally made it there.
The steel swing bridge and its wooden trestle were constructed to cross over the Portland peninsula, built in 1848 by the Atlantic & St. Lawrence Railroad. Tall masted ships needed to enter the Back Cove, so the bridge was designed to swing open about a center pivot to keep both train and water traffic moving. Quite the balancing act. Active for more than 100 years, in 1984 an arsonist lit the bridge on fire and caused damage beyond repair. It was permanently set in the open position and has been dead in the water since. The Maine Narrow Gauge currently operates on the old right-of-way leading to the bridge from the south around the Eastern Prom, but stops where land meets water.
The conditions presented my way were perfect; low tide, diffused afternoon sunlight, hardly any wind, and an unusually warm air temperature for December. I spent a few hours there, milling around seeking out composition.
Imagine the variety of classic trains that crossed this bridge, and the sailing ships which passed by.
Follow the link below to my gallery of images from the day.

The first week of November I ventured to Wales UK to participate in a series of photo charters, my first exposure to international steam operations.

We toured for 8 days, visiting four narrow gauge railways: the Rheilffordd FFestiniog, Welsh Highland, Rheilffordd Talyllyn, and Vale of Rheidol. The weather was varied, from cloudless sunny day to dark overcast with wind and rain – temperatures between the 30s and 50s Fahrenheit. Yes it does rain a lot there, the reason for the lush endless fields of green. Our travels luckily timed the autumn colors quite nicely.

Two elements that quickly intrigued me was the scenery and the people interacting with the machines, both I focused on with my cameras.

For me these photos are merely a reminder of my experiences, the locations and scenes, and most importantly the new friends made.

A special thank you goes out to Bob Branch, coordinator and leader of these excursions.

Follow the link below to my gallery of images.


General Discussion / Pere Marquette #1225 in the snow (photos)
« on: January 24, 2018, 06:32:59 PM »

The weekend before Christmas found me in central Michigan for the final ‘North Pole Express’ excursions of the season.  Follow the link above to my photos.

These trains of 900+ patrons per run were sold out months in advance; instead of highlighting the joyous families dressed in pajamas headed to the North Pole (Ashley, MI) - I chose to concentrate on simple compositions featuring the locomotive and the winter elements it’s subjected to.

Notice the difference a day and a small detail make. For Sunday the illuminated ‘1225’ number boards were added above the headlight.

There is a Tim Horton’s very close to Steam Railroading Institute in Owosso; they serve a really fine cup of hot cocoa…


Other Narrow Gauge / East Broad Top "The Current Chapter"
« on: May 19, 2017, 07:29:47 AM »

Follow the link above to my just-released photo essay about the East Broad Top RR.
I'm sometimes asked what my photographic personal project is, until now its been under wraps. But now not anymore...

I welcome comments, corrections, or feedback.


from Mike Massee:

Here is my video from the WW&F shoot back in January, to go with the earlier pictures.   About 30 minutes of HD two-footer goodness.  The flying cut-off at Alna center is re-created in the same place they used to do it.    Trains would start out of Wiscasset Northbound with the helper, climb up to Alna and then cut off.  They gave us a picture-perfect re-creation of it right on cue.

-Mike – Photography, Model Engineering and more…

The Sandy River & Rangeley Lakes Railroad (SR&RL) was a narrow gauge railroad that negotiated approximately 112 miles of track in Maine between the years of 1908 to 1935. This railroad was the longest of the five two-foot railways that once serviced the state. A scrap metal firm purchased the railroad at auction in May and operations ended July 2, 1935. The remaining rails were lifted in 1936. The SR&RL continues to run in the present day on a revived short segment of the original railway in Phillips. Last season the railroad was pleased to announce the return of steam to Phillips; Monson #3 served as the primary steam locomotive power.

On January 16th I ventured to Phillips for a day trip of exploring and photography, the link to my photographs is below.

Stripping away color enhances the patterns, textures, shapes, tones, geometry, and shadows in these images – which helps to highlight the minimalism created by the snow covered tracks, and the mystery that something is left to be grasped and understood. Negative intrigue draws the viewer in; even though the compositions feature the hidden right-of-way. The mind's eye is forced to fill in the rest of the story...


Work and Events / Maine Two-Foot Winter Steam Events 2017 (photos)
« on: March 01, 2017, 05:19:11 AM »
In partnership with the Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad Company and Boothbay Railway Village, the Wiscasset Waterville and Farmington Railway Museum hosted a pair of Maine Two-Footer Winter Steam Events, designed to provide unique photographic opportunities of winter operations typical a hundred years ago. Two different dates were held, January 14-15 and January 21-22, 2017. In addition to WW&F Rwy #9, Monson #3 was on the railroad and operated courtesy of the Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad Company. Bridgton and Saco River coach #11 was also at the event courtesy of Boothbay Railway Village. The WW&F Rwy’s new turntable at Sheepscot was in operation allowing for photographic opportunities not possible on the railroad before. World-class lighting for the night shoot scenes was provided by museum volunteer Stephen Hussar and his staff.

I attended both weekends, with my primary focus being both the men who operate the equipment and the collection of operating oil lanterns at the museum. I incorporated both into my photographic compositions, striving to have the human element at the forefront of my images.

Worth noting is photo #33 – motorman Stewart Rhine with Railcar #4, a replica of SR&RL track crew car #2.
This image was captured with my 1951 Kodak Brownie Hawkeye vintage film camera.

Follow the link below to my gallery:


Museum Discussion / WW&F Rwy - Returned to Reality
« on: January 19, 2017, 09:37:37 AM »

Follow the link above to my collaboration with writer Stephen Piwowarski from the WW&F Railway Museum.


Work and Events / WW&F Ry March/April excursions (photos)
« on: May 18, 2016, 07:18:07 PM »

The above link is to my gallery of photos from the WW&F's March and April photo excursions.

From the equipment, structures, and right-of-way all the way down to the very talented and skilled people involved; its a showcase of how serious and dedicated they are to the history of the Maine 2-footers. And it shows in the smallest of detail; throughout a recipe of all the best ingredients that come together to create the most satisfying experience imaginable. These scenes need few words to describe.

My post two months ago featured images void of the human element, focusing on the timeless environment recreated. In this update I bring forth a few of the core members, placing the interaction between man and machine at the forefront.


Museum Discussion / WW&F – the Fine Art series (photos)
« on: March 29, 2016, 08:03:22 AM »

The above link is to a series of photos I captured at the WW&F on the morning of March 25th, early before the photo excursion commenced. It was cold with freezing rain, but very serene and peaceful; the only noise some wild turkey in the distance gobbling and an occasional rooster crowing.
I planned beforehand to make these images appear as timeless as possible, but after looking at the finished gallery it’s hard not to think they were taken in 1910 and not 2016.
It amazes me that before 1989 (when the WW&F Railway Museum was established) no trackwork and structures existed; yet all looks to have been intact since the original railroad operated.
The spirit and drive of the Maine 2-Footers has never been more alive – thanks to the incredibly magical efforts by the men and women based in Sheepscot.


Other Narrow Gauge / East Broad Top 2015 roundhouse and backshops
« on: May 20, 2015, 03:11:37 PM »

On two separate occasions last month, by special invitation and permission from railroad management, I was allowed access to the East Broad Top’s roundhouse and backshops.

The granddaddy of steam-era portals to the past, I found the interiors particularly difficult to photograph; to capture both the magnitude of preserved industrial revolution before my eyes, and what I was feeling while roaming the hallowed grounds. It boggles the mind that these scenes from 100+ years ago still exist.

All the stable mates are there; old friends - still together - getting older: 16, 18, 12, 17, 15, 14 & M-1.

Time stands still.


Other Narrow Gauge / The Railroad Portraiture Series (photos)
« on: March 12, 2015, 06:04:53 AM »

Follow the link below to a collection of my railroad portraits, from 17 states – both standard and narrow gauge.
All of these are staged shots, using only ambient and/or natural light.
Criticism and feedback are welcomed.

Click on “Slideshow” on the top right of the screen.


Other Narrow Gauge / Hesston Steam Museum (photos)
« on: July 09, 2012, 05:29:38 PM »


Follow the above link to the photos from my Memorial Day visit to the Hesston Steam Museum in Indiana. Click on “Slideshow” at the top right of the screen or on an individual image for a full sized view.

Shay #7 is from the Oregon Lumber and New Mexico Lumber Companies, a 3-foot gauge Lima 3-truck wood burner.
Interesting tie this locomotive has with the Rio Grande Southern:
“It was owned (for a time) by the New Mexico Lumber Co, and served the McPhee branch off the RGS (at Dolores) during the time when NMLC owned and operated the mill and logging railroad at McPhee. This locomotive was used primarily to transfer cars between the RGS connection at Dolores and McPhee.”

The 1/4 scale locomotives are steam or gasoline powered and were mainly built for amusement parks from the 1920's to the 1950's; many from the former Kiddieland Amusement Park west of Chicago.

The 1/8 scale steam railroad feature coal burning locomotives owned and built by the people that run them – a two and a half mile journey through deep woods, past lakes and farm fields.

It struck me that day how little attention the Santa Fe diesels needed in the morning to get ready for the day, as opposed to the steam engines which, like their full size relatives, require much time to prepare for the day’s work. Evident in images #10 & 14, the Warbonnet F-unit waits patiently for an operator.


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