Canopy of Yellow and Steel

Roaring Camp Railroad in Felton, CA

Photo Specs:
1/380 second exposure  •  f/1.6  •  ISO 32  •  5.1mm  •  iPhone 12 Pro Max

“A train would make this photo perfect,” I thought as I stood beneath a yellow canopy of lush, dewey fall foliage.

It was early morning at Roaring Camp Railroads in the Santa Cruz Mountains. My friend was meeting me for a hike and I had a few extra minutes. Naturally, as someone who loves photographing trains, I pulled out my phone and began to wander.

After photographing random rails and parked trains, I came across a segment of track that went underneath the canopy you see above.

Click click.
Click click.

I made a few photos – but, it was still lacking a certain “oomph.” Such a beautiful scene demanded more than just train tracks!

At one point, a person walked by. But, she was off to the side and felt like more of a distraction than a centerpiece.

That’s when I heard it.

The sound of an engine chugging and metal wheels clacking on metal tracks.


Could it be?

Had I manifested the exact element I had been picturing in my head?

Sure enough, a train was coming around the bend. Its path went directly through the tunnel of yellow leaves.

The perfect photo was chugging its way toward me.

Good thing I had made all of those other photos.

With moments to spare, I knew exactly where to stand and how to frame my photo.

In total, I had about five seconds to make this shot.

Now, I will enjoy it for five decades to come.

Other photos from my morning at Roaring Camp in Felton, CA

Including the first photos I made of the canopy of yellow without the train. What a difference the locomotive makes, huh?