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from convenience — aspirations for po- etic or lyrical images came later. Many of the railroads I photographed saw on- ly a handful of trains. If I could learn to photograph them at night, I could dou- ble my scant opportunities. Years later, in places like the Oregon Cascades, that reasoning would serve me well. But by then something deeper had also taken hold. The night had terrified me


42 APRIL 2012 • RAILFAN.COM


as a child, until I learned to go fishing after dark with the men in my family. Then I reveled in a newfound familiar- ity with the night. With photography, I sought to interpret its mysteries.


Alone With the Night While some nights out in the North-


west were so lonely that daylight could hardly arrive soon enough, there were


others that I wished would never end. I felt that most strongly on the night of July 6, 2011, my last night camping out in the Columbia Gorge. It had been al- most exactly 20 years since that first harrowing drive down the Gorge with my grandparents. I had been awake for nearly 20 hours, photographing from before sunrise until after sunset. My world was changing, and new opportu-


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