David Whitney French Photography | Black, silver and cinders

Black, silver and cinders

July 24, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

About 40 miles west of Flagstaff along Interstate 40 sits a metallic monster, known as an iron horse, containing thousands of bolts, mixed with intricate piping and coated with colors of silver and black. The steam locomotive, built in the 1920s and numbered “539”, is a marvel of engineering even today. Known as a 2-8-8-2 Chesapeake, the engine sits on a siding, next to the main line, and belongs to the Grand Canyon Railway. No longer in service, Engine 539 is still an inviting site to photograph.

I spent some time with her, along with my Nikon D7000, a week ago, while waiting to board a shiny diesel engine that would take my wife and I to the Grand Canyon for a day.  For me, the older train held some special interest. It could have been from my boyhood, when I had a collection of HO scale trains, many of them steam engines. The diesel on the siding next to us was sleek, and painted bright yellow. But looking at the colors of black, grey and silver of Engine 539 from behind a camera lens, I felt the textures were too good to pass up without taking a few shots. Either way, I captured these images that I hope you will enjoy.


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Photography, Lessons Learned, and Cycling.



I have been taking pictures since I was about 6 years old.  I started with a Kodak Instamatic.  Just holding that Kodak was fun back then. Today, the camera badge may say "Nikon", but the fun of taking someone's photograph is still there. 


Times have changed regarding photography over the past 20 years.  My first business was in in Corpus Chirsti, Texas back in 1992.  I went under the same name, my name, David Whitney French Photography.  One of my favorite photo gigs was doing weddings.  Why?  Well, besides being a challenge at times, with the stress of getting the right shot in the age of film, everyone was happy!  It was a happy time for the groom, bride, attendants, everyone.  What more could I ask for?  Hanging out, with a camera for a few hours or more with a bunch of happy people.


Oh, and I like riding my bike!