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Snowing the tracks: How an Uxbridge photographer caught a train in action

Posted by David Stewart  January 27, 2011 03:34 PM

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David L. Foster

This sequence shows a train plowing through the snow in downtown Uxbridge at noon today.

Sometimes a good photo comes from being at the right place at the right time. And sometimes it comes from getting lucky.

For David L. Foster, an amateur photographer in Uxbridge, it was a little bit of both that helped him capture the moment a fast-moving train plowed through a pile of snow.

"I knew the moment I pressed the shutter that it was a good shot," Foster said. "If you said 'one, two, three,' it would have been over before you got to two."

Foster, a biotech professional by trade who shoots photos regularly using his digital Canon and publishes his work at, said he set the camera up this morning in the second floor at his house, just down the street from where the railroad track crosses Hartford Avenue in downtown Uxbridge. He took a shot of the unplowed tracks and waited for a train to pass through.

He was downstairs around noon when he heard a train approaching. "I kind of thought of how I wanted to take the photo," Foster said. "It was the fastest sequence of shots that I can remember shooting."

He managed to get upstairs, grab his camera and fire off several shots in less than a second as a short train on the Providence-Worcester line came plowing through at a fast clip.

"I knew it would come some time during the day," Foster said. "I'm lucky I wasn't in the bathroom or something."

The resulting photos show the fast-moving train plowing through a snow bank on one side of Hartford Avenue. He was happy with the results, but added that he normally doesn't shoot action photos.

"I'm more of a landscape photographer," Foster, 55, who has also worked as a biotech scientific director, said. "I wish I had 20 more seconds."

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