Flagstaff Railroad Tracks – Excerpts From a Photo Shoot

This week’s excerpts from a photo shoot take us to Flagstaff, Arizona (the railroad tracks that run through Flagstaff to be exact). Flagstaff sits in northern Arizona up in the high country with lots of pine trees. It is very different from Phoenix which sits a few hours south. It is also situated on a very heavily traveled transportation corridor connecting Southern California with points east. The corridor is served by Interstate 40 (following the historic Route 66 which goes through Flagstaff) and also a major rail line serving both freight and passenger train service. It seems like there is a train rolling through every half hour.

We were up there the first week of January with our Seattle child and her fiancé spending time in Sedona (southwest of Flagstaff) and Flagstaff. On one of our outings, we were checking out a microbrewery which sits along the railroad tracks and after a great lunch and drinks, the gift shop beckoned the rest of our group. Shopping and me don’t really mix…I’m an in and out type of shopper, but since I always have my camera nearby, I thought this would be a great opportunity to take some shots while the rest of the group browsed. Off to the tracks I went and took the following shots between trains.

Full disclosure at this point…this photo shoot was designed to be a black and white series, as that was how I was seeing the final result in my mind when I was snapping away. For those out there that aren’t as wild about B&W Photography as I am, for you I am starting and ending the series in color.


The first shot is of the tracks heading west, with the current train station on the right.

Flagstaff Railroad Tracks 1

Flagstaff Railroad Tracks 1


The second capture starts the black and white series with the same capture. I would like to point out a building in the shot that stands out better in the B&W version. Let your eye follow the sidewalk in front of the train station towards the hill in the background. If you go straight up visually to the top of the hill, you will see a small white dome structure. This is the Lowell Observatory, built in 1894 and its claim to fame is the discovery of Pluto.

Flagstaff Railroad Tracks 2

Flagstaff Railroad Tracks 2


The third capture is still looking west, but with the composition of the shot centered on just the tracks. I love the depth that is created by taking these shots centered between the tracks (on these tracks, not advisable and believe me I was quick about it as I said earlier there is a lot of train traffic).

Flagstaff Railroad Tracks 3

Flagstaff Railroad Tracks 3


The fourth shot is from me turning completely around and now I am facing east.

Flagstaff Railroad Tracks 4

Flagstaff Railroad Tracks 4


The fifth shot is in the same location with me stooping down and pulling in a tighter shot.

Flagstaff Railroad Tracks 5

Flagstaff Railroad Tracks 5


The sixth and seventh pictures are the original train station and number six creates that vintage, historic look with B&W, but I love number seven because of the beauty of the color of the stone.

Flagstaff Railroad Tracks 6

Flagstaff Railroad Tracks 6

Flagstaff Railroad Tracks 7

Flagstaff Railroad Tracks 7


Thoughts? (P.S. – as I said in my B&W post two weeks ago: it’s ok if you prefer the color…no offense taken, I admit I have a penchant for B&W)

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28 thoughts on “Flagstaff Railroad Tracks – Excerpts From a Photo Shoot

  1. Dan Antion

    Great photos Kirt. I like the black and white of the views down the tracks. I think the leg your imagination wander a bit more and they have a timeless quality. I like the bw station but I do like the stone color.

  2. reocochran

    Kirt, all very good photographs. My favorite was the fifth, tighter one with the ridges of the rails so clear and this was fascinating how stopping down changed it dramatically! 🙂

  3. Sue Slaght

    I chuckled at the comment about those who aren’t as keen about black and white. Hmmm who could that be?

    I will say the black and white gives the track a striking look. Most of all I love the perspective of the images of the tracks. Oh yes and the description of the brewery outing. Yes very keen on that too!

  4. Allison

    Hi Kirt,

    I adore black & white! Your work is gorgoeus – glad to have found you via the wonderful Brad Volz @ Writing to Freedom.

    Peace, always,


  5. teagan geneviene

    Okay. I confess. I do like the color ones best. 😀 That first one is lovely, with unexpected, subdued color combinations. Flagstaff is an interesting town. (I once applied for a job there.) But it’s even more picturesque than I realized. Hugs!


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