Our 6 Favorite Reader Photos from the “Trains, Planes & Automobiles” Assignment

It’s the Thrill of the Chase
Matthew Malkiewicz captured this image of the Pere Marquette 1225 steam locomotive—which he calls “the real Polar Express”—with a Canon EOS 5D Mark III and a 70-200mm f/4L lens at 75mm, f/8, 1/2000 second, ISO 100. © Matthew Malkiewicz

Trains are an ever-popular photography subject but we didn’t want to limit this assignment to just one mode of transportation. Instead, we decided to do a riff on the Christmas movie classic “Planes, Trains and Automobiles” and let readers decide which speedy subject they wanted to shoot. We weren’t, necessarily, looking for action shots of these vehicles for this assignment but adding an element of motion in your images did not hurt.

Thunderbird Mirror Pass
“US Air Force Thunderbirds in the Mirror Pass maneuver taken at the 2016 Wings Over North Georgia Air Show in Rome, Georgia,” Rosemary Williams writes. “This photograph was taken with an Olympus OM-D E-M1 and an Olympus 40-150mm f/2.8 lens at 150mm (300mm equivalent in 35mm format), f/8, 1/600 second, at ISO 400, with the Raw image processed in Photoshop.” © Rosemary Williams

Light ’Em Up
“A jet-powered car firing its afterburner in the water box to complete a burnout before going down the drag track,” Amy Stauffer says about the shot. “The jet cars are always my favorite because they are so extreme and I loved this moment with the official so close to danger while spraying water on the track and silhouetted by the flames.” She photographed it with a Canon EOS 5D Mark III and a 100-400mm lens at 400mm, f/5.6, 1/500 second, ISO 800. © Amy Stauffer

As usual, we asked you to give your photos of trains, planes, or automobiles a sense of context or place. Static shots of a car in parking lot or a locomotive in an ugly train yard weren’t going to catch our eye. Instead, we asked you to include important pieces of a surrounding scene to help your photos tell a story. We wanted to feel excited about taking a ride in your train, plane, or automobile. And for our six favorite images here, that’s just what we felt.

Harry Potter Train
Onur Cepheli captured this shot of the “famous” Jacobite train (aka Hogwarts Express from the Harry Potter movies) at the Glenfinnan Viaduct in the Scottish Highlands. He shot it with a Nikon D800 and a Nikon AF-S Nikkor 16-35mm f/4G ED VR lens at 35mm, f/8, 1/160 second, ISO 200. © Onur Cepheli

Old Stutz
“I was photographing antique race cars at Lime Rock Park and saw this old Stutz taking a corner right after the previous car had kicked up some dust going off track,” Kenneth Kast explains. “Thought it made a great background for the car. Tilted the image a bit and went with a sepia tone to add an aged look to the shot.” Kast shot it with a Nikon D800 and an AF-S Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G VR lens at 300mm, f/10, 1/800 second, ISO 800. © Kenneth Kast

Sunset Harrier Vertical Landing
“Marine AV-8B (Harrier) executes a vertical landing as the sun sets over Eastern North Carolina,” Kim Habecker says about this image. “I was trying to capture the one-of-a-kind power and elegance of the Harrier as I was watching vertical landing practice. Once the sun set, I knew the colors would bring out the beauty of the aircraft.” Habecker captured the image with a Canon EOS 6D and a Canon 70-200mm f/4 lens at 200mm, f/5, 1/250 second, ISO 640. © Kim Habecker

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