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An Extremely Needed Reboot...

Short photo essay, reigniting a passion fueled for almost a decade

By Guije Published 3 years ago 7 min read
BNSF manifest passing through Denair. 28 December, 2020

It wasn’t long ago before I was cleansing the hard drive of my older computer while coming across a video I’ve made as of seven years ago, and I got hypnotized watching it bringing back a great amount of memories I’ve gathered up to before I quit. The emotions hit me at once to the point where I’d start to tear up while watching the short video repeatedly. It consisted of roughly several shots captured on my then standard definition camcorder chopped and skewed to match the tempo of the royalty free instrumental I came across somehow. I remember I had intentions to release this but I never got to do it. However, it did get me thinking about the first evening it happened that changed my life and helped me gain another passion other than writing and music. One where it led down a rabbit hole of art and creativity.

It was a breezy November afternoon as I went to the station in Suisun-Fairfield as my father accompanied me during the trip. The wind circulated, creating a vortex of small leaves, swirling making a pass at where we stood. It’s a tad unfortunate that I had looked like an idiot using the webcam on my laptop in an attempt to shoot video for the short time we were there. It was a weekend I so happened to spend with my father during a difficult time in my life where things were changing radically, and I was searching for some additional enjoyment to distract me from where I stood and the situations that surrounded me.

I thought to myself “people must be thinking I’m a little demented for running around to shoot video on the webcam of my laptop” which the afternoon concluded after “shooting” a pair of trains rapidly passing through the station. This idea stemmed from watching those documentaries of trains shot in the previous decades in an assorted mini collection I had and to which I’d watch over and over again in my room at home. Then I had begun to go down a rabbit hole of Youtube videos of amateur made train videos which was an overwhelming amount to take in. I couldn’t help but to build a habit of searching for newer train videos almost every other day as soon as I got my first smartphone with mobile data connection.

SP 5472 at Niles Canyon Railway, Sunol. 17 July, 2016

It promptly moved my father to purchase one of those “Flip” style cameras helping me shoot videos of trains in an accessible fashion which lasted a good year before the damn thing started to die off being as good as a door knob. I had no idea what went through my head when I had decided to ask my mother for a standard definition Sony camcorder for Christmas the following year. I couldn't help but to enjoy recording trains passing by wherever I would be regardless of the fact that I felt like a complete moron using the webcam of my laptop to shoot video for that short afternoon. Spoiler: none of the footage was usable but, I’m grateful for that memory because I don’t know if it would happen in a different way.

It probably could have if I was more patient and willing to delay gratification a bit but sometimes you don't find out about these things until you're a fully functional-minded adult.

Amtrak's Capitol Corridor passing Alviso. 22 November, 2015

The vibrancy of the photographs, in addition to some of my earlier videography work, reflected nothing but joy and passion into the hobby. It took just a year and a half for me to get my hands on my first Nikon DSLR for my birthday which helped me step up in my interest in photography and somewhat in my videography since I took some shots using the camera realizing how much more crisp the quality in the video from my DSLR had compared to that of any camcorder labelled "High Definition" on it.

Spinning off of that afternoon, years and years of memories have accumulated further adding nothing but passion and burning desire to make my type of content creation into my new occupation. I’ll admit there were bumps in the roads where I still wish I could’ve done things differently in addition to that evening but regardless, I’m at the point where I’m looking to reignite that passion in creating videos of trains as I did from that evening onward although just a slightly different pathway towards that ideal result.

SP 4294 in Sacramento. 5 April, 2016

In other words? For me, a much needed reboot.

Yes, this is going to mean that I launch a brand new page designed to be a curation page for the train videography I’ve shot though in this approach it would almost become a personal diary of the interesting action that goes by my camera while rolling. It might be slow at first but it should serve for me as a personal reminder that it doesn’t matter the amount that I put out so long as the videos are up to my high standards and as long as I’m confident in posting them. In addition to that, the key is having fun in the journey because looking back towards the year, it has been a crazy ride up to this point but what's ahead is better.

My plan and ambition is to achieve the stats on Youtube to roughly the same level of other Youtubers making "bank" off of whatever they upload however I wouldn't upload a piece of content that I would be unhappy to have as part of my expanding catalog being the body of my work in the coming months and years. Technically, "Phase I" has already been initiated by purchasing a piece of equipment that some railroad enthusiasts would comment on as being "overkill" and while I agree, I simply cannot help but to be pleased by the results I've been getting since purchasing it.

If you have further questions as to what I'm referring to, please feel free check out this piece I wrote not too long ago about it:

To be truthful, I cannot wait to reveal further ideas about this new curation page and I'm optimistic as to where this page is headed seeing as its prime directive is in helping me reignite my passion for documenting trains since I was a child because it's going to be amazing as to where I'd go in the coming months ahead while putting forth this plan into action. It's not coming off of the thoughts of "I need to do this" but instead replaced in the welcoming thoughts of "I want to do this."

There's not as much resistance as there is if I was in the perspective of "what can help me gather more views?" I still tend to wonder what it would be like if I truly stuck to one page which would've been celebrating ten years within this year since its launch but, it's a refresher as the next chapter is welcomed. To hold steady and push efforts to place advertisement in the content I'd have uploaded to this new page is one of a blissful thought as if a part of me already has that ideal in place as its new reality. To think it started with me waving my webcam at a train as it rolled by me, one of those moments I'm thankful for yet I cringe at it at the same time. One that led me to bare this torch of desire.

Hard to believe it’s been ten years from that night.

It's been an "on and off" attempt in creating a perfect curation page for my train videography which led me to experiment more with photography while going down a rabbit hole of Youtube videos, and fueling my artistic curiosity I had begun to build up to that point. After these experiences of practicing my railroad photography, it's time to launch a new chapter in this journey I see no end to.

Author's Note

If you like what you've read, be sure to leave a "like" on this piece and if you could, please share this piece across any of your social media platforms. If you'd like to see more of my photography such as the one seen at the top of this page, be sure to follow my Instagram: @guijetheartist.

You can always leave a tip for $1 or more, any amount is greatly appreciated. Thank you!


About the Creator


Hoping to write in a more organized manner apart from my personal journal, documenting my journey and evolution as time goes by, writing it down is my way of sharing it with you, the readers. Personal workspace for my writings.

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