on landscape The online magazine for landscape photographers

End Frame: Wyoming, Train and Car, 1954 by Elliott Erwitt

Nick Joyner chooses one of his favourite images

Nick Joyner

I have been taking photographs with various types of camera for 40 years and spent quite a lot of time learning monochrome darkroom techniques. I have attended a number of landscape workshops since 2010; these have certainly helped move my photography on, though whether in the right direction is for you to judge!

When Charlotte asked me to write an end frame I knew almost immediately which image I wanted to discuss. Wyoming, Train and Car is more documentary photograph than landscape, but for me, it epitomises the western USA. Erwitt is an American photographer of Russian Jewish descent, born in Paris and raised in Milan and Los Angeles.

When he took this photograph, he was 26 years old, a couple of years older than I was when I first travelled through the area in the winter of 1978. The first thing that draws my attention is the billowing smoke from the locomotive, then the locomotive itself, and the line of freight cars seemingly stretching to the mountains. On the parallel road sits one car whose design places the photograph firmly in mid-century. Some things had plainly changed in the intervening quarter century- freight trains were drawn by multiple diesel units, and the cars were more angular, but the landscape had not changed.

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