Each year, we ask our readers to submit their best shots for consideration in our annual Center Spread Contest. Our theme is the very broad category of “creative photography,” which presents challenges for photographers and judges alike. After sifting through hundreds of potential candidates, we narrowed it down to the few selections seen here. We think you’ll appreciate the creativity that our contributors have shown in capturing these exciting images.
Runner Up: Mike Repp
Sumpter Valley Railway Mikado 19 looks splendid handling a photographers’ freight train rolling through the countryside of Baker County, Ore., with the snow-covered Elkhorn Mountains in the distance on October 14, 2017.
Runner Up: Eugene Armer
Amtrak Siemens ACS-64 600 heads up a Northeast Regional train from Boston to Washington on the western approach (railroad east) of the Hell Gate Bridge in Manhattan on June 4, 2019. The 3.2-mile-long bridge carries the Northeast Corridor tracks across the East River between the boroughs of The Bronx, Manhattan, and Queens.
Runner Up: Ben Sutton
A popular spot within the city of Pittsburgh, Pa., Allegheny Commons Park (or West Park) hosts a trench filled with train tracks. In late fall it becomes filled with brilliant yellow leaves from the Ginkgo trees lining either side. A Norfolk Southern freight rolls through a shower of leaves on November 19, 2019.
Runner Up: Gordon Glattenburg
An excursion from Los Angeles Union Station to San Pedro over Santa Fe’s Harbor District makes a photo stop at Lairport Siding as a Western Airlines DC6B is about to land on Runway 25R at Los Angeles International Airport on September 22, 1963.
Runner Up: Mike Repp
Twisting uphill over Atacama Desert’s lunar landscape near the station of Gaviota, Chile, a Ferrocarril Antofagasta Bolivian zinc concentrate train works hard to conquer the 3.3-percent ruling grade across the Sierra Miranda coastal range on April 13, 2018. Pulling hard on the head end are three road locomotives of Electro-Motive Division design.
Third Place: William Diehl
Semaphores guard the galactic core of the Milky Way as it makes its transit across the starkly dark northern New Mexico sky in July 2019. These blades, located on former Santa Fe trackage, see only the passing of Amtrak’s Southwest Chief on most days.
Second Place: Tim Doherty
Even the leaves are traction orange on the Mattapan Line as an MBTA PCC passes through Cedar Grove cemetery bound for Ashmont Station on November 8, 2008. The venerable cars continue to roll off the miles connecting riders to the Red Line to complete their trip into Boston.
First Place: Robert Jordan
BNSF Railway’s Laurel Mont., to Denver, Colo., manifest is reaching the south end of the Wind River Canyon in Wyoming on June 27, 2020.