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Photographer’s Work Leads To Hope for Restoration of Locomotive

  • August 20, 2018

The following article was written by Lisa Pellegrene, and was originally published on Patch.com on August 7, 2018.

Thomas W.P. Slatin, based in Upstate New York focuses on urban exploration photography. This has lead to restoration.

Thomas W.P. Slatin is a lifelong writer and photographer, since around the age of eight. Slatin is also a prior 17 year firefighter and Emergency Medical Technician (EMT). He began to incorporate more of a focus on photography into his life when he chose to transition his work to become a full-time writer and photographer. He recalls much of his early photography work “revolving around his work schedule as an EMT and a firefighter,” when his location scouting would be simply recognizing various locations of interest that he noticed to and from work. Since making the transition to full-time writing and photography, Thomas Slatin has photographed a variety of images from abandoned locations, to trains and train stations and sometimes, beautiful nature photography.

In a recent interview, Slatin discussed photographing The Eastern State Penitentiary, as well as the fiberglass whale model at The American Museum of Natural History, and abandoned freight trains and locomotives. His choice of camera has been “consistent over the years,” states Slatin, as the Canon EOS Digital Rebel XSi.

Slatin continued, “the Eastern State Penitentiary definitely required a pre-production and planning process.” Also, all of the photographs from the photography shoot were taken in black and white. “Many more of my photographs are obtained on an impromptu basis. I simply see an interesting location to photograph and do so,” summarized Slatin. One such favorite relating to his photography shoots included The American Museum of Natural History, where Slatin photographed the 94 foot, 21,000 pound, blue fiberglass model of a female whale. The model is of a whale found in 1925. The beautiful female whale to many symbolizes one’s responsibility to respect, appreciate and protect all sentient beings, in and out of the water, and to have utmost respect for the environment and the need to protect the environment also. “This trip meant a lot to me on a personal level, the photographs mean a lot to me also,” Slatin continued, “as a child I had been absolutely fascinated with this model whale exhibit; so seeing this as an adult, accompanied by my father, was an indescribably amazing experience.” Stating, “the image of the whale at The American Museum of Natural History is very special to me.” This was the last trip Thomas Slatin took with his late father, Dr. Harvey L. Slatin, before Dr. Slatin’s passing in his early 90’s.

Slatin’s father inspired him to become a photographer, as his first camera and many more thereafter, were gifted to Slatin by his dad, Dr. Harvey Slatin. Thomas Slatin stated, “some of my happiest moments in photography have included photographing abandoned freight trains and locomotives. “About a month after I had posted the photographs online of these specific trains, I received a phone call from a man stating that he was a collector from Connecticut.” Slatin did his research to determine that this man was in fact a collector. “What I’ve learned is that this locomotive has been purchased by a museum, and that there is the hope of restoration for the locomotive referred to as Pennsylvania Railroad (PRR) 4917. The image of the train located in Cooperstown Junction, New York, as photographed by Slatin (prior to the restoration) is published with this article. The second train image as published is a recent photograph (2018) of the Strasburg Railroad, also as photographed by Slatin.

Thomas W.P. Slatin concluding, “this
(Cooperstown, New York) was an all time favorite photo shoot for me,
and to learn an otherwise abandoned freight train was purchased by a
museum and that there are hopes for restoration is great to hear.”

Slatin’s photography work was just selected for the third time over the years, to appear on the Jones Soda Company soda bottles. His photography is available on Canva.com, 500px.com and by subscribing to his blog at www.tomslatin.com.

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