In may of 2017, I went with some fellow photographers to a highway vista point north of Mt Shasta. Our goal was Milky Way photos with the mountain. Unfortunately, even though it was about 1:00am, there was a lot of traffic along the highway and the car lights kept interfering in the photos.
So I returned to the general area, but chose a spot away from the highway to avoid a repeat of the issue. Instead I chose a location which is along the railroad tracks. My intent was to have the leading lines of the tracks lead you right to the mountain with the Milky Way over top.
I was trying to get all of this into one photo, without much success. I tried high ISO but was too grainy. I tried light painting the tracks, also not successfully. Couldn’t do too long of exposure as I would lose the star points. So I switched to just trying to get good composition of the mountain and the stars. My brother had come along for the adventure and was helping where he could. I had placed the tripod in the center of the tracks trying for those leading lines.
As I was working on the photos, I had heard a train horn in the distance. Considering it is late at night, I know sound really travels, so had plenty of time. However, my brother casually mentioned to me there was a train coming. I very politely said, I knew and would try for just one or two more before moving. He nicely responded, okay, but had a funny tone to his voice. I then looked around and noticed the train was coming around a curve about a half mile away. Oops – I guess I better move!