My interest in portraying contemporary trains or regionally distinct rail operations has, at least for the moment, been replaced by an abiding interest in the context of a rail line. This is due partly to my somewhat nostalgic leanings, and to the overwhelming number of exceptional historical and contemporary train photographers.
What more could I add that hasn’t been covered? Looking at the American landscape through the prism of the railroad is, for me, a process of depicting that indescribable notion the American railroad has conjured up for so many others. Attending the Conversations on Photography Conference educated me on the broader context of railroad art.
The experience has and will continue to shape my photography. Inspired by the California photography of Steve VanDenburgh and Michael Froio’s recent work in Pennsylvania, I aim to further explore the landscape beyond the Northeast and Midwest.
More of Sanderson's work is available at www.john-sanderson.com.
The Center for Railroad Photography & Art, founded in 1997, is America’s foremost organization for interpreting the intersection of railroad art and culture with America’s history and culture. It holds an annual conference at Lake Forest College in Illinois and produces numerous gallery exhibitions around the country. For more information, please visit www.railphoto-art.org.