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My name is Joe Perry and I am passionate.

It turns out that I am passionate about efficiencies.  Much of what I do is a means to achieving efficiency in some form or another.  As such, I am true geek – a hardcore technologist.  I strive to get the most out any piece of hardware and/or software that I use.  I push devices beyond most and try to create synergies in technologies where none previous existed.  I am all about getting the “box to work for me.”  I have spent the last 23 years putting food on my table by working as a systems architect, developer, implementer and support technician for the financial industry.  But that’s work…

I love railroading.  Not “trains” in and of themselves per se, but the institution of a transportation method that is the backbone of commerce worldwide.  There is no more efficient form of transportation to carry the huge volumes that trains carry than railroads.  More tonnage can pass over a single point on a railroad in a twenty-hour period than any other form of transportation.  And to think that the surface areas of a train wheel that contact the rail is about the size of a dime!  That’s efficient.  It also explains why trains have very little resistance once they start to roll and, more importantly, why it is so difficult to stop one.  Not a lot of surface area to provide braking force.

As a railfan, I have always admired the railroad photography of the masters such as Richard Steinheimer, Ted Benson, Dick Dorn, and more recently, both Brian Solomon and Steve Schmollinger.  Their photos gave me opportunities to be near the rails always and captured the “emotion” I often felt as I watched the trains roll by trackside.  As such, my interest in railroad photography grew and grew.  I decided to start taking photos myself.

 “Chasing Steel” is my description of what I love to do.  Most opportunities I get, which are not frequent enough for me, I head out to openness of the Southern California deserts and I chase trains.  Not chase in the traditional sense like a dog chasing you while you ride your bike.  Rather chase as in “look for.”  I chase them, primarily, to photograph them and also for the hunt.  I use a myriad of technologies and techniques to accomplish my goal of being in the right spot and the right time to permanently record the symmetry, the poetry, and the chaos of man’s battle against gravity and Mother Nature, and sometimes, himself.

I wanted a place to share my work, a place where others might appreciate my work or be inspired by it as I have been by others. Thus, was born.  It is the culmination of two of my passions and an exercise in creativity for me.  It is my means of sharing my vision, my photos.  My aim is to offer a venue in which railfans and non-fans alike can see my work and hopefully gain of a sense of the important role that railroads play in our history and future. 

Thanks for visiting and let me know what you think.


Ontario, CA