Kinetic Gallery highlights student photographer Colin Buckowski

“The Thrill of the Chase” exhibit opened on Friday Feb. 2 in the Kinetic Gallery. The display includes photographs of trains taken by history major senior Colin Buckowski, who learned the hobby from his father. (Theo Liu/assoc. Photo Editor)

What traits did you get from your father? Your eyes, your temperament or your taste in food are all common things to inherit from a dad. But what about a life-long passion?

The Kinetic Gallery opened “The Thrill of the Chase” on Friday Feb. 2, which features works by history major senior Colin Buckowski, based on his work over the years capturing beautiful photographs of trains.

“It’s been a hobby of mine pretty much since I was born … this was my dad’s hobby before it was mine,” Buckowski said. “He was taking train pictures since I was really young, and I loved it so I picked it up for myself and ran with it.”

And ran with it, in this case, is literal. In order to catch the perfect image of a train at the right moment, Buckowski goes on day trips driving alongside the train, only hopping out at the right moment and getting a photo by luck. Many different things have to be aligned in order to capture a quality photo of the trains. 

One photo displays a “misty, dreary November day,” while another illustrates a “gorgeously sunny October day.” Most of the photos in his collection are based on a whole day of chasing a singular train. 

The experience is obviously something Buckowski remembers fondly and continues to pursue, especially because of the connection it forged between himself, his father and others in the train community. One picture’s caption shows the importance of these relationships, as it states: “A day chasing the Batten Kill Railroad is like a day with family; having made countless trips to the tracks with my dad as a boy, the crew has known me for years.”

The collection itself is astonishing. Photos were taken as far back as 2013. Every image is a meticulously caught snapshot of the movement of the train, with a brief blurb describing the train itself and any notable weather conditions the day it passed by.  

“Leaving class from Newton on a Friday around 1 p.m., I could hear what I thought were train horns,” Buckowski writes under one photo. “Camera in hand I hopped in my car and started heading west.” 

That’s the sort of enthusiasm that only comes with truly loving what you do. The results of this dedication are immaculate; crisp images capturing trains in different terrains and weather situations all across New York. 

Psychology major senior Maria Remillard noticed Buckowski’s devotion is portrayed in his work. 

“You can tell he’s really passionate about them,” Remillard said. “I haven’t thought about trains so much, and I never knew there were so many different kinds in New York State.” 

The gallery certainly shows the different kinds of trains in all of their glory. Under each photo the type of train photographed is written. The variety of the locomotives is impressive, especially for people who don’t know a lot about trains. 

The informational side of the gallery is as intriguing as the artistic side. On the center table there are copies of a book about the Boston and Main Railroad titled, Boston and Maine: Forest, River, and Mountain by Robert Willoughby Jones, as well as documents from the past about trains and a scale model train. 

No matter what the interest, passionate skillful people are always commendable. And when the interest is as unique as chasing trains, it’s no wonder so many people are fascinated by what is being shared.