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Robert A. Hadley

By | May 9, 2006

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From his home turf in Michigan and the Upper Midwest, Robert A. Hadley documented the transition from steam to diesel on American railroads.

While Hadley often used conventional angles in his photographs, unlike other photographers he would step back and take in more of the scene, using generous foregrounds and backgrounds to demonstrate that the trains he was photographing had somewhere to go.

A self-taught photographer, Hadley honed his skills in the Army Air Corps, making reconnaissance photos during World War II. Later, he became a commercial photographer, shooting advertising and catalog photographs of farm equipment for his employer, Massey-Ferguson.

Hadley photographed the railroad scene-primarily in Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio-with a distinctive eye for action and atmospheric detail.

“I liked doing action shots,” he tells Classic Trains magazine in its Winter 2003 issue. “But I also tried to convey the surrounding scenery, to give a feel for the location.”

See outstanding photographs by Robert A. Hadley in the Winter 2003 issue of Classic Trains magazine.

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