With a precious few days holiday in NZ, I got up hours before sunrise and drove back into the hills in the hope of getting a shot of the weekly swap-out of Otira-based banker locos - catching them on a train as they travel to Christchurch for servicing (a westbound train brings out a fresh set of three). I thought I had the day and the train correct, but you can imagine my disappointment as the day began to lighten and I drove into pea-soup fog in the mountains. I pressed on in the hope it might clear at higher altitudes. No luck. What to do, what to do... After exploring a few 'mood' possibilities I struck it lucky and found hoar frost conditions beside the Waimak river - where the fog freezes to the trees. I set up the tripod and waited, and waited and hoped I hadn't missed the train. Dead still, dead calm, dead cold, and dead quiet except for the endless flow of the river. I stomped around to keep warm, checked the camera, checked the composition, did some weeding, and waited some more in the cold. Eventually a faint rumble in the distance signals a train several miles away to the west. The noise builds for a few minutes before a sudden increase in volume reveals the train's position as it rolls across the Waimakariri river bridge. Less than a minute away now. But will it have 2 locos or 5?! Camera on. Will the fog thin enough to see the train? Lens cap off. Have I set the camera correctly? (for those that still remember the pre-histogram days- this was the last roll of slide film I shot before switching to digital a few weeks later!) A final focus check as the headlight comes into view. Yes! Five locos! One shot, and miraculously, one kill. Dave Turner argues about patience, perfecting the craft, persistence and practice. I say sometimes its all about being there and getting lucky.