Lens on Lake Minnetonka: Patience is Key

Three trips and several hours later, a photographer gets the perfect shot.

It took Craig Eiler three visits and many hours of waiting last July to capture his photo, Here Comes the Train. Minnetonka resident Eiler frequently visits Wayzata and has been to the Wayzata Depot & Museum many times. “I only live two to three miles away, so I enjoy biking or driving through, hanging out in town or going to restaurants,” Eiler says.

Eiler, who has sold a few photographs, says, “I’m not a professional, but I’d say I’m an advanced amateur photographer.” The trains passing at the Wayzata Depot have always seemed beautiful to Eiler. “I just wanted to capture the moment the train was passing, and enjoy the train,” Eiler says.

All of his visits took place in the late morning, to ensure the sun would be at his back. On the first visit, Eiler learned that it would take plenty of patience to capture the right moment. “I didn’t have the train schedule, and wasn’t sure what to expect, so I waited and waited,” Eiler says. His first attempt—a rushed photo taken just as he was about to leave—didn’t turn out.

When he returned a second time, he was even less lucky, and went home without a photo at all. But third time’s the charm: “I finally got the one I liked,” Eiler says.

Later, Eiler discovered that his trouble with timing was due to construction on the rail bridge, causing the trains to have to wait on one side before crossing. Eiler’s persistence paid off; this photo took third place in the City Landmarks category of our 2016 Lens on Lake Minnetonka photo contest.