A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Wayfinding
From: Frank Reed
Date: 2020 Aug 22, 23:09 -0700
By the way, if asked to make a guess, with no expectation of being correct to better than +/- an hour or more, I would say 3pm local (zone) time (assumed GMT+12), and I would base this on the simulation of the sky in Stellarium (*), as shown below. Looks about right... Sun in the northwest, which would yield shadows running to the right very roughly perpendicular to the tracks. The altitude of the Sun at this time would be about 25°. The best I could say is that this position of the Sun would not be inconsistent with those very diffuse shadows. But that's not much! Really the only reason I bring this up is to point out that we have excellent tools available to us to simulate the sky in historical circumstances like this. Stellarium is not perfect, but so long as you spot-check it with other tools, it's certainly good enough for this sort of historical photo analysis.
PS: For anyone new to this, you can get Stellarium for your own computer here: http://stellarium.org/. I do not recommend the web version. There are also ports or "forks" of this project for mobile (phones, tablets, etc.). I can't recommend those either, but they're getting better. You want the standard desktop edition of the product. It's 100% free. Download, install, and explore...