Getting Creative

Most of my photographs are straightforward normal photographs, a record of the event I attended with minimal processing in Photoshop. But I also create some rather different images which could be described as creative, artistic or just plain weird depending on your point of view. This post is about some of those.

 

This first one is a fairly simple affair. The original is a photo of a US Navy F4 Phantom jet fighter, a classic, some might even say iconic, fighter aircraft. The original photo, while good lacked impact so I reprocessed it in a line art style which has resulted in simplifying the subject and by reinforcing the basic lines and shape of the aircraft creates what I think is a much stronger image.

 

 

This next image is slightly more complex. The original colour photo of Black 5 no.45379 departing from Ropley station was quite a dramatic picture, but by reprocessing in a line art style and applying a strong sepia tint has added more dynamic impact to the picture.

 

 

You may have seen one of those Chinese style paper fans with a picture printed on them, well here we have two such fans. The top one has the train printed on it while the lower one has the rest of the track on it.

 

 

This next one is rather more abstract. A single image of a railway signal and locomotive headlamp repeated eight times to create a circular montage.

 

 

“How to rescue a totaly ruined photo” would be a good description of this image. The original photo was totally spoilt by lens flare from the early morning sun but by solarising the image and cutting and pasting the coloured buffer beam and nameplate from the original photo has resulted in the dramatic night effect image.

 

 

This last one is a total piece of whimsical fun. A starfield background with the Interplanetary Express traveling between the Earth and Saturn.

 

 

With the exception of Britannia at night all the photos were created in Photoshop Elements using the excellent Photoshop actions available from PanosFX.

Mid-Hants Railway Spring Gala 2018

For me the Mid-Hants Pre-Spring Steam Gala marks the start of the steam railway gala season.

This year’s Gala was not without its problems. One of the originally intended guest locomotives was unable to take part because it was needed on its home railway, and a replacement was found in the form of GWR 0-6-0 pannier tank no.1501. For me this was a highly acceptable substitute as I regard any GWR locos taking part in a gala as a definite bonus. The other problem the Mid-Hants had was that both of the Black 5s that were to take part failed and it was a great credit to the hard work of the engineers at the railway’s works at Ropley and the locos owners that both locomotives were repaired in time to take part in the gala.

South Western Railway had its own problems on Friday and my train arrived at Alton 20 minutes late, fortunately I had allowed plenty of time for the journey so I still arrived with time to spare before the first train of the gala.

Sadly the weather was not all that kind. I went on the Friday and Saturday, Friday was very cold and there was even a brief flurry of snowflakes at one point thankfully the snowfall didn’t last very long and the snow didn’t settle on the ground. Saturday was a slightly better day temperature-wise but there was a light rain throughout the day which rather put a damper on things. The order of the day was take up your position, take your photos then either board the train or retreat to somewhere under cover to wipe the rain off your cameras. I found that the small plastic bag that had contained my lunch made a very handy protective cover for my video camera on the tripod, my DSLR took up its usual place under my coat.

Weather aside I thought it was an excellent gala the theme of the gala was to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the end of steam on British Railways. The locomotives taking part were:

LMS Black 5 no.45379
LMS Black 5 no.45231 ‘The Sherwood Forester’
LMS Ivatt class 2MT no.41312
BR Standard class 4MT no.76017
SR Schools class 925 ‘Cheltenham’
GWR/BR 15xx class no.1501

One of the interesting points of the gala were the regular freight train workings between Alresford and Ropley, there were two different freight trains running and between them they did four round trips during the day. As well as providing some variety for the photographers they were a perfect opportunity for the railway to show off its excellent collection of restored goods wagons.
The railway’s famous Real Ale Train, the RAT, was running as part of one of the passenger sets.

One of the ‘set pieces’ of the gala was the recreation of the 15 guinea special, the last steam train on British Rail complete with a replica of its 1T57 reporting number which was hauled by the two Black 5s, as was the original (although they weren’t the same Black 5s that worked the original train). I found it a bit disappointing that the railway choose to run this special as the first train out of Alresford which meant that those who travelled to the gala by train and started from Alton didn’t get to see it or have the opportunity to travel on it, the return working from Alton was the second to last departure meaning that there was no way of returning to Alton for anyone who travelled on it. I suspect I was not the only person who had hoped that it would run mid-morning & mid-afternoon so that I could have the opportunity to travel on it and video & photograph it passing through Ropley.
This disappointment, and the bad weather, aside I had an enjoyable time at the gala and was able to take some nice photographs and am looking forward to returning in October for the Autumn Gala.

Here is my video of the gala.

Some more of my photographs of the gala can be found on my website

Photographing trains: Heritage lines

Photographing trains on heritage railways is in many ways a lot easier than photographing on the main line, to start with the locomotives are not going anywhere near as fast and you usually get more than one opportunity to photograph each loco, especially during a gala.
Indeed, during a gala there could be anything between six and ten locomotives taking part and for a gala the railway will usually have a fairly intense timetable so there’s not much waiting time between trains. Continue reading “Photographing trains: Heritage lines”

Photographing Trains: Tornado

Over the past few months Didcot Railway Centre, home of the Great Western Society and all things Great Western, has been invaded by visitors from the London North Eastern Railway.

In August the centre was host to the famous A3 class no.60103 Flying Scotsman and A4 class no.60009 Union of South Africa, then towards the end of October it was announced that A1 class no.60163 Tornado would take possession of the centre’s main demonstration line. Continue reading “Photographing Trains: Tornado”

Photographing trains: Union of South Africa

Hot on the heels, or should that be hot on the wheels, of the Flying Scotsman’s visit to Didcot Railway Centre I found out that LNER A4 no.60009 Union of South Africa would be in steam on the 30th August, the loco had arrived at the railway centre on the Sunday during the Flying Scotsman’s visit. Continue reading “Photographing trains: Union of South Africa”

Photographing trains: Flying Scotsman

During the August Bank Holiday what is generally referred to as the World’s Most Famous Locomotive, LNER A3 no.60103 Flying Scotsman, visited Didcot Railway Centre, then two weeks later the locomotive visited the West Somerset Railway for a few days and the railway organised a programme of special trains.
Continue reading “Photographing trains: Flying Scotsman”