Sometimes life brings surprises, occasionally that's a very good thing. Most of the railway books I enjoy tend to be at the more specialised end of the market zeroing in on a particular line, station, locomotive class or aspect of model making. Earlier this week at the library I found a publication that well and truly bucks this trend.
Though it looks like one of those books aimed at the casual interest, the sort that misguided but well meaning aunts buy for birthdays, I've found it to be hugely inspiring. Though it's scope is broad the quality of the photos is stunning, each one bristling with interest and atmosphere, some happen to be beautiful works of art too. The straight record shot that most of us modellers are used to is all well and good; clarity, correct focus and exposure help define details which we can incorporate in search of greater realism. Looking through the book it shows us what all too often is still missing, that intangible atmosphere that railways have. How do we get hold of it, and reduce it to a form we can render to scale in 3-D. I'm not sure I know the answer, but the first step must be to recognise its prescence.
The book's by Paul Atterbury, publisher David and Charles, ISBN 13 978-0-7153-2876-7. Do try to find a copy.