Friday 21 January 2011


As a man modelling the diesel and electric era, post steam, pre tops, there's much inspiration to be had in the Bradford Barton photo album series of books. Some of my favourite shots are those where the aparent length of the train is visciously forshortened by the use of a telephoto lens. I strted to wonder if it would be possible to recreate this effect using a model after noticing that one image I'd taken with a very mild dose of telephoto had echoes of the real thing. After a bit of experimentation I hit on a formula, train on a curve, rail level camera, stood well back, max tele dialled in, crop the result tight to the train. Seems to work each time, here's one of my latest taken on Morfa. It's worth clicking on the photo to get the full effect with a larger sized image.

 It'll be interesting to see if it works as well once the scenery is in place. There are a couple of snags however, one is that the camera does need to be a good way in front of the train; this shot (with minimal cropping) had the camera a good ten/twelve feet away from the train. The other is that I'm not sure that this style would suit all subjects. I could see it looking a bit weird with pre group or narrow gauge models, a clash of styles rather than any technical incompatibility.

1 comment:

James said...

Very nice! And very evocative I think - the Bradford Barton books are superb. A few years ago a huge number seemed to be in secondhand bookshops are rather nice prices, needless to say I added them to my library!

Please share more of the photos!