Sunday, April 02, 2017

Garden Railways in RMM

My contribution in this month's Railway Magazine guide to Modelling is an introduction to garden railways, just in time for the 16mm AGM garden railway show next weekend. 

The big news, for me, is that they have used one of my photos on the magazine cover. While I've had a few pictures on mag covers in the past, this is the first time I have filled the entire page. 

Taken as more of a snapshot a few years ago, it's a case of snapping lots getting me a good photo. The colours and light are nice and the train angled across the page looks good. Just as importantly, there is blank space on the platform allowing the designer to  drop all the important words telling readers what they will find inside the magazine. 

RMM is available free from model shops.


Huw Griffiths said...

That's an excellent photo.

However, you also make a very valid point about people needing to take lots of photos, to have a realistic chance of getting results that are worth having.

Even when you are looking at stuff horizontally, at the height of your eyes (from a standing up or sitting down position), you might need to move about a bit to ensure everything you want is in view (and nothing else).

Once you've taken one shot, you might start to think about moving some items relative to each other, or playing around with the light.

On a garden railway, your options might be somewhat limited - all the action is at ankle height (or, if you're really lucky, at knee height). You are now forced to go for "helicopter view" - or rest your camera on a table tripod or a small bean bag, with a remote shutter release. Camera positioning is now based on guesswork - and how often are first guesses really likely to be spotting?

As for lighting outdoors, you've got a choice - wait for a different time of day, when the sunlight is different, or use portable studio lights, reflectors and screens. None of these are particularly palatable options - however, it's unlikely that anyone will get that perfect shot first time.

At least, with digital cameras, you can get quick results - and you're not wasting film every time you take a photo you don't like.

Nick Brad said...

Great timing, I am about to start reading this very article having picked up a copy of the magazine a few days ago from Digitrains, (along with some brass rod for a project).

Paul B. said...

'Gender politics in modelling'. Eh?

James Finister said...

To reply to the first comment.

On a ground level line a camera with a tilting/swivelling display screen is a real boon. Many digital cameras also come with a remote shutter facility operated via connection to your mobile.

The humble selfie stick can also be useful for getting into places that are hard to access. Don't discount mobile phone photography for model work generally.

There are lots of cheap ways of handling light outdoors. Slave flashes are very cheap on ebay but simple reflectors can be made from card or, my favourite, foamboard. You can also mess around with the mix of exposure compensation and flash as well as altering white balance.

Phil Parker said...

I'm a big fan of bouncing light around with reflectors. I do a lot of it on miniature stuff with white cardboard or foamboard.