Dotted around the country are Vintage Railway clubs. Dedicated to restoring and running various era railway equipment. The closet of the clubs is the Glen Afton Line run by a group of railways enthusiasts. The weather played ball for once and gave us a nice warm winter day.
The most difficult part of this visit was dealing with the very harsh light that the low winter sun angles were producing, creating very deep shadows and overly brightly lit areas. None the less I was still able to get some good images, which I can now compare with our visit from six years ago. You can see the earlier image series Easter Expedition here.
All the following images were taken using the Sigma 18-250mm f3.5-6.3 DC Macro OS HSM lens. This was a better test for the lens than in the previous images, which had been shot in much better light.
This image had the train emerging from the deep shadows caused by the shade from the trees, with the white carriage on the right being overly bright and very distracting. Added to this was the fog lingering in the background trees.
The use of a white vignette instead of black lends itself to the image, given the color of the smoke from the train and the fog. It helps to soften the edges of the image and help the eye focus on the intended subject, in this case the train.
This image hasn’t had a vignette applied, the subject, in this case the stern look of the young engineer on the train’s footplate is the intended focus of the image. The effect of the steam billowing around the engine created a natural frame for the image. Something of a pleasant surprise when viewing the images during post processing.
The image at left while looking a little ordinary is in reality a lot more complex than one might think at first glance. It took a little convincing to get the camera to focus on the steam engine in the background that was being refilled with water. The camera kept wanting to focus on the foreground objects. I was pleased that I was able to get this image, compounding the camera issues was the fact that the train was in motion, therefore the distance to the background was constantly changing. The final image shows several reflections from the three glass surfaces. Including my hand holding the camera and a reflection of trees that are not actually part of the trees in the background but are located directly behind the camera.
Through the locomotive cab door, you can see a further two locomotives, one inside the workshop and one sitting in the light just outside the far end of the workshop, with a reflection of what is behind my position on the far right.
This photo was one of those occasions when you see the basic image you want but get so much more in return.
With this photo I like the interplay between the staff members, perhaps sharing an inside joke or relating a humorous anecdote. A case of being observant and aware of what’s around you. It would be so easy to miss this sort of photographic opportunity. Nice even lighting for this image which makes it easy to process.
Other settings of note were metering set to spot. I find that for almost all images when using a telephoto lens like the Sigma, Spot metering is generally the most useful, especially once you get past 50mm FL.
ISO was set to Auto 1600, and most images where shot using “P”Mode.
Interestingly there were very few cameras being used. Most people were using their phones or just enjoying the day. I did meet one lady whom I chatted to, that was using a Canon R10 with a 24-105 lens on it. Apart from myself she was the only person using a dedicated camera for the four and a half hours we were there. I have no doubt there would have been others, but they weren’t apparent at the time we were there. I will be adding more photos from this visit in the galleries section over the coming days so keep an eye out for that. In the meantime, stay safe and Happy Snappin’
Dont forget to click on each image to get a full version of it.