Friday 19 April 2024

KWVR Easter Steam Gala

Having not done much in the way of railway photography over the manky winter, I (Ben) had been really, really looking forward to the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway Spring Steam Gala.  To the extend that I'd booked the Friday off work, and had been thinking all week about which angles, locations, and so on I'd try.

Not the best start; after dropping The Childs off at school, I thought for a change I'd go to Haworth, but the path was occupied by these horses.  Not in the mood to creep through the osses, I headed in the other direction.

Not the best start to the day... plus the valley was absolutely heaving with photographers.

First ECS working; I ended up nipping down to the riverbank, away from where I wanted to be for the first southbound goods train.

Having been in place for 30 minutes, naturally another photographer came racing up at the last minute and stood fairly close to me.  Almost uncomfortably close.

I walked down towards Haworth for another shot, and once again, other photographers came and stood stupidly close.  Still, I was rather happy with the shot.

Back down towards Damems and Ingrow, and more photographers were knocking about, in the spots I'd hoped for.  A bit of improvisation and I got a pretty decent shot of one of the visitors.

The in-laws were on the trains, and I arranged to meet them for a brew in Keighley. 6990 running-round.

Back up the valley towards Oxenhope, a bit of waiting around for the trains, so I thought I'd get some nature shots.

Both visitors going past.  Lighting was a little awkward by the late-afternoon.

Then back home for tea.  Lots of other photographers around which made getting shots a bit tricky, and the mud and mess was a bit of a pain, but a nice day out nonetheless.  Plus, I was planning on returning for a night shoot, and to get a few more pics over the weekend for the angles I wanted but had missed.


Thursday 18 April 2024

Scouting at the Industrial Museum

We took a bit of a break from blogging for Easter, but we're getting back into the swing of things now.  So to restart the blog, here's something from back in March.  Not exactly our work, but we helped arrange it with our Scout group.

The above pretty much sums it up; ours was one of the local groups which worked with the Industrial Museum to produce work for the show.  We went along to the opening day for a couple of hours.

We took a little stroll around the museum as well, though truth be told we've photographed it pretty extensively over two decades of visiting.

...that said, I (Ben) ended up using it as an opportunity to get some snaps of the preserved tram, in preparation for a project on the model blog in a few weeks time.

This one sums up though why we've not done much photography recently; grim weather, manky light, not exactly driving creativity. Though happily an Easter away in Wales took care of a lot of the winter blues, so more to come on the blog in the next few weeks.


Friday 29 March 2024

Another shoot for Hornby: The Collector

Obviously I (Ben) will go into excruciating detail about this on the model making blog, focusing on the miniatures work.  But the short version is; another 'what-if' project, repaints of the Hornby/Lionel "Hogwarts Express" set, and the production of a fake advertising campaign for the models.

The sets as they come, usually available second-hand or on clearance at very low prices.

Repaints underway (including the Thomas the Tank Engine sets).  Spray paint after masking details, then some finer painting with Citadel acrylics.  But like I say, I'll go into detail about the models work, this is more about the shoots.

I tried doing some shoots outdoors (because of how many models I had to shoot, I wanted to stay close to home), but I was limited with angles.  The lighting wasn't great either.

So instead, it was back indoors for an improvised studio shoot.  White backgrounds, to produce catalogue-type shots...

...such as this...

...and this, a little photo-shoppery to deliberately copy the style of vintage Hornby catalogues.

Like so.

Then it was out with the trusty backdrop boards and hanging basket liner.

Some Britains figures too, and plastic trees, as set dressing.

I wanted to do a fake train set box too; feeling the effects of a grim, horrible winter and missing the seaside, the plan was for a holiday-themed set.  This was a plan that went all the way back to the earliest plans for the project, drawn up whilst on holiday in Minehead, sat on the platform of the heritage station right on the promenade.

Artwork drawn up for the box, done with markers.

Box artwork.

Done, printed out to size, cut-out, and glued to the box.

I had another unusual shoot to do; with the idea of having a kid-friendly junior starter set, I was lacking for a suitable location.  

Luckily the library where we do scouting had a kids corner, and I improvised some set dressing.  The beachball is one we use for games with the younger section, the teddy was taken along for doing "We're Going on a Bear Hunt" with them that evening, the plastic horses were out the charity bag in the car (Younger Child now being a super-cool grown up nearly-teenager who doesn't need the kid stuff), and the cuddly husky is mine (because I'm not a super-cool nearly-teenager, really like that husky, and it's appeared in about 2-dozen projects since Uni).

I thought I'd do another outdoor shoot right at the end of the project, but the weather was appalling, with random downpours between the sun.  I tried to make some use of the somewhat-neglected garden line.

In the end though I didn't use these photographs, I'd managed enough from the other shoots.

So that was that; a really fun project, doing a 'what-if' job, and it was enjoyable doing all these fake catalogues, posters, and so on.


Friday 22 March 2024

York Station by night.

Having been to the Aesthetica Art Prize open evening in York, we were off for the train back to Poppleton (park and ride from the station, considerably cheaper than the parking in the city centre, without having to worry about the stupidly early times the 'official' park and ride stops running.

There's something really nice about a station in the dark, especially once rush hour has been done with.  I (Ben) used to travel a lot in the evening for the cheap fares, and would often try and arrive an hour or so in advance of my train at Carlisle, just to take in the atmosphere.

Nothing too interesting, trains-wise, just units.

Quite liked the colours and yellow lights around the station.

Thought we'd do some monochrome shots too.

An hour or so of pottering around, and it was time for the train home.

A quite nice evening, spoiled only by the fact that -without us noticing- Poppleton car park had gone pay and display (app only, of course) and we were fined from within ten minutes of parking, having missed the sign angled away from the car park, but hey-ho.  Don't want to encourage people to use the train to travel to York, better to rely on the buses (which stop running by 8pm).  Better just stick to the car then...  Quite ironic, being a railway enthusiast who finds the actual act of travelling by train to be a pain in the posterior.