Friday 3 May 2024

Captain Scarlet

I (Ben) am a massive fan of Gerry Anderson tv shows, and with Gerry Anderson Day 2024 coming up just after Easter, I thought I'd take the opportunity to build some models, and shoot some pictures out on location in Wales over Easter.

Building the models was a saga in and of itself, covered in exhaustive detail as usual over on the model making blog (link on the right-hand-side, over yonder)

Sufficed to say that trying to shoot outdoors during a named storm was a pain in the backside.

With the assistance of Elder Child, I tried to get some pics, but the weather really was appalling; really irritating after some nice weather earlier in the week, but the models weren't quite finished.

A last attempt, up on the hill above where we were staying, and this shot taken with the mountains hidden by cloud and the model about ten seconds from blowing off the top of the tripod.

The solution was a very, very hastily improvised shoot the Saturday we were home, using my sky-painted backdrops, and a lot of cotton wool.

As it happened, the shoot turned out very well, better than I might have hoped for a last-minute idea.  I'll be more prepared next year...


Wednesday 1 May 2024

Ffestiniog Holiday

Of the railway photography goals for me (Ben), one was the Cambrian Coast Express, the other was to get some pics of the new Double Fairlie on the Ffestiniog.

James Spooner is a new-build, a replica of the open-cab early locomotives on the line, but built to modern standards.

Welsh Highland service passing the car park.

We spend a lot of time in Porthmadog, and we always go to the station as it has a decent shop, a very good cafe, and (crucially when you have Childs) a free toilet, something of a rarity these days.

Hunslet "Linda" simmering on the sidings.

James Spooner running-round, attempt at some arty shots.

The weather was pretty poor during the week, whilst out getting some miniatures shoots (or trying to anyway) during the fun and games of Storm Kathleen, I managed a shot of the Fairlie at Penrhyn.  An attempt to get some more pics in the woods near Tanybwlch went predictably badly, a combination of the weather and operator error with the camera.

A final shot, another from the Welsh Highland, finishing where we began earlier in the week.


Monday 29 April 2024

The Cambrian Coast Express, Easter '24

As mentioned in the last post, we were partly hanging around Criccieth to get a shot of the Cambrian Coast Express, one of the rare excursion trains to hit the coast.  I wanted an angle with the sea visible, unlike the gaggle of photographers with their massive poles (hurhur) who gathered further along the beach.

Having been gorgeous all day, the weather did indeed turn as the excursion rolled up.

And yes, with a whole beach to choose from, and about a mile or two of shingle next to the line, a photographer did come and try and stand right next to us.  He's just visible in the shot above, lurking where our glares scared him off to.

Trying to get the castle in shot too.

With the rain hammering down, Elder Child and I tried to find somewhere a bit less exposed to get the return.  The plan to wait under the bridge, on the platform at Minfford, failed as others had thought of it.  We spotted this rather handy public footpath though, off the end of the platform. 

Eventually, after a late-running service passed, the excursion crawled up the incline to the station.

Quite impressive at this level.

The train stopped to pick up passengers, bathing us with the gorgeous smell of food cooking in the buffet.

Snaking away from the station.


Friday 26 April 2024

A castle and a coastal railway

We're on a bit of a mission to visit every castle in North Wales, and doing quite well.

Weirdly, the closest one to where we stay is Criccieth and we've never been to it before.

Lovely sunny day for it (a rarity on this holiday).

Nice views off the tops of the hill.

Of course there were going to be some train pics.

Part of the point of the day to be honest was to photograph an excursion train that was coming up the coast, as well as Amy getting some ocean shots.  A nice afternoon sitting on the beach, waiting for trains.

I'll post separately about the excursion train...

But this one, taken at Minfford later that afternoon, pretty well sums up what happened to the weather whilst we were waiting...


Wednesday 24 April 2024

Railbus Ramble just before Easter

Yes, I (Ben) know, railways again.  So soon after the KWVR Spring Gala, but then me and Amy found ourselves with a day off whilst we waited for The Childs to finish school, so we could go to Wales.  A trip out on the train up to Haworth for lunch seemed a good idea.

The flowers were looking rather nice at Ingrow Station whilst we were waiting.

Off up to Haworth.

Walk up the cobbles into the village.

...and back down, after lunch.

A chance for a few reference shots of the railbus at Ingrow after we got off the train.

More flowers, then off to the car, and a long, long drive to Wales.