Photo Tip Series – Photographing Model Trains

PhotoTipSeriesGraphicsWritten by Nathan Wertheimer

The next Photo Tip Series I will be writing about is photographing model trains on various layouts. This type of photography can be done at your home or at any model train show. Check your local listing for a model train show in your area. I suggest attending the Florida Rail Fair in Deland. This event is held three times out of the year.

Here is some of the photo equipment one needs to capture some great model train photos. One can use any D-SLR camera, a variety of lenses including 18-55mm, 55-200, and 70-300mm, a detachable Speedlight with a TTL cable, cable-release, and tripod. If you only have one lens, then use what you have already. No need to go out and buy a new lens. Some advanced photographer might want to experience with photoflood lighting or LED deniable lights. This will give a different effect on your photo.

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Depending on the location with the train layout will determine one’s photography techniques to use. Proper lighting is everything. Train layouts in low light areas require long exposures. Dark areas will require more lighting with either a flash or LED lighting.

It is not recommended to crank the ISO to the highest setting possible. It will make the photos lookvery grainy and blurry.

Before photographing any train layout, decide what to photograph first. At some point one may photograph most of the eye catch areas on the train layout. Here are some of the features to look for such as bridges/tussles, lakes, mountain tunnels, train stations, train depots, and much more.

Photographing any moving model trains will take time and patience. Moving model trains are pre-planned because sometime one can’t stop the moving train. However, I suggest asking the individual controlling the model to kindly stop the train in the right position for the photograph. Most of the time it can be done. If not, I recommend set-up your camera to capture the train when moving thru the scene at the right moment. One may have to photograph it a few times to get it right. Practice makes perfect images

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There are other points of view to capturing a great train layout. Most people tend to photo in the bird’s eye position. It is recommended to try a variety of angles and not just one. I prefer getting down to level with the train to capture and image. Watch out not to put the camera and or the lens in the path of a moving train. One may have damage to your camera equipment.

2018 Florida Rail Fair - DelandDSC_2566_MOD

Good luck on trying this Photo Tip Series article technique. Explore your photography abilities. Practice makes perfect in the eye of the beholder. For more Photo Tip Series articles please visit www.otownfun.com .

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