Tag Archives: #UK

Great Western Railway Class 800

Last Saturday, Kris and I traveled from London Paddington to Oxford on aboard Great Western Railway Class 800 Hitachi-built dua-mode passenger train.

The 800 Class train is multiple section railcar powered by both overhead electric and on-board diesel engines. On our trip, it worked off overhead catenary between London and roughly Didcot Parkway, where it switched to diesel power for the remainder of the run to Oxford.

The seating is largely airline style, but with some seats arranged in quads facing each other across a hard table, and train is slightly more roomy than most commercial planes and features large windows. The ride quality was very good. Top speed on the run was 125mph.

We bought our tickets just a few minutes before departure and boarded the train as soon as the platform was announced. This proved to be a wise move because on deptured the train proved to be very well patronized with almost all the seats in our car occupied.

I’ve enjoyed the run over I.K. Brunel’s famed Great Western route on many occasions, but this was my first traveling on a Class 800.

I made these photos using my Nikon Z7-II.

First Capitol Connect—Harpenden

On this day in 2010, (12 May) I traveled from Harpenden to central London on the Midland mainline using the First Capitol Connect franchise.

While waiting for my train, I made these photos of another train serving the opposite platform. The wild electric paint livery and window reflections made for a modern composition.

The Midland mainline is among the busiest trunk routes in the UK with trains passing every few minutes on a quad track line.

Photos were made as RAW files with a Lumix LX3. This was my first digital camera. Last night I processed the RAW files using Adobe Lightroom.

Tracking the Light Posts Daily!

Eurostar at St Pancras International—30 April 2016.

On the morning of 30 April 2016, my father and I traveled on the Eurostar from Lille, France through the Channel Tunnel to London’s St Pancras International.

The station’s icon 1860s balloon train shed had set the standard for Victorian-era railway station magnificence. It was copied and emulated across Europe and in the Union States.

In 2007, the classic shed was renovated and adapted for Eurostar services.

Upon arrival, I made these photos of the station shed using my Lumix LX7.

Tracking the Light Posts Every Day!

HST at Newport- A Scanning Lesson.

A few weeks ago I scanned a strip of 120-size Fuji Neopan 100 using my Epson V600 Scanner.

This featured some coming and going views of First Great Western HST in Newport, Wales, UK that I exposed using my Rolleiflex Model T.

One of the features of Epson Scan 2 software is the ability to apply an ‘unsharp mask’ at the time of scanning. Despite its confusing name, the unsharp mask is a digital sharpening tool. The software allows for three degrees of sharpening with the mask, ‘low,’ ‘medium’ and ‘high’.

Normally, I select ‘low,’ which I find makes for a better looking scan.

Another option is to scan without the unsharp mask, and apply sharpening in post processing.

The unsharp mask adds an edge effect that makes the photo appear sharper. It doesn’t actually add detail.

Below are three sequences of images showing the image without unsharp mask; with the ‘low’ unsharp mask, and an image created in post processing by applying sharpening after scanning. Each of the three sequences shows first the full frame scan followed by a greatly enlarged portion to allow for a detailed inspection and comparison. Each is captioned for clarity.

Full-size scan without mask or modification.
Detail of the above scan without mask or modification.
Full-size scan of scan with the ‘unsharp mask’ applied at the ‘low’ setting at the time of scanning.
Detail of the above scan, made with the ‘unsharp mask’ applied at the ‘low’ setting at the time of scanning.
Scan made without mask at the time of scanning; sharpening applied manually in post processing.
Detail of the above scan; no mask at the time of scanning; sharpening applied manually in post processing.

Tracking the Light Posts Daily.

Not Every Picture is a Pretty Scene.

Documenting the railway scene is more than just making pretty photos of trains passing bucolic countryside.

April 13, 2011, ten years ago today, having spent a weekend on England’s North Yorkshire Moors Railway (making pretty photos of steam locomotives in the moors), I took the Thameslink electric suburban train from Harpenden to London.

I alighted at Blackfriars, where I found the station under construction.

I made this single photo using my Lumix LX3.

Tracking the Light Posts Everyday!

Severn Valley at Bewdley

In 2004, I paid a visit to the Severn Valley Railway while photographing for a calendar on British Steam Railways.

Of the preserved railways in the UK, the Severn Valley is among my favorites and one of the most photogenic.

Finding this slide in my collection reminded me that I’m long overdue for another visit.

I made this photo of Erlestoke Manor leading a southward train toward Kidderminster using a Nikon loaded with Fujichrome Sensia II (100 ISO) slide film.

To make the most of this vintage slide, I made a multiple-pass scan with a Nikon Super Cooolscan500 slide scanner powered by VueScan software then imported the hi-res scan into Lightroom where I adjusted contrast, color balance, color temperature, saturation and the exposure of the sky.

Tracking the Light Posts Daily!