A brief synopsis for publication

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by shamus, Apr 13, 2004.

  1. shamus

    shamus Registered Member

    In many ways, the Railroad Modeller and the Photographer go hand in hand, inasmuch as the photographer has to have the eyes of an artist to be able to create just the right kind of picture inside the camera. The model railroader also has to be the same kind of artist, to create his or her landscape into a believable picture.

    If you are using a 35mm S.L.R (Single Lens Reflex) camera that has manual focus, then the ability to place the f-stop to f22 or f32 will give a better depth of field to your subject. Also try focusing in the middle of the scene, as this will create a good depth of field with both the subject area and surrounding area’s behind and in front, in focus.

    For digital camera owners, the ability to place the camera into Aperture priority with the shutter speed governed by the f-stop placement (f8) will also give excellent results with depth of field.

    Good lighting is all-important, and don’t have shadows if you can avoid it. I use Daylight Fluorescent Tubes rated at 58watt and are placed on my ceiling at 18” intervals, I have enough light for all my photography when they are all on.

    If you are using standard halogen lamps (250watt or larger) then you will need three lamps. Also the digital camera will need setting for Tungsten.

    For the 35mm owner, the best slide films to use are: - EKTACHROME 64T and FUJICHROME 64T these are Tungsten based film and are colour matched to 32OOK. These films are ideal for 250watt halogen lamps.

    Model railroad photography is nearly always around the 2 to 6 second bracket depending on the lighting used. So, use a tripod.

    Your article (The story)
    As with all stories, starting off is all-important. A good start with a good middle and good ending is required. You can waffle on in between. Try and make it a little humorous without going overboard. Tell the readers how you started in model railroading, Go on to mention how your Benchwork was made and what you used for the roadbed. Next, what track & points (Turnouts) you are using, and whether you have a control panel. What scenery techniques you used and who’s brand of scenery. Go onto your rolling stock; tell them what your roster comprises of. Did you scratchbuild anything, if so let the readers know.

    You will be surprised when you start writing your article just how quickly it all comes together.
    What to do next
    When all photos (At least 25) and the article written, the next job is to sit and caption all photographs with at least 20 words for each photo. (Publishers will alter if necessary)

    Have a drawing of your track-plan which doesn’t need to be in scale, so long as you mention the fact it is in a room X by X. When it’s drawn, take a photo of it or scan it in and make a photo that way.

    All you need to do now is make a CD with your Digital photos and text on it. Make sure that the article is saved as .txt and also your photo captions are .txt.
    Slides would have to be sent with the CD which has the text files and track-plan.
    Now send it off, and good luck.

  2. Fred_M

    Fred_M Guest

    Please clarify how you put the slides on a CD. THX FRED
  3. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    Very good instructions for us all! Thank you good friend!

    You make a text file for each photo? Maybe like:

    shamus.jpg would have a caption file shamus.txt?

    Of course it would read:

    "This is my dear friend Paul Templar. He has been a great inspiration to Shamus Forest, and it would, in fact, not exist if it were not for his inspiration and guidence. He helped respark my interest in photography as well." :D :D :D

    On the halogen lamps, I did not the get satisfactory results using any of the preset white balance settings. Perhaps this is due to the other lights in the house which I did not turn off. The latest photo's were most satisfactory and were taken by calibrating the white balance to a white card from a Kodak grey card set. Plain white paper would work as well. If your camera has a calibration mode, the manual should explain how to use it, and it should be best for mixed lighting. Auto, may be second best, if tungsten is not working, especiaslly if there is a lot of "other" light. If you are using a film camera and a filter or tungsten film, it would be best to shut off all the other lights.

    As others have complained, halogens get HOT! So, what I do is plug three into a powerstrip, then one is set further away and left on all the time. That way, during setup, I can easily turn off the hot little monkies and not get burnt or heat up the room, leaving one on for decent lighting. I set one lamp on each side, one from behind, and one bounced off the ceiling and a white refrigerator at the same time. They are such a wide angle, they can be both direct and bounced. An old slide screen makes a great cheap reflector too, or white poster or foam board. Just be sure it's white, or it will add a color cast.

    Halogens will melt foam and start fires. I do not set them close to anything flamable, plastic or foam. Also I do not leave them unattended for more than a few minutes.

    Halogens are nice because they are cheap and portable, but I think on a permanant layout, it's best to do as Shamus and use the daylight tubes as the only lighting in the room.
  4. shamus

    shamus Registered Member

    You wouldn't put slides on CD, you would post them off. I was talking about digital photos on CD
  5. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

    It works, I see that you made this month's RMC:thumb: :thumb: :thumb:
  6. shamus

    shamus Registered Member

    I still have a couple of 1000 watt Tungsten lamps which I use along with my paraflash brollies to take photos of my Grandkids with. No longer have the large flash units. Leaves not a single shadow anywhere. I have to switch them off quick after the photo is taken as they would melt the brollies in no time at all.:D


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