Model train photography - Professional Model Trains

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Tips and descriptions by ATF Professional Photography & Art Graphics.

Photography is a passion. Model trains is a great passion.
Photography, seen as one of the most important visual arts, live of passion. The passion that every photographer, professional or amateur, puts in what he does, so as to have the better possible results. And is a beautiful job.
Every time we make a picture we must consider several technical and behavioral parameters. These rules are adapted and applicable to every sector of photography, including that concerning to the "in scale" model trains. The Model Railroading is one of most practicable hobby of the world. Is a great passion, that involves millions fans and enthusiasts all over around the world.

Technique and photographic practice.
If a passionate person of railroad modeling has also experience and professional training in photographic art, of sure are benefitted than many others. Relatively to the photography of miniature trains, we must consider specific parameters, so as to refine the shooting technique. Later, you will need to practice a lot.
Few basic tips to keep in mind are the following ones:
1) choose a appropriate shooting location, considering how you can photograph the trains in reality, so who will look the picture should have the feeling of being in the same order of greatness, with the correct perspective
2) to get ready the illumination based on the effect wanted. The light forms the image in different manner and this depends from the position of the bright source. For example, a set of lamps to white light, positioned at the top, form a uniform and diffuse light, perhaps ideal for presenting well his own system so as to highlight the main details, but did not match as the sun lights up one scene in reality (except when it is at its zenith bearing around noon). However, to create the right three-dimensional ambient you can change the position of the light source so as to recreate a specific moment of the day, with shadows and hues of color most faithful to reality. For a further example, a single light positioned sideways, with the right intensity, can recreate the same visual impact about the sunrise or the sunset
3) Have at your disposal the right photo equipment (read below).

The camera kit.
Without regard the different money possibilities of everyone, we can say which articles are necessary to take better pictures of model trains. Even if on the market complete compact cameras with good quality are sold, the digital SLR is the ideal instrument for unlimited operational possibilities, with the use of appropriate lenses. Useful are also several accessories available. For us, the right digital camera kit is the following:
- a SLR   camera body with high resolution
- a series of lenses including a standard zoom (wide to medium focal lenght) and a 1:1 macro lens
- a dedicated TTL flash
- a strong tripod.

The finalization after shooting.
After the photo shoots, the digital images created can be improved through the use of the computer photo editing software, as Photoshop (for PC IBM type) or Aperture (for Apple computers).

Stock example images with technical descriptions.
Here below, is possible to see a selection of pictures taken from AT Collection model train and my layout (see their respective sections for further images). Every photos is followed by a description that explains the technical characteristics.

(Left) Using a tripod to shot with high number of diaphragm. (Right) Shooting session with an helping mirror to open shadows.

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