Railway Photography Tips

By Raymond Bridges

Here are six things to consider when taking pictures at a heritage railway or photographing mainline steam.

  1. Study the relevant timetable to maximise your chances of getting pictures in the best light.
  2. Stay safe and make sure you obey all rules and regulations at the location you choose.
  3. Try to visit your chosen location to find the best angles at the proposed time of your visit. Is the sun in the right place for your shoot for instance.
  4. Weather can play a vital part in steam railway photography. A cold or wet day will increase the amount of steam and add to the atmosphere of your shots.
  5. Photograph the train on an uphill gradient (Tenterden Bank for instance). The locomotives will be working hard and producing more smoke.
  6. If your view is not obstructed by trees or posts etc. try a panning shot to give the impression of speed (1/60th sec or lower shutter speed) To freeze the action use a fast shutter speed or set your camera to sports mode.