Thursday 10 March 2022

Lights for Photography

I have always had a rather relaxed attitude to my photographs on this blog. If the focus was right, the light acceptable and the colour not too far off, I wasn't afraid of letting the picture feature here. I've probably had some very poor images on my blog compared to the modelling blogs I follow. My main concern have been to share my practical approach of building a free lance industrial narrow gauge railway based on Danish prototype practice. My priority hasn't been to show the prettiest pictures. Approaching the blog's 10 years anniversary that can't go on. I will from now on try to make a reader's experience a little more worthwhile with better pictures.

One of the first indoor photos on my yet unfinished layout with background and lighting from my new lamps. With practice the results will hopefully improve.

Particularly my ability to get the lighting correct has been challenged. My best shots so far have all been made with natural light in an outdoor setting. With an indoor layout that is of course not a viable long term solution. While my layout can be disassembled in two segments and brought outside it's not convenient every time I need to photograph something. Something had to be done as my pictures definately ought to be of better quality.

Consequently I have now aquired a cheap lighting system of two lamps with tripods and diffusing umbrellas. While the quality probably isn't great the lamps do give off a nice soft light much better than anything else I have used before.

My new lamps aren't expensive or particularly fancy. But they are a lot better than the current makeshift lighting used for photography indoor. 

As much of my photography has been done outside I have mostly used my garden's shrubbery as a background. Now and then I chose a simple photo background printed out on standard A4 paper. A few years back I took a series of neutral images of typical flat Danish agricultural landscapes during summer and autumn and printed a some of them in 90x30 cm size landscape format. I mounted the prints on foam board for use as backgrounds when taking pictures of my 1/35 scale modules. Recently I dug the prints out again only to find them embarrasingly small in my new scale of 1/19. While the jpg-files may still work, the prints will have to be much larger. 

Photographing 1:35 scale cars in the garden with an ultra simple background. Summer, 2014.

That's how tiny a print of 90x30 cm is looking on a 1/19 scale layout. Something bigger is definately needed.

While I will still be dragging the layout into the garden for work and photography I hope to be able to present it better with photos from its usual position in my library/workshop. Helped by better lighting and proper backgrounds. 


  1. Hi Claus
    Thank you for writing such a lovely review of 10 years of modelling and blogging. I really enjoyed reading it, learning more about the history of you modelling, your current thoughts and your future plans. I've always admired you blog, your modelling and Nystrup Grael concept. I must admit I have never realised that it is all fiction - I really thought it was a model of a real protoype!
    All the best

  2. It's good to know you appreciate the blog and stories from Nystrup Gravel, Steve. I like that you hadn't spotted the fact that my modelling is freelance. Hope you are not disappointed and will keep following the slow progress.