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By cymru2019
As one who was hauled by steam locomotives in Wales and England when a lot younger the fascination with steam trains has stayed with me. This shot was taken at the Berwyn railway station on the Llangollen line in November 2016 in the season of remembrance for the conclusion of World War 2. What I like about this station is the circular position of the locomotive and the train which gives it some dynamic. I also like the evidence of the emission of steam and the engine driver leaning out of the cab. However it has been edited to eliminate a lot of distractions, but positively edited to monochrome to make it look, to a degree, as though the shot was taken back in the days of the Second World War. Just out of interest Berwyn station is in the middle of nowhere. Visitors maybe curious as why the station was built. The reason was that there were three wealthy families in the area. They did not want to travel by pony and trap for a few miles to travel by train so they provided the finance for the station to be built. Also the Llangollen railway formed part of a much longer railway. In days gone by you could have travelled by train from the likes of Chester, through Llangollen, Corwen, Bala and Dolgellau to Barmouth. It was one of the most scenic railways in the whole of the United kingdom but sadly fell foul of the Beeching Cuts in the 1960s. David

Tags: General Remembrance Steam locomotive Preserved railways Mono conversion

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banehawi Plus
15 2.0k 4006 Canada
9 Jun 2019 5:08PM
It is a nice shot, and having the curved track with the coaches is a bonus. Cant beat the charm of stem locomotives, not to mention the smell and the noise!

The conversion to mono is a good idea; I dont know how you converted from colour, - you likely know you can produce many different effects depending on how you perform a conversion.

This one could be a little sharper I think, and a bit more contrast, - blacks being black and exposure lifted slightly can work in its favour.

Ive done this in the mods, - the second mod has a soft sepia tone that can add to the impression of an aged image.

Ive used NIK software in doing the modifications.



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cymru2019 New Member
United Kingdom
9 Jun 2019 6:00PM
Many thanks Willie for your observations. I did use Silver Efex but you are right that the increase in sharpness and contrast work to advantage. After a succession of eye operations I am back to good vision. I'll bear your comments in mind when I next take shots of steam trains. Much obliged to you. David
9 Jun 2019 6:08PM
This is very good... I think you've pretty much achieved what you set out to achieve, and I don't think your composition can be improved on.

You wanted your image to have an "old" look to it, and although your mono conversion is good, it does still look rather modern. There have been times I've tried to give an image of my own that "old photo" look, and it isn't something I've ever found easy... perhaps someone somewhere out there knows a good dodge!
Anyway, I've had a go. I just added a filter from Nik Silver Efex Pro 2... ( the filter was "Triste 2" )... I fiddled around a bit with the sliders in Levels, added a touch of sepia toning, and a border from Perfect Effects 9. That's all.
Any good?

cymru2019 New Member
United Kingdom
9 Jun 2019 6:23PM
Now Alan that looks like something out of an old newspaper that's been kept in a library. It is very good. This idea is one to remember. The good thing about EPZ is that it is becoming a library of good ideas for the future. Thanks, David.
mrswoolybill Plus
12 1.5k 2054 United Kingdom
10 Jun 2019 8:27AM
This is extremely good, and would do well in the main gallery. The combination of high pov, curve of train and steam works well.

It would be interesting to see the colour original. A problem with steam is that when you lighten and add contrast you risk losing texture. Something that you can try is to darken highlights by maybe 4%, then use the burn tool with a huge brush, set to midtones, at very low exposure (3% to 4%) over the steam. This will protect detail and texture. You can then brighten and make a Levels adjustment afterwards to bring back the full tonal range.
cymru2019 New Member
United Kingdom
10 Jun 2019 9:17AM
Many thanks Moira for your comment. Firstly how do I upload this picture to the main gallery please? Secondly your editing skills are far in advance of mine. The good thing about coming over to EPZ from Flickr is that I am receiving a lot of good advice which is being kept as a library. When I next go steam train shooting I will refer to your remarks. Best regards, David
paulbroad Plus
11 127 1282 United Kingdom
10 Jun 2019 4:37PM
Good effort, this, wit a fine composition. Many possibilities, but I would look at a slightly brighter image, particularly of the steam - less so of smoke. The possibility of a sepia based on a dark brown would also be interesting.

Flickr is an entirely different site. can be a mutual admiration society, or even, at the other extreme, insulting. Be careful with any critique site, though. Everyone ha ther own opinions and you should analyse all comments with respect to your requirements.

The end product depend on what you want the image for. home and family - content is supreme. Sales and clients, first rathe technique and producing an image to satisfy THEM not you.

I look for technical perfection. That's how I was trained. Some are happy with less providing the content is good. You need always, finally, to make up your own mind.

cymru2019 New Member
United Kingdom
10 Jun 2019 5:02PM
Paul, you are absolutely spot on without doubt! Thanks for your reassuring words. David
dudler Plus
15 861 1488 England
10 Jun 2019 8:08PM
Main gallery - simply upload the same image tomorrow, and don't put a tick in the 'Critique wanted' box. Easy!

This ticks a lot of boxes: verticals are: rails depart the frame in the corner, and no distractions.

I note that you worked hard to edit out distractions: and that may explain the extremely tight crop. That can work brilliantly, or it can look a tiny bit cramped - and here, it does seem slightly squashed in. I wonder about just a tad more room somewhere - I'm not too worried where, really (and I may be entirely wrong anyway!)

I might well have gone for the Nik soft sepia, with a frame for an old-fashioned look.

And it is a very good picture: I'll vote if you post in the main gallery, along iwth others who suggest doing that...
pamelajean Plus
13 1.1k 2079 United Kingdom
10 Jun 2019 8:10PM

Quote:how do I upload this picture to the main gallery please?

Don't delete this version from the Critique Gallery.
Simply upload the picture to the main gallery by NOT checking Critique Requested under Photo Options.
cymru2019 New Member
United Kingdom
10 Jun 2019 8:38PM
That is most helpful Pam. Thank you! David

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