Making photographs, not just taking them – Dundee, Tayside, Scotland

Posts tagged “york


York Day Trip

Yes I am a grown man, no I’m not old enough to remember when steam trains were the norm on the UK’s railways but yes I have a love for them nonetheless.  I’m putting this partly down to my dad but mainly down to growing up opposite a shed housing a preserved steam loco – the Union of South Africa (see previous blog for more on that).

Anyone not wanting to read much and just wanting to see what photos I’ve taken – here’s a link for background information or you can just skip to the photos.

For those wanting a bit more context, please keep reading.

The streamlined A4 Pacific class locos designed and built by LNER were the pinnacle of express steam locomotives, built for high speed travel and also for heavy pulling.  Only 35 were built and only 6 now survive, 3 of which are still used on mainline excursions and the other 3 are display pieces at different museums.

What’s so interesting about that you may well be thinking?  Well 2 of the remaining 6 engines were shipped over to North America many years ago (1 to the USA and the other to Canada) so they have never been together, until now.  To celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Mallard breaking the speed record for a steam loco they decided to get all 6 remaining A4’s together.  This involved shipping back the 2 from North America along with getting the other 3 working engines in the UK to York.  An event that will never be repeated (the North America engines will be shipped back next year) so I needed to make it along to see them all together.

Here’s some images I got during my visit:

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One of the special Head Boards commissioned for this event

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Sir Nigel Gresley

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Sir Nigel Gresley

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Union of South Africa

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Union of South Africa

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Dwight D. Eisenhower

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View from the drivers seat on Union of South Africa

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Some of the dials on Union of South Africa

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Union of South Africa’s footplate

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Union of South Africa driving rods

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Bittern, Mallard and Dominion of Canada

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Not sure she’ll manage to move that

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Union of South Africa

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Dwight D. Eisenhower

Dominion of Canada

Dominion of Canada



Out and About in York

Pavement flower

Whilst spending a week in York a few weeks ago I managed to find a spare hour one evening to get out with the camera.  Seeing as we were staying in a house right on the outskirts of the city (I really do mean it was fields from the end of the street) I took a stroll out to see what I could find.  Here’s a selection:

Corn fields



Another corn field

Country house

Village Post Office

Even the walls are nice here

Roadside flower

Another roadside flower

The same roadside flower again

Pavement flower

Garden flower

More garden flowers

Although I did find something not so nice

National Railway Museum


Following on from the Flash Bounce blog I thought I’d share a few of the images I got from the trip to theNationalRailwayMuseum.  This is a place I always loved visiting as a kid and, as I love steam engines, I still feel like a kid when I go now.

Giant engine designed for China


Even the tender is big

That's a long way

Last one of this engine

Turntable demo






The ancestor of those around it

Flying Scotsman

Flying Scotsman

Flying Scotsman

Firebox of the Evening Star



More wheels

Driving the Evening Star

Wow that's big!


Note: this trip has reinforced my want for a new lens, due to the low lighting conditions (and not being able to take too much equipment) I really need a lens that can perform better in these situations (preferable one that has constant f/2.8 to offer more flexibility).

Flash Bounce

Having recently purchased a Canon 430ex II speedlite I’ve been trying to learn how to use it, granted so far I’ve been mainly using TTL mode (where the camera works out the power needed instead of me) but I figured this was a good place to start before attempting manual mode.

I haven’t had many opportunities lately to get the camera out and play but during a recent trip toYorkwe ended up at theNationalRailwayMuseum.  This was a perfect opportunity to get the camera out and with it being so dark in the big halls it was a perfect time to play with the speedlite.

I was mainly concentrating on using bounce go get evenly exposed images (like I said I was using it in TTL mode so did have to worry about power) rather than getting imaged where the nearest part of an engine was way brighter than the rest.

Here’s a few examples of what I mean by bouncing the flash:

Flash direct at subject means the facing side is visible but everything else is in darkness

Flash pointing at the roof but as the ceiling is so high it cannot bounce the light back to fully light the subject

Flash bouncing off the engine to the left of shot and upwards so it lights the subject evenly (although slightly too high)

Flash directed above the subject in an attempt to bouncy it off the ceiling

Flash direct at the subject which over exposed the front and under exposed the rear

Again flash bounced off the engine to the right of shot which gives an even light across the subject although it remains underexposed due to the TTL mode getting it wrong

Flash directed just to the right of the subject and slightly out of shot which exposed the shed door more than the subject

If I remember correctly the flash was aimed at the ceiling but due to the ceiling height it was under exposed (also partly a TTL issue)

To be honest I have no idea where the flash was aimed in this shot but clearly it wasn’t the correct place

Flash bounced partly off the floor and partly off another object out of shot to the left, not perfect (the floor is more exposed than the subject) but an improvement to get even light over the subject

As you can see it can make a huge difference to the images.