Photographing and Recording Tools

The photography tools used in recording the construction of the Red Ink Railroad are based, to a large degree, on the tools used by the four photographers whose work appears in the book A Treasury of Model Railroad Photos published by Kalmbach Books in 1991. The four photographers, Dave Frary, Malcolm Furlow, John Olson, and Paul Scoles talk about how they shot the photographs included as well as the equipment they used in producing the book.

There was one model railroader who most of us count as a primary influence in our decision to persue this hobby. His name was John Allen (1913 - 1973) and he created a model railroad he named the Gorre & Dephetid pronounced "Gory and Defeated". Anyone who might want to understand the impact of this man on model railroading might look at Model Railroading with John Allen by Linn H. Westcott published again by Kalmbach Books.

The four model railroaders listed above have some "John Allen" level talent in their blood and not many can say that. John Olson and to a somewhat lesser degree, Malcolm Furlow were additional influences in my own growing interest in the hobby when I began paying attention to it again in the late 1970's. There are others, all important, but for whatever reason, primarily one of esthetics and the use of color, I think, the three mentioned are, to me, more important than others.

The Sole Proprietor has owned since the 1960's a Mamayaflex twin lens reflex camera with an 80mm (normal) lens. (He thinks. It has been so long that he literally does not remember when he bought this particular camera.) Recently he purchased a used 180mm telephoto and a 65mm wide angle lens along with a Bogen tripod and a Gossen Luna Star F2 light meter to use with this camera. Shooting 120 film in the 2 1/4 X 2 1/4 inch format, this should make a good, workable tool for photographing progress up close and personal.

In addition, remembering his early years in school as an amateur photographer, and the fact that he always wanted to own a Nikon camera, but could never afford one, he bought a Nikon N90s 35mm with a 24mm 2.8 AF, a 60mm 2.8 Micro AF and a 35 - 70mm 2.8 zoom lens. The 24mm wide angle and the 60mm Micro (or to the rest of the world, Macro) lens should be very useful in close up photography on the railroad. If you ever consider ordering such equipment through the mail, by the way, you might like to look at the commentary attached.

The Sole Proprietor is not familiar with all of this new camera technology. You not only don't need auto focusing lenses when you are shooting small objects up close on a tripod, you are probably better off without them. When he started with this stuff, through the lens metering was considered both newfangled and controversial. Using this camera out in the real world, however, makes auto focusing lenses very useful under certain circumstances, so, he plans to turn the feature off when he's model railroading and noting the ups and downs of the process as he goes. And to talk about it here. Anything that can get the Sole Proprietor out into the real world, by the way, is considered positive.