Vintage trams HDR extravaganza

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With special permission to enter the Bendigo tramways gas depot, the opportunity to photograph rare vintage trams was to good to pass up. This blog is part 2 of that trip…

High Dynamic Range photography, often called HDR, is a method of prost-processing of photographs which can illuminate what lurks in  the shadows. Extrapolating this further allows the extreme contrasts in colours which can often reveal things not seen by the naked eye. Artifacts such as oil stains, rust pitting and multi-layered paint can become vibrant.

Like all art, some people love it whilst others hate it.

Personally I do enjoy tastefully done HDR that conveys a feeling, enhances the items history or injects energy into the medium. Yes it can be overdone, this is were the art side of the technique comes into to play with the artist walking a fine line between under-baked and crass colour burn out.

I found the Bendigo Tramways site to be a great location for capturing HDR friendly material.It produced so much material that I opened a HDR specific section within my redbubble site.

Please enjoy my latest gallery of HDR and let me know if you like, dislike or indifferent to the technique…

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Trains of War, the adventure begins.

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A new venture, Trains of War, has nudged at my creative side for over 20 years. Now, with the advances in 3D modelling and prototype printing, the dream is taking physical form.

For the past 2 months, I have been beavering away in the evenings to produce the commencement of a product line for n-scale WWII armoured trains. Hopefully this will grow to include another four product lines of armoured trains across different eras.

So without further adieu, I would like to present the first physical protoype for Trains of War.

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Armoured trains have rumbled across a number of major battlefields since the inception of the locomotive. ‘Trains of War’ aims to give N scale model railroaders the opportunity to bring these epic titans of the rail to life with a unique set of rail carriages based upon the most prominent war trains of their times. Given the unique customisations for nearly every wartrain in history, arising from regular capture and recapture by opposing armies, we have chosen to target representation over rivet counting. To achieve flexibility in design, each carriage can is ordered in 3 parts; base, main body and accessories. Each component has a standardised interface to ensure ease of fitment – any base will fit any main body and any accessories will fit any main body. This allows the customer (you), to select and customise your entire rolling stock to capture the best ‘feel’ for your rolling stock. Want an armoured assault train? Then load up on a command car with plenty of artillery and tank turrets. Wan a rapid response troop transporter? Grab a couple of platoon cars with light anti-aircraft guns to keep away the ‘flies’. If you don’t have a WWII era scene to run a European war train, then consider a few rolling stock as ‘museum pieces’ being moved as a special run. Overall, we hope to bring you fun through kits that provide entertainment, spark an interest in history and are cost effective for enthusiasts like you.

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Direct fire gun stowed for combat patrols along the western front.

 

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A command car variant with base carriage, direct fire gun, command turret and vented blanking plate.

Currently the models are available in a kit form which enables the end user to mix and match configurations to the combination they desire. The use of standardised interfaces ensures all parts are interchangeable. A few more examples of current systems already available also include;

Trains of War should be releasing on average 1 to 2 new models a week until the WWII product line is completed in mid-March 2015. With sufficient support, we look forward to expanding the product line across a number of fronts.

We have already opened to the public on two front, a Trains of War facebook page for all the latest info and the 3D printing shopfront at Shapeways.

What era or location would you like to see in an expanded front line for Trains of War?

 

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Industrial-strength infatuation

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A relic awaits restoration

I have an infatuation with old industrial complexes and the beasts they have spawned over the last century. Steam trains, military vehicles, derelict processing plants, etc…Recently I had the chance to organise a glimpse into the Bendigo Gas works, now a historical tram storage depot. The gas works were developed in the 1930 ~1940s to ensure electricity supply to Bendigo and the newly constructed Armaments factory just ~800m down the road / creek.

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Back of the furnace bunkers

So today, myself and 4 other guys from work (whom happen to work at the armaments factory mentioned before – now designing and building armoured cars / trucks), set off for an hour long lunch and to capture some photographs of this historic facility.

The gas works is not open to the general public hence the need to arrange the site visit with Bendigo tramways. A special thanks goes to them and their site OH&S volunteer, Simon, for enabling us to collect some historical aspects of the site as well as sharing his knowledge of the facilities.

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A restored tram awaits recommissioning

Being so excited, I couldn’t wait the full 4 or 5 days to share the completed batch with my regular blog readers, so here is a sample of what is yet to come…

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Furnaces hungrily await food after nearly 40 years of hunger

Those were my low res images, the high res will be including in my general redbubble update in a few days when the remainder of the collection is completed. I hope you will come back for more…

 

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The Australian Capital

IMG_0600 Business and pleasure have come together with a week in Canberra, Australia.

Whilst attending a professional course at the University of New South Wales  / Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA), I managed to grab a few hours to photograph some of the capitals prominent features. I take all my pictures in RAW in order to allow optimum post-processing however this means that my travel laptop is unable to process them. So an update will be pending with a collection of Canberra pictures.

Whilst eagerly awaiting a chance to complete some good post processing, I started experimenting with the in-camera filters and functions as the Canon 600D converts the output to JPG. This format can then be put straight to my blog for readering /viewing pleasure.

I hope you enjoy these few ‘pan, tilt, zoom’ (PTZ) filtered pictures. They were taken from the top of Mt Ainsle, overlooks the Australian war memorial in the foreground before drawing the viewers eyes up Anzac Parade. The scene is split across the main middle focal point of Lake Burley Griffen with old parliament house, the wide white building and finally the new parliament house located under (that’s right, UNDER!) capitol hill.

Until later in the week, enjoy…

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Bliss – photo101 day 4

#photo101 rolls on with the theme of Bliss. For me, photography bliss is a clear sky, the blue hour and a full moon.

A full moon during the 'blue hour'.

A full moon during the ‘blue hour’.

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