Andrew Triggs Interview on Railway Photography
Andrew Triggs is a keen railway photographer who lives in Cornwall. He has a great website www.flickr.com/photos/106690889@N03 that has some really nice photos that is worth looking at. Andrew kindly agreed to do this interview for me.
1. What year did you start your railway photography and how old were you then?
I started taking pictures of the then Modern railway upon leaving school, mid 1984, I was 16, I loved work by likes of John Vaughan and Brian Morrison through various publications.
2. What was the first camera you had and what do you have now?
First camera was a Kodak Ectra 12 with a steadying handle! I could only take stationary shots with it! I now use a Lumix DMC FZ330, which is my third upgrade since I took the hobby more seriously, it more than suits my requirements.
3. Are you happy with your camera or given the chance, would you want to upgrade it?
I think everyone would like to upgrade basically, but my current camera is ideal for what I do with it regarding railway photography, if only i was more keen on learning more than the basics of the camera, if someone can advise me, I’ll gladly take their advice, instead of researching things.
4. Which do you prefer to photograph, steam locos or diesel trains?
Diesel 100%, it’s what I grew up with, loved the Loco hauled era, and now see the Main line Tours and Diesel Galas on preserved railways as attempting to recapture what we missed back in the ‘Good old days’ (and without decent affordable cameras).
5. Did you find it hard, easy or OK when you first started to take photographs of moving trains?
Impossible basically, my camera was cheap and cheerful, and film was expensive to develop, and technology wasn’t readily available.
6. Do you have a favourite location to take your railway photos?
Bere Alston station, believe it or not! Love the place, my ‘go to’ shot locally is Marazion station road overbridge, I love to go ‘on tour’ though, especially for freight traffic (as we have so little down this way).
7. Apart from railway photography, do you take photos of anything else?
Local scenery and general things of interest, days out, shows or exhibitions.
8. Have you ever had a bad day out with your camera and wished you stayed at home?
Yes, I think anyone saying different wouldn’t be telling the truth, but there’s always next time/tomorrow.
9. Which software do you use when editing images and are you happy with it?
I know very little about the ‘technicalities’ of editing but I use the Flickr editing tool to ‘sharpen’ shots and brighten dull shots but never edit things out, I think that’s ‘cheating’ yourself let alone anyone else, just a personal view.
10. Nearly all cameras today allow you to take videos. Do you take videos from your camera or just photos?
I use my mobile phone camera to video any rail movements to be honest, the technology is there with my camera but I don’t really use it, I prefer taking one shot, and one shot only with the camera, I think that improves you as a photographer (instead of multiple ‘burst’ shots’).
11. Back in your younger days, were you a train spotter and if so, are you still today?
Yes i was, until I was about 20, then I felt with fixed formations and the phasing out of Loco hauled, it became somewhat dated and pointless, it was fun back in the day, when prior to mobiles and the internet, you didn’t know what was due etc.
12. What advice would you give to young or new railway photographers?
Encourage and be helpful, some (but not all) are too ‘precious’ with the whole hobby, and it doesn’t hurt to say ‘Hello’ to anyone, also you need to look for variety, whether it be Infrastructure, formations, scenic views for example in the modern day.