Nathan Williamson Interview on Railway Photography
Nathan Williamson is a keen railway photographer who lives in South Devon. He has a great website called Shed 38 that has some really nice photos that is worth looking at. Nathan kindly agreed to do this interview for me.
1. How long have you been doing railway photography and what made you interested in it?
I purchased my first digital camera in 2003. My father had been taking slides of railways since the early 1990’s when we went out on our railway trips. Until 2003 I had always wrote down train numbers.
2. Can you remember your first camera you had and what one do you use today?
First camera was a Sony Cybershot and I have had a Canon 300D, Canon 400D, Canon 50D and I now used a Canon 6D.
3. Are you happy with your camera or given the chance, would you want to upgrade it?
My 6D camera works very well for me, had it a number of years now and it has had several new shutters and refurbishments to keep it in top notch condition. I would upgrade to a 6D MK2 if had the money, to get the higher ISO’s for use with a F1.8 lens for taking trains in the dark in stations at speed.
4. Have you got a favourite location for your railway photography?
It’s always been Dawlish as I spent a lot of my childhood on the beach writing down train numbers.
5. Which steam loco and diesel train is your favourite to photograph?
Any diesel from the British Rail Era such as Class 08, 31, 33, 37, 43, 47, 50, 56.
Being born and bread in Devon, I prefer seeing a Great Western Steam loco running on their home turf.
6. I see that you take train photos and videos, which is your favourite and why?
Still pictures do not let you hear the sounds of the locomotives.
I enjoy listening to the sounds of the older diesel engines on my big speakers on my home computer.
7. Which software do you use when editing images and are you happy with it?
I was given a free copy of Paint Shop Pro many years ago when I first got a PC, so I’ve stuck with that.
8. Have you ever had a bad day out with your camera and wished you stayed home?
Had a day out at Eastleigh where it was dark and rained all day, the pictures were so grainy back in 2008 and should have stayed at home.
9. What is the best railway photograph you have ever taken?
It is very hard to pin down a particular photo, I have taken so many over the years but my favourite ones are long exposures of trains in the dark or some of my railway photos I have got having been on railway photography trips to California and Ontario, Canada.
10. I see on your website Shed 38 you have all types of photographs as well as railway. Which is your favourite type and why?
In recent years, I have branched out into taking wildlife and some landscapes, using the skills I have learned taking railways over the years, I particular enjoy sunrise and sunsets.
11. Do you think you will still be doing railway photography in 5 years time?
Most definitely yes, I am in this for life.
12. What is your best photography tip for someone new?
Don’t be frightened to take a practice shots, play around with the settings and keep practising.
Photo (C) Nathan Williamson