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Railway Photo or Art?

Railway Photo or Art?

To some, the world of photography is nothing more than a point and click action; it holds no artistic value other than the ability to take a nice picture. However, to the true artist, the medium of photography is an art form that transcends traditional methods, capturing the art in motion resulting in a still framed image.

Steam trains hold an air of mysticism and an old-world feel that captures the imagination. Yet, regardless of modern-day imagery, the picture of a classic steam train is one of elegance from the past, a time when steam power was nothing but revolutionary.

A combination of photography and the focus on steam trains is a powerful art form that relives and celebrates the past whilst pushing the notion of art in the future.


Steam train photography lends itself to many forms of artistic impressions, such as watercolour paintings, chalk drawings, and in the modern age, digital rendering.

However, unlike other methods that conform to classic views on art, for example, one must be a good artist with talent in drawing to draw; indeed, photography requires only an eye for artistic flair!

However, from editing to lighting, composition to framing, many factors change the mood and theme of your photograph.

For example, taking an image of a train at night, where the moon is the primary source of light, can create beauty from an uneasy tension. The context of a good image is in the eye of the beholder, therefore allowing for subjective decisions, and what is art if not subjective!


With this in mind, the focus on delivering is paramount to creating an ambience of artistic impression.

For example, a drawing in a book is nothing more than a sketch, just like a photo on a computer is nothing more than a still image until delivered in the correct format.

Taking a photo, editing it, and doing nothing with it is the same as drawing an image and never showing the world. For art to be appreciated, one must showcase it. Showcasing doesn’t mean you should submit to galleries (unless you want to!). Instead, display it with pride online or in your home.

Ask yourself questions such as,

  • What emotion surrounds this image?

  • What did I intend to capture at this moment?

  • What inspires me about this piece?

  • What does this piece say in response to our current lifestyle?

It may seem pretentious, and if your conscious thought was just to capture a great image, then that’s OK too.

But in our delivery, we make art; instead of stating ‘I just wanted a nice image’, try, ‘I intended to capture the unadulterated beauty of a once vital mode of transport and showcase the magnitude of construction from a long-gone era!’

I know what you’re thinking, that’s just words are thrown together – well, not entirely! You see, art is nothing more than inspiration showcased in representative formats. But, like pictures, like drawings, the key is always in the delivery!


Art is subjective; it is in the eye of the beholder; this can range from classic pencil sketches to digital imagery. Whatever method you choose, the delivery of your art transforms it from a simple display piece to a form of still emotion that encapsulates your desired intent.

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