Derek Thompson, Railway Photographer

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Welcome. I took my first (poor quality) railway photos in 1979 with a small Instamatic 110mm camera. I got my first film SLR camera, a Pentax MG, for Christmas 1983. Initially I only had a standard 50mm lens but quickly worked out this was not suitable for lineside photography so shortly after purchased a Miranda 70-300mm zoom. It was not the greatest quality but all I could afford at the time.

With my inexperience many of the photos taken in the first couple of years were under-exposed. It turned out it was not my photography skills but the camera was not adjusted correctly with the ISO setting set far too high and hence too fast a shutter speed was being selected. I only discovered this after about 12 months using the camera. Once the camera had been re-calibrated the quality improved. Unfortunately time has started to take it's toll on some of the older slides and they have developed a colour cast only some of which can be removed by photoshop.

I continued to use this camera for a number of years until it was stolen on a train when I fell asleep between Manchester and Leeds. I was on an All Line Rover at the time and had had little sleep over the previous few days. Regrettably the photos I took the previous day on the Isle of Wight of the 1923 and 1938 stock operating together were lost. Following this I then purchased a Pentax P30N which came with a 28-70mm zoom. I also purchased a standard 50mm lens and continued to use the 70-300mm zoom I still had. I still own this camera today and use it as a fallback.

The main bulk of my photos were taken on 35mm slides with this camera. From 1999 I started to use some compact digital cameras but I considered the quality was not good enough. In addition they had the problem of the shutter releasing a few seconds after the button was pressed. Very annoying when taking railway photos. By 2007 things had improved considerably and I purchased my first DSLR a Pentax K10D. I started initially using the lenses I already owned but have now upgraded to much better Pentax 17-80mm, 35mm and 70-300mm lenses. By 2013 technology had improved and I once again upgraded to a Pentax K-5 II.

The photos displayed here are some of my better ones and reflect my memories of rail travel over the years. The galleries are grouped by years in chronological order except the current year which has the newest first. I hope you enjoy them. The photos on this site have all been taken by me are my copyright and may not be used for any purpose without my permission. I have had images used without my permission in the past so do not be surprised if you do this and receive an expensive invoice.  Theft of copyrighted material can often cause offence!

If you would like to use any of the images on this site for commercial or non-commercial use you should contact me via the Contact link.

If you would like any further information on the photos or locations I am always happy to help again contact me using the contact link above. Thanks for visiting.

Derek Thompson, Highlands of Scotland,
United Kingdom or out and about taking railway photos.

67011 approaches Rannoch with the 04:50 Edinburgh - Fort William 21/05/16

67011 approaches Rannoch with the 04:50 Edinburgh - Fort William 21/05/16

66746 at Conon Bridge working the Royal Scotsman 08:19 Kyle of Lochalsh - Boat of Garten 07/08/22

66746 at Conon Bridge working the Royal Scotsman 08:19 Kyle of Lochalsh - Boat of Garten 07/08/22

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