I posted pictures of my layout on my old website since I started it in November 2002. I never posted these pictures on my website, but am including them now for completion.
These pictures are the first pictures I attempted to take of my layout. They are terrible. There are several reasons for this. First, when I took these in the spring of 1994 (May, I think) I was 12 years old. Second, I had a cheap camera that gave me no control over the focus. Third, I used the flash for close-up photos, which I didn’t know was a bad idea. I am including them, however, because they are my first model train pictures that I actually took myself, and because they provide a record of the progress on my layout and when I acquired certain equipment.
Also, as bad as these pictures look, I think they look better on the computer screen than they do as prints.
This is a picture of my A.H.M. 4-8-8-4 Big Boy in the town of San Miguel. This might have been an OK without the flash. This picture reminds me of another problem with that camera: the viewfinder didn’t go through the lens, so pictures didn’t always come out the way they were framed, especially close-up shots.
Here is another picture of the Big Boy, looking down the street in the center of San Miguel. If you focus only on the Big Boy, this one is an OK picture.
This picture of GP7 #119 at the San Miguel depot might have been OK without the flash.
The Alco diesels are almost in focus in this picture. The Big Boy, however, is almost unrecognizable.
Here we have two passenger trains passing each other. In the foreground are my Proto 2000 E8As. In the background are my Athearn PAs. It is pretty dark beyond the reach of the flash. Also, this was before the sideframes on the E-units were painted silver.
This is a great example of the camera not framing pictures correctly, because the viewfinder didn’t go through the lens. This isn’t even that close of a close-up. I’m pretty sure there was supposed to be more of that Spectrum GP30 on the left visible in this picture.
The bridge is actually almost in focus here. There is supposed to be a dock my dad built with naked girls sunbathing on it in the river, but I moved it for the picture because I was 12 and was still too young to appreciate it.
This might have been a decent picture of the Spectrum GP30 and the Athearn GP35 crossing the bridge if I hadn’t put the E-unit in the foreground.
Close-up shots really didn’t work with this camera, as illustrated by this picture of a Stewart Hobbies model of a Baldwin AS-616.
OK, so the Athearn rotary snow plow may not be in focus, but the houses in the background almost are. My dad custom-painted the rotary, as Athearn didn’t make it in Union Pacific silver at the time.
It is almost impossible to tell, but this is a picture of an Athearn U-Boat (I can’t tell if it is the U28C or the U30C, but the shade of yellow makes me think it is the U30C, which my dad custom painted) and a Model Die Casting ore car. I have 50 of those silver ore cars.
This is almost a good picture of the Baldwin DS-4-4-1000 and the TR5 Cow-Calf set. The key to approaching success? Back away from the subject!
Here’s another picture that almost came out well. On the right is the Spectrum GP30 switching what was then a lumberyard (it is now an oil distributor) and on the right is the local passenger train, consisting of an Athearn 50’ box car in express service, an Athearn heavyweight RPO, and Model Die Casting Harriman Baggage and Combine, an Athearn round-roof coach, and an open-platform business car kitbashed from a Rivarrossi streamlined observation car. My dad custom-painted all of these passenger cars.
This last picture was actually taken later in the year, in June or July, but I certainly wasn’t going to give this awful picture a post of its own. Again, the problem was the flash and being too close to the subject.