Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Let Me Explain

My last post about images found in railway stations raised a few questions - and probably a few eyebrows too! The trouble is that once I start taking photos I find it difficult to stop, even in such seemingly un-photogenic places as stations. When I get home I wonder what to do with these photos......

 I've been looking at this worn paintwork for some time but I'm always in a hurry to go somewhere else - because it's the door of the Gentlemen's toilet on Cambridge station! With the re-vamping of the station it's due to disappear any day so I thought it preserve its distressed beauty in a picture. The white border was added to make it look more like a work of art, other than that all I did was brighten up the colours a little on the computer.

The next one is another fascinating pattern of rather mundane provenance. You've probably seen something very like it. All it is is vertical blinds seen through dimpled glass in the windows of the station-master's office at Cambridge station. All I did apart from cropping the image was boost the contrast to give nice clean blacks and whites.

 A bit more trickery involved in this one. It's taken through a scratched and defaced plastic-glass window of a shelter. The whole picture was very grey so I started fiddling about to enrich the colour. Once I got started I had to see how far I could push it. Colours began to emerge through the gloom until the final colourful result was obtained. I quite like it and I hope Tasha does too - whoever she is.

This was done a long time ago and all I can recall is that it was originally a snap of some shiny metal plates next to Waterbeach station.
It looks to me as if it's probably a composite image of two identical shots, one of which is upside down.
Why I did that I can't imagine!
You're probably getting the hang of this by now so I hardly need tell you that it's dimpled glass again. All this one needed was a little extra contrast and it came out resembling a woodcut.
This is just a straight shot with no tinkering needed. It's just some blistered paintwork seen at Bayford station.

Another picture that was predominantly grey. But in the depths of greyness there always lurks a hint of colour. Here as the colour was boosted it became clear that the different sheets of plastic-glass through which the image is seen have slightly different qualities which became more pronounced as the colour was pushed to near the limit.

The photo enhancement programme I use - Corel Paintshop Pro Photo X2 - doesn't have many instant, one-click effects that I like, but by combining them and tinkering around you can sometimes turn a rather plain picture into something a little more interesting. 
The more I think about it the more convinced I become that this photo doesn't belong with the others in this series. Too late now!

And the interest of gender equality...I give you - the Ladies' toilet door at Cambridge station!

Take care.


  1. Your eye explained the beauty you detected. Fortunately you put them altogether for us to view. With or without explanations I enjoyed them all. -- barbara

  2. Gee you post a "controversial" post and I missed it. Thanks for the revisit. I went back to look at it then returned here, so that means I viewed photo #3 three times and it wasn't until I read your explanation did I realize it didn't read "TRASH". Next up, you are the only other blogger I know of that uses Corel Paintshop Pro. Yippee, I am not the only one out here. Lastly, it makes sense that the Ladies toilet door would have the hole in it.

  3. A great series of tinkering shots John. Very creative!

  4. This is really clever stuff John. Now that I get the general idea I shall try it out somewhere.

  5. Your photography is always art, but this series was a bit more abstract than usual. I enjoyed reading to see what you were doing. Clearly, I need to experiment more . . .

  6. The devil is in the details they say, and here there were a lot of them. The beauty of decay, Masterly produced.

  7. So, does the paint on the doors reflect the different liveries of the rail companies over the years - or just change for the sake of it? You have an artist's eye. I love all these.


Thanks for taking the time to comment. I'll try to answer any questions via a comment or e-mail within the next day or two (no hard questions, please!).