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August 1999 - Page 49


F rom an e l evated va ntage, the b a l lasted deck shows clearly on t h e Joint Line bridge.
tool . Although not available commercially, a measure-stick can be made eas i ly by paint ing a good, straight 3 ' l x2 board w h i te . Subdivide the rod into three I ' sections and paint the middle section red. You may also wish to further divide the first section into inches and paint every other i nch division red. Lay the measure-stick somewhere in the scene whenever you need to take a pho tograph to document some item at the site. The measure-stick provides an instant refer ence for cal c u l at i n g d i mensions. You can also use a yardstick, but it won't show up as wel l and w i l l make it more difficult to get accurate information. For onsite photography, there are several things to remember. First and foremost fil m is cheap when compared to the time and travel needed to get to the site. Take lots of photos. Prints are usuall y preferred u n less you have access to a good quality, large slide viewer ( 1 0 " screen or larger). S lides tend to give the truest colors at a site, but prints can be compared against each other concurrently to check items of conflict. Prints are usually easier to handle on the workbench, too. If you use a 35mm SLR camera, you must use a 50mm lens to avoid distortion of the pho tographed object. A wide-angle lens (28mm is common) can provide good overall shots, but the wide-angle lens w i l l distort locations and s i z e s of obj e c t s . U s e a d i s p o s a b l e panoram i c camera to rec ord t h e overa l l scene, but i t also may d istort objects. When in doubt, always use a 50mm lens and try to take the shot directly at the object. Photography during a cloudy day is best to doc u m e n t the s c e n e . L i g h t i n g can be tough since it is best to photograph all sides of everything. By definition then, some sides will be sunlit and others will be in the dark. A cloudy day doesn't obscure details l i ke a bright, sunny day w i l l . Details are not hid den in deep shadows on a cloudy day. Plan on taking a photograph of each side of every building at the site. Take detail pho tographs of intricate roof angles, eave brack ets and other architectural items. Of course if the b u i l d ing has changed from when you want to model it, photography and measure ments will be more difficult, but harder for others to verify ! Take photographs of any plaques and signs at the site. Try taking pho tographs that can be directly used later on the mode l . For example, on the Moffat Tunnel scene, there are several iron signs that flank the actual portal . By taking a straight-on pho tograph 60 ' from the sign (with a 50mm lens) and having i t processed as a 4x6 print, the print provided an almost N-scale sign that when cut out was glued directly onto the tun nel building. Similar geometrical calculations can be used for other scales, too. Make an i temized l is t of everything in the scene. List all the structures and their adjacent ground clutter. Take note of all the A UG U ST 1 999

O ne of the large buttes is visible over the bridge as an i ntermodal passes by.
M O D E L RAI LROA D I N G

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