‘Rail Photoprints’ - hopefully the name conveys our primary interest. We have been involved in Railway Photography and Publishing for more than 50 years,
Like many of our colleagues our initial interest was in train spotting, many pleasant hours being spent in the company of like minded people on the Platform ends at Bristol Temple Meads or on the ‘tump’ outside Bath Green Park sheds.
Our introduction to photography was with the humble Brownie 127, followed by the Halina 35x whose 200th second maximum speed was barely enough to stop the movement of even the humble pick up freight but occasionally reasonable results were achieved.
We witnessed the premature end of steam and then like many lost interest in the British mainline scene spending time on the British Industrials or on the near continent where steam was still in operation and could be readily accessed. In the early ‘70’s photographic equipment was upgraded with a Practica Super TL which offered 500th second almost enough to stop some of the passenger trains in the pre HST diesel era. The end of service for the ‘Westerns’ saw a return to the UK scene accompanied by an increase in photographic activity with the setting up of our own developing and printing facility the name ‘Rail Photoprints’ was born out of the need for a trading name which could be used for selling our b/w photographs.
Working in the printing trade it was a natural progression which led to our first commercial item being produced, and in 1979 the ‘Modern Traction Calendar’ was born, an all black and white affair which was bound using the kitchen table (to help keep costs down), it sold at the price of £1.00 and was sufficiently well received that the 1980 calendar had 4colour pages. By 1982 the demand was sufficient to enable full colour production and the calendar has been a regular for the last 33 years. 1992 saw the production of the first ‘'Steam Traction Calendar' and in 1999 a bus calendar joined the fold. In addition to calendar productions some cheap photographic albums on the ‘Deltics’, 50’s and 40’s were produced as well as two Hard cover titles for a national publisher.
In the late ‘70’s Mamiya 645 cameras were purchased, in the hope that they would improve photographic quality, this action proved worthwhile but in the late 80’s the advent of newer film technology in the form of Ilford XP1 led to changing back to 35mm format. 2002 saw us investigating the digital market and from 2005 we used the digital format for all work, chosen cameras being initially the Canon 20D and now the Canon 40D.
Growing standardisation and increasing restrictions on our hobby in the UK has led to our seeking pastures new for railway photography, South Africa, China, USA, Canada and many European countries have been visited and will eventually be featured here.
We are now in the process of scanning our extensive negative and transparency collection, this is a labour of love with many hours being taken, but a great deal of satisfaction as we produce results of a standard that we rarely achieved in the photographic dark room. This website is result of our toil, it will hopefully be seen as a showcase for both our work and the work of others. All of the files illustrated are available for purchase as photographs or digital files for publication.
We constantly seek new material either to purchase or to work with the photographer on a 'Royalty' basis paying a set fee for sales of any prints produced from that photographers work, in such instances the photographer retains ownership and copyright.
Our aim at the present time is to get as much material as possible onto the web for the enjoyment of others, we have seen too much priceless material binned due to wives and relations not appreciating the true historic value of the film image, please help us to change the illusion that our hobby is a waste of time and money.
Being fellow railway enthusiasts it has always been our aim to produce quality products at the sort of prices that we would be willing to pay, hopefully our prices will be seen as fair for the production of a quality product.