So I’m Sneaky

So it’s official, I’m sneaky. That’s what I have been told by my wife, Karen. Why you may ask, well not all of my projects are electronic or software related; I’m also a keen, average amateur photographer.

Flying Scotsman

Restoration on the Flying Scotsman was finally completed this year. This was a long term project after the locomotive was purchased for the nation by the National Railway Museum. The train re-entered service with a run from London to York in February 2016.

As part of the return, the National Railway Museum organised a couple of photo opportunities, one early in the morning and one in the evening when it was dark. In both cases the locomotive would be under light steam and the evening shoot would be atmospherically lit. Now I’m not a train enthusiat per se but as a photographer how could I resist.

Here are a couple of the photos from that evening:

Flying Scotsman in North Yard

Flying Scotsman in North Yard

And a low shot:

Flying Scotsman in North Yard Low Shot

Flying Scotsman in North Yard Low Shot

But that does not explain the sneaky…

Family Photographs

My wife’s family have always been very close but sadly her mother and father are no longer with us. We do have a collection of about 300 photographs from her mothers family collection. Unfortunetly they are in mixed condition, some of them rather poor. The photographs had a variety of problems from creases to marks and tears on the surface of the image. For example, the following is a snippit from one of the images:

Unprocessed Image With Creases

Unprocessed Image With Creases

Time for some restoration work. Modern image software is very impressive and not always expensive. The software I tried (and later purchased) last year is Mac specific, there is no PC version, and won Mac application of the year for 2015. The software is Affinity Photo. This software offers an impressive set of features and the video tutorials provide a new user with an insight on how to use the features.

So taking the image from above and 30 minutes with the software and I had the following:

Processed Images With Creases Removed

Processed Images With Creases Removed

Creases all gone, now on to improving the image a little.

Still no sign of sneaky…

Starting in January, I methodically took each of the 300+ images and started to restore the full collection. A few of the images were in too poor condition or out of focus and so they were discarded but the majority of the images could be improved a little. Six weeks later I had a comprehensive set of photographs going back to Victorian times.

The final stage of the processing was the creation of a family album starting with from Great Grandparents through to the current day. For this I used Boots Photo Service to create an 11×8 inch hardback album.

And that’s why my wife thinks I’m sneaky.


It has been a while since I was able to use the soldering iron and if I am to get through the projects planned for Christmas then I need to pick it up again. The time playing with Affinity Photo has certainly proved fruitful, I can well recommend this product.

The brief diversion into image processing did however bring a moment of pleasure into my wife’s life, a moment I’ll always treasure.

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