Are you a photographer? Or maybe you’re wanting to be one? If you want to become a good photographer, you must have these three elements: passion, perspective, and a good subject.

Talking about the third element, what exactly makes a good subject?

There are different types of subject photographers prefer. Some prefer nature, some the city, some family photos, and a few prefer trains. After all, one of the most attractive and challenging photo subjects is the train. They’re not easy to catch, and just clicking your camera when a train is passing by might give you a blurred result.

To help you take excellent train photography, here are some tips you want to consider:


Find the best location to catch a train. Search for train stations at your city if that’s what is convenient for you. For more adventure, however, try researching for steam train locations. Steam trains are good for aesthetic pleasure and give nostalgia to the people seeing it. For this matter, Google maps are very helpful.

Find Your Position

Your position need not be right in front of your subject. Aside from it giving you a hard time capturing the train, it will be very dangerous as well. It is best to capture a train’s top view instead. This way, you may capture the whole thing and the environment around it as well. All you have to do is find a secure high location just right above the train station overlooking the railway.


A camera with a 24-105mm zoom is most often appropriate when capturing a train from afar. This will help your photo look more natural and unpixelated. Moreover, it will give the locomotive effect and capture the train moving at just the right pace.

Do It Manually

Set your camera on manual mode. This will help your photo have just the right amount of light it needs. It would also help if you slightly overexpose the scene itself. Also, you wouldn’t need to bring your tripod with you. Do it manually.

Capturing a moving subject will always be effective without the use of a tripod. You would need to stay still, though not using a tripod will give the photo the locomotive effect it needs to look good and realistic enough.

Know Your Speed

When capturing a train, you need to use fast shutter speed. A 1/250sec shutter speed is good enough since it would be able to catch a railway train moving at 25mph without the subject getting blurred.

Of course, you would need to participate in this one. You still have the control on when it is the time to click. It is better to practice train photography several times first before having your final shots. Some single train photos could take 3 days just to have it captured.


What photographing trains and taking family photos have in common is that the photographer must know the story behind the subject. Not that he would literally do, but he needs to have his spirit engaged with the subject he is capturing.

Train photographers are just as important as photographers taking educational, historical, and family photos. After all, the prettiest postcards have train photos on them.

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