For creative photographers, nikon d7100 lens buying guide can be an interesting subject. Cars, airplanes, trucks, and other machinery form an addictive draw to the photographer’s cameras & camera lens. Photographing railroad scenes can be an appealing hobby to a group of passionate photographers. The motions of commuters and trains, subway aesthetics, and railway landscapes, when combined together, can produce a visual story of how humans admire complex machinery and the beauty of nature-and-man-made landscapes.

While railroads can be a beautiful subject for your next photography session, these five helpful tips will help you make even more beautiful outputs.

Safety First

Before anything else, it is very important to put safety first. Shooting near active train tracks can be very risky. Here is very important information you should know when shooting railroads or near train tracks.

Trains cannot quickly stop to avoid people or anything that’s on the tracks.

The train’s distance from you and its pace can be deceiving when viewed from afar.

On average, trains overhang the track by at least 3 feet.

You cannot trespass on railroad tracks as they are private properties.

You cannot assume that a track is inactive or abandoned.

You can influence other people through your photos and it doesn’t always result in the good news.

Scouting for Best Locations

Just like any form of photography, scouting locations is an important hack to get the best photos possible. Instead of shooting at locations where other photographers may probably be at, try to look for unique places where you can convey a different story from others. This may need you to exert additional effort, but if done successfully, it will be all worth it. If you want to shoot on private properties, it’s best to ask for permission from the owners before going in. Also, remember that places that are near the tracks are dangerous, and most likely, you will not be able to get in those areas.

Shutter Speed

Photographing trains are no different from photographing moving subjects. It is up to the photographer whether he wants to freeze the motion with fast shutter speed or slow the shutter for a dramatic motion blur effect. The shutter speed will absolutely change the aesthetic of your images.


Light plays an essential role in any photography, but some tips can help you improve your pictures. Since trains move on tracks on generally expected ways, you can research in advance about good locations to shoot and know where the light will fall at specific times. There are also sites and apps that can help you get this information. But if you forgot to do some research, you may just observe the angle of the sun, and make sure that your subject is not covered with shadows.

New and Unique Ideas

Railroad photography is not new to photographers. Since everyone knows how a train or a railroad looks like, the real challenge in this kind of photography is to show your audience something new and unique. To help you think about new ideas on how your images should awe your audience, you can visit the location a few times and observe the surroundings. Go at different times of the day and observe in different weathers. By doing so, a few fresh ideas might come into view.

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