December 2019 Picture of the Month

For what was probably the last trip out with the camera for 2019, I drove up to the Didcot Railway Centre in late November to photograph the Great Western Railway 'King Class' 4-6-0 King Edward II which had just returned from spending a few weeks on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway. It was fascinating to compare the locomotive, resplendent in its bright blue paintwork, with the derelict wreck seen at Woodham Brothers' scrapyard in Barry about forty years ago. It was a pretty dull day, but thanks to the amazing ability of a modern high-end DSLR, satisfying images were still possible – including inside Didcot's unlit engine shed. There is a lot to be said for flat lighting when it comes to photographing shiny objects large or small. However, a return visit in the spring is most definitely on the cards when several of the two dozen locomotives on site will be in steam, and hopefully the sun will be shining.

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All images and text © John Hannavy