Monday, April 25, 2016

Miniature traction engine

click photo to enlarge
Each year, in recent years, I've helped some friends with a model engineering and hobby show. My part in the proceedings is based around photography. The event gives me the opportunity to photograph static and moving subjects - usually models of one kind or another - with specific aims in mind. It is a utilitarian kind of photography quite different from my day-to-day work which is entirely based on my interests and whims, and in which I have no one to please but myself. What I appreciate about my annual exercise is the discipline that is needed to produce the photographs that are required. And, it makes me realise how lucky I am to be able to photograph what I want rather than what someone else wants: I'd be a very poor professional photographer.

Today's photograph shows a miniature steam-powered traction engine, a vehicle based on large agricultural machines that were used from the latter part of the nineteenth century through to about the time of the Second World War. They were essentially a moveable source of mechanical power used to power threshing machines, balers, elevators etc. Some large farms would own such a machine, others would use the services of a contractor who might hire out several. These miniature models are sometimes bought from a supplier, ready-made. However, very often they are "scratch-built" i.e. entirely built from by their owner from engineering drawings. My photograph shows the lead vehicle of about a dozen such machines undertaking a "road run" through Springfield Gardens, Spalding in Lincolnshire.

photograph and text © Tony Boughen

Photo Title: Miniature Traction Engine, Springfield Gardens, Spalding, Lincs
Camera: Olympus E-M10
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 14mm (28mm - 35mm equiv.) crop
F No: f4
Shutter Speed: 1/500 sec
Exposure Compensation: -0.3 EV
Image Stabilisation: On