The editor of the newsletter of the local division of the NMRA needed some photos of my layout to announce an open house. I thought that was a good excuse to shoot some new photos of the almost finished area near Falmouth. Focus stacked and sky replaced in PS.
January 26, 2023
|Full original unsharpened image.|
Photographers might be interested in this, especially if you have some low res images you want to use in a print project. I was going through some of my older railfan images for use in a writing project. I found some low resolution images I took around 2001 that I would like to use. The base image was about 3.1 mega-pixels (2160 by 1440 pixels) at ISO 100 and 1/180sec. The image was not noisy, but it was low-res and a bit soft.I put the image in Topaz Photo AI and let the software recommend improvements. It can remove noise, sharpen, and upscale. In this case it only recommended a 2x upscale. But in the process, it made the image sharper. So it doubled the resolution in both axes for an image size of 11.9 mega-pixels (4234 by 2822 pixels) and gave a sharper image. That is some black magic.
Here is a comparison of both images in Photoshop. The upper image is the original image enlarged to 200%. The bottom image is the same image after Topaz AI upscaling. Check it out.
|Original image at 200% compared to the image in Topaz Photo AI upscaled and sharpened at 2x|
January 10, 2023
If you want to get a copy you can find it at Barnes and Noble or order it direct from their website. https://shop.whiteriverproductions.com/products/ost-202301
|Danica the Cyborg - rescuing a old picture with Topaz Aps|
The year has started out very busy with no work on the Aquia Line but lots of other fun projects and distractions. I spent a good part of the week working on some track plans that will be published later this year. In between that I have been doing some birdwatching and learning more about how to use photoshop.
I recently purchased the Topaz AI suite of products for photo enhancements. These products aren't that useful for model railroad photography as we can usually shoot those images in ideal condtions with low ISO. But if you are doing any action photography such as wildlife, or even fast moving trains in low light where you use high ISO, you might be interested in the aps. I was skeptical of them at first as they use social media to advertise. But I watched enough Youtube videos to think they might be worthwhile. They allow you to freely download their products to evaluate them, you just can't save until you purchase or activate them. So I was able to give them a good test before buying. And I was very pleased to see they really work. I find that the DeNoise program is the best as it consistently gives good results. I find the sharpen function to be less in demand, but it is useful when it is needed. They also offer an all-in-one application that will analyze your image and suggest denoise, sharpen, and even upscaling. It works well too.
Here is an example of a high iso image that I processed thorough Topaz applications. I shot the cardinal on my Canon R7 at 3200 ISO, but after Topaz DeNoise there is practically zero noise in the image. That is pretty amazing given the high ISO I used on a compact sensor camera.
|Old snapshot that I cleaned up with Topaz AI|
December 31, 2022
|This picture encapsulates the year with plenty of trains, planes, and automobiles.|
Another year has ticked by. All in all it was a good one with lots of trains, planes, and automobiles. Let's review the highlights.
- Finished the expansion of the layout to the point where it is operational and about 50% sceniced. The expansion includes a new 5 foot long trestle over a meandering creek, a balloon camp and tracks that can house 10-car trains plus engine.
- The telegraph came into operation thanks to Amby, Steve, and Seth efforts. In particular, Amby was promoted to Chief Signal Officer of the USMRR Aquia Line for his meritorious service.
- Brion delivered the schooner he had been working on for me and it is beautiful. I added a tug boat to the fleet and started another schooner.
- 3D printed some highly detailed cannons, limber, and railroad trucks.
- It was a good year for museums. I visited that Valiant Air Warbird Museum, Titusville, FL, the USMC Museum in Quantico, VA, National Museum of the US Army, Ft Belvoir, VA, USAF Museum in Wright Paterson AFB, OH, the Strategic Air Command Museum and the Museum of the West, both in Omaha, the Brevard County Veterans Museum, Merrit Island, FL , Freedom House Museum, Alexandria, VA, Lexington Battlefield Museum in Lexington, MO, Palm Springs Air Museum, Palm Springs CA, Ft Eustis Transportation Museum and the Mariner's Museum both in New Port News, VA, Fort Monroe, Hampton, VA, American Sign Museum, and Entertainment, Cincinnati, OH., C&O Historical Society Museum, Clifton Forge, VA . Not to mention several national and state park visitor centers and hikes in nature preserves, mountain top forests, deserts, and wetlands.
- Other road trips included 5 visits to see my new grand daughters in Alabama and Kentucky. I rode twice on The Catalpa Falls Group private cars thanks to invites by Eric and George Payne.
- Wrote several articles for the model railroad press. MRP 2022 ran a nice piece of the expansion the Aquia Line. I did another article for MRP 2023 that is due out in Feb. O scale magazine is doing a piece on my railroad in the upcoming January/Feb 2023 issue that is due any day now. I also did a piece for hire for Kalmbach for Chris Moore's layout in the Philadelphia area. Kalmbach did a Meet the Modeler segment on me which was fun to help write.