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Santa's Polar Express

Santa's Polar Express
Photo Information
Copyright: John Cannon (tyro) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 207 W: 93 N: 875] (4422)
Genre: Places
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-11-29
Categories: Transportation, Event, Decisive Moment
Camera: Canon EOS 20D, Tamron 17-50mm f2.8 AF XR Di-II LD IF, Hoya 67mm HMC UV(0)
Exposure: f/5.6, 1/125 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Map: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2008-11-30 12:55
Viewed: 1755
Points: 22
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
What a smashing day out we had yesterday with family and two grandchildren on the Santa Express at Bo'ness on the Firth of Forth!

Each year, the Scottish Railway Preservation Society, who run the Bo'ness & Kinneil Railway, run "Santa Specials" each weekend from the end of November until Christmas. And they are well worth booking up for: Santa comes through the train and gives all young children a present but everybody is expected to wear their funny reindeer-antler hat and join in with the Christmas songs. Adults get a nice cup of tea and a mince pie on alighting from the train back at Bo'ness. The cafe there also does nice fish and chips very reasonably!

Unfortunately, the Santa Special is fully booked for this year but you can find out more about the S.R.P.S., the Bo'ness & Kinneil Railway and future bookings here.

This is British Railways Standard 2-6-4T No.80105 tank locomotive pulling the train out of Bo'ness station. I took this picture from a footbridge and just a couple of seconds later, I was enveloped in clouds of smoke and steam - oh, boyhood memories!

Shot in RAW and converted and edited in PSE6.

All comments/critiques/advice welcome!

Reflex, glint, graffer, bucanas has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • KBE Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 571 W: 132 N: 805] (3839)
  • [2008-11-30 13:07]

Hi Cannon
Thats a beautiful composition and brillent POV
Loved the way smoke/steam coming out of exaust. Wonderful work!

  • Great 
  • Reflex Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Workshop Editor/Silver Note Writer [C: 639 W: 205 N: 43] (1347)
  • [2008-11-30 13:08]

Very original POV and original subject ! Sharp details and well balanced light !

hi john.
i'm too young to remember steam trains(?) so this is educational for me.

it looks like a magical experience. the train seems to be steaming towards me from my monitor.
nicely off center and well composed. the guys hanging out of the side of the train adds to the feel good factor.

did santas train have my new camera on board?


What a terrific capture!

Great POV and beautiful tight framing of the train - with excellent depth of field and superb detail. I love the quality of light, the bluish light from the left and the more gold light from the right of the frame.


good details and colors.
really striking and vivid.
good POV and positioning.
well done. TFS.

Hi John,

Great photo for the season. I especially like the steam showing from the smokestack. Glad you snapped quickly! Nice perspective of the train. This has to be a thrill for children and adults of all ages.

Hello John
Excellent close up view, the crew leaning out of the cab sets the scale perfectly. I hope your camera was OK in the steam!
Regards, Leslie
ps I think Santa is bringing me a K20!

  • Great 
  • glint Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 593 W: 3 N: 545] (3785)
  • [2008-12-01 3:45]

hello John,
excellent POV and I love that you have caught the railwaymen.You've caught all the steam and excitement of what sounds like a fabulous day out for the family.
I wonder if Philip Pullman could include Santa's Polar Express in a follow up to his Dark Materials trilogy?

Hello John,

This is a very fine complement to your TE picture.

The loco is really coming at you here - the footplate crew leaning out give added interest to the image which is almost monochrome apart from the crew's caps and overalls, and above all the fine red nameplate.

Steam, smoke and magnificent machinery - all that is missing is the sound and the smell.




  • Great 
  • korbee Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1483 W: 0 N: 1852] (14495)
  • [2008-12-01 11:52]

A smashing picture indeed John,the two drivers are ery well timed with their rather critical faces!

Hi John,
Good and diferent angle,beautiful locomotive.
Best regards,

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