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Phoenix Railway Photographic Circle

Est. 1970

Creative Railway Photography



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Photoshop for Railway Photographers

Since 1998 I have spent some time wandering in the Photoshop mist, initially using Photoshop 4, which was the first version to use Adjustment Layers.

Whilst I don’t consider myself an expert on Photoshop, here are some hints and tips, for the digitally challenged, that I've picked up along the way. The suggestions made refer in the main to 'Photoshop CC 2020'. Users of earlier versions will find them slightly different but mostly recognisable. Software from other makers is likely to have similar features.
David Flitcroft.

'Photoshop' Colour Settings

When you start using Photoshop it is recommended that you check Photoshop colour settings. (Edit/Color Settings)
If you would like a thorough explanation of Photoshop colour settings, have a look at Ian Lyons’ website at:

Photoshops Default settings are displayed right.

Most cameras embed an sRGB profile in their images. This is a good match for display on a computer monitor or on the Web. So if that is where you generally show your images, the RGB setting above can be left as is.

I intend my images to be suitable for printing on an inkjet printer, so my DSLR cameras are set to embed an Adobe RGB profile in each image. Therefore I use the settings shown left.

If you make changes to the settings, click Save when done


If you use these settings, you will on occasion be presented with a 'Profile mismatch' dialogue when opening an image.

In the case of 'No embedded profile', choose ‘working RGB’.

In the case of 'mismatch' choose 'Use embedded profile'



Monitor Calibration

The eye isn't the most accurate method of setting monitor colour. A hardware based system such as the Datacolor Spyder,  X-rite Photo ColorMunki or similar is better. For a good number of years I successfully used a Datacolor Spyder. When it became necessary to replace this, I chose the Xrite ColorMunki Display which calibrates my monitor and my projector.

Click on the image, right, for a You Tube video on ColorMunki.

A selection of Phoenix You Tube videos showing vaious techniques for enhancing images.
Click on the images to view.

Adobe Camera RAW
Adjustment Layers

Covers: Dealing with RAW images.

Covers: Copy layers, name layers, levels adjustment layers, hue/saturation adjustment layers, layer masks, clipping mass.

Black & White Conversion
Photo Montage


Covers: Using multiple hue and saturation adjustment layers

Download the Photoshop action that operates most of this process for you. Download.

To use: Run the Action. Look in 'Layers'. In the foreground group, use the hue slider in hue/saturation 1 to make adjustments. If you wish to adjust the sky, mask the sky on the foregrounds layer mask. Make the sky group visible, and adjust using the hue slider on hue/saturation 3.
See the action in




Covers: Combine images, copy layer, name layer, mono layer, layer masks, clipping masks, paint on layer mask, canvas size, select/stroke, object selection, copy/paste selection, layer effects/drop shadow, selecting multiple layers, control for transform, resize and move objects, save as.



Coming Soon

Covers: The main ways of shrpening in Photoshop. Download the Phoenix Photoshop actions which include a High Pass sharpening action. It is best to apply the High Pass action to a Background copy layer. The action can then be fine-tuned by
reducing its layer opacity.

To install a photoshop action:

  1. Open Photoshop, and click on the Actions Palette menu button (located in the top right-hand corner of the Actions Palette).
  2. Select “Load Actions”.
  3. Select the downloaded Phoenix.atn file (usually in the Downloads folder).
  4. The high pass action and the b&w conversion action will appear in the actions palette.

Lightroom for the railway photographer

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