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Phoenix Railway Photographic Circle

Est. 1970 - 71

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 not considering myself an expert with 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 mainly recognisable. Software from other makers is likely to have similar features.

'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 into 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 ink jet printer so my DSLR cameras are set to embed an Adobe RGB profile into 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 used successfully 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 Color Munki.

A selection of Phoenix You Tube videos showing vaious techniques to enhance 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 does 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 foregrounda layer mask. Make the sky group visible and adjust using the hue slider on hue/saturation 3.
See the action in ACTION




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, select multiple layers, control for transform, resize and move objects, save as.




Coming Soon

Covers: The many 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 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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