Letting off steam / by Mario Mirabile

Being and "enthusiast" of any pursuit requires a degree of dedication most people find baffling. It's one ting to be get excited about postage stamps, cars or even - God forbid - cameras, but when it comes to being passionate about 100 tonnes of steel, railway enthusiasts are in a class of their own.

As the first form of motorized mass transit and a symbol of the coming of the industrial age, trains hold a special place in the hearts and minds of many. Stream locomotives, in particular, have a classic fascination about them.The volunteers at Steamrail Victoria are a dedicated bunch who work tirelessly to keep Victoria's rail heritage alive. With access to the heritage listed Newport Rail Workshops, not only do they maintain the locomotives and rolling stock, but the also regularly organize trips to allow other to share their passion. You can also visit the workshops by prior arrangement, and as long as you attend a safety briefing, you're free to wander through the site. Find out more at www.steamrail.com.au .

A highly recommended way to let off steam.

Tech Talk
The lighting inside the huge sheds which comprise the Newport Rail Workshops is pretty bad for photography. Even with a tripod, the dim mix of a bit daylight, flourescents, and what I think are sodium vapor lights, makes for some lighting challenges. It lends itself to grungy fake HDR processing, which I think emphasizes the raw power and steampunk romance of these classic machines.

Olympus E-5, Zuiko Digital 12-60mm f2.8-4, Zuiko Digital 7014mm f4. Processing in Lifghtroom 5, Photoshop CS6 with a little help from Nik filterers.