Tag Archives: Derbyshire

Return to the Crich Tramway Museum 1940s Event, August 2017

It’s hard to believe that it was August 2011 when I last visited the National Tramway Museum at Crich in Derbyshire.  I was genuinely surprised to discover that I had not been to this event for six years but that is how long it has been.  So much has changed for me personally during that time, so it is reassuring to discover that the event itself has changed very little, with many familiar faces to be seen, and the familiar surroundings which provide an excellent supporting role for these 1940s events.

Last time I visited this event, I was still shooting with my trusty Canon 5D, now lovingly refered to on some internet forums as the “5D Classic”.  The 5D was my first full-frame camera and it was remarkable in that it always outperformed what the specification sheet would suggest it could achieve.  With “only” 12 megapixels and “only” 9 focusing points (and only 1 that could be relied on), the spec would appear quite basic compared to today’s cameras but somehow it always seemed to deliver, a testament to the quality of the sensor.

Perhaps more surprising for the event back in 2011 was my choice of lens.  I always enjoy the challenge of using one camera and one lens when I am out shooting, and on that occasion my lens of choice was the excellent but heavy Sigma 300mm F/2.8, not a typical lens choice that you might associate with this type of event!  You can see the results I got from this combo on my website here.

Fast forward six years, and I have now switched over to Fujifilm cameras and lenses, my Canon gear having all been sold recently.  Why the change?  Several reasons really, a smaller and lighter kitbag being a major one, together with changing eyesight which meant that I can no longer view images on the back of a camera and determine if they were sharp or not.  The electronic viewfinders on my Fujifilm cameras are brilliant for showing me exactly what result to expect before the shot, and what results I did get after the shot, including zoomed in at 100%.

My camera and lens of choice this time around was the Fujifilm X-Pro2 camera and the Fujinon XF 90mm F/2 lens.  The X-Pro2 is the first camera since my original 5D to give me that same feeling of being in full control of the picture taking process.  I find it an absolute joy to use and the results are exactly what I would hope for from a modern camera.  The fact that Fujifilm jpegs are so good straight out of the camera, means that I spend far less time post-processing my images too, another huge bonus.

The XF 90mm F/2 lens is my favourite amongst the X series lenses that I have bought to date.  It is tack sharp wide open at F/2, and I especially enjoy the rendering of this lens, with the seperation between the subject and background being particularly pleasing to my eye.  It’s also reasonably small and light, certainly in comparison to lenses that I have typically used in the past, and the focusing is very fast and accurate when paired with the X-Pro2.

All the images below were taken using the X-Pro2 and the 90mm wide open at F/2.  All were shot as Jpegs in camera using Fujifilm’s built-in Acros Film Simulation with Green Filter setting.  That just left me with minor adjustments and cropping to do in Lightroom to tidy them up.

To see all the pictures I took at this event, please check out my website gallery here.

I hope you enjoy them.



Back to the 1940s for a Weekend at Crich Tramway Museum

One of my all-time favourite places to visit at any time of the year is the National Tramway Museum at Crich, up in the Peak District near Matlock in Derbyshire.  Twice every year the museum, which depicts a traditional english village complete with working tramway and rolling stock,  is transported back in time to the 1940s.

A domestic goddess - 1940s style! Crich Tramway Museum - August 2011

Not only are there lots of period vehicles on display, but there are also dozens of individuals and groups dressed in authentic 1940s costume.  It is these re-enactors, some in military uniforms of the period, and some in civilian outfits, that make these events such a wonderful opportunity for us enthusiast photographers.  The attention to detail of these re-enactors, together with the location, brings a unique chance to capture the look and feel of the 1940s in our photographs.

Fun and Laughter 1940s style - outside the Red Lion Public House at Crich Tramway Museum - August 2011

Unfortunately, I missed the Easter 1940s weekend in April of this year so I made a point of not missing the August event.  I was accompanied by my very good friend Barry who not only drove us all the way up from Northamptonshire but also paid for both of our entrance fees.  How could I not enjoy such a day?  My contribution?  Paying for lunch and tea – a fair deal I think.

The lovely Lola Lamour - brilliant entertainment 1940s style - Crich Tramway Museum, August 2011

The forecast was for a fine if cloudy day after an early morning shower.  Perfect conditions for outdoor portraiture, cloudy bright, was exactly what we enjoyed for most of the day save for the odd sunny spell in the afternoon which added some welcome warmth to the day which started a little bit chilly for short sleeves.

1940s style and elegance - Crich Tramway Museum - August 2011

As we had been to this event several times before, we talked on the way up about strategies for the day i.e. how to get something a little bit different to the usual photos taken at such events.  I had already decided I was going to look for candid shots first and foremost, using my longest lens to diffuse the backgrounds which are inevitably busy at all these events.

What's going on here? A sophisticated 1940s lady showing off her knee in public - outrageous! Crich Tramway Museum - August 2011

Using my long lens and a wide aperture enabled me to take pictures from across the street without being in the faces of the re-enactors and that was really useful in getting some natural looking candids.  Unfortunately, when certain activities were taking place, especially the 1940s wedding, I was limited to head and shoulders only for some shots due to the closeness of the watching crowd and other photographers.  That’s how it is with these events, you win some and you lose some.

The bride and groom - wedding day 1940s style at Crich Tramway Museum - August 2011

Overall, I am very pleased with the set of candid pictures I took on the day, and I hope that if the people in the photos eventually find themselves on my website, they will be pleased too.  I think they are a refreshing change from the posed smiley photos that appear on many photographer’s sites.  I realise also that some people won’t agree and that’s fair enough.

1940s elegance and sophistication, Crich Tramway Museum - August 2011

To see many more of my 1940s photos from Crich click here.

My friend Barry’s photos from Crich are here.