Photograph Tips From John Olsen

john olsen model railroadCreating good photographs of model railways is surprisingly difficult. Here are a few tips from famed model railroader John Olsen on how he created his beautiful shots.

John was an inspirational model railroader (pardon the American-ism but he was an American after all) with exceptional scenery modelling skills and an ability to visualise landscapes. This is no doubt part of the reason he worked at Disney too.

Anyway, this interview with John isn’t so much about model railway creation but how he photographs his creations, including the Jerome and Southwestern layout. It’s not a tutorial but has lots of snippets and ideas of information as to how John achieves his photographs that I haven’t seen covered before.



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Founder of ModelRailwayEngineer, Andy Leaning

Andy is a lifelong modeler, writer, and founder of He has been building model railways, dioramas, and miniatures for over 20 years. His passion for model making and railways began when he was a child, building his first layout at the age of seven.
Andy’s particular passion is making scenery and structures in 4mm scale, which he sells commercially. He is particularly interested in modelling the railways of South West England during the late Victorian/early Edwardian era, although he also enjoys making sci-fi and fantasy figures and dioramas. His website has won several awards, and he is a member of MERG (Model Railway Electronics Group) and the 009 Society.
When not making models, Andy lives in Surrey with his wife and teenage son. Other interests include history, science fiction, photography, and programming. Read more about Andy.

Afflliate disclosure:The links on this page may take you to carefully selected businesses, such as Hornby, Amazon, eBay and Scale Model Scenery, where you can purchase the product under affiliate programmes. This means I receive a small commission on any orders placed although the price you pay does not change. You can read my full affiliate policy here. I also sell my my own ready to use, pre-made and painted buildings and terrain features. browse the range.
    • Thanks for the heads up. There’s an annoying bug in WordPress – that I use for the site – that removes the video links sometimes. It’s back now. Enjoy the video. Best wishes, Andy

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