If you were paying attention you will know that I received 6000 photos in early August to add to my existing collection of over 30,000 images.
Here is what I do with each photo to add it to my collection.
Firstly I scan it to the highest possible resolution. I always scan over-large so as not to miss any details on the edge of the image. Then I crop and tidy up the scan to ensure everything is visible. Next I add all the details of subject, location and date to my database. I add identification to the image and file it away. I then prepare two thumbnail images for use for display on the various outlets, adding appropriate watermarks. I then restore the image to remove blemishes and adjust the image if the original lighting is poor. Finally I make duplicate copies both on my computer and “in the cloud” to insure against loss. All of this takes a minimum of 15 minutes per image, often longer.
So that’s 4 images an hour. Say I work flat out for 10 hours a day. It is 40 days since I got these photos, so I should have done 1600 by now.
I have actually done 3750. I’ll leave you to wonder how I do it.
At the moment if you select a 6x4 image you only get the option to buy the actual print for a bargain 49p. I will try and update this to give you more options soon. But in the meantime if you want the image in other formats get in touch.
And of course all my other pictures are available on my site and various auction site. Follow the links below
(aka TOPSie; aka TOPticl)
(use these links to begin your search)
Searching for pictures on the TOPticl web site.
A few people have pointed out that they have difficulty finding pictures on my website. So here are some hints on the best way to search.
Firstly it is not totally obvious how to start a search. All of my pages have search box next to a little magnifying glass icon in the top right-hand corner. I have made this box more visible. Now you can type your search and you will get a set of thumbnail results.
If you select one of the thumbnail pictures a bigger version of the picture appears with all the buying options.
That’s great if this is the one you want but if you want to scroll through all the “hits” it is not so simple. On the big picture you have selected you will find left and right arrows. It is reasonable to assume that these arrows will move you to the next “hit” in your search. But unfortunately this not the case. Let’s assume you searched for “Gateshead”, you select a picture of an A4. Once you select the big picture you are now in the set of A4’s so the left/right arrows will move you through the set of A4’s, wherever they are located. So the next shot may be of York or Kings Cross not Gateshead.
The best way of looking through your search selections, once you have selected a big picture is to use the browser back button (top left hand corner of your browser screen on all the popular browsers)– and this will return you to the search thumbnail page, where you can make another selection. There is a back button on the large photo page, also top left – but don’t use this, use the very top back button for the browser.
Other places to buy photos from TOPticl.
Most of you will be familiar with eBay. It is by far the largest auction site. I have been selling my photos on eBay for over ten years now. But it is not always the easiest or most pleasant place to sell.
eBay is expensive and very strict in the way it does business and being so large it tends to be inhuman. You either follow the rules or get out, without any appeal, seems to be its way of operating. All well and good and I follow the rules but it is very restrictive. For example it is completely pointless to try and set up more than 100 auctions a day – if I did then I would make a substantial loss giving far more to eBay in fees than I receive in revenue for my sales. But I stick with it as it has a vast number of potential buyers.
But there are alternatives and one of them is ebid. Here I can auction all my photos without restriction and because the ebid fees are lower I can pass on the saving to my customers – so you pay less. And as there are fewer people ebid you have got less chance of ending up in a bidding war.
So why not give ebid a try. There are other sellers of railway pictures there too!! So lots of choice.
I managed to finish the scanning of the RCTS Archive material I picked up in March. The total number of pictures is 8520 – still a small number to do.
All but 2000 are fully catalogued and on my website. But last week I received about 6000 prints from another source, so I have set these 2000 aside for now and started processing these prints.
The prints are from the late 80’s and into the 90’s covering the conversion from Rail Blue into sectorisation and the early privatisation – so a very colourful set of prints indeed. I am able to sell the original prints as they are in very good condition and of course I am scanning them all to ensure that the full range of formats is available for all of these excellent pictures.
Also I received my monthly copy of The Railway Observer from the RCTS and I note that they have a special membership offer. If you join now then membership is free for the rest of 2018.
Take a look here (https://www.rcts.org.uk/membership/prospectus.htm). If you like what you see then follow the links to take up this offer. If you do I would be very interested, so please let me know ([email protected]). I might get some brownie points for helping with the recruitment drive J
Just returned from 19 days in Crete to find that England has been experiencing similar temperatures. But of course it is not the same. For a start there is no pool to dip into if you get too hot, plus there is all the necessary activities of just living and working which were mainly forgotten whilst on holiday.
Anyway "back to the grind" as they say.
Whilst I was away my apprentice continued the scanning process and I now have over 4000 pictures waiting in the wings.
As these are all slides from the RCTS Archive I will load them here over the coming weeks so keep checking as this collection will grow as I finish the cataloguing process.
This batch of slides will mean that I have over 33,000 pictures on this site. Most are keyed with the subject (e.g.loco number) and location so use the search (magnifying glass top right hand corner - sometimes a bit fiddly to find) to look for something of particular interest.
If you have been keeping up with events here, you will know that I collected an estimated 14000 slides from the RCTS storage facility with the aim of scanning and presenting them for display and sale on my website.
So far I have processed about 3300 images to the state where they can be presented on my website.
They are mainly here (slides as well as prints available) ; here (BR Loco Collection) ; here (BR Units Collection) as well as some rescued from a really bad batch. (not great compositions – but some interesting historic shots from the late 60’s, including Manchester DC units, North and South)
And that was the disappointment. I have to admit that my camera skills are limited – fortunately those of my contributors aren’t and there are some truly great pictures on my site.
But a large part of the 14000 slides came from one, or possibly a few, individuals who seemed to delight in taking pictures whilst hanging out of train windows, or through several panes of glass at the front of DMUs. Even worse the subject matter was extremely nondescript – one might even say boring. So using my discretion I have consigned about 7000 slides back to storage and will return them to the RCTS who will send them to an auction house.
For the rest (guessing about 3500) I have scanned about 1000 and my scanners is permanently on whilst I do other things (like write this). Over the coming weeks I will get these up on the website – so keep checking back.
If you have any general queries or want to contribute any images then get in touch.
Recent Posts2021 is almost over - what a horrible year Summer 2020 (Catch up) Christmas 2018 Not quite sure what you want? October blues Bending Time (II) to bring you more railway pictures. Better way to search and more places to buy August – just so many new pictures. July - back from the sun - to the sun May – bit of a disappointment.