Novices - Grumpy’s Railroad Photography Guide is a free online Railroad Discussion Forum and Railroad Photo Gallery for railroaders, railfans, model railroaders and anyone else who is interested in railroads. We cover a wide variety of topics, including freight trains, passenger and commuter railroads, rail news and information, tourist railroads, railway museums and railroad history.


Grumpy's World is a railfan blog covering parts of Kansas since 1999. The pictures (beginning in Dec 2002) aren't always dramatic but they're very consistent in their form and quality. Grumpy is a very good railroad photographer. He laid out a guide a few years back and it was instrumental in helping me improve my photography, especially railroad. Previously I had just taken my camera out, shot and then figured out what worked best. Grumpy's guide introduced me to the Sunny-16 rule and the use of histograms, among other things. It also helped to inspire me to work on action shots emphasizing the landscape the train is moving through rather than the train itself.

Action Shots
Post Processing
Roster Shots
Sevin Sins

Experienced photographers may not find this as useful as novices may, but it explains railroad photography better than anything else I've found on the web. The "action shots" page is the one I found to be most useful. Should you choose to read the blog itself note that it is slightly NSFW due to strong language. There is a reason he's called Grumpy.


Forum Host
Staff member
Looks like it's a generally useful reference. I do disagree with him in one area though. For Post-processing, Adobe Lightroom is something you can't overlook. You can shoot in raw and process them in Lightroom without any hassle whatsoever. In fact, you'd never know you were using raw if you didn't pay attention the file extensions, it's so simple it's like they're jpgs.

So, there are several reasons to use Lightroom.

The first is that is a Digital Asset Manager. Works great for sorting and organizing your images.
The second reason is that it is very easy to use, and best of all, you can undo any changes you make, which brings us to...
Reason three, it uses the "digital negative" approach. ALL edits are non-destructive. If you export a file to an external editor, it makes a copy, but the original is still there, un-touched. Don't like your white balance? Want a different crop? Sharpened too much? You can undo, or simply hit "reset" and get the original image back. Your digital negatives remain there, untouched, and you can always go back and make changes.

No, it's not free. It's $10 a month for Lightroom and Photoshop, and that is a bit annoying. But if you shoot a lot of photos, it's worth it.


Yeah, I have to agree on Lightroom. It's great for organization and most post-processing. I only use Photoshop when I need to remove power lines or birds. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to - An online railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used railroad books. Railroad pictorials, railroad history, steam locomotives, passenger trains, modern railroading. Hundreds of titles available, most at discount prices! We also have a video and children's book section. - An online model railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used books. Layout design, track plans, scenery and structure building, wiring, DCC, Tinplate, Toy Trains, Price Guides and more.

Affiliate Disclosure: We may receive a commision from some of the links and ads shown on this website (Learn More Here)