X37386

X37386

 

It’s funny how some pictures turn out. The original looked an unlikely candidate because the enclosed cab and footplate was very dark and the world beyond almost completely burnt out, but herein lies the advantage of working with raw files. I had to check my camera settings, so it’s worth noting that this was cooked at 8000 ISO, with an exposure of f /5.6 and shutter of 1/15 sec. It’s clear that such a slow shutter speed is only possible with the five axis stabilisation in my Olympus OMD E-M5 body for which I frequently thank my lucky stars. I thought that the vintage treatment was in keeping with the Victorian ancestry of this mighty steam engine, number X37386, of the Nilgiri Mountain Railway.

 

 

The Hand of the Engineer

The Hand of the Engineer

 

Sometimes it gets frustrating when people get in the way which is probably why photographers rarely hunt in packs. This was a lucky capture from a compositional viewpoint. It reminds me of the symbiotic relationship between man and machine, especially in the age of steam, that made being an engine driver high on the aspirations of boys of all ages. This loco is oil fired which certainly helps reduce the heavy manual labour that once was part and parcel of such a job.

 

 

Steamy Porn

Steamy Porn

 

The second of a short series on the Nilgiri Mountain Railway. Apologies to you stalwart regulars who visit here often, but the title is a cynical experiment to see if it brings in millions of extra visitors. If it does, I may consider changing the nature of this blog!

………Joking, ……. just joking!

This is a strange picture. A crowd of ‘railway anoraks’ just standing there…..for what? Perhaps the engine will rear up and shake its chimney at them and then slink demurely away.

No, no, to tell you the truth, two men were coupling the engine to its line of coaches and were having to use a very large hammer…..there you go, there you go, ………the title was correct after all!

 

 

The Railway Carriage

The Railway Carriage

 

Our run under steam on the NMR was a lovely experience and the train paused at Hillgrove for passengers to stretch their legs. Most took the opportunity to take photos of the steam engine, as well as the troop of monkeys that came out to watch the fun.

The ancient wooden bodied carriages have been in service since 1908, the passengers somewhat less than that.

Indian Industry

Indian Industry

 

A view from the Nilgiri Moutain Railway train somewhere between Ooty and Coonoor.

I chose to include this photo because of the lovely varied textures and pastel colours. I like the fact that the two figures give a human element to the scene as well as giving a sense of scale. I always believed that the vertical red stripes implied that the site was a holy one as they are seen on shrines and temple walls but not here, apparently.

 

 

Jain Temple

Jain Temple

 

This is the Mahaveer Jain Temple just off Main Bazaar Road in Udagamandalam (Oooty). This temple seems to have been opened in 1895, though the inscription on the front suggests that it has recently been restored and this is born out by the work still being carried out on the dome. It’s quite a small temple and as you can see it’s constructed in white marble with some delicate carving and crisp detail. The skill of the stone mason is clear from the beautifully regular carving of the screens on the balustrades. This view is adjacent to the street market seen in yesterday’s picture.

 

 

Waiting: Sleeping: Hoping

Waiting: Sleeping: Hoping

 

Sometimes colour is a false colour, speaking of jollity and liveliness. Living is not always done in a brightly coloured world.

Remove the colour and the reality that’s suggested is an altogether different kind of story.

The ‘waiting’ is obvious, but the ‘sleeping’ figure is not. The ‘hoping’? Well sometimes that’s hard to come by.

Many people I’ve spoken with say that they would never go to India because they couldn’t cope with the poverty. It’s a reality, but going to such places helps, simply by spending some money. Better still would be to go and help a charity on the spot, or by giving. Generally most people that you meet greet you with a smile and they are usually optimistic and almost invariably hard working but life is tough for many.

This street market in the mountain town of Ooty is opposite the most beautiful and delicate white marble Jain temple. Contrast and colour is what makes India a special place to visit, but there are grey and monochrome lives everywhere, not just here. Perhaps that’s why I come……

 

 

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