Nilgiri Hills

Nilgiri Hills



A view of the misty Nilgiri Hills near Glendale as we headed towards Mettupalayam on the Nilgiri Mountain Railway.

In India, many locals call this railway the ‘toy train’ which I find very disparaging of a real steam line that manfully hauls its train over 4000 feet into the Western Ghats. At present the upper section of the line between Coonoor and Ooty is diesel hauled but the building of three new steam locomotives for this metre gauge world heritage line should allow steam to return to the upper section of the route. Thus steam would be lifting its passengers over 6000 feet from Mettupalayam to Ooty, though even now the trains are pretty full and you are fortunate to be able to get a window seat.



13 thoughts on “Nilgiri Hills

    • Thanks very much Helen, after posting here since January 2012, I am just beginning to feel that I know what I want to achieve. That’s partly getting to know what subject matter works, and partly gaining confidence with post processing. I had some very encouraging results from entry into the Scottish Photographic Federation Print Championship last weekend and after seeing over twelve hundred entries judged I think I have a better idea of what is required. What is it that is distinctive, would you say?
      Regards John.

      • Well done ! I would say its the quality of light, composition and post processing, John. There is often a delicacy of tone; a sort of understated quality.
        Occasionally I think your photos are over processed but that’s because you use HDR don’t you? which I’m not a huge fan of but it appears to me that your photos are mostly more subtle now which I prefer.

        • Thanks Helen, very much. Sometimes it’s difficult to characterise your own work.
          I do use tone mapping quite a bit both for single and multiple HDR sets, and also some Nik software filters. I rarely use fully saturated images so I think that’s were the understated comes from. There are those who use the word ‘photoshopped’ in a derogatory way, as if editing photos was a modern sin, but if it was good enough for Ansel Adams…..

  1. It’s an intriguing image, John…I’m having a difficult time figuring out where I am in viewing it…the foreground looks like I’m sitting in the grass looking at individual blades, but then there’s not enough distance between the grass and the next features…a bridge and road? Maybe that’s really huge elephant grass?

    • We are peering over a bank of grass from the window of a train that’s heading round a loop and eventually along the line below us. The ground drops away steeply to that road and the valley below, and that grass is quite close to the railway. I was very lucky to get a seat by the window on the best side for viewing the landscape as we were crammed in, five a side, plus children, so good fortune smiled again.

  2. John, I was reading the comment section and congrats on the good showing at the Scottish Photography Federation exhibit. Pretty exciting! I enjoyed reading about this steam engine

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