I've been reading the thread started recently by Robin2 on "Why have moving trains on layouts?" - ( http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/78169-why-have-moving-trains-on-layouts/ )
There've been lots of interesting and thoughtful replies and it has made me think. On the one hand, I couldn't build an engine without wanting to make it work satisfactorily and, on the other, I don't run trains very much but do enjoy setting up various static scenes for photography. I do find it relaxing, however, to run trains round and round a bit, after a hard evening's modelling, though the relaxation can be spoiled if some sort of fault appears
Here's an example of one of my static scenes:
I've added a bit of smoke and steam with Photoshop but, looking at it now, it desperately needs some people to give it a bit of 'life' and it's only when I looked at the photo that I noticed that the pigs had fallen over!. There's no doubt that taking photos is a great way to see all the mistakes and the unrealistic bits, so it can be a stimulus to improvement.
I find that a small compact camera is often better for 'realistic' scenes than, for example, a more sophisticated DSLR, for a number of reasons.
The compact is, of course, smaller and can be put into those places that a DSLR cannot reach. A more technical reason is that both the lens and sensor in the compact are much smaller, which results in a greater depth of field (more in focus) at equivalent camera settings. The compact can be thought of as, in effect, a 'scale model' of the sort of camera that might have been used during my chosen pre-Grouping period. Out of interest, I did a few calculations:
The sensor in a typical compact measures about 6.2 x 4.6mm, whereas a 'whole plate' camera, as might have been used in the 19th century, had a sensitive area of 8½" x 6½" (216 x 165mm). From these figures, the compact represents a 1/35 scale model - not too far removed from 0-gauge! So, you can expect to get similar perspective and depth-of-field when using a compact to photograph an 0-gauge layout from 'realistic' locations.
I took the photo of my GWR 'Siphon' that appeared in a recent post with a DSLR camera and it is obvious that only a small part of the image is in focus. I've repeated the shot below, using a compact camera, to show how much more of the scene can easily be kept in focus (the background sky is by Photoshop)