New Years Day at Didcot Railway Centre

New Years Day 2015 was quite dull, weather wise, but was brightened up by a visit to the Didcot Railway Centre.  Although I only live a few minutes walk from the Centre this was only my second visit.

It was lovely to walk around and see the trains on display and even ride on a couple of steam trains going up and down the track.  From a photography point of view the Centre offers rich pickings, whether outside amongst the rails and trains, or inside the buildings and sheds getting up close to the engines and carriages.

I took Olympus OMD E-M1 and shot with my Olympus 25mm f1.8 lens and the Samyang 7.5mm Fisheye.  As the weather was so dull, most of the photographs came out dull too… and so for the first time I processed the photos into black and white.  It’s great that the black and white grainy photos reflect the dirt and grime associated with the engineering of the steam age. 

Didcot Power Station Blow Down

In the early hours of 27th July 2014 the cooling towers of Didcot A Power Station were ‘blown down’.

The coal fired power station was built between 1965 and 1974 in Didcot, Oxfordshire.  Due to legislation around coal fired power stations, Didcot A was closed on 22 March 2013 and decommissioning began.  Although some hated the ‘blot on the landscape’ many grew to love the iconic shapes and even more used it as a homing beacon, a familiar sight that meant they were almost home.

Part of the decommissioning process was to demolish, or blow down, the cooling towers.  The site owners set this for 0300-0500 to ensure nearby railway lines and major roads weren’t put in danger.  This timing angered many locals who wanted to be part of this event, but when the time came thousands of people turned out to watch anyway.  The hashtag #DidcotDemolition become the number two Twitter trend in the UK, and the demolition made front page news.

I headed to a viewpoint to photograph the blow down with friends.  Standing in a dark field at 0300 with a hundred or more others was an odd experience, and soon came the news on the local radio that the blow down would be at around 0500.  Although this meant a lot of waiting around it meant there was some daylight when the explosives went off at 0501.

The photos below were taken with my Olympus OMD E-M1 camera.  Considering the low light conditions and misty morning conditions, they’re not too bad.  The camera was set to a special time lapse mode, where the camera took a series of photos (one a second).  These photos can be processed individually, as below, or in a time lapse movie.  

In a first for Just 10 Photos you can see time lapse movies made from photographs… the photos below are in a time lapse at: (don’t forget to play the HD version!)

And another time lapse movie (made using the Time Lapse Pro app on a Samsung Galaxy Camera) which condenses two hours into a minute-and-a-half.  The movie is at: (don’t forget to play the HD version!)