First off, a big thank you for all your e-mails!

I have received lots of mail from all of you fellow railroading fans. Many questions are asked, but most ask the "How did you do it?" question.

So, here is some information on how my photographs were shot and digitized and how the graphic images were made and generally manipulated.

Let me know if you find this page useful.

The Graphic Images:
The graphic web page images were all made using a combination of CorelDraw and CorelPhoto-paint 7.0 and Lview Pro 32 bit. The latter being available from

The background image is a 1 pixel high by 1024 pixel wide image that I made with Photo-paint and later saved as a .GIF image.

The Gaussian blur feature of Photo-paint was used extensively in my graphic images. The Prescott & Madawaska logo was made by using a combination of CorelDraw and Corel Photo-paint. The green oval was filled using the graduated fill feature. I made the logo transparent by taking the GIF 87 image from Photo-paint and using Lview Pro 32 to convert it to a GIF 89 image (note that the GIF 89 format supports transparency).

The sub-title graphics used the same text (such as the word "Structures") and font style 3 times. The first as dark gray text, blurred with the Gaussian blur feature. The second layer as black text and the third as dark orange text. Merge the three, make it transparent with Lview Pro and hey-presto, a reasonably professional looking graphic.

The Photographs:
As for the photographs, they were shot with a 35mm camera with the 100 ASA print film being developed directly onto a Kodak Photo CD. I have found this approach to be far superior to scanning in prints. The HO subjects were illuminated with a combination of quartz halogen and incandescent lamps and the camera was used without filters. This approach brightly illuminated the subject matter but gave the shots a warm hue, a little like taking shots out-doors in the early morning or late afternoon. The resulting Photo CD digital images (about 4 M bytes each) were later sharpened and manipulated with Corel's Photo-paint for size, contrast and format conversion to the JPEG format. I used the JPEG format to ensure reasonably fast Browser loading without compromising the quality of the images too much. After cropping and compression, the images went from approximately 4 M bytes down to a size of between 26 to 150 k bytes.

Da Computer (believe me, it's not just about technology):
My computer is a 1.7GHz Pentium 4 running WinXp with half a Gig of RAM, 17" SVGA ViewSonic monitor, 48x CD burner and a high-speed DSL link. Be aware though that most of this web site was originally put together using a substantially more humble '486 (remember those?), 32 MB of RAM, 4x CDR ROM and a 14.4 K bits/sec modem!

Remember it's not the technology, rather it's how you use it that counts.

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© copyright 1997-2002 Chris Butler - All Rights Reserved
Last updated: April 26, 2003.