Whist there is an ongoing crisis (coronavirus) and many things are happening – sometimes its difficult to focus. Not only that one has to make sure their lives are going to be okay especially if they are vulnerable people – one of those which I am classed as of course. Despite the gloom I haven’t sat back and done nothing. Far from it. I’ve been doing a good number of posts which will be online soon. For the moment I thought this quick post with a selection of the feature posts I do for this blog would be nice.
It also shows how much work I put into this blog. I don’t just write a couple of paragraphs and add a picture from somewhere and then publish – and it becomes click bait on top of that!
That is what many of the others do, including those blogs where one clicks on a link and reads a short bit of text and a few pictures and is immediately saddled with a number of adverts or follow though algorithms which ensures the adverts you see on other pages are also ‘tailored’ to your liking!
I started doing personalised feature images to give a more unique identity to this blog and have been doing that for a number of years now.
Sometimes things do become a bit too much and I do go for the easy option, a picture that I have taken or perhaps one from the internet but its rare.
A good number of these images are complete rebuilds where no complete original example exists. Lots of work! Very few are straight off creations. As well as writing, researching the production of these images does sometimes take a good amount of time, not five minutes, but hours even. Its not just feature images but maps, diagrams, drawings, that I have also created to illustrate my posts with. One barely sees the professionals, the leading blogs, doing this sort of thing.
These feature images are in order from some of the latest to the earliest.
Minifornia. This ain’t an image one will find anywhere else. I created it specially! Its based on the advertising that was done at Waterloo when the model landscape exhibition featuring about California was on show. Its been one of the easiest feature images I’ve done – and it only came about because I discovered a fluke way of doing it!
What looks an easy image turned out not to be! This for Five get to Bristol briskly. I had to create quite a few different sizes to see which one fitted on the blog the best and in fact none of them do! In the end I had to go with a sort of halfway solution which I use sometimes – and that is the creation of a large border around the image itself. Whilst it looks nice the other purpose of this is to try and make sure the visible area of the image itself stays within view when the pages are resized or a different screen resolution is used. It doesn work 100 across the board sadly!
One might think I simply grabbed an image from the Hammersmith Highline exhibition and used that. Nope. I did use one but I expanded it. The viaduct shown is bigger than those seen at the exhibition.
Yr Wyddfa/Snowdon – the Hafod Eryri visitor centre had its 10th anniversary and I did a special picture for that too! The image was one I took on a visit to the mountain in 2010 (which is why it has the old carriages on view here and not the newer ones – I have never seen those in the flesh!) It seems no other blog bothered to write up on that anniversary which was a shame!
This was a merge of two different vintage London Underground posters. Sometimes I do that – merge elements from two different images to produce one. I’m not that creative and my graphics skills are dire – I couldn’t draw up an image from scratch thus have to use existing stuff and adapt these accordingly. Tube vintage posters #2
A nice rendition of the Pilatus bahn railcar for the anniversary of the Swiss mountain line’s electrification. The whole article was quite difficult to write as I wanted a good representation for the lines history including its steam railcars, electrification and the plans for the future. Some of the material researched tied in with that I did for the Queen Victoria in Switzerland series. Pilatusbahn at 130
This was for the 25th anniversary of the Channel Tunnel. A comprehensive write up on the tunnel from the early days to its opening in 1994 and beyond. Several other follow ups ensued too – based around Eurostar and its anniversaries.
Says it all! Many of my articles were about the problems of Crossrail. I haven’t done any recently – because the opening of the new line seems ever further away than before! It was meant to open in 2018 and now its 2020 – and with the current pandemic – I think its going to open even later. Crossrail Progress March 2019
The Eiffel Tower’s 130th anniversary. La Tour Eiffel has always been a dear subject to me – ever since I first visited it as a small kid in 1962. I havent been there since 2003 however it was nice to do a two part feature on this. Actually I’ve done three posts on this – as the first was a look at the Eiffel Tower’s very early hydraulic lifts.
The Southwold Railway. This was created from an old drawing I had of the line plus the text from the front cover of Alan Taylor and Eric Tonks’ book published in 1965. This is the only feature I have done on East Anglia’s premier narrow gauge railway line, but I enjoyed the writing up and finding historic pictures of it.
Having done those London Pride images for the Victoria Line, I sensibly built up some templates which I could use to do various versions of the V Line symbol – including these for the different anniversaries of the Victoria Line in September, December 1968 and March 1969. The Victoria Line’s really big birthday
This is one of my favourites! Of course its a spoof on the famous TV series The Prisoner! I chose this image because I really couldn’t think of anything for the article I was doing – and then this came in a flash! The famous penny farthing representing the Elizabeth Line! The reason behind this was the progress behind Crossrail/Elizabeth line is so slow and the information on their progress is convoluted. And that’s what the penny farthing symbol represents – as Patrick McGoohan intended it – a future that is convoluted, goes round in circles but never really getting anywhere. Crossrail’s two T’s and an enigma
This was used across a number of the Victoria Line 50th anniversary tweets. There isn’t an original example to be found anywhere, thus this one was built up from several sources including black and white examples on grainy videos and those small examples seen on TfL’s historic posters. It was the Victoria Line’s 50th anniversary where the idea of doing these special feature images really took off!
Prior to the Victoria Line ones the special feature images were occasional rather than a necessity as I now see them. These two here representing Queen Victoria were for an in-depth series on her stay in Switzerland – with visits to both the Rigi and Pilatus, including previously unresearched findings detailing routes the Queen took up and down these mountains.
The only regular topic I did in those earlier days with special feature images was Crossrail! This one was a sort of spoof on the publicised engineering works that would hit Crossrail (Elizabeth Line) as soon as it had opened – and yes bustitution would be in place! Ha ha! Anyway it never happened – Crossrail admitted in August 2018 it would be a year late. Its now 2020 – and it aint still open! The Elizabeth Line touts its first closures!
One of the film posters/lobby images for 2001 A Space Odyssey was used here for the special on that film’s 50th anniversary. Its not an image that you will see anywhere else – because with a bit of artistry skill I expanded the image with additional detail to make it wider. I did a whole series of images for the film anniversary trying to find one that I liked or could use. In the event I used very few of these but I did at least write a post on what I had created.
This was one of the first attempts! And a nightmare it was! Adapting the poster image for Big Trouble in Little China to read as Big Trouble in Canary Wharf was rather beyond my basic graphic skills of the time. But I persevered and this was the result. Actually Big Trouble in Canary Wharf doesnt have this as its feature image! What happened is it was supposed to be a feature image but I wasn’t even confident of using it as such, so relegated it to the first image in the article itself!
You aint seen this one yet! Its for a future series on the Tokaido Shinkansen. This I thought would complement the other three I have done on the Shinkansen (well actually one because the other two were updates about the withdrawal of the older Series 700 Shinkansen trains.) The first one I did, I found there was very little information on the line’s history in English – and thats where this latest one comes in – by filling in many gaps on the Japanese high speed line.