This site is dedicated to my model railroad, the HO scale Virginia Midland Railroad. This layout comprises a 10X9 room with two levels. The upper level is about 95% complete and the lower level scenery has just begun.

I do a handful of train shows in the Virginia/Maryland region and go by the name of Virginia Midland Shops.
I also can help you find that freight car/locomotive or other hard to find item.

Email: stctigers@gmail.com
You tube videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/Virginiamidlandrr/

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Easy model railroad photography/videoing with your smart phone

All the the photos I put on this blog are from my camera on my I-phone 4.  Sometimes they are quick grap ones and sometimes thay are a little more involved.  I do have a regular camera but who uses thoes these days?  I probably will ugrade in a few months but this is how I get good pics easily.
This is mainly for I phone 4's:

First, get to the camera mode and make sure your flash is off and not on auto.
On the the left side of the screen, there is a HDR mode that is usually off.  Turn it on.  The HDR mode is a mini image stacking item on your phone.  Which improves the overall picture.  With this HDR mode, You need to have a steady phone for this to work well.  We will need something to "hold" the camera.  This is where the clamp showed below comes in handy.
This type of small clamp can be bought at Home Depot or any hardware store for a buck or two.  It holds the phone upright and still for pics and video.   
As you can see, the end has electrical tape on it.  This prevents shorting out the layout when it touches the tracks.  Yes, it happened to me.  The clamp is small and can be laid almost anywhere.  This clamp is ideal for video and I use it all the time for my You Tube videos.

When the picture is taken in HDR mode, there will be 2 pics.  The first one is regular and the second will have HDR on it.  Use the HDR one and erase the other pic.

Non-HDR mode:  Bright light overhead and some blurriness.  

HDR mode:  overhead light not as bad and the vegetation is sharper.
 The above pics are not ideal but a good demonstration for what I needed.  Hopes this helps you get some better pics on your layout or in everyday life!


  1. Learned something about the HDR setting, do you add extra lighting for photos or try to use in room light.

    What type of ground cover is on the embankment to the right of the VC motor?

    1. Glad I could assist Greg. The light is all the regular light in my layout room. I actually need some more light over this area. The ground cover is Scenic Express Fock and Turf. Great for hill sides and forest floors. Believe its the Green Adirondack.

  2. Wow! Always forget about this little trick! Time to try it out! Thanks, Shan!

  3. thank you very much!
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