Mike’s line of sight

 photo TreeLine-StW-08_zps3ee54bc3.jpg
(Repositioning a few tree armatures opens up a view. Thanks, Mike!)

In a previous post, I included the following photograph…

 photo TreeLine-StW-07_zps9ba69f26.jpg
(Click on the image to read that post)

… and the image prompted the following comments from my friend Mike Cougill:

From the camera’s position there is a really nice sight line through the center of the foreground grove of trees to the overpass.

If you were to relocate one, two or three trees in the middle of that grove toward the left, it would enhance that sight line, making a nicely framed composition of the overpass. Just a thought.

This exchange illustrates two things:

First – the value of mocking up scenes.

Second – the value of sharing them via a blog.

Mike is an artist and knows what he’s talking about. As a result of his feedback, I’ve poked some new holes in the terrain and moved a few of the armatures about to turn a blob of trees into a small grouping at right and a longer, thinner grouping running to the left. And Mike is right – it does improve the composition – whether viewed from track level, from a normal operator’s perspective, and even from close up:

 photo TreeLine-StW-09_zpsde566450.jpg

 photo TreeLine-StW-12_zps39fee6eb.jpg

 photo TreeLine-StW-10_zpsab8ce72c.jpg

At the same time, the trees continue to do what I intend them to do, which is to visually separate the overpass from the rest of St. Williams, and help create a smoother transition from the tall forest of the Lynn Valley to the more open spaces around St. Williams:

 photo TreeLine-StW-13_zpsb1214327.jpg

Seen from straight on, the trees will continue to create a visual barrier between the bridge and the first switch in St. Williams – indicated by the switch stand just ahead of the locomotive in this image:

 photo TreeLine-StW-14_zps42c56e8c.jpg

Finally, as part of my testing, I wanted to make sure I can still capture a favourite view, looking along the track towards the Lynn Valley. I liked it so much, I used it as the lead photo for a feature I wrote for Mike’s publication – The Missing Conversation – earlier this year:

 photo TMC09-FeatureLead_zps64bbfdfe.jpg
(Click on the image to read more about that feature)

It turns out, I can still get this view with the new trees in place. In fact, I think it will look better with the tree line continuing along the scene to both sides of the track, as shown here:

 photo TreeLine-StW-11_zpsb83a3b15.jpg

Thanks for the thought, Mike – I like how you think!

5 thoughts on “Mike’s line of sight

  1. A further thought Trevor….. a couple of the above shots seem to have three trees adjacent to the lowered road, the exact same distance from each other. I know in the head on view they are staggered, but….

  2. Very nice example of how small changes can make very satisfactory differences. Of course, my layout might be lots further along if I could stop shifting structures an inch or two to the right or left!

  3. I do the very same thing, taking a long time sometimes just moving things usually laterally as well as rotating on their axis by millimeters in extreme cases! It does work and is worth the effort. On my shelfie there are a number of views that changed significantly with just these small adjustments. On this small section just spending time moving these shrubs around and the debris gave me a number of choices, this set up looking the best, and subsequently being fixed.
    Beware the triangle of trees too!, with three in one location they are nearly always going to be a triangle configuration, it can be easy top fall into an equilateral spacing without realising it. I did it once and from one angle it looked right, and from the others, ‘meh’ but not really bad. I then realized that splitting them away from the subconsciously applied ‘equal three’ made the difference and opened up an unexpected viewpoint.

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