The Internet is a great thing. The following would not have happened without it, for instance.

Some time ago I was contacted by one Geoffery T. Smith of Ma, USA. A gentleman I was not earlier acquainted with. He was asking about the photo backdrops I had on my former Tap Creek layout. He was building a shelf layout of the Aroostook Valley Railroad, and was looking for backdrops showing trees and farmland in a Maine autumn setting.

We discussed various ways of obtaining photo backdrops, and it all ended in me volunteering to take some photos here in Ekerö, Sweden, for Geof to print and use as standin maine scenery. He sent me descriptions of the various scenes he had in mind and the kind of background he wanted for each scene. Based on that I scouted the neighbourhood for suitable photo locations, took some photos and sent them off to Geof for his review. Here is a typical example:

As you can see, this is not an autumn scene, but at this point we were just looking for suitable scenes. Actually, what I did show Geof was not single photos as above but several pictures stitched together in a panoramic fashion (using ArcSoft PhotoStudio 5, which I got for “free” with my camera). Once Geof was satisfied, we just had to sit down and wait for autumn to arrive. At least I waited. Geof probably worked away on his layout.

Well, at last autumn arrived and the trees turned yellow and red, and I could shot the final photos. Like this one…

..which is actually the same location as in the prevous photo. Once again I stitched the photos together into complete scenes, and removed unwanted fences and buildings by means of some digital editing. From here, Geof took over; printed the backdrop photos and installed on his layout. In my opinion it all turned out great! The backdrop photos blend in nicely with the rest of Geof’s scenery work, and it all comes together as believable Maine autumn scenes.

To prove my point, here are a few photos of Geof’s layout, taken by his son Greg:

The scenes are not yet complete, the scenery is only 50% done, Geof says, but I think they are awesome already.

You can follow the progress on the AVR on Geof’s blog.

That’s the story of some god across the ocean teamwork. Thanks!