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Explanation of degrees used in detail photo captions
Explanation of fine print included in detail photo captions

In an attempt to clarify the angle in which a photograph was taken, I have used a standard of degrees based on a compass as seen from above the subject.  This gives the modeler some form of reference as to what is likely to be most visible in a given image. What is considered a "standard" roster shot would generally be taken from the 330 degree angle for a left side roster shot, and the 30 degree angle for a right side roster shot.  The numerical degrees noted on the graphic below are not fixed locations but representative of an infinite line radiating from the subject.  The angle noted in a photo caption is not relevant to the center point of the entire subject, but to the apparent center point of what portion of the subject is visible.  For example, if a caption notes a degree angle of 330 and the shot is of just the cab of an engine, It is supposed that the angle in questions is referenced to the center of the cab and not the dynamic brake grid (using the graphic below as an example).  I went with this standard as it is easier to place the angle of a particular close up in reference to what is visible in the image, as opposed to what is not visible.  To best understand this concept, picture the blue circle below as being scalable to the visible portion of the image.
As far as the vertical dimension is concerned, I have used a gross representation of this in the caption.  The most common examples are "side," "top side" and "top" or roof, "front," "top front," "rear" and "top rear."  As most images are taken from ground level, I felt it would be confusing to add a second vector to the description.  Thus, a caption which read "SP6303  Top Side  210 degrees" would have been taken from high on the left side of SP 6303 (from an overpass perhaps) from the left rear (210 degree as noted in the graphic).
As a final note, the year the picture was taken is included in the caption as a reference to give the modeler an idea of which "incarnation" of the subject the photo represents.  There may be multiple like shots of a particular subject but differentiated by multiple years due to upgrades, rebuilds, etc.


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and should not be used without permission