|This photo was taken using a Gorillapod.|
I didn't get any trains for Christmas, but I did get a gorilla--a Gorillapod, that is.
This versatile piece of equipment allows me to take photos almost anywhere on the layout, including scenes and views that would be impossible with a conventional tripod (as the photos attest).
Coupled with a digital camera (I use a simple Canon A590), the Gorillapod allows you to take photos almost anywhere--no need to even have to view the scene (although it helps).
In addition to standing tall, the Gorillapod can be squished down for a closer-to-the rails perspective. And although I haven't used it for video yet, it will permit a great bridge-type view of trains passing below the camera.
All the photos of trains on this page were taken using the Gorillapod. Click here to find out more about the Gorillapod.