Tupelo Station

I pulled out the Nikon D700 and did a little shooting in the grungier part of downtown Tupelo this morning.  It was overcast and cool, with some good dark clouds for HDR processing.  Most of my shooting was done in 7-bracket sets, but there are some times when you just can’t shoot brackets because things are moving too fast.

This shot is just such an example.  I wanted to get a shot of the little Tupelo train station, so I drove over the tracks and parked at the farmers’ market pavilion next to the station.  I was just getting my camera and tripod out of the car when I heard the blast of the train horn (can’t really call them “whistles”), and saw that there was a train headed my way.

I made some quick adjustments to the camera settings, turning off the bracketing settings and changing the F/stop to get a wider depth of field,  I got the camera mounted on the tripod just as the camera came around the curve and headed for the station, and then I just started clicking.  I hadn’t even thought about how close to the tracks I was until the train was right beside me.  IT WAS LOUD!!  I could actually feel the ground shaking as the engines went by.  It was AWESOME!!

I processed one of the shots using Topaz Black & White Effects, with some vignetting added.  Since the sky was pretty much gray, I think this processing choice worked pretty well as far as conveying the atmosphere:

Tupelo Station

But then I decided to try some of the extreme settings in Topaz Adjust, just to see what they had to offer. I really liked this Solarization setting….it almost has a nighttime feel to it, but still keeps the bright colors of the train:

Tupelo Station Solarized

That’s one of the things I love about photography, and especially about digital processing–if you’re not working for a paying customer, there is really no right or wrong way to process an image.  And there are so many different ways to interpret your photos, you could spend hours or days just trying different effects.

Don’t be afraid to experiment and try something outrageous–if you like what you do, who’s to say it’s not perfect?

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Caboose – Rear End Only

Continuing my series of photos taken along Grand Avenue in Phoenix, AZ:

Got a late start tonight, but I went back to a familiar subject–the caboose on Grand Avenue.

Tonight, I went with a vertical shot of the rear end of the caboose.  I had a couple of shots that were cropped more tightly on the train car itself, but I liked this one better because it shows some of the railroad track.  In addition, it has the cell phone tower over the top of the car (really, I could have done without that, but I didn’t feel like taking time to clone it out).

Caboose - Rear End Only
HDR created from three bracketed photos (-2.0/0.0/+2.0) processed in Photomatix v4. Post-processing in Topaz Adjust / DeNoise with Paintshop Photo Pro X3.

To see the other two views of the caboose that I posted earlier, follow this link to Flickr.

I checked the UPS tracking site, and my new camera gear has traveled from Philadelphia, PA to Manchester, NH, then to Louisville, KY, and then finally to Phoenix in the past 18 hours. Just think, right now it’s somewhere here in the city, just waiting to be delivered to me sometime tomorrow. Can’t wait!!!