I’ve taken shots of quite a few special trains recently, but somehow I still prefer this one, even if it is of just a plain ordinary commuter train. I really love this spot because it allows for a big sweeping composition which I really like. It helps give a nice sense of depth, and strangely also speed. I also really like the warm evening light which this shot was taken in.

The processing here is quite complicated. The first step was to take the original RAW image and tonemap it with Photomatix Pro. Secondly the RAW image was loaded into Aperture and tweaked to correct the exposure a little and to boost the colour a bit. This second version of the image was then exported to Photoshop Elements and the Topaz Adjust filter was applied to produce an alternative tonemapped version. The version from Topaz did a better job on the train and the trees in the background while the version from Photomatix was better for all the rest. This final image was generated by using Layer masks in Pixelmator to blend the two versions of the image into a third version with the best elements from each of the two other versions. This third blended version was then taken back into Aperture, given a few minor tweaks and then sent to the Dodge & Burn plugin in Aperture to do a few minor localised teaks.

A Winter Evening Commute
on FlickrFull-Size

  • Camera: Nikon D40
  • Lens: Nikon DX AFS 18-55mm (D40 kit lens)
  • Exposure: 1/400 sec
  • Focal Length: 26mm
  • Focal Ratio: f/4
  • ISO: 200
  • Camera Mode: Full Manual
  • Processing: see above.