Al Swanson  

Untitled by Al Swanson

November 2020 - Untitled

November 2020 - Al Swanson


About the Image(s)

There are a few narrow gauge Railroads still running in Colorado as tourist attractions. The biggest one is the Durango Silverton narrow gauge Railroad which runs between Durango and Silverton and southwestern Colorado. I have taken this trip several times in thoroughly enjoyed it each time. One of the features of this ride is a big blow “ “ so called because the engineer releases steam on a trestle allowing the tourists to photograph the steam release. I had to lean out of my car at an uneven angle to take the shot. The original I’m showing here is actually not the original but I can’t lay my fingers on it. Anyway it is very close to the original image. After straightening the horizon I took it into Studio 2 and cleaned up the surface and added saturation. I also removed noise and sharpened slightly. Then I cropped it on the right side.

This round’s discussion is now closed!
7 comments posted

Jerry Biddlecom   Jerry Biddlecom
I like the opposing directions taken by the blast of steam and the smoke. You captured the right moment as the train began to pass over the bridge. Might be my monitor, but the sky appears to be blown out and the distant hill top seems too blue. The brightness of the sky detracts from the train -- maybe you could crop down to reveal just a hint of the far background, like in the original. Maybe crop in from the right in order to make the train a more prominent part of the composition. Could you experiment with one of the distort tools to make the yellow and red cars have less of a leaning-in feel?   Posted: 11/03/2020 08:35:29

Mike Patterson   Mike Patterson
Great composition. You captured this at exactly the right moment. It's obvious that you'd taken this trip before and planned on when to shoot. I agree with Jerry about the clouds appearing blown out and the mountains too blue. However, I'd be concerned about cropping down too much as this would take away from the nice engine smoke which is part of the story element. For my personal taste, I feel there is a little too much saturation which make the trees appear too garish.   Posted: 11/03/2020 15:11:38
Jerry Biddlecom   Jerry Biddlecom
I think you're right about cutting off too much of the engine smoke.   Posted: 11/03/2020 16:13:29

Peggy Reeder   Peggy Reeder
Nice shot Al. I like your subject and your composition. But I think that in your post processing, something has caused your final image to be a bit soft.   Posted: 11/08/2020 16:55:56

Marti Buckely   Marti Buckely
I like your original - if it were straightened. The colors are good and there is a nice amount of steam coming from the engine. The final seems to be a bit over-processed. I took the original and straightened it and also cropped from the right to take out the tree though I did like the length of the steam with it in.   Posted: 11/09/2020 11:39:23
Comment Image

Kaylyn Franks   Kaylyn Franks
This trip is on my bucket list. You captured the action beautifully. I like the original photo best as it is focused on the action of the train. I suggest straightening it, then dodge and burn around the steam and train, so it is is the focal point.   Posted: 11/12/2020 09:31:28

Joseph J Zaia   Joseph J Zaia
This is story-telling, action and nostalgic image, which we rarely see any more. All good suggestions for improvement. You can control the color of the sky and mountains by selecting out of your processing and you can keep as much of the steam you want by simply Content-Aware out the big tree on the right. You should also be able to bring out more green on the trees.
  Posted: 11/12/2020 14:05:25