I have passed by the Caboose many times as I have biked the Virginia Creeper Trail. The Virginia Creeper trail is a popular bike trail that runs from White Top Mountain down to Damascus, VA and into Abingdon, VA. I was meeting up with some friends over to weekend but since they were coming from Nashville, I arrived a few hours before they did. As usual, I had my camera with me. To kill some time, I decided to walk the town and look for some interesting stuff to photograph. There were a few Churches and some Bed & Breakfasts, but when I think of Damascus, VA, I think of the Appalachian Trail and the Virginia Creeper. So I was drawn to the park that hosts this caboose, which is also used as a visitor’s center.
To create this image, I took two exposures (15 seconds and 30 seconds) and merged them to an HDR photo using Photoshop. Flash was not used. Next I used the Photomatix Tone Mapping plug-in to reveal more of the details. Using the quick selection tool I selected everything but the caboose, then switched the selection to the inverse. This helped to lock all modifications to the caboose and not the surrounding areas. I used an edge enhancement to make the caboose stand out more. To give it that final pop, I used the burn and dodge tools to emphasis the lights and shadows.
The final photo is a little different from my normal shots, though I’ll continue to experiment with this method.