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Damascus Caboose

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.

  • Susan Hudson - This is beautiful. I certainly don’t understand the technical things you did, but the result is very striking and poignant to me. Maybe because trains are special to me…my granddaddy was an engineer for Tennessee Central, which was bought by Southern. He walked from his home valley outside Gainsboro to Monterey when he was 9 to go to work as a fireboy. His father had died and he had to help support the family.

    Hope things are going well with you. Come see us sometime!


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