Steam Train Composite

Over the weekend I had a little Photoshop fun and created a composite with parts of four different images from our recent ride on the old steam train.

I began with this shot of the locomotive.

blog_IMG_7130 copyAfter carefully isolating the whole thing away from the trees and chain-link fence in the background; I covered the curb and street in the foreground with extra grass cloned from what was growing alongside the track near the depot. Oh; and I removed the identifying numbers and the engineer from the cab to make the final image more useable as a stock photo and on future Zazzle products.

I placed the cutout locomotive with the tracks and grassy area over a “hand painted” sky that I created with a few soft brushes and shades of blue and white.

It was looking nice but this left the train without any smoke billowing from the stack. We can’t have that now can we? So next I took the smoke from this image…blog_IMG_7391

and flipped it around, skewed the angle, then placed it over the smoke stack. I adjusted the exposure and opacity on the smoke a bit and even added more by cloning parts of the smoke and pasting them in areas that seemed to need it.

That worked but the blue sky going right down to the tracks was definitely not right; it was asking for a little landscape in the background. Simple enough! I took a small area of the landscape from this image…blog_IMG_7267

and placed it behind the railroad tracks. That helped!

The sky needed just a little something else to make it more believable so I added a couple of clouds from another image…


and pasted them in place on the “hand painted” sky.

A few minor adjustments to the layers via exposure levels, blending modes, and opacity and we have a finished composite!


Now our steam train is rolling down the tracks out in the open countryside without the distracting street, fence, or trees. I think this is much how it must have looked to the families in those farm houses as we passed by them on our way to Enterprise and back.

Click on the final image above to see a larger view,
order prints, or download photos.


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