SFO streetcar with a nostalgic twist

Going over my SFO images, I wanted to see whether I could use one of the old tram carriages as a throwback atmospheric image. But on every image I looked at, modern cars and lots of people, bikes and clutter ruined the overall vibe. This one only had one white van in the background as well as a person just visible crossing the street behind the tram.

I chose to tonemap the raw image in LuminanceHDR and then further process the resulting 32-bit TIFF in Gimp and GMIC. Gimp for the perspective clone stamp and resynthesizer plugin to remove the white-van/passer-by and GMIC for the photoillustration filter which I overlaid in a 50% layer on top of the base layer.

I’m pretty pleased with the outcome but I am aware this maybe too manipulated to suit everyone’s palate.


Not at all, to my regard. Well done.

I hang a bit with photographers who strive to make images of trains as they would do their thing back in the day. It’s a bit of an industry, museums host “photo freights”, where a train is made up to approximate an appropriate period, and it departs loaded with photographers to make various ‘run-bys’ at locations where everyone is deposited on the wayside, the train backs up, then comes at the crowd at cruising speed, spewing smoke and steam in a way that would shame a fireman actually doing real work. Shutters click, then the train backs up, collects the throng, and heads off to the next location. I’ve done one and have to say, I more enjoyed directly experiencing the actual presentation of the whole operation than imaging it, but I’m weird that way… I had the most photographic fun the next day, following the engines in the yard as they prepared for the daily tourist train, with both period artifacts and modern things in the scenes. Again, I’m just weird… :smile:

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I don’t think it looks overly processed at all. For a throwback look I would also consider B&W or sepia tone. But as it is, the color helps separate it from the background. Very well done!

Very nice image. If you want to get the old world feeling, then I think that the front of the tram is a bit too shiny and modern looking. May be you can make a BW layer and paint it over the tram with medium opacity? Just a thought.