Laura Macky Photography

Journey of a body on this earth

Niles Canyon Railway


The same day I took the Barn picture we went to Niles, California where the Niles Canyon Railway is located.

The history of trains in Niles Canyon dates back to the building of the original transcontinental railroad. The first Western Pacific Railroad Company (formed in 1862) started construction in San Jose towards Sacramento. It built twenty miles of track that reached into Alameda Creek canyon in 1866. Its first passenger excursion entered the canyon on October 2 of that year.  You can read more about it here:  Niles Canyon Railway.

It was fun looking at this caboose and yes I went a bit wild with it.  I so rarely take any images with people in them but how could I resist this grandad with his grandson?  🙂

Addendum…since some of you have asked.  I reduced noise, tone-mapped it in Nik HDR, used Topaz Restyle on a light opacity, created a low-key image and laid it on top of the previously processed layer and exposed the brighter areas I wanted.  Then I sharpened it via Nik Output sharpener and added a vignette.  Oh, I did pop out the color on those windows too.  Hope that helps!

Western Pacific Railroad

Western Pacific Railroad


Author: lauramacky

Journey of a Body on this Earth

58 thoughts on “Niles Canyon Railway

  1. This is a very cool shot!!!

  2. So beautiful, Laura! Can I be curious and ask you how you edited it? 🙂

  3. Lovely. How it was processed would be interesting.

  4. Beautiful image Laura! Love the grandson, oh how little minds work and what his must have been thinking!


  5. Wow, this is such a beautiful photo! It looks a bit like a painting or drawing, you are amazing Laura!

  6. I love anything to do with trains. This is such a beautiful image. I think you made a wise choice including the people, they add a wonderful feel to the image.

    • Thank you so much Dan. I love trains as well and don’t take enough of them. I kept waiting for the “people” to leave but then I saw grandpa and grandson and I couldn’t help but include them. 🙂

  7. wonderful capture
    of a tense moment!
    assuming the child fared well
    with the car held steady 🙂

  8. Thanks for the processing information – people are a rarity in my shots as well, but when they work, no need to not use the image.

  9. I love trains and your post-process is very well done, Laura.

  10. Where is this museum of which you speak of.. I must admit ive never gone thru Niles Canyon..

  11. Reblogged this on Simple Moments Blog and commented:
    Great simple moment that appeals to all of us. Many though have not seen or been in a caboose as they are no longer used. Nice story telling Laura!

    • Thank you Frank! I’m so glad you enjoyed the little story. There is an operating train one can ride too. I think I took a picture of those. Future post here it comes!

  12. Your processing works so well, Laura. I love this. It also reminds me of Hopper.

  13. Very nice! Great HDR effect.

    • Thank you Les. I find tone mapping works great most of the time.

      • There are a few people that I know that say Tone Mapping is not Photography. I beg to differ. Always have. I like using it. Don’t really care what others think. HDR enhances the photo! I don’t have NIK HDR. I use Photomatrix Pro. Seems to work well for me.

        • Thank you Les. I think if you take a picture with your camera, it’s always photography even if you make a painting out of it. I like Photomatix Pro too. I use both. For some reason I use Photomatix when I have bracketed photos and I use Nik HDR when I’m tonemapping. I think why I like Nik is that it creates a layer inside photoshop whereas Photomatix Pro does not.

  14. I love the processing, Laura, and I think the child and grandpa add an exquisitely warm touch.

  15. So what you are saying is I need an engineering degree to ‘tweak’ my photographs as well as yours (*)_(*)

  16. Oh wow, Laura!!! This is just like a painting! How incredibly talented you are. I so enjoy viewing your work and learning from you. I inspire to be as good as you someday. (smile) (((HUGS))) Amy

  17. LOL I just read what Pete wrote. Whew! Now I don’t feel so bad! OMG! Laughing out loud! YOU have a brain like my brother’s, and I well, I fly. Hehehehehehe

  18. Sorry, did you say something about the process? The image evoked childhood memories…I wasn’t listening. 😉

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