Austin, Texas – MetroRail (HDR)

While back in Austin for a few days recently…we were staying at the Hilton downtown. I could look out my room window and see the station right next to the hotel. I was up early this day taking shots all around and on my walk back the Metro was just pulling up. I waited for the passengers to board and took this shot with the Frost Bank Tower in the background. I have never taken the Metro. It was on my things to do list during the trip, but just didn’t have time. I will take a ride…one day! Enjoy!

San Juan Capistrano, CA – All Aboard! (HDR)

We recently took a nice Saturday morning drive to San Juan Capistrano. It is a small cute little town in SoCal. I was there to scout out future portrait sessions and brought along my camera to take a few shots. It was a typical sunny day in CA, so HDR was not in my mind. We walked along the train tracks and the Amtrak Train pulled up. Here you can catch the train down to San Diego if you would like! One day I will try it…unfortunately, it is not cheap! But I bet great views of the pacific!! After the people got off I set up for an HDR. Kinda an unexpected cool shot! A mid afternoon HDR! Enjoy your weekend!

Peter Talke Photography Settings:

Camera: Nikon D300
Lens: Nikon 12-24 f/4.0
Setting: Aperture Mode
Focal Length: 20.0 mm
ISO: 200
Exposure: HDR 7 Exposures (+3 to -3)
Aperture: f/11
Gear: Tripod
Post Process: Adobe CS6, HDR Efex Pro, Color Efex Pro, Texture. OnOne Software Photo Tools 2.6

All Aboard to Hogwarts! (HDR)

I did enjoy the Harry Potter movies/books…although some were very slow. The last movie was fantastic! I give J.K. Rowling credit…Hogwarts is a great idea. Can you imagine catching a train there? Would be an adventure! I have taken a few old train shots and wanted to make this one seem like it came from a Harry Potter movie. It was fun creating…about 6 textures (including one with smoke) + oneOne’s Photo Tools + Nik…basically used all I have! I whipped up a bit of Photoshop Wizardry. You can find this train in downtown Orlando. Enjoy!

San Antonio, Texas – Sunset Station (HDR)

During my visit to San Antonio to attend Imaging USA…I mentioned to Chris that we stop by Sunset Station.  It is just minutes from downtown.  We arrived early so we could not get into the restaurant to shoot the famous stair shot.  Next time.  I had seen that they have this old train out front and the sun was just coming out from the clouds, so I set my tripod low and grabbed this angle.  I thought a little texture, gritty noise and  a hue change might suit the photo.  It was the only photo I took of the train.  Not bad. I have some other ideas for this location next visit!

Talke Photography Settings:

  • Camera:  Nikon D300
  • Lens: Nikon 12-24 F/4
  • Setting: Aperture  Mode
  • Focal Length: 13.0mm
  • ISO: 200
  • Exposure:  HDR 7 exposures (+3 to -3)
  • Aperture:  f/11
  • Gear:  Tripod
  • Post Process: Adobe CS5, HDR Efex Pro, onOne Software Photo Tools 2.6, Nik Silver Efex Pro, Textures


Köln, Germany – Köln Hauptbahnhof (HDR)

Before heading to Germany a few weeks back, my good friend Kay Gaensler mentioned that there is an App for the Deutsche Bahn (Trains) in Germany for the IPhone.   It is called DB Navigator.   A wonderful an easy to use app!  After I downloaded I opened up the app and you first see of photo of a Train Station (Hauptbahnhof).  When I met up with Kay, he told me that the photo was the Köln Hauptbahnhof.  Great….as I knew was going to be there the end of that week.  I wanted to take the exact shot!  Here is the photo from the app…

Close!  I did shot it in HDR and thought a selective color might look cool.  Technology can give you photo inspiration!  LOL   Have fun and go get that picture you want to take!   Its out there!

Talke Photography Settings:

  • Camera:  Nikon D300
  • Lens: Nikon 70-200 f/2.8
  • Setting: Aperture  Mode
  • Focal Length: 70.0mm
  • ISO: 200
  • Exposure:  HDR 5 exposures (+2 to -2)
  • Aperture:  f/2.8
  • Gear:  Tripod, Cable release
  • Post Process: Adobe CS4, Photomatix, Viveza, Silver Efex Pro

Toronto, Canada – Union Station (HDR)

If you ever get a chance to visit Toronto, it is a lovely city!  Winter’s may be tough, but my last visit was in the summer!  Whew!  Some great views, places to visit and wonderful restaurants.  Right near the Convention Center you can find Union Station.   A walk down here is an eye pleaser!   The curved glass roof above is pretty cool!  I shot it this day from a few spots.  Trying to get some cool angles.   I have to laugh at the advertisement for Kleenex on the sides.  I guess many colds occur in Toronto?   With long winters there, I can probably agree.   I am not sure if I have ever seen an ad for Kleenex other than TV.    Guess it is better than an ad for depends!

Here is some info from the web:  Union Station is the major inter-city rail station and a major commuter rail hub in Toronto, located on Front Street West and occupying the south side of the block bounded by Bay Street and York Street in the central business district. The station building is owned by the City of Toronto, while the trainshed and trackage is owned by the commuter rail operator GO Transit. Serving 200,000 passengers a day, it is the busiest passenger transportation facility in Canada.

Inter-city trains at Union Station are operated by Via Rail (also operates VIA-Amtrak train to New York) and Ontario Northland, while commuter rail services are operated by GO Transit. The station is also connected to theToronto Transit Commission (TTC) subway and streetcar system via an adjoining TTC station. GO Transit’s Union Station Bus Terminal, located across Bay Street from the station building, is connected via the trainshed.  Union Station is the central terminal for GO Transit, handling approximately 41 million commuter rail passengers in 2004. Union Station is also located at the centre of Canada’s busiest inter-city rail service area, termed “The Corridor” by Via, that stretches from Quebec City in the east to Windsor in the west. As such, Union Station is Via’s most-used facility; the station saw 2.34 million Via Rail boardings in 2004, more than half of all Via passengers carried systemwide that year.

Talke Photography Settings:

  • Camera:  Nikon D300
  • Lens: Nikon 12-24 f/4
  • Setting: Aperture  Mode
  • Focal Length: 24.0mm
  • ISO: 200
  • Exposure:  HDR 5 exposures (+2 to -2)
  • Aperture:  f/4
  • Gear:  Tripod, Cable release
  • Post Process: Adobe CS4, Photomatix, Color Efex Pro, Viveza, Topaz Adjust

Toronto, Canada – Union Station HDR

Toronto, Canada - Union Station HDR

NIKON D300, Nikon 12-24, HDR in Photomatix

I have been traveling alot recently and just got back froma trip to the North East.  I visited one great little city…Toronto, Canada.  I didn’t have much time to take tons of photos…just took a few I was looking for.  This shot was my main goal.  I have been enjoying HDR shots of train stations.  This is Union Station located near the Rogers Centre and the CN Tower.   This location is where Union Station and the Metro Convention Center (South Building) meet.  There is a walkway that opens into this great view! 

I set my tripod and dodged the people with my cable release in hand and took 5 exposures.   The angle and color were perfect for an HDR.  Added to it… the light at the end of the tunnel effect…lucky timing!  The remainder of the staion is just ok, maybe at night it may be better?  I’ll post some details on Toronto with another photo tomorrow.   Until then!

London, England – St. Pancras Station – HDR

London St HDR_small

NIKON D300, Nikon 12-24, HDR in Photomatix

When I was in London a few weeks back, I had a day where I had to catch a domestic train that left from St. Pancras.  As I took the escalator up and witnessed this beautiful station – I knew I wanted to capture it in HDR!  I had another chance as I had to take the Eurostar train from St. Pancras to Brussels, Belgium (3 hour ride).  My train left at 7 AM.  So I figured to get there early and grab a photo.  As you can tell by the clock…it was about 6 AM.  Amazingly there were people walking about!   I set up my tripod and cable release and snapped 5 exposures.  I did one more set and the security guard magically appeared and told me that tripods are not allowed at the station.  I agreed and had to close it up.   I tried a few more shots hand held.  After post processing…it goes to show how much sharper your HDR shots can be with a tripod!  In lower light situations, hand held can get blurry.  Mine were not even postable.   But luckily…this tripod version above was my first shot!  Nice and sharp! 

My suggestion in places where tripods are questionable due to security(trains stations/churches/airports/stadiums/etc..)…line up your shot with your camera first & check out your surroundings for security – know what angle/composition photo you want to take the most…make sure to take that shot first!  Then if you are stopped at least you took your favorite picture!   When I was in London at the Westminster Abbey Church…I was snagged right away as I was opening my tripod.  So I didnt even get off a shot!  My fault as I wanted to quick take a pic and get out – so I did not check my surroundings.   The guard was probably only a few feet away.  Another option is to have your camera all set on the tripod as you walk in – quick set it up after looking around and snap away!  I used this method in Notre Dame.  Got one set of shots off!  I just wish it was easier for us photographers.  Oh well…it makes it challenging!

As for St. Pancras it is a domestic and international train station.  So if you are heading to Paris, Brussels or anywhere else in Europe via train….this is the station you will use.  Here is some info from the web:  It was built in 1868. One of the most recognizable features of St Pancras station today, the red brick Grade 1 listed Gothic front facade was created as part of a competition in 1865 and became the Midland Great Hotel designed by Sir Gilbert Scott and built between 1868 to 1876.   In 1935 the Midland Grand Hotel was closed and the building became railway offices, and known as the St Pancras Chambers. The station performed an important role during both world wars, acting as a meeting place for troops, a departure point for soldiers off to war, and to help transport children out of London to the safety of the countryside. During WWII the station was hit during the Blitz on London. Despite the devastation, London Midland and Scottish Railway engineers soon had the platforms working again. St Pancras Station and St Pancras Chambers are popular locations for film and television productions, appearing in Harry Potter, Batman Begins and the Spice Girls’ first music video.

Beautiful train stations are great locations for HDR’s…maybe there is one near you?…hope you enjoy!

Frottmaning, Germany – Train Station – HDR

Frottmaning Station HDR

NIKON D300, Nikon 12-24, HDR in Photomatix

Here is the train station (bahnhof) for Frottmaning, Germany.  When you visit Allianz Stadium (per my last post)…this is your stop.  When I arrived…I stopped and looked around and thought…great place for an HDR.  Most stations near Munich are not so exciting.  This one had some flair!   Frottmaning is about 20 minutes from Marienplatz on the S-Bahn – U6 Train.  This past trip was the first time I really had a chance to explore Munich.  Such a great city!  I’d say my favorite in Germany. 

I took my photos of Allianz Arena and made the 10 minute walk back to the station.  It was about 10 PM and the station was quiet.  I set up my tripod and took this with 5 exposures and a cable release.   I hear the arena lights up in different colors for certain events…so maybe one day I will be back to Frottmaning!  

If you are visiting Germany…some top places to visit are:  1. Munich  2. Berlin 3. Cologne 4. Nurnberg  5. Frankfurt.  During my stay in Munich I looked into visiting the Neuschwanstein Castle …unfortunately, just a bit too far – about 2 hours one way.  I hear you can catch a bus tour from Munich or take the train to Fussen.  Hopefully one day I will get there.  It was featured in such movies as Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and The Great Escape.  Lots to see in Munich…near and far!  I look forward to visiting again!