We all want to try and create cool shots. I don’t think any of us strive for mediocrity when we’re with our cameras, right? Maybe?

We try to share images that compel, that engage the imagination, and that create lasting impressions with viewers. These are my goals, at least. In that endeavor, risks do need to be taken. They just do. In order to nab the shot, you sometimes need to ante up and stand within a foot from a massive freight train in motion as was the case the other day. The key, for me, is to temper risk with caution and prudence. That’s just my style. I’ve walked away from shots in the past that required me to exceed my threshold for risk and haven’t regretted it for one second.

The goal here is to not to prevent you from taking risks. Rather, it’s to engage you in thinking about what your thresholds are when you are presented with risks required to get a particular shot. And in thinking about these thresholds, remember that it’s ok to walk away if you’re just not ready to leap.

In terms of processing

A bunch of stuff went on here. First, this is a seven exposure tone-mapped HDR image that also used ghost reduction to include the solid exposure of the moving train. All done using Photomatix Pro.

Next, I applied Grunge Goddess, Lord of the Rings, a custom Tone Enhancer, Hollywood Glow, and a tiny touch of Cyberpunk to cool it off.

After that, I sent the image to FocalPoint 2 to render the background slightly out of focus and give the image a more 3D feel. Both products are by onOne Software.

Final touches were applied in Lightroom 4.3 RC.

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