03 June 2014

An Enduring Photoshop Job

Way back in October of the year 2000, I was dismayed to find no good renderings of what an electrified Caltrain might look like.  In those days, before copyright became a huge deal, I pointed my Netscape browser to the European Railway Server and grabbed an unremarkable photo of an Alstom EMU taken by Benoît Géhant at Hellemmes, France back in 1998:

Original photo
The next several hours were spent in Photoshop, adjusting hues and pixels, moving doors around, adding more train cars, pasting in a background of the TOD condos at Caltrain's San Antonio station, and "Americanizing" this Gallic EMU with some number boards, grab irons, and a five-chime railroad horn.  The result was this:

After Photoshop
Over the years since, this Photoshop job has found its way into all sorts of places, from newsletters to websites to business plans and countless documents across many agencies and groups involved in modernizing the peninsula corridor.  I even spotted a framed copy at the Station Café in San Carlos, among hundreds of railroad photos from all over the world.  I'm glad it took off like this, and I wish to give Benoît belated credit for the original photo.


  1. Where's the "Like" and "Thank You" button?

  2. Nice. How about keeping the background and upgrading the foreground to something that belongs in the 21st Century?
    Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xMUI8CKRark
    Tech stuff: http://www.bombardier.com/en/transportation/projects/project.twindexx-switzerland.html?f-region=all&show-by-page=50&page=1&f-country=all&f-segment=all&f-type=all&f-name=TWINDEXX