Composites of Taylors depots

Recently, Tom Taylor wrote two blog entries about superimposing a building from an old photo over a present day photo to create a composite. These two blog entries are titled Plantation Ruins and a Cursed Tree and Composite Greenville History. His blog entries reminded me I took photos of two locations back in 2011 with the idea of making my own composite photos, but I didn't have any way to create them back then. Or so I thought.

I was wrong. I had bought a scanner a few years ago (only Amazon knows when) that came with a copy of Photoshop Elements 8, the simplified cousin of Photoshop. While Elements 8 doesn't directly support layer masking (the feature needed for making composites quickly and easily), it can be simulated in Elements 8 and can also be added by a plugin. Nice. It's doable and I don't have to spend any money. Even better.

The two locations I visited in 2011 were the two Taylors, SC depots.

The first location, the Southern Railway depot, was located near the intersection of Taylors Road and Freeman Drive. The area behind the depot is now a parking lot for the Taylors First Baptist Church. The depot was moved (don't know when, sorry) and is now a private residence north of Greer.

I selected the vantage point to match as closely as possible a photo of the depot from the SC Railroads Photograph Collection I printed out and brought with me. I took a series of photographs and varied the angle and placement slightly, then selected one that matched best when I got home.

I'm happy to report this composite turned out rather well. The angle already matched almost perfectly so I didn't really have much to do:

and here's the original background photo:

The second location, the Piedmont and Northern Railway depot, was located off of North Adams Street and behind James Street.

This composite took a bit more work to line everything up well, but came out fine in the end.

and now the original background photo:

In 2003, CSX (successor to the P&N) sold this small 2 acre strip to Taylors First Baptist Church.

Now that I've had a taste of making composites, I'm interested in making more sometime. I wanted to try compositing a postcard from Chick Springs I noticed at chicksprings.org some time back, but unfortunately the domain's registration has expired and the site is inaccessible now.

I'll keep looking.

Comments

  1. These turned out quite well! Maybe we need to do a "composites" photo walk sometime.

    Have you considered using Pixlr.com to make the composites? I think it might do layer masking.

    Thanks for the shout out, BTW.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks! I've already found a few photos I'm interested in compositing so I may be visiting downtown soon.
      I'm game for a photo walk. Just shoot me an email sometime and we'll work something out.
      I did check out at Pixlr.com, but looks like I goofed. I visited from my tablet and the only options I saw the app download links. I checked again, from the desktop this time, and sure enough the option is there. I'll check it out next time.
      I don't mind upgrading Elements, but I'd rather wait for Abode to send me another discount offer they do send me from time to time.

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