(Above) You might recall from the previous post, I placed some “trees” at the threshold of staging for evaluation.

(Below) I planned for a screen of tall mature trees in this area and began to place more vegetation and shrubbery in the foreground to draw the eye forward and away from the stark transition of the background from light to dark. At first, I wasn’t certain about the strong color of the material but almost instantly I liked how it pulled the eye forward and provided a light visual screen that separates the two areas on either side.

(Above) Even at this minimal height and density, the foreground foilage nicely interupts the strong horizontal line of the track. Coupled with how the coloring fades away as you progress into the staging area, I think it’s an effective tool.

(Below) Looking at the scene, I feel the column that hides the power cord could be disguised a bit more. I think adding more trees to the left would ease the transition from the bright sky backdrop. I do like how the area is shaping up and you can judge the impact of a train entering the scene for yourself.

(Below) I included this image because I’m intrigued with how the lack of a traditional backdrop impacts the foregorund scenery.

Taking a cue from museum exhibit design, the neutral background encourages a focus on the lighted objects.

With normal lighting and scenery color, I believe this could be quite effective for a right-of-way that is hemmed in by tall trees and scrub brush on one or both sides. The dark backdrop doesn’t eliminate cast shadows completely but they are far less noticeable. I like how my eye is drawn to various features of the landscape. With selective lighting and/or colors that highlight various details, I think it could be stunning.



  1. Chris Mears

    Now this is cool. Even before you said it I was thinking about just how powerful and effective those trees were at redirecting my attention back into the main scene. Just as with the previous work to include texture in this space the use of trees within the “staging” provides a silhouette of context that is only subtle.

    The black Baldwin shoving the full colour boxcar kind of nicely extends this same experiment to the train itself.


  2. mike

    Appreciate the thoughtful observation as always Chris.