View Full Version : Help needed in improving a rejection

WSOR 3807
06-26-2006, 12:41 AM
I had this photo rejected from the database:


It was rejected for Bad Cropping as well as being underexposed. I actually do kind of agree with what they said when I look back at it, but I'd like to know how some of those who are better photographers than I would improve the cropping. I'm guessing taking off a little of the sky out would be a start, but should I include more of the foreground (The original file has a little more foreground to it, so I could leave a little more)? Any advice on cropping you can give me would be appreciated.

Also, underexposed means they think the photo is a little dark, right? I think I can improve this in photoshop by trying to lighten it up a little bit. It was a mostly cloudy day, but the sun did pop out just before this shot, but disappeared again before the 261 came by unfortunately. I think though if I lighten it in a photo editing software I can get it looking fairly good still, I just don't know how to crop it.

Noah Hofrichter

06-26-2006, 01:35 AM
I don't think the New Lisbon station sign makes or breaks the photo. You could get away with chopping off the tail end of the train (including the people).

It looks as if your camera's light meter took the brightness of the sky and made the darks dark. Also, if you had "cloudy" or "shade" settings on your camera, this is why the photo looks to have a blue with green tint.

Joe the Photog
06-26-2006, 11:16 AM
I think the set of old ties in front of what I guess is the tender is a deal breaker. I'm not sure what kind of cropping you can do to get around that because a closer crop will actually make it more prevalent. EMT is right though that it looks like you shot on auto and the camera took a reading off the sky which makes the black engine look darker. Cameras are ever as good as a good photographer in reading light situations, esp. tricky ones like this.

Joe H.

John West
06-28-2006, 06:56 PM
I think this is another example of where the rule of thirds would be helpful. The nose of the locomotive is a bit too close to the right edge of the picture.
As Joe pointed out, the pile of ties also detracts. Hmmm, I wonder of Photoshop could make those ties go away? Photoshop could also help with the lighting by increasing the contrast a bit.

John West

06-28-2006, 08:02 PM
Photoshop could make the ties go away, but I think that pretty much violates the spirit of RailPictures. There has been some discussion of what is legitimate to photo shop on other threads, but I tend towards the "If I would have done it in my physical dark room (cropping, cleaning dust off a negative, holding back or burning in areas of the image, increasing or decreasing contrast, color correcting) it's OK," but beyond that I wouldn't go. The idea for me is to make the photo look the way my eye saw the scene at the time I took the picture.

The crewman standing on the pilot is also a problem for me. He's part of the scene, but he detracts from the image, with his dayglo belt. That's not why the shot was rejected, but if it was re-cropped using the rule of third's, it might get the dreaded "Bad motive" rejection next time around. I'd chalk this one up to experience.

06-30-2006, 06:10 AM
I thnk I know this one.....

It is too dark for RP.N
I almost am willing to believe they run these photos through some type of software that kicks out images too dark. Even if that is what the photo looked like in real life. I don't mind this type of rejection since it usually leads to a better rendition that pops. The easiest way to lighten the photo up is in curves, find a light or white spot and select it - then lighten it. Later if necessary, find a dark or black spot and darken it. OR, if you have Photoshop you can go into Levels and select options which opens the auto color corrections and play with the clipping in either the shadows or highlights.
Or just lighten the photo, but that may make your blacks gray.

Second, it's the cropping.
Works for me, but I think it is possibly too close to the edges.

Correct both and it should sail in.


Switched out
07-01-2006, 03:21 AM
I think the lighting conditions just beat you on this one Noah, I tweaked it in photoshop and had trouble with the details in the shadows becoming washed out.

There is very little room on the right hand side of the loco which means you have to crop the left hand side of the photo an awful lot to bring it into the rule of thirds as John suggests.

Attached is my suggestion for cropping.