View Full Version : Two rejected subway photos

06-16-2004, 11:34 AM
This photo was rejected due to poor lighting:


On appeal, when I pointed out that underground subway stations are poorly lit to begin with and this is about the best that can be done, I was told that "the undercarriage of the train needs to be just a tad brighter. Thanks."

The undercarriage?!

Here's another photo that was rejected, this one initially due to "bad angle":


When I appealed this one, pointing out the artistic effect, I was told that it was "Not a bad shot, Just not exactly the type of photo we are looking to publish. Thanks." If the screeners don't think it's a bad shot, then why not publish it? I'm afraid I'm going to have to reiterate the calls of others for specific standards to be outlined. The detailed guidelines page (http://www.railpictures.net/addphotos/guidelines.php) explicitly mentions artistic effects twice.

Please don't get me wrong. Overall, I've found the screeners' judgments reasonable, and I enjoy browsing and submitting to this site. Once in a while, though, I just don't get it.

Any comments?

(Just for fun, I'll run a little poll.)

06-16-2004, 12:21 PM
I have to agree with the first picture. The lighting is very poor. It is hard to make out the tracks and undercarage of the train. Are the stations in NYC that dark? The second picture is not that bad, but I think it would be better picture if you showed the end of the train.

06-16-2004, 04:13 PM
I learned quickly that the screeners, either by order of the site owner or on their own accord, make many, if not all, decisions based on subjective personal tastes rather than actual photographic reasons. That is not to say they donít reject photos that are actually too dark, but they also reject photos for being too dark that are clearly not too dark. If appealed, they will often come up with a different reason for rejecting a photo. If a supposed problem is corrected they then find something else wrong with the photo. One screener posted elsewhere that they can only use one reason at a time when they reject a photo. I think they need to add a category to the rejection reason list ďThis screener does not like this photoĒ so folks will not change their shooting based on the rejection.

My point here is that you need to keep in mind that this site is a privately operated site and they can pick and choose what they want in their data base. Also donít let a rejection or two get you down, regardless of how good your photos are, not everyone will like them.

Iím not a subway fan, but considering the cramped quarters and existing lighting, I thought the photos were pretty good and captured the color of the environment well. The first photo is dark toward the bottom of the photo, but I see the rails and suppose the pilot/coupler (do subway
cars have pilots?) would naturally be in shadow. To correct that would require the upper portion be too light or that artificial light be used on the lower portion, negating the effect of the existing light. It is a matter of what you are trying to do, provide detail for modelers or show the environment as it is.
The second photo is a good example of a train at an underground platform. I like the street musician in the scene, adds local color to the photo. Given the nature of underground railroading, this is an okay picture to me.

I will submit photos to this site once in a while because it is fun. I doubt I will appeal rejections often and if I do I will try to keep the appeals good natured in tone. My suggestion for everyone is not to put to too much weight in the opinions of the screeners. I donít know them and have no problem with them, but anyone can find pictures in the data base with serious problems, so if a good photo gets rejected, well you get the picture.

By the way, I am not a professional railroad photographer. I have D o D training as a photo-journalist and have been a crime scene photographer for 15 years. I am a model railroader and railfan, but I have no more right to tell anyone that their photos are good or bad than the man in the moon.
Jim B.

06-18-2004, 01:29 AM
Thanks for the comments (and votes).

This is how subway stations are lit. There's really no reason for the tracks to be lit (track workers bring their own lights and trains have headlights). If the undercarriage were better lit, you'd see an ugly, grimy, black thing that really isn't of any interest. If the tracks were better lit, you'd see discarded chicken bones and rats having dinner. Be glad you can't see them!

(Of greater concern to me in the first photo is the purple fringing around the fluorescent light above the other platform. Ugh!)

In the second picture, if I showed the end of the train, it would look almost exactly like the first picture. I was going for the artistic effect. Keep in mind that subway stations are highly constrained environments. You can see the columns that get in the way. You can't see that, in the first photo, I'm standing pretty much at the end of the platform. The platform is about 600 feet long, and the trains that normally stop there are also 600 feet long. This particular weekend, the C, which runs 480-foot trains, was diverted there (due to track work in Brooklyn), and I took advantage of the opportunity. It's impossible to get an underground photo that includes the front of the train but isn't dominated by it -- there just isn't enough leeway for the photographer.

I'm perfectly cognizant of the fact that this site is run by humans, humans who have their own opinions. Unlike some, I have no problem with a photo being rejected because the screeners simply didn't like it. But in the case of the second photo, the screener who processed the appeal specifically told me it was a good shot! If it was a good shot in the screener's opinion, then why was it rejected? What sort of photo is this site looking to publish, if good shots in general don't qualify?

06-18-2004, 04:37 AM
What sort of photo is this site looking to publish, if good shots in general don't qualify?

Well, I could take a good shot of a groundhog lying between the tracks that got run over by the NS local, but I don't think that would be what this site is looking for either! :lol:

The second shot is good, but the subject and focus is on the dude, not the train. That's probably why it got rejected.

06-18-2004, 12:01 PM
You think so? I didn't even notice the dude until well after I took the photo. The focus I had in mind was primarily the train and secondarily the station -- with the dude as a neat extra.

06-18-2004, 12:23 PM
Yeah looks like the guy is playing the keyboard. :D

06-18-2004, 12:31 PM
Sure is -- and in the subway tradition, all the New Yorkers are ignoring him, myself included! (If there were any tourists around, they'd gather around him, blocking pedestrian traffic, completely oblivious to the masses trying to get past them. Fortunately, this isn't a very touristy part of the city. The only tourists who ended up here were those trying to get to the WTC site who didn't realize that the C wasn't running its regular route this weekend and was going here instead.)

06-19-2004, 04:09 AM
Great shots David.

The lighting in the stations is as good as it gets and you captured that quite well. Not much light gets onto the rails down in the tunnels. Except maybe by touching the wrong rail. :twisted:

The "bad angle" shot is right on the money, at least for those of us that have actually been to the big city and rode the subway. :P

I for one have enjoyed your shots in the boroughs. It reminds of living in Brooklyn and riding the Q train to the city.

BING BONG..... next stop Kings Highway... please stand clear of the doors. :wink:

06-22-2004, 04:08 AM
Thanks, and I'm glad you enjoy the photos. I live in Manhattan, but part of the year I work in Brooklyn (near the Brighton line -- Kingsborough Community College), and, as you can see, I get around quite a bit.

I have many more photos lined up, including some from the past few days. The IRT Museum Train of Many Colors (including a new kale green R-33ML) ran on two fantrips this past weekend, and, better yet, it ran in passenger service for three round trips on the 7 on Friday! Rumor has it that the museum trains will occasionally pop up in passenger service as the centennial year progresses.

The next set of fantrips, over two weekends in July, will feature the IND Museum Train of Many Colors with, hold on to your seats, three wooden gate cars from 1903 tacked on. Full information, including a link to a scan of the flyer, is available here (http://talk.nycsubway.org/perl/read?subtalk=725947). Tickets are $40 apiece and are worth every penny. For those of you who can't make it, I'm sure I'll have a few photos to post (unless my angles are bad).

If NYCT's proposed photography ban passes, I'm afraid these photos will have to stop. If you think the proposal is as silly as I do, let the MTA know (http://www.mta.info/nyct/rules/proposed.htm).

06-25-2004, 08:49 PM
The next set of fantrips, over two weekends in July, will feature the IND Museum Train of Many Colors with, hold on to your seats, three wooden gate cars from 1903 tacked on.

What many colors? The IND trainset is only 4 cars and only 2 colors, brown and green. (Unless you know something I don't about the other 2 Arnine cars sitting in the Museum).

06-28-2004, 05:16 PM
After reading the theard I myself have had the same thing happen to me. Although I am not for one too complain about much I have seen a double standard. When I have had pictures turned down because they where dark and went back and corrected that problem and resubmited them they always without fail (like you found out), another problem with the pictures.
I have seen pictures that were accepted by screeners where you could not see fuel tanks and trucks period. Exposers at highnoon where of course we all know that the underframe of a locomotive is dark. Now don't get me wrong I have had photo's that were rejected like everone else were I to could see it from the screeners stand point of view. Come on whats good for the goose is good for the gander. If railpictures has a standard then live by those standards and reject and accept photographs equally across the board for everyone. I am not judging anyone here when I say this but I think the problem is lack of photography experience. Its easy to pick up a digital camera and take a picture in these days and times because the cameras are made to flat outright take a good picture. I wished that technology was around in the 70's. Old cameras auto exposerer was not all that great and manual was a pain even though thats the setting I used all the time. Its great the have a web sight like this so we can share or pictures with the world and that it has a standard so the pictures are of good quality. Lets keep it that away for all.

07-01-2004, 03:17 AM
What many colors? The IND trainset is only 4 cars and only 2 colors, brown and green. (Unless you know something I don't about the other 2 Arnine cars sitting in the Museum).

Fine, the IND Train of More Colors Than We're Used To. Happy now?

Hope you're feeling better, Dante.