View Full Version : Accepting photos

Ken Carr
07-05-2003, 01:35 AM
I really appriciate having my photos on railpictures.net. I like going to this site both to see the latest photos from other railfans and to see how my photos are doing by the number of people looking at them.
I'm still getting use to the taking pcitures and getting thme accepted, I admit I have a handicap which is I'm colorblind, so at times what looks good to me may not look to others.
But recently I have seen photos of trains where only a quarter of a side view is accepted, where I submit a locomotive with only part of a frame missing it is rejected. I do not under stand the difference. Can you please explain? I'm just trying to understand things...thanks

milepost 48.1
07-27-2003, 10:17 PM
You know I was just thinking the same thing. I'm to the point now where I think the screeners just don't like me.

08-21-2003, 05:23 AM
I wish I knew why my pictures keep getting rejected.... I have submitted seven so far (I'm new here) and they have turned away 6, two of them for having "too much grain" what ever that means. Most of my photos are wide angle shots that include all of the locomotive, with good clarity, resolution and detail. I use a digital camera, and it takes good photos. I have seen some poor examples of pictures on this site, and yet they get posted but mine do not. Is there a set of guidelines as to what is acceptable? This is frustrating.

Curtis Wininger
08-24-2003, 12:35 AM
have submitted seven so far (I'm new here) and they have turned away 6, two of them for having "too much grain" what ever that means.

That pretty much means you can see pixels or spots in your photo... it is too coarse. Using too high of an ISO setting could cause this. When you use a 100 ISO, the 'grain' size in the film or sensor is smaller so the picture is sharper, but it takes more light (slower shutter speed/larger aperture) because there are more 'grains' for the light to hit. When you use an 800 ISO, there are fewer 'grains' so you get a faster shutter speed but the picture will not be as sharp because the 'grains' are bigger.

That is just one thing that could cause the problem. I hope it helps.
I hope I made sense. Don't let my run on sentences annoy you. :)

08-25-2003, 04:14 PM
[quote="TimChgo9"]I wish I knew why my pictures keep getting rejected.

All you need to do is ask. I had a couple rejects I did not understand. I contacted the screeners and was given the reason for the rejection.

08-27-2003, 09:39 PM
That's what the "Digital processing forum" is for! Just ask away!

I think it would be the easiest if you posted the rejected pic(s) in your thread. That makes it a lot easier to tell what you are doing good and what you should improve!

Chris Starnes
08-28-2003, 03:53 PM
Yep - if you have issues with a rejection, feel free to post them here or in the digital processing forum. Be sure to include the link to the rejected photo so we can make some comments about it.


08-30-2003, 01:44 AM
There shouldn't be any screening at all. There is already a device to tell if a picture is any good and that's how many people look at it. Much like eBay users who police their own site, we should be given the freedom to post and look at what we want. There is the practical consideration of how many pictures a given site can handle and that can be overcome simply by limiting people to a finite amount of photographs they can post each month. This would also help the folks who are just a bit too fond of every picture they take to acquire some self discipline. There's people here who've posted more pictures than O. Winston Link published in 60 years of professional train photography. I've studied both and they ain't Mr. Link, none of us are! This would also lift a burden from the screeners and free us from the vague guidelines and just plain weird rejection wording we spend so much time scratching our heads over. If your pictures are good people will look at them, if they aren't - they won't. Simple as pie. The concept of keeping it pure for the convenience of the publishers has already been done in by the over-posters and was chimerical to begin with. Let the publishers wade through them just like we do. Anybody landed that big-time contract yet? I didn't think so.

08-30-2003, 04:11 AM
I wish I knew why my pictures keep getting rejected.... I have submitted seven so far (I'm new here) and they have turned away 6, two of them for having "too much grain" what ever that means. Most of my photos are wide angle shots that include all of the locomotive, with good clarity, resolution and detail. I use a digital camera, and it takes good photos. I have seen some poor examples of pictures on this site, and yet they get posted but mine do not. Is there a set of guidelines as to what is acceptable? This is frustrating.

Congratulations! You own the only digital camera in the world that exhibits grain. You should put it in a museum.:wink: Digital cameras do not exhibit grain period end of sentence. So you're correct, the criticism is meaningless. Here's a quick quote and link for back up. "While handily defeating even the best films at color fidelity, digicams also offer something no film can: a total lack of grain."

08-30-2003, 10:43 PM
No grain on a digital camera, now that would be a good idea!

It all depends on the camera. If you have a DSLR where you have to set all functions manually you may be right. If you have a standard digital camera it is entirely different.

I myself have a Sony F717, and love it to bits. Having said that, I do get grainy shots. When I move my camera (and I mostly make pics of planes making panning quite necessary) I get more grain.

Even when shooting objects that are not moving, a train at a station or a plane on the tarmac, I can get grain. It all depends on the weather and time of day. If the camera decides it is to dark it will increase the ISO rating.
I've had days that in the morning the weather was great and my shots turned out likewise. Later on the day I got overcast followed by massive rain. The result on my photo's deteriorated rapidly! Shooting at dusk does the same thing!

Depending on your settings (for instance the amount of automation or if you display ISO ratings at the display) you do not even have to realise that the camera changed the ISO rating!

08-31-2003, 02:16 AM
Good point Mr. Petertenthije, I really need to be more specific on this issue and that is the issue of vocabulary. Many of us, myself included, are new to the world of photography and we really need relevant and timely terminology in our feedback. I was not around when the filmasaurs ruled the land and thus am not conversant in non-digital terminology. This is not unusual; I drive a car, but I can't shoe a horse, nor am I familiar with the terms a ferrier may have used. Anyway, if one of us post film era folks gets something that says too much grain, we (I hope) open our digital photography books and find - nothing. I went through a half dozen digi-books last night and came up with zero references to the the term grain. One book did explain how to induce grain using Photoshop, but that's it. To be fair, I have in fact found some of the technical feedback from the screeners to be helpful and it has improved my efforts, however the world of photography is a complex one and the last thing a beginner needs is confusing or outdated terminology. Mostly, I dislike the "bad motive" thing. That's not technical, it's aesthetic censorship pure and simple. It's also counter to the stated aims of the site. I felt betrayed after finally getting the site to explain to me what the heck it meant. It was like the "too many notes" scene in Amadeus. The only thing each and every one of us has that's worth anything in this world of billions is our own true selves, if we give that up we are nothing; just ants in a long tidy line. If my concept of railroad photography includes taking pictures of a long stretch of bent and buckled rail, then so be it. I'm crazier than a flock of chickens, but then again, we all are and with any luck we'll keep hold of that lunacy and be brave enough to exhibit it. Then there's the consistency thing, but I've had my say on that. BTW I may be just a beginner, but I was cheeky enough to get myself an F717 last week. What a monster! I love it! I have yet to see anything I would call grain, but I just got the beast. You got any idea where I can find a huge portable IR flood? I'm thinking something along the lines of what the Brits used for AA lighting during the Blitz, but infrared and run on a battery. Shouldn't be too hard to find.

08-31-2003, 02:42 AM
Actually I thought Petertenthije's response was pretty good.

Anyways, if the rejection reason says "too much grain" it just means you can see the individual pixels too clearly. But I found this site is not very strict about grain (compared to JP.Net, PP.NET, and A.NET). If you look through the database, there are quite a few very grainy shots.

However, I think this site's standards on grain are quite acceptable, and no complaining should be necessary. I use a 2.4MP shit-digicam with no optical zoom! and never got a rejection for grain.

I do agree with the "Bad Motive" thing...I don't think all my "bad motive" rejections were justified and fair.

08-31-2003, 04:24 AM
The term in digital photography is "noise." Why is it a different term? Because it is produced by a different process, for one thing. Noise I can look up, grain won't help me. Unless your Memory Stick is brimming with silver emulsion, ya got noise. Behold the following quotes and all will be revealed...

"Film Grain in photographic film is due to the clumps of silver or dye in the emulsion. Different films will have larger or smaller clumps depending on many factors. Films containing large clumps are referred to as having "coarse" grain, while small clumps give a film "fine" grain.Films with a silver-based image have a coarser grain relative to their film speed than do dye-based films." http://www.sunspotphoto.com/ssp/film/grain.php

"Visually, "noise" in a digital image file creates the same sort of effect as film grain. Regardless of the way it got into your photo, the irregular speckled pattern of anything that looks like grain can be a problem."

You can call yourself Mathew Brady, your image a daguerreotype, your pc an enlarger, and name your dog Manray; that's your own lookout, but don't expect it to clarify what you're trying to communicate.

Curtis Wininger
08-31-2003, 11:59 PM
The screening process is in place to benifit the viewer. Would it really be any fun to look at pictures and have to filter through every hopper of a full length coal train. Not to mention the fact that we wouldn't be able to upgrade hardware fast enough. The coal train story may be an exaggeration, but it gets the point across... however, I don't doubt that somebody would try it and that would be "bad motive."

About the noise and grain: If it would make you happier, maybe you could tell us whether your picture is digital or film that way we know whether to put noise or grain. Or should they all be noise because, in fact, every picture we screen is a combination of 1's and 0's. We are sorry for the inconvenience we have caused.

Ken Carr
09-01-2003, 12:48 AM
Seems like we have covered the term grain and noise.
I believe that there should be standards for the submitting photos to this site. Without them this site wouldn't be what it is.
My problem is what is the standard? I submit two pictures of train yards both without trains. One accepted and the other is not the reason for the rejection " Bad motive". I submit a picture of a train going down a incline, picture is rejected I'm told to straighten the shot. One of the owners of this site submits a similiar shot, I know it's a train going down a hill, it's accepted. I submit a picture of MOW equipment a very clean action shot it's rejected reason we do not want to have pcitures of MOW equipment it takes up value space, no problem makes sense to me. I look at the new pictures there pictures of MOW equipment sitting on a track. Okay my picture is rejected due to space and the next person is accepted.
Where's is the standard? Now it's not my site and I believe there should be rules. But I like to see these rules or how these are defined, two I like to see these rules applied equally throughout. to me and it seems others there's a perception that it not equal. Bottom line I asking for information, it would save the screeners time if I knew this shot is unacceptable, wouldn't submit it. (most times) for there are shots I might submit and leave it up to the judges.

09-01-2003, 01:47 AM
Would you care to give us some examples? Like the photos you are talking about? However, I know your feeling...just look at my "Screening Consistency" post.

All in all though, this site is great! :D

09-01-2003, 11:22 PM
Great idea Curtis, I've never put the type of camera I use in the comments area simply because it didn't seem to be the S.O.P., but it would be great for posters, screeners, and viewers alike to see such information. It could also add a whole new aspect to the site. I know if I were looking to buy a new camera and could view several thousand pictures taken with a whole host of different equipment, I'd hit that site in a heartbeat. I'd also love to see what others are doing with my camera, and I'm sure we could find an easy consensus on this topic.

Curtis Wininger
09-02-2003, 01:06 AM
Although not one of our SOP's, some people have added that information in their comments section. There is also a forum where people have listed the equipment they use. This would be a great place for a person to see some examples of what the equipment they are looking into can do. That is a good idea. I would encourage anyone to e-mail a photographer who may be able to help them if they are seeking information on a product.

09-26-2003, 10:40 PM

I think I got it... it occurred to me when I was looking at a picture of mine on my laptop's LCD monitor, I then went downstairs and looked at the same picture on my 17" computer monitor, and there it was "grain" or "noise" if you will. I could see the "striping" (new term anyone?) in the picture on the laptop screen but not on the regular monitor. the picture in question was a BNSF intermodal shot with a 1.3 MP camera. What I am referring to is a definite graduation in the colors on the picture, I can't really explain it, but it was there, and it irritated me, it took a shot that looked great on my PC, and made it look like hell on my laptop. I think that's what they were getting at. I have since cured that problem with a digital camera that shoots a higher resolution, a Fuji Fine Pix S5000. prior to that I used a 2.0 MP Fuji 2650. The higher resolution makes a difference, when I look at the higher res pictures on the lap top, there is less "graduation" I guess, I am at a loss to explain it.

I'll admit, I was a bit upset at the screeners because I figured that none of my pictures would ever get through the screening process, and then, lo and behold, four pictures were approved in one day.... I was happy about that. The reason for the acceptance was the fact that I used a better camera, and got better results. I like to share my pictures, and while I am not the most knowledgeable person about railroads and such, I love shooting train pictures, and sharing them.

On the topic of being able to post without a screening process, let me tell you something. I am glad there are screeners, I have visited some sites, (one that would remain nameless) and found some pictures that were so bad that I think my 2 year old son could have done a better job. Someone may think that a photo of an Amtrak taken with a flash so all that is visible is the reflective striping may think it's cool, but perhaps not so the viewing public. I would really hate it if I searched the database for, say, "Union Pacific" and it returned 100,000 photos, and I had to wade through the crap to find the gems. At least with a screening process, you guaranteed the pictures will meet some sort of standard. Just my thoughts, that's all.

In photography as with all other forms of art, and yes, it is an art, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

09-26-2003, 10:47 PM
Congratulations on your accepted photos! :D

And yes...without screeners this wouldn't work.