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-   -   Street Scene, Too Dark (http://www.railpictures.net/forums/showthread.php?t=17388)

RobJor 02-07-2015 03:33 PM

Street Scene, Too Dark
 
http://www.railpictures.net/viewreje...38&key=4585252

Existing light. I think it is reasonable representation of scene.

Like to hear some thoughts.

Bob Jordan

miningcamper1 02-07-2015 04:04 PM

Easily lightened w/ gamma and contrast- just be sure the sky stays black.

RobJor 02-07-2015 04:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by miningcamper1 (Post 183704)
Easily lightened w/ gamma and contrast- just be sure the sky stays black.

I already lightened and darkened sky and have worked on this quite a bit, not out of box. ????
My thoughts
1) hard to tamper down the pixel bloom on the nose
2) at 1600 and already increased exposure noise will increase, there are already artifacts around the nose area in the sky.
3) at some point it is no longer what it is and becomes something that it isn't just to get accepted if that makes any sense.

Bob

wds 02-07-2015 05:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RobJor (Post 183706)
...
3) at some point it is no longer what it is and becomes something that it isn't just to get accepted if that makes any sense.

Bob

I'm firmly in your camp there Bob. I took one look at this and thought it was exactly what *night* looks like to me, but this is RP and they like all their dusk/night/dawn shots to be way lighter in appearance than reality. It's something that's stuck in my craw since day one and I blame it all on that Link feller and his ilk with their unnatural way of depicting things at night way back when. Ohh, I know I'm stepping on some tender toes here but I don't really care. I believe night is dark (except for midsummer in Polar regions) and is should be depicted that way. Unfortunately Link and all the sheep who followed along bleating happily is his footsteps are in the majority here, so you know what you've gotta do! :twisted:

Mgoldman 02-07-2015 06:41 PM

I like to use "Auto" whatever as a proofer. It's not always accurate but in this case, "auto-levels" brightens the scene ever so slightly yet it makes for a more appealing result - it basically left the yellows, but brightened the whites of the houses and snow, while at the same time, made the headlight really snap.

If you have Photoshop, or something similar with "select color range", you can sample the headlight, invert the selection and brighten everything else.

Shadows and highlights is a last resort, it will bring more overall light to the scene, but make sure to keep your blacks.

/Mitch

Mberry 02-07-2015 07:59 PM

I don't have much experience with processing night shots, so can't help you there, but seems to be leaning right to me.

JRMDC 02-07-2015 09:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by wds (Post 183708)
I'm firmly in your camp there Bob. I took one look at this and thought it was exactly what *night* looks like to me, but this is RP and they like all their dusk/night/dawn shots to be way lighter in appearance than reality. It's something that's stuck in my craw since day one and I blame it all on that Link feller and his ilk with their unnatural way of depicting things at night way back when. Ohh, I know I'm stepping on some tender toes here but I don't really care. I believe night is dark (except for midsummer in Polar regions) and is should be depicted that way. Unfortunately Link and all the sheep who followed along bleating happily is his footsteps are in the majority here, so you know what you've gotta do! :twisted:

I am sympathetic to the argument, but I also know that in urbanized areas dark is not at all dark, skies are very dark gray and not black, and sometimes the gray isn't that dark. City light brightens the sky, to a notable extent even when there are no clouds.

My kids have absolutely no clue what the milky way is all about. :( :( :(

My first issue with the shot is the color. I know aritificial light is not white but boy, that snow looks awful, looks like someone took a B/W and intentionally added an unattractive shade of sepia.

RobJor 02-08-2015 03:03 AM

Ok, for now I took easy way out and went with plan "B", an earlier train.

http://www.railpictures.net/viewphot...=518071&nseq=0


Will try to apply some ideas given and work on the original. Thanks, Bob Jordan

Noct Foamer 02-08-2015 07:52 PM

A night shot rejected because it is "too dark?" I'm shocked! This is an excellent example of photography that has advanced beyond the norm at railpix. Might be time for you to begin moving away from thinking of yourself as a "railfan" photographer and start seeing yourself as more of a fine arts photographer.


Kent in SD

bigbassloyd 02-08-2015 08:09 PM

I think you pushed the camera too far into iso land, and the image quality tells the story. I'm also pretty sure that at least 3 screeners at RP fully understand night photography, Kent. I would have rejected the first version as well, and added PIQ to it. I also would have rejected the 2nd version strictly for IQ. I'm mean when it comes to portraying the darkness, however. :)

Loyd L.

JimThias 02-09-2015 06:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Noct Foamer (Post 183725)
This is an excellent example of photography that has advanced beyond the norm at railpix.

Can you post some example images of this "norm" that this pic has advanced beyond?

hoydie17 02-09-2015 08:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bigbassloyd (Post 183726)
I think you pushed the camera too far into iso land, and the image quality tells the story. I'm also pretty sure that at least 3 screeners at RP fully understand night photography, Kent. I would have rejected the first version as well, and added PIQ to it. I also would have rejected the 2nd version strictly for IQ. I'm mean when it comes to portraying the darkness, however. :)

Loyd L.

Loyd is spot on with all points here. . . the image quality of the first one is awful, and that's more than enough to turn me off from it. Nevermind the other technical nuances.

As for the comments about Link and those that have been happily "bleating on in his footsteps"... the things I could say, but I'll simply take the high road.

JimThias 02-09-2015 08:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by hoydie17 (Post 183743)
As for the comments about Link and those that have been happily "bleating on in his footsteps"... the things I could say, but I'll simply take the high road.

You were the first person I thought of when I read that. What, now using a flash to illuminate a subject at night is unacceptable?

hoydie17 02-09-2015 08:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JimThias (Post 183744)
You were the first person I thought of when I read that. What, now using a flash to illuminate a subject at night is unacceptable?

Generally only to those who are jealous of the ability to do so, or lack the requisite understanding of the technique. But that's based only on my experience with the "day walkers"...

Chase55671 02-09-2015 11:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by hoydie17 (Post 183748)
Generally only to those who are jealous of the ability to do so, or lack the requisite understanding of the technique. But that's based only on my experience with the "day walkers"...

When I grow up, I want to be just like Sean Hoyden.

hoydie17 02-09-2015 11:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chase55671 (Post 183750)
When I grow up, I want to be just like Sean Hoyden.

Lofty goal, but keep working at it... you'll get there. ;-)

I should note, that it would be quite a step backwards... but hey, I'm not one to get between someone and their dream.

Noct Foamer 02-10-2015 03:52 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JimThias (Post 183733)
Can you post some example images of this "norm" that this pic has advanced beyond?


Go to "Shots uploaded today", any day, and pick 3 from any 5.


Kent in SD

JimThias 02-10-2015 12:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Noct Foamer (Post 183754)
Go to "Shots uploaded today", any day, and pick 3 from any 5.


Kent in SD

Oh, I thought you were referring to night photography "norm" on RP. How about some examples of that on RP which this rejection has advanced beyond?

Noct Foamer 02-10-2015 01:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JimThias (Post 183755)
Oh, I thought you were referring to night photography "norm" on RP. How about some examples of that on RP which this rejection has advanced beyond?


Find your own. I'm not going to embarrass anyone by singling out specific photos.


Kent in SD

bigbassloyd 02-10-2015 04:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by wds (Post 183708)
I'm firmly in your camp there Bob. I took one look at this and thought it was exactly what *night* looks like to me, but this is RP and they like all their dusk/night/dawn shots to be way lighter in appearance than reality. It's something that's stuck in my craw since day one and I blame it all on that Link feller and his ilk with their unnatural way of depicting things at night way back when. Ohh, I know I'm stepping on some tender toes here but I don't really care. I believe night is dark (except for midsummer in Polar regions) and is should be depicted that way. Unfortunately Link and all the sheep who followed along bleating happily is his footsteps are in the majority here, so you know what you've gotta do! :twisted:

Your portfolio is much more sheepier than mine. ;)

Death to boring photography!

BAAA! :D

Loyd L.

wds 02-10-2015 11:45 PM

By now you guys may or may not have noticed that I occasionally like to make extreme statements to either help make a point or just to entertain myself watching other peoples' reactions, and sometimes a bit of both! ;) Regardless first let's get something straight; I am a creature of the night. I have been a creature of the night since the end of the '60s, when I made my first forays into the workforce. Since that time I have put in over a couple of decades worth of graveyard shift, trying to avoid days as much as possible. Even to this day, coming up to my fifth year of retirement I still tend to stay awake at night and sleep away the day. So I know what night looks like, in the city and in the sticks. I know the Aurora Borealis and the Milky Way, I have a love/hate relationship with mercury and sodium vapor lighting. Incandescent and fluorescent also, but more because that's the line of work I was in for the last 25 years of my working life. It is because I know the night so intimately that I developed a dislike for certain types of imagery depicting the night. I'm not a stranger to flash, having had a couple of studio units along with umbrellas, diffusers, reflectors and all that jazz back in the '80s for doing portraiture and weddings - a (side)line of work I was more or less forced into by demand of others. I finally refused to do any more of it because, while I did enjoy the technical side I (surprise, surprise) just don't like people all that much. Judy says I'm a lot like Walter Matthau in Grumpy Old Men, but I'm pretty sure I had it in me long before that movie came out. Hence my affinity for working night shift. Although we were scheduled to rotate shifts those of us who stayed on nights traded shifts in order to do that. It was a different life and we were a different breed. We didn't just venture into the night to be "cool", we lived it because it was in our blood.

Another thing about me, I don't like squash or sweet potatoes. People have tried to force me to like squash and sweet potatoes (yams) for 60 years, but I still don't! Judy and I used to spend a week or two each summer at a resort that had a noted chef (don't remember his name because I'm not into that sort of thing). I was told that I would like his butternut squash and sweet potatoes. I did not. I didn't want to offend him, but I still didn't eat the stuff after the first bite. So my point is, you can't make me like something I don't, no matter how good at growing or cooking the damn yams you are. It's not that I don't try, it's just not in my constitution. And it's not that I'm jealous of your gardening and/or culinary skills either! :lol:

My main concern is that we get force-fed artificially lit or overexposed night/dawn/dusk images here because that is RP's preference. There's nothing wrong with that, but it's not my cup of tea and the alternatives are not given equal due. Anyone who spends enough time here on this forum has seen countless examples of photographers who had shots rejected for underexposure saying "Well, that's what it looked like in real life." I enjoy viewing those rejected shots and think they have a place on the database. In the country night is about muted colors, highlights and shadows. In the city it's about multiple sources and temperatures of light, and the blending or the battles of those sources and colors. To my eye flash is too harsh and directional, even with multiple flashes. It was not my intent to call out any one photographer. Loyd, Sean you guys have some phenomenal work there, as do Knapp and Burkholder. It just happens that some of it doesn't appeal to me personally. I don't want to trivialize the skill and effort put into it but I do want to see RP opening their horizons to encompass more naturally illuminated images with exposures that represent the dark of night.

As for the photo in question - yes it does have some quality issues but I don't think they're insurmountable. There's also a yellow cast to the snow where it's lit by sodium vapor illumination. I'm used to snow (and most everything else) appearing yellow under sodium vapor - and not just because that's "where the Huskies go"! Bob stated he thought it as a reasonable representation of the scene. I'm inclined to agree.

Chase55671 02-11-2015 12:20 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by hoydie17 (Post 183751)
Lofty goal, but keep working at it... you'll get there. ;-)

I should note, that it would be quite a step backwards... but hey, I'm not one to get between someone and their dream.

The only problem with your photography Sean is that you simply do not share it with the RP community enough! :)

Chase

JRMDC 02-11-2015 12:23 AM

I can understand about the yams / sweet potatoes - BTW, yams are not true yams!

http://www.thekitchn.com/whats-the-d...f-mouth-211176

But butternut squash????? I "discovered" butternut squash a few months ago in terms of it being something I can make at home (I've always loved butternut squash soup in a restaurant). I have it all the time! Tastes vary ...

I hear you on the night light. I am a big fan of Tom Nanos' night photography for that reason, more subtle. I would not say that the "bank of flashes" stuff is bad, not at all, but I favor the work with less light. I do see that, over time, people have been cutting down on the intensity of the light from the flashes.

wds 02-11-2015 02:07 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JRMDC (Post 183760)
I can understand about the yams / sweet potatoes - BTW, yams are not true yams!

http://www.thekitchn.com/whats-the-d...f-mouth-211176

But butternut squash????? I "discovered" butternut squash a few months ago in terms of it being something I can make at home (I've always loved butternut squash soup in a restaurant). I have it all the time! Tastes vary ...

Dang grocery stores! Still don't like 'em no matter what they call 'em!

Quote:

Originally Posted by JRMDC (Post 183760)
I hear you on the night light. I am a big fan of Tom Nanos' night photography for that reason, more subtle. I would not say that the "bank of flashes" stuff is bad, not at all, but I favor the work with less light. I do see that, over time, people have been cutting down on the intensity of the light from the flashes.

I have noticed that trend also, and I do find it somewhat more palatable to my tastes.

Noct Foamer 02-11-2015 05:04 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by wds (Post 183758)
In the city it's about multiple sources and temperatures of light, and the blending or the battles of those sources and colors. To my eye flash is too harsh and directional, even with multiple flashes. It was not my intent to call out any one photographer.


I've been doing flash shots for over nine years now (just got home from another chase,) and ambient light night shots since about 1993. I enjoy all of it. There are two things that I like about using flash: (1) it's more of a challenge than day (2) I love the stark, harsh look I get. During the day I am stuck with the light I am given, and have to work around it. At night I'm given a blank canvas, pretty much. I have considerably more control over content, and most importantly mood. I generally use as little light as I need to set the mood, but sometimes that's still a LOT (I have >10,000ws along with me.) Out here in the West the things I photo tend to be either very big (grain complex three blocks long) or distant (bridges over wide rivers.) I love to do reflection shots in water, and for that I generally need big pow-pow-power to pull off with enough DoF. Generally I am using just enough flash to separate my subjects from the surrounding blackness. My running theme has mostly been "trains emerging from the night only to quickly disappear back into the darkness." Lately I've been shooting 4x5 sheets of HP5 at night, and that requires enough flash to give me f8 at ISO 800. Even with snow, that's a LOT of power! As far as I know, I'm the only one out there still shooting trains at night with 4x5. All types of photography are personal preference, of course. I'm really not trying to please anyone else; just mainly trying to challenge myself. If someone likes my shots I see that as a bonus.

I see daytime foamer photography as similar to antelope hunting. The idea is to move fast, cover a lot of ground, and you generally need to get off several shots on the run. Night photography is more like duck hunting. You need a strategy on where to place the decoys, note the wind direction, pick a good spot, and be prepared to sit for hours in the cold. I actually enjoy both, but duck hunting is just a bit more challenging for me. And besides, I do my best working sitting around, casually drinking a good root beer while waiting for something to show up. :smile:


Kent in SD

Noct Foamer 02-11-2015 05:41 AM

I'll add, along with several hundred other trains in the Upper Midwest, I have managed to catch the UP 3985 and the UP 844 rolling fast in the dark on three occasions. As far as I know I'm the only one to have them, and I couldn't have done it without big flash. Have also caught several other steamers rolling at night--those dull black engines can really soak up the light!


Kent in SD

wds 02-11-2015 06:44 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Noct Foamer (Post 183762)
...I love the stark, harsh look I get...

You like it for the exact reason that I do not. To each his own I guess. ;)

Noct Foamer 02-11-2015 01:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by wds (Post 183764)
You like it for the exact reason that I do not. To each his own I guess. ;)


The problem with flash is that to get a softer look, you must either move the flash closer or make the light source bigger than your subject. That would mean making a softbox bigger than a Dash-9! I've actually figured out a way to do it, and have taken a few of those shots in the past. It's not very practical though. The light was very, very soft however. But, I can get soft light in fog or overcast days. I can't get that harsh look any other way. To me, the light is the most important thing in a shot, not the train or whatever.


Kent in SD

bigbassloyd 02-11-2015 05:02 PM

1 Attachment(s)
http://forums.railpictures.net/attac...1&d=1423674148

WV at night.

That is all

Loyd L.

bigbassloyd 02-11-2015 05:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chase55671 (Post 183759)
The only problem with your photography Sean is that you simply do not share it with the RP community enough! :)

Chase

I agree. I hate having to dig through flickr to find your work Sean. So stop it. :D

Loyd L.

hoydie17 02-11-2015 08:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bigbassloyd (Post 183769)
I agree. I hate having to dig through flickr to find your work Sean. So stop it. :D

Loyd L.

Simply put, the time required to upload and deal with the minor tweaks sometimes required of RP's "standards" is more effort than it has proven to be worth. It's no secret, I make money off of my photography, and in the several years I've uploaded stuff to RP.net, I have yet to get a single client referral or even so much as a request to buy a print.

I started my FLICKR stream about 2 years ago, and within a few months, it became one of my best lead generators. Partially, I think this is because FLICKR has a much wider and diverse audience (read as: not everyone is a train buff), and you are able to better "optimize" your material to make it more likely to come up in searches. I have become pretty religious to adding keywords to all of my photos, and I'm told by some of my clients that it is how they found me.

In any case, a more than full-time job, a family, plus my photography business makes me busier than a one legged man in an ass-kicking contest now. Adding photos to a website that is little more than (in its present form) a stock photography database of train photos is not a good investment of time and energy. Especially when the screening standards are so inconsistently applied from screener to screener. I just don't have the desire or the interest to send a photo in, have it rejected for a rather innocuous reason, and then go back and tweak it for acceptance. I'd rather invest that time in FLICKR and social media which has actually led to revenue. My new website is going through its final touches now, but that's still a few weeks away from "official" opening.

Simply put, not everyone is into railroad photography as a hobby, or a historical interest. There are a few of us out here that use it as a source of revenue, as surprising as that may be. There are people out there who like pictures of trains or railroad related subjects for a variety of reasons from artistic interest to interior decorating. Unfortunately, many of those prospective clients have no idea what Railpictures.net is, nor do they care to learn. If you're a railfan, it's a pretty good chance you've heard of this site, if you're an interior decorator looking to deck out a basement in an "industrial theme" then you probably haven't a clue what RP.net could do for you.

JimThias 02-12-2015 10:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by hoydie17 (Post 183771)
It's no secret, I make money off of my photography, and in the several years I've uploaded stuff to RP.net, I have yet to get a single client referral or even so much as a request to buy a print.

Just the opposite for me. $$$ for pics found on RP, nothing for what I've had on flickr for the past 2+ years.

hoydie17 02-13-2015 04:00 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JimThias (Post 183773)
Just the opposite for me. $$$ for pics found on RP, nothing for what I've had on flickr for the past 2+ years.

A mystery wrapped in an enigma I suppose...

miningcamper1 02-13-2015 05:40 AM

All the requests for use I've received have come from here...:):)
...but all for $0.00, a.k.a. "free". :-(:-(

JimThias 02-13-2015 12:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by hoydie17 (Post 183774)
A mystery wrapped in an enigma I suppose...

I just checked my flickr mail and someone from Kalmbach Publishing contacted me to use a photo they found on RP. :lol:

bigbassloyd 02-13-2015 01:18 PM

The hits from RP have slowed down considerably, no doubt from my lack of participation. :D The other venues with the exception of flickr have done me quite well, especially with the serious photography (not trains).

Loyd L.

Noct Foamer 02-13-2015 01:42 PM

Most of what I sell comes from me directly marketing it. Back in the 1990s I was shooting a lot of stock, mostly of agricultural and winter scenes. This is why I originally bought a Hassleblad and 4x5--they gave me an advantage over competitors. My plan was to build up a large portfolio of these kinds of photos and sell them through regional stock agencies. This would have allowed me to retire at 60 with a very good income. In 1995, how could I know the entire stock photo business would collapse by 2005? The result was I got into wedding, portrait, and some specialty commercial work, all somewhat reluctantly. If I screw up a stock photo, no one knows, I simply toss it. If I screw up wedding photos, there would be hell to pay. Thus, it's not really much fun.


Kent in SD

miningcamper1 02-13-2015 04:27 PM

Did one wedding (after intense pressure from family).
They were pleased, but it was way more stressful than chasing trains.

JimThias 02-14-2015 03:00 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bigbassloyd (Post 183777)
Ever call in a railroad crew for ruining your precious little wedgie? I hope you're proud of yourself.

I'm really surprised a thread wasn't started here on this topic. :twisted:

bigbassloyd 02-14-2015 01:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JimThias (Post 183783)
I'm really surprised a thread wasn't started here on this topic. :twisted:

As was I.

Loyd L.


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