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-   -   What is wrong with this picture?? (http://www.railpictures.net/forums/showthread.php?t=18330)

fortis 04-14-2020 10:16 AM

What is wrong with this picture??
 
Ok I have to ask.
I am an amateur photographer and I like trains. I don't claim to be a good train photographer but from hundreds of pictures, I submitted my best to Railpictures.net so I could share them with other train fans. We are talking about 5-6 pictures. My absolute best.
All of them were rejected.

So I have to ask.
What is wrong with this tram picture from Budapest?


https://www.railpictures.net/viewrej...06&key=9517078

I don't want to brag but I think it is a fine piece of tram-photography.
The light is sweet. The background is interesting and the tram itself is fantastic.

I would think that the photo is at least good enough to be part of this web-site. Maybe not a top-shot but better than a lot of pictures that I have seen in here.

The reason for rejection was: "Lighting (Cloudy): Cloudy day shots of common/standard power, as well as cloudy images of common/standard angles and scenes, are generally not accepted."

Please be honest because I don't get it.
Thank you

RobJor 04-14-2020 11:25 AM

So what is the business theory, reject everything from a first time contributor and hope they go away? This was similar to my experience, I hung on but how many others just went away?

As far as the photo, it seems you have the wrong description, I don't see any snow. then maybe include a little description of location, buildings.

Trams in general are not in the mainstream of this site. I'd like to see more of the street scene, looks like a neat location so I think you want to place the tram in its environment as this the appeal, Eastern Europe has so much to offer. Some of the best are also at night or low light.

With the proper description, not sure what would be the harm of accepting. We certainly get our daily fill of CN in the mountains, drone shots of some rail yard, generic euro express trains somewhere etc. NS at CP blah blah.

Bob Jordan

miningcamper1 04-14-2020 12:26 PM

1 Attachment(s)
My first impressions- a bit dull, and a bit too "in your face".

What I would try:

Decapod401 04-14-2020 12:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by fortis (Post 196361)

The reason for rejection was: "Lighting (Cloudy): Cloudy day shots of common/standard power, as well as cloudy images of common/standard angles and scenes, are generally not accepted."

Please be honest because I don't get it.
Thank you

I think that the rejection is fairly self-explanatory. Generally, contemporary cloudy-day images that could be repeated in better light tomorrow don't get accepted. Exceptions that get accepted are historical images that can't be repeated and "moody" bad-weather shots.

Your example has very flat lighting and is of a subject that can be accessed on a regular basis, no matter where it was taken. As miningcamper said, there is a little two much tram and too little background, which may also warrant a composition/balance rejection.

Decapod401 04-14-2020 01:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RobJor (Post 196362)
So what is the business theory, reject everything from a first time contributor and hope they go away? This was similar to my experience, I hung on but how many others just went away?

With the proper description, not sure what would be the harm of accepting. We certainly get our daily fill of CN in the mountains, drone shots of some rail yard, generic euro express trains somewhere etc. NS at CP blah blah.

Bob Jordan

Although accepted shots that may be sub-par are frequently discussed here, they are from photographers who have a body of work that usually meets RP's standards. While I understand your point, I don't agree that lowering the bar is the best way to get new contributors on board. It adds mediocre images to the database, and does nothing to set expectations that the site that purports to have "The best railroad photos on the net" has standards that have to be met.

I'm sure that most frequent contributors had things to learn via the rejection process as they joined the site, and continue to receive the occasional rejection. I know that has been my experience. I've looked at some of the "rejected by RP" sour grapes sites, and the photography is generally not very good. A new contributor's attitude is what determines whether they will flourish at RP. If they want to learn how to better their submissions, they can become successful. If they think that they are above needing improvement, they probably aren't.

RobJor 04-14-2020 01:47 PM

Doug, look at the first 72 today. I am not going to mention names directly but one person must have near 20. Many of the other names I saw yesterday with multiple photos, I saw the day before, I will see tomorrow and the day after. I don't think this is healthy. So they learned the formula of acceptance. I respect what what you do. Moderation, variety, selection, not clogging things up with the same thing.

Here is where I come from in my experience, Below is my first photo which was rejected, then accepted on appeal, number 2 is a slightly adjusted version of a rejection. Yes I learned from rejection but that is only part of the learning process. I took 6 months off and came close to never returning(could be what screeners would have preferred).

[photoid=469161]

[photoid=469468]

Bob

fortis 04-14-2020 02:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Decapod401 (Post 196365)
I think that the rejection is fairly self-explanatory. Generally, contemporary cloudy-day images that could be repeated in better light tomorrow don't get accepted. Exceptions that get accepted are historical images that can't be repeated and "moody" bad-weather shots.

Your example has very flat lighting and is of a subject that can be accessed on a regular basis, no matter where it was taken. As miningcamper said, there is a little two much tram and too little background, which may also warrant a composition/balance rejection.

Sorry but it was not a cloudy day. The picture was shot during the golden hour with the mild sunlight in front of the tram.
From what I get here, more sunlight is of the essence. Ok.

"Too much tram and too little background" comment is duly noted.

I am not sure I understand what you mean when you say that the subject can be accessed on a regular basis. I believe that material from European rail-urban transport is quite rare on this website. On the contrary, material from US freight transport, of locomotives that look more or less the same but have different livery, is just too common here.

Quote:

Although accepted shots that may be sub-par are frequently discussed here, they are from photographers who have a body of work that usually meets RP's standards. While I understand your point, I don't agree that lowering the bar is the best way to get new contributors on board. It adds mediocre images to the database, and does nothing to set expectations that the site that purports to have "The best railroad photos on the net" has standards that have to be met.
....

I never asked for a mediocre picture of mine to be accepted. But on the same principle you would expect mediocre pictures of "established" contributors to be rejected as well.

Decapod401 04-14-2020 02:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RobJor (Post 196367)
Doug, look at the first 72 today. I am not going to mention names directly but one person must have near 20. Many of the other names I saw yesterday with multiple photos, I saw the day before, I will see tomorrow and the day after. I don't think this is healthy. So they learned the formula of acceptance. I respect what what you do. Moderation, variety, selection, not clogging things up with the same thing.

I fully agree with you. These guys disappear from the site for months, and then think that they have to do a VGER (Star Trek reference) data dump to get caught up. I would be much more inclined to look at their stuff if they only submitted a few per day.

Quote:

Originally Posted by RobJor (Post 196367)
Here is where I come from in my experience, Below is my first photo which was rejected, then accepted on appeal, number 2 is a slightly adjusted version of a rejection. Yes I learned from rejection but that is only part of the learning process. I took 6 months off and came close to never returning(could be what screeners would have preferred).

[photoid=469161]

[photoid=469468]

Bob

I doubt that the screeners would have preferred to have you leave. I do think that early warranted rejections are better than having a new contributor try to figure out why subsequent mediocre images are rejected when they probably meet the "standard" of a previous acceptance.

Decapod401 04-14-2020 03:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by fortis (Post 196368)
Sorry but it was not a cloudy day. The picture was shot during the golden hour with the mild sunlight in front of the tram.
From what I get here, more sunlight is of the essence. Ok.

Your rejected photo is flat and the sky is grey, implying that it is a cloudy day. Do you use a photo editor? Miningcamper's edit gives it a better appearance, mainly through the addition of contrast.

Quote:

Originally Posted by fortis (Post 196368)
I am not sure I understand what you mean when you say that the subject can be accessed on a regular basis. I believe that material from European rail-urban transport is quite rare on this website. On the contrary, material from US freight transport, of locomotives that look more or less the same but have different livery, is just too common here.

I never asked for a mediocre picture of mine to be accepted. But on the same principle you would expect mediocre pictures of "established" contributors to be rejected as well.

Rarity does not depend on the location of the photo, except in the case of high-security or inaccessible sites where the trains are rarely seen by anyone but employees. A photo of a regularly-running tram on a public street can be taken by anyone that it passes, so it is not "rare". While I prefer to see variety here, repetition does not define mediocrity. If a photo stands on its own technical merits it will be accepted here.

RobJor 04-14-2020 03:26 PM

I am not above researching on this site or google for ideas. For example here is one, a crime it only got a 1000 views, wonderful photo. One way to learn what is accepted is to browse the site, I used the site search for Budapest, lot of other stuff showed up but there were some trams. If I lived there I would be out here with a tripod at the blue hour or night.

[photoid=719989]

Bob

Oh, and something I learned hard way, best not to "argue" with replies, take it in, for what it is worth.

bigbassloyd 04-14-2020 03:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by fortis (Post 196368)
Sorry but it was not a cloudy day.

and

Quote:

The picture was shot during the golden hour with the mild sunlight in front of the tram.
If the photo doesn't convey that information, I would consider that an issue. Your rejected photo looks as if the conditions were cloudy. The colors and contrast are quite dull throughout.

Loyd L.

miningcamper1 04-14-2020 05:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RobJor (Post 196371)
I am not above researching on this site or google for ideas. For example here is one, a crime it only got a 1000 views, wonderful photo.

[photoid=719989]

Bob

Yes, that is a wonderful photo (even with the rightward lean :wink:). The photographer might have mentioned that we're in Kossuth Square opposite Parliament. Too bad the tram isn't reflected in the pool.

KevinM 04-14-2020 06:59 PM

A couple of my impressions....

I agree with the folks who said the tram photo is cropped too tightly. European cities often have tons more character than what we see in the US, so I'd be totally in favor of shooting that scene wider, and giving the viewer something besides the tram to enjoy. In most cases, I'm not a fan of in-your-face photography when it comes to trains.

WRT the lighting, my impression is that yes, the sun was likely visible, but it was likely also filtered by a layer of cirrus clouds. It's like putting a big ND filter on the sun. It ain't the same as full sunlight. That said, it beats the crap out of a dull, grey overcast in January. I think that such lighting can be processed to look decent, and I think that adding some additional scenery would up the interest level of that photo significantly.

BTW, I'll second (third, fourth) what others have said about quality over quantity when it comes to posting images here. As an old-timer here, I have something more than 2,000 images on the site.....at a rate of perhaps 5 or 6 a week. I theoretically have 10 upload slots, but you'll virtually never see anything like that from me. The two things I consider most important when posting here are: Quality and Variety, in that order. If the quality suffers, or the images start to all look the same over time, the audience gets bored and moves on. Just my $.02. ;-)

John Russell - NZ 04-14-2020 09:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by miningcamper1 (Post 196363)
My first impressions- a bit dull, and a bit too "in your face".

What I would try:

Wow! That's great photo enhancement editing. I'd like to see the response for a version like that. What editing software was used?
My thoughts are that a new poster probably should stick to trains for their first photo uploads rather than almost modern non-US trams. I don't know what the other rejected photos were of though. Great to spice up a train shot gallery with a few trams once established, of course.

miningcamper1 04-15-2020 05:01 AM

1 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by John Russell - NZ (Post 196379)
Wow! That's great photo enhancement editing. I'd like to see the response for a version like that. What editing software was used?

Thanks! Glad you like it. It's mostly the Photos editor in Windows 8.1.

This was an Auto fix one-click selection. The editor offers 5 different auto versions plus the usual contrast, light, and color adjustments.

John Russell - NZ 04-15-2020 07:24 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by miningcamper1 (Post 196382)
Thanks! Glad you like it. It's mostly the Photos editor in Windows 8.1.

This was an Auto fix one-click selection. The editor offers 5 different auto versions plus the usual contrast, light, and color adjustments.

It seems the original submission may have had little or no photo editing at all then which perhaps the other rejected images could have benefited from. I've not played with Windows Photo Editor but some train photogs here use it. Was your result for this one typical or lucky?

miningcamper1 04-15-2020 07:43 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by John Russell - NZ (Post 196383)
It seems the original submission may have had little or no photo editing at all then which perhaps the other rejected images could have benefited from. I've not played with Windows Photo Editor but some train photogs here use it. Was your result for this one typical or lucky?

Typical!
I use three editors (also IrfanView and SnagIt), but I usually try Windows 8.1 first. These three usually do almost anything that I want, so I've never tried Photoshop.

fortis 04-15-2020 08:53 AM

Thank you all for your comments.
It feels a bit harsh to hear that my picture is dull but it is useful.
Thank you again

KevinM 04-15-2020 03:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by fortis (Post 196385)
Thank you all for your comments.
It feels a bit harsh to hear that my picture is dull but it is useful.
Thank you again

I think that virtually everyone who joins this site as a contributor thinks their stuff is pretty good when they start submitting. I was in that boat. It was only after countless rejections and lots of time spent looking at the photos of others, including those of friends I see on charters all the time, that I realized that my concept of "good" needed some serious calibration. Strictly applied, the RP standards go way beyond what most folks think is an decent photo. I see stuff posted in RR forums all the time, by folks who claim to be professionals, that is not up to snuff with some of the "unpaid" professionals here.

Even after I more or less figured out the "RP recipe", it still occurred to me that when compared to the better photographers here, my stuff lacked contrast and sharpness, and that I still didn't have an "eye" for great composition. Some of those things are fixable but I have not found that talking to other photographers is all that helpful. Some really do want to help, but their techniques and work-flow may be so different from your own that their tips may not be all that useful unless you want to upend your world. And then there are the photographers who won't talk about their techniques, as if they are military secrets. Don't get me started about them. :)

Honestly, I think I personally get better by closely studying the work of people whose images impress me. If I can watch them in-person at an event, that helps too. I also watch a lot of YouTube videos. Yes, there are some good ones out there.......among fields of weeds. Finally, it takes a lot of experimentation, and recording what you do to images for later reference. It's like a science project. I am an Engineer, not an Artist. Knowing the formulas that lead to failures is just as important as knowing the formulas that lead to success. If you experiment and never record anything, you may just keep repeating the same old mistakes.

Decapod401 04-16-2020 01:59 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by fortis (Post 196361)
Ok I have to ask.
I am an amateur photographer and I like trains. I don't claim to be a good train photographer but from hundreds of pictures, I submitted my best to Railpictures.net so I could share them with other train fans. We are talking about 5-6 pictures. My absolute best.
All of them were rejected.

So I have to ask.
What is wrong with this tram picture from Budapest?


https://www.railpictures.net/viewrej...06&key=9517078

I don't want to brag but I think it is a fine piece of tram-photography.
The light is sweet. The background is interesting and the tram itself is fantastic.

I would think that the photo is at least good enough to be part of this web-site. Maybe not a top-shot but better than a lot of pictures that I have seen in here.

The reason for rejection was: "Lighting (Cloudy): Cloudy day shots of common/standard power, as well as cloudy images of common/standard angles and scenes, are generally not accepted."

Please be honest because I don't get it.
Thank you

I dug into a wayback machine and found an old post of mine responding to a new-to-RP frustrated contributor. Here are some excerpts:

If you intend to use RP as a learning tool, read the beginner's guide (link below) and some of the forum threads dealing with rejections. My recommendation is to wait until after you have absorbed this material before submitting again. Then go back and look at your own photos with a very critical eye, and only submit photos that have no flaws that you can see. You will still get rejections (we all do), but you will improve your percentages. If you submit photos to simply learn how to take better images, you will find RP and its forums a very frustrating place.

Rule #1 is that criticisms are about your photograph, not about you. If you ask for advice, the people here on the forums will be brutally honest, but honesty will help your photography, as long as you don't let emotions get in the way.

http://forums.railpictures.net/showthread.php?t=11436

fortis 04-16-2020 02:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Decapod401 (Post 196390)
I dug into a wayback machine and found an old post of mine responding to a new-to-RP frustrated contributor. Here are some excerpts:
http://forums.railpictures.net/showthread.php?t=11436

Thank you. That is very useful

fortis 04-16-2020 03:06 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by KevinM (Post 196387)
I think that virtually everyone who joins this site as a contributor thinks their stuff is pretty good when they start submitting. I was in that boat. It was only after countless rejections and lots of time spent looking at the photos of others, including those of friends I see on charters all the time, that I realized that my concept of "good" needed some serious calibration. Strictly applied, the RP standards go way beyond what most folks think is an decent photo. I see stuff posted in RR forums all the time, by folks who claim to be professionals, that is not up to snuff with some of the "unpaid" professionals here.

Even after I more or less figured out the "RP recipe", it still occurred to me that when compared to the better photographers here, my stuff lacked contrast and sharpness, and that I still didn't have an "eye" for great composition. Some of those things are fixable but I have not found that talking to other photographers is all that helpful. Some really do want to help, but their techniques and work-flow may be so different from your own that their tips may not be all that useful unless you want to upend your world. And then there are the photographers who won't talk about their techniques, as if they are military secrets. Don't get me started about them. :)

Honestly, I think I personally get better by closely studying the work of people whose images impress me. If I can watch them in-person at an event, that helps too. I also watch a lot of YouTube videos. Yes, there are some good ones out there.......among fields of weeds. Finally, it takes a lot of experimentation, and recording what you do to images for later reference. It's like a science project. I am an Engineer, not an Artist. Knowing the formulas that lead to failures is just as important as knowing the formulas that lead to success. If you experiment and never record anything, you may just keep repeating the same old mistakes.


I understand what you mean. Photography is my hobby and I think I am decent at it. This is my Flickr page by the way:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/11199190@N03/

So I have done the process you describe (looking at great pictures of others and try to match them) for normal photography.
I understand that train photography however, is a totally different thing and that special qualities and standards are required. Especially for a site like this.
I still need to develop the eye for spotting these qualities that make a train picture better.
I'll try again.
Thank you for your advice.

JimThias 04-16-2020 08:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by fortis (Post 196385)
Thank you all for your comments.
It feels a bit harsh to hear that my picture is dull but it is useful.
Thank you again

What you've essentially posted is a roster shot of a tram. Those just aren't very popular on RP. There is a street scene begging to be seen in that location, so you definitely need to go wider...MUCH wider. The viewer needs to see more interest instead of a tightly cropped shot of what is essentially a city bus on rails. SHOW US MORE OF THE CITY! :smile:

As far the lighting, I don't mind it all, but as Loyd mentioned above, the image looks flat. It's needs something to make it pop more...a boost in contrast, saturation, vibrance. I just took a look at your flickr page and I see a lot of images that have been juiced up quite a bit, so it's obvious you know how to use those processing tools.

nikos1 04-16-2020 09:00 PM

Sorry to be a dick but not sure why you are so intent on defending this shot, I looked at your Flickr and this shot is the least interesting of all of what I saw on there. I've been to this spot and the big scene is very interesting, you can get much better light too.
For example....
https://www.flickr.com/photos/12662164@N00/49782188021

KevinM 04-17-2020 12:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by nikos1 (Post 196394)
Sorry to be a dick but not sure why you are so intent on defending this shot, I looked at your Flickr and this shot is the least interesting of all of what I saw on there. I've been to this spot and the big scene is very interesting, you can get much better light too.
For example....
https://www.flickr.com/photos/12662164@N00/49782188021


Good Lord! When you have images like that, why post the photo we are all talking about? The image Nikos dug up beats the heck out of the rejected one. It's as if the screener was saying: "Dude, why are you giving me this, when I know you have better stuff?"


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