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Old 03-18-2008, 10:02 PM   #3
LA&SL Fanatic
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Posts: 700

Cropping is the least of your worries on this one I'm afraid. It's poorly lit due to cloudy skies. There is a ghost of the headlight to the right of the lower-right ditchlight. The image is also soft, possibly due to camera shake in the low light.

Finally, there really isn't anything of interest in the shot. The train favors a vertical crop, but all you'd see is ground and sky. When composing shots, be sure to fill the frame as best as you can with objects of interest. These include the main subject of course, but secondary objects can be almost anything, such as a building, mountains, a pretty sky, a nice foreground scene, or countless other things. Unfortunately, these objects of interest are subjective, and a lot of it depends on presentation. For instance, I don't find the forest, sky or ground that interesting in your photo, so in your shoes, I would have filled the frame with the train. The Composition/Balance rejection is commonly seen nowadays. Other posters will harp on the "Rule of Thirds" for composition. I don't follow the "Rule of Thirds" as religiously as some posters, as I think that there are cases where the "Rule of Thirds" leads to unattractive crops. Following my objects of interest thought, when I crop a photo for publication to Railpictures, I imagine it being balanced on the very center of the photo. I try to crop my photos so that if you imagined the objects of interest as being weights, they would all balance around that point. Looking at my photos, however, you'll see that a lot of times this ends up following the "Rule of Thirds". I hope that load of gibberish helps you with composition. This photo won't make it on, but find some good light with a nicely composed shot and you'll have a winner of a shot.
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