Thread: more Rejections
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Old 03-27-2007, 04:25 PM   #44
a231pacific
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Glad to see you are getting engaged in what these forums are all about...sharing ideas and improving photographic skills.

I agree, there are people with an eye for photography. I know several of them and after watching them closely over the years, I realize that it is a gift. The rest of us can learn to take some pretty darn good pictures, but that next level that makes one an artist may be beyond us. Personally, I don't worry about it.

Sounds like Wet Rails' first step is to figure out why his camera does what it does. Does it spot meter, average meter or center weight? Of his two Cokato shots, one was too dark and one was to light. The dark one may have been reading off the headlights of the locomotives, or off the sky. The too light one was evidently reading off the black tank cars and trying to turn them into 18% gray, which is what light meters do. Learning how to manually set exposures or how to trick the auto into doing what you want is an important first step.

Next, recognize that gray day shots probably aren't going to make it on RP, unless they are extraordinary. We all have dark day shots that we thought were pretty neat, but generally the screeners won't agree. If it's raining, you need light reflecting off rails, reflections in puddles, dramatic fog or clouds, etc. Take a look at the Screener's Choices. There are some shots in there by Kerry Klarr and others that will show you how you can make unusual lighting, or lack thereof, succeed.

Look at the work of others and see if you can figure out what they are doing and how you can learn from them. Since RP has a great search function, figure out who the good shooters are and take some time and scroll through their past work. Here are two samples from one of RP's best young photographers.

Image © Andrew Blaszczyk (2)
PhotoID: 172929
Photograph © Andrew Blaszczyk (2)


Image © Andrew Blaszczyk (2)
PhotoID: 172838
Photograph © Andrew Blaszczyk (2)


I chose them because they have some of the same ideas as your "Cokato-MN" photo, with the use of blur. Do some exploring and I'm sure you will find plenty of shots to learn from or be inspired by.

Good luck.

Michael Allen
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