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Old 01-22-2012, 05:46 PM   #21
Ron Flanary
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Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Big Stone Gap, VA
Posts: 1,327

No is not "leaning." Hear me out:

A distinguished photographer friend of mine sent this e-mail a few days ago during one of our periodic discussions about the state of railfan photography. This person is well known (frequently published), and has over 45 years of experience in this field. He is one of the people I look to most often as a "guru." Here's a portion of the message:

...Add to that the photographers etc who don’t understand what they are doing, or that “straight” is measured in the MIDDLE of the photo, etc. And that there MUST be something wrong with their photo because RP rejected it. “How can I fix it?”. Err, sometime it don’t need fixing; its fine. Being rejected is not the end of the world. I love RP. But at the same time it’s a love/hate relationship. Nope, I could NEVER submit material to them. (I’m scared just to think of all the things I did "wrong" beyond the ones I already know.). Yep, it would drive me nuts.

So, as we consider the shot as submitted by Andrew, it's perfectly aligned and level as is. The only point you consider is the center of the shot, and it's "plumb." I've added a line (from the grid) to illustrate:

Like my friend, I really love RP.'s not perfect, by a long shot. Any time the contributors to this site spend great time and effort to "fix" shots that are fundamentally correct, they actually end up unintentionally denigrating the body of railroad imagery. This actually feeds the long, slow downward spiral to a point, theoretically, where all train photos eventually look the same.

I will always be an advocate for innovation, creative expression and broadened horizons for train photography. There was nothing wrong with this shot at all. It's just not necessary to grovel for RP's approval of an image---particularly when you know that "fixing" it means compromising your integrity as a photographer.

I wouldn't do it...
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