Old 12-03-2011, 02:22 PM   #1
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Default Cloudy Days and Mondays (well...Saturday in this case)

I'm on a roll this morning. I was digging out some "old" shots to post while slurping a little morning Joe....but got a couple of dings even before my coffee cooled off.

http://www.railpictures.net/viewreje...&key=731721405

http://www.railpictures.net/viewreje...d=992234&key=0

No big whoop....but cloudy days are reality. I did appeal both of them (probably to no avail), and noted both of these shots had been published (Railroads Illustrated, November 2010 issue).

I'm sure that matters not a whit. Magazine editors clearly do not have the keen polished insights, practiced eyes and wisdom of my screener buddies.
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Old 12-03-2011, 03:16 PM   #2
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don't really care for the first, maybe with a 1970s Ford it would work for me.

Second one is solid. not sure I would like it any more in sunny conditions...probably not.
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Old 12-03-2011, 03:43 PM   #3
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Poor lighting? There's a fog lingering which gives it a nice mood. I guess you'll have to wait till the sun burns it off.

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Old 12-03-2011, 03:54 PM   #4
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Poor lighting? There's a fog lingering which gives it a nice mood. I guess you'll have to wait till the sun burns it off.

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By that time the train would have been gone....
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Old 12-03-2011, 04:34 PM   #5
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Still on a roll today....

http://www.railpictures.net/viewreje...d=992237&key=0

Poor lighting, common power, common angle, bad breath, foot odor, fallen arches, bad hair, bad intentions, intent to murder-----you name it, "we don't like this shot, dude!"
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Old 12-03-2011, 04:38 PM   #6
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Meh, number one has way too many issues going on for me.

Second one I dig a lot.

3rd one, same as the first.
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Old 12-03-2011, 05:05 PM   #7
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Meh, number one has way too many issues going on for me.

Second one I dig a lot.

3rd one, same as the first.
Thanks. Of the three, the second one (with the crossbuck in the left) is actually my least favorite. The vertical at the grade crossing (with the truck waiting for the train to pass) is the one I like the most. It just goes to show you the subjectivity of photographic likes and dislikes.

All three have been published, so somewhere a photo editor thought these were good shots (all part of an article on CSX DPU operations). I could probably juice these up some with Photoshop hokus-pokus and make them acceptable, but I don't think that would be worth the trouble.
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Old 12-03-2011, 05:35 PM   #8
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I dont see anything here that warrants a exception to the cloudy common rule. They are cloudy, the power is very common and the locations not overly special.
Cloudy days may be a reality but it doesnt mean that you have to go out and shoot trains on those days.
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Old 12-03-2011, 05:44 PM   #9
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Cool

I think all three are good examples of where the screener gave spurious specific reasons where really it was more PEQ or composition issues. I think the cloudy lighting if anything made the images more attractive. But there are all kinds of interesting composition issues. I like the first the best, but I'm having level problems with it. Not that it is necessarily unlevel but it looks unlevel. The composition has some conflicting "levels" that might or might not be resolved.....if they can be I really like it. The second two fall into the close but no banana category. I really like the lighting, trees and fog in the second, but the crossbuck is just too in your face. The third is kinda neat, and the cloudy lighting on the green is really nice. And the bridge is cool. But the composition just doesn't quite work for me. As for the comments about noise......I sure don't see it in any of the pics.

But I can tell Ron is having run this morning.
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Old 12-03-2011, 05:49 PM   #10
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Ron,

I would have to say I agree with the rejection reasons. These are all common locations and can easily be photographed in better lighting conditions. If this was captured in an artistic way, or composed to exclude the white blown out sky, I think you would've been onto something, but the quality in this case is kind of poor (a fair amount of compression visible on the locomotive) and the white sky comes off as a little distracting, in my opinion.

While RRI accepted it, you have to remember that RP has a lot of photographers from all around and that these locations have been captured before under far better weather conditions. That's one thing that is neat to compare between RP and magazines, in my opinion. The RP archives are so big, (almost to 400,000 photos) that anymore, it's really difficult to find a "new" location and especially on a day with sunshine. In this case, I think it's merely the case that the power is common and the composition is generic.

Can I put in a request? I want to see more human interest photos from the 70's. That's some really good stuff that provides us youngins with an insight on how railroading was in that era.

EDIT: What's the significance of your avatar?

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Old 12-03-2011, 06:10 PM   #11
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These are all common locations and can easily be photographed in better lighting conditions.

If this was captured in an artistic way, or composed to exclude the white blown out sky, I think you would've been onto something, but the quality in this case is kind of poor (a fair amount of compression visible on the locomotive) and the white sky comes off as a little distracting, in my opinion.

I want to see more human interest photos from the 70's.

Chase
Common locations? Not for some guy like me who is from California. The image should simply be judged on its merits.

Better lighting conditions? That sounds like trying to substitute a technical issue for what is really an aesthetic one. In my mind the foggy lighting is what make the images interesting....not sure bright over the shoulder sun would have been anywhere near as interesting.

All three were attempts to be "artistic". Whether it worked or not is again an aesthetic issue.

I would not consider the sky "blown" out....it is fog. That is what fog looks like.

Can somebody explain compression to me....I'm just an old time film photographer gone to the dark side and these young guys seem to see all kinds of noise and compression that is invisible to me.

But we can agree on one thing......more human interest stuff....old or new.....would be good. People run trains, and the people are really more interesting than the trains. I sure wish I had figured that out when I was younger.
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Old 12-03-2011, 06:20 PM   #12
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^ Yea, I gotta agree on the fog, it's pretty easy to see that it was fog, not a blown out sky. I doubt that was a determining factor, but thought I would throw that in. I personally thought that added to the photo.

Let me put my 2 cents in on that shot. It dont matter now, but if the truck was not there, I think it would have been a lot better of a shot.
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Old 12-03-2011, 06:27 PM   #13
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Common locations? Not for some guy like me who is from California. The image should simply be judged on its merits.

Better lighting conditions? That sounds like trying to substitute a technical issue for what is really an aesthetic one. In my mind the foggy lighting is what make the images interesting....not sure bright over the shoulder sun would have been anywhere near as interesting.

All three were attempts to be "artistic". Whether it worked or not is again an aesthetic issue.

I would not consider the sky "blown" out....it is fog. That is what fog looks like.

Can somebody explain compression to me....I'm just an old time film photographer gone to the dark side and these young guys seem to see all kinds of noise and compression that is invisible to me.

But we can agree on one thing......more human interest stuff....old or new.....would be good. People run trains, and the people are really more interesting than the trains. I sure wish I had figured that out when I was younger.
John,

As a whole, that location has been documented under better light conditions on Railpictures and hence my "common" statement. It's not entirely common (like Cajon Pass or Fostoria, etc.), but I immediately recognized the location and infact, an accepted photo from that location immediately came to mind, captured by Nick McLean below.

Image © Nick McLean
PhotoID: 311912
Photograph © Nick McLean


While that was technically taken at a point in the day where it was overcast or very diffused light, the sky detail is still there and the composition looks really nice. I love how the bridge leads you straight to the engine and the woman is placed in the scene in a location where she doesn't distract, but adds the photo.

Another reason I used the word, common is that the overall scene is generic and can be captured (especially easily for someone who lives as close to that region as Ron) on a day with sunshine.

That aside, to me, I honestly cannot tell much of a difference as to whether or not that is overcast/fog, as it is blown out and lacks detail.

In my perspective, this is what fog should look like, some exampels below of recently accepted images displaying a fog scene.

Image © Kevin Burkholder
PhotoID: 382559
Photograph © Kevin Burkholder


Image © Steve Carter
PhotoID: 380473
Photograph © Steve Carter


Image © Bryant Kaden
PhotoID: 378734
Photograph © Bryant Kaden


Image © Kevin Madore
PhotoID: 377892
Photograph © Kevin Madore


You have plenty of detail in all of those above examples (not that you did not have detail in the rejected photos by Ron). I guess the issue was that special kind of Appalachian fog, where it's not in the valley, but it lingers in the ridges and in which, I know how that is a real challenge to properly expose, as it does give the appearance of merely an overcast day, both from a photograph standpoint and realistically. My personal favorite from the three examples posted by Ron is of the crossbuck in the left part of the frame. I think you can best tell that there was fog in that photo. The third one (with the bridge) just comes off as overcast more than anything else, in my opinion.

And to quickly add to your comment on the human interest. I just started getting an interest in the human element photos when they introduced the lime green safety vests. I've been kicking myself for that one...

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Old 12-03-2011, 06:32 PM   #14
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Well now, I see that I can have one small point of pride in my 1 month old career of photographing trains. Every location of the half dozen or so photos I have posted on RP.net are unique locations - at least to the best of my ability to use the search engine they are. That doesn't make them good, but it's something.
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Old 12-03-2011, 06:35 PM   #15
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Well now, I see that I can have one small point of pride in my 1 month old career of photographing trains. Every location of the half dozen or so photos I have posted on RP.net are unique locations - at least to the best of my ability to use the search engine they are. That doesn't make them good, but it's something.
I've found that I use Railpictures.Net as frequent as Google Earth for when trying to find a photo location.

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Old 12-03-2011, 07:04 PM   #16
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As a whole, that location has been documented under better light conditions on Railpictures and hence my "common" statement. It's not entirely common (like Cajon Pass or Fostoria, etc.), but I immediately recognized the location and infact, an accepted photo from that location immediately came to mind, captured by Nick McLean below.

Image © Nick McLean
PhotoID: 311912
Photograph © Nick McLean
You recognized it since you are a local, but for me it was simply an interesting train image. I think the lighting has to stand on its own feet, and in this case I think it added "mood" to the picture. Obviously you disagree, but how would you have felt if it was some forest in the British Columbia?

Interesting comparison between Ron and Nick's images. Clearly Nick's composition works a whole bunch better. It is a neat photo. But looking only at the lighting, I think in some respects the lighting in Ron's image is more pleasing. The side of the unit is awfully dark in Nick's version.

As to fog, it comes in lots of ways. Here's one of mine:

Image © John West
PhotoID: 252414
Photograph © John West


Okay I got sun below the fog, but the fog is high just as it was in Ron's images. It has little or no texture.

I'm beating a dead horse here, but I think the screeners add to the frustration here when they cite technical rejection reasons in situations when it really is more an aesthetic reason.....the picture just isn't interesting or just doesn't work....PEQ or composition or something more like that.
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Old 12-03-2011, 07:04 PM   #17
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I actually have to admitt that I have a bit of a problem commenting negatively on Ron's shots because his shots grace so many of my favorite railroading books at home. There's a couple of Clinchfield shots that are just awe inspiring to me that come to mind pretty quickly.

However, I think the fog shot should be more, well, foggy. Otherwise it looks like a cloudy day shot. But this is my favorite of the three. Saying it isn't RP ready is only that -- it may not be for this web site. Nick's shot from that other locatin immediately came to my mind, too, when I first saw Ron's post.

The first stood a better chance of all three in my mind, but it appears to need some rotation too.
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Old 12-03-2011, 07:19 PM   #18
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You recognized it since you are a local, but for me it was simply an interesting train image. I think the lighting has to stand on its own feet, and in this case I think it added "mood" to the picture. Obviously you disagree, but how would you have felt if it was some forest in the British Columbia?

Interesting comparison between Ron and Nick's images. Clearly Nick's composition works a whole bunch better. It is a neat photo. But looking only at the lighting, I think in some respects the lighting in Ron's image is more pleasing. The side of the unit is awfully dark in Nick's version.

As to fog, it comes in lots of ways. Here's one of mine:

Image © John West
PhotoID: 252414
Photograph © John West


Okay I got sun below the fog, but the fog is high just as it was in Ron's images. It has little or no texture.

I'm beating a dead horse here, but I think the screeners add to the frustration here when they cite technical rejection reasons in situations when it really is more an aesthetic reason.....the picture just isn't interesting or just doesn't work....PEQ or composition or something more like that.
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I actually have to admitt that I have a bit of a problem commenting negatively on Ron's shots because his shots grace so many of my favorite railroading books at home. There's a couple of Clinchfield shots that are just awe inspiring to me that come to mind pretty quickly.

However, I think the fog shot should be more, well, foggy. Otherwise it looks like a cloudy day shot. But this is my favorite of the three. Saying it isn't RP ready is only that -- it may not be for this web site. Nick's shot from that other locatin immediately came to my mind, too, when I first saw Ron's post.

The first stood a better chance of all three in my mind, but it appears to need some rotation too.
John, I think Joe said exactly what I was trying to.. It needs more fog to make it work. Just my opinion, in this case I'm kind of torn between, does the current amount of fog work, or does it just come off as overcast?

Either way, I wish the forums had more of these kinds of conversations, where two, three, or a whole group can discuss their likes/dislikes of a particular photo or series of photos without it developing into a war.

I guess in a short.. Do I like the photos that Ron displayed in this thread? Yes, but do I agree with and understand the rejections? Yes.

Looking through some of Ron's photos the other day, I really fell into awe, so I totally understand where you're coming from, Joe.

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Old 12-03-2011, 07:29 PM   #19
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The fog issue aside, I think the first and third warrant a bad composition reject more then anything. Just because you are from out of state doesn't change that.

You tried to do something different, something I do all the time, sometimes it works out, others not so much.

The first photo has just way too much blocking the cab, if the train were a bit farther to the right it would be a whole lot better. The third photo is just really out of balance looking to me and not in a good way.

I don't see the cloudy day rejects being the presiding issues at all except in your second shot.
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Old 12-03-2011, 07:42 PM   #20
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Ron,

I would have to say I agree with the rejection reasons. These are all common locations and can easily be photographed in better lighting conditions.
EDIT: What's the significance of your avatar?

Chase
Chase,
I would agree with John----I don't think I would mention factors in acceptance and/or rejection that aren't part of the published and accepted criteria. Otherwise, you might be guilty of making the rules up as you go....which would really raise the hair on the backs of some folks (not me, however...I'm too nice of a guy!). I do think you guys obsess with sunshine a bit too much----but that's just my opinion. Bright sun isn't all it's cracked up to be...

To a point John made: the shot at the crossing isn't "unlevel." The few truly vertical items in the shot (the crossing signal for example) are 90 degrees straight up. Yes...the train "leans" to the left, but that's reality. Of all the shots I submitted, by far that one was my favorite. No one else may care for it....but I do (Ricky Nelson Rule Number One: "You can't please everyone, so you gotta please yourself.")

These were just "throw away" shots from a day shooting at Erwin and south while doing a thing on CSX's DPU operations for Trains Magazine. Later that day I interviewed three division officials, plus one of the p.r. guys from Jax. They had also offered a cab ride south of Erwin, but I reluctantly declined. I ended up using most of the images in an article in RRI, which is where all of these shots were actually published.

My avatar? I'm using a zoom lens that needs Viagra. One of these days you'll relate...
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Old 12-03-2011, 08:38 PM   #21
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My avatar? I'm using a zoom lens that needs Viagra. One of these days you'll relate...
And here I thought you were trying to shoot around the corner of that big metal box . . .

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Old 12-03-2011, 08:42 PM   #22
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I guess in a short.. Do I like the photos that Ron displayed in this thread? Yes, but do I agree with and understand the rejections? Yes.
I also liked Ron's images. But I would have rejected them as well, but for very different reasons than those provided by the screener. The problems were basically composition. And I probably would have rejected Nick's neat image for poor lighting. But I obviously am out of step with the world.

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My avatar? I'm using a zoom lens that needs Viagra. One of these days you'll relate...
Yeah....too close for comfort.
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Old 12-04-2011, 12:51 PM   #23
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I'm on a roll this morning. I was digging out some "old" shots to post while slurping a little morning Joe....but got a couple of dings even before my coffee cooled off.

http://www.railpictures.net/viewreje...&key=731721405

http://www.railpictures.net/viewreje...d=992234&key=0

No big whoop....but cloudy days are reality. I did appeal both of them (probably to no avail), and noted both of these shots had been published (Railroads Illustrated, November 2010 issue).

I'm sure that matters not a whit. Magazine editors clearly do not have the keen polished insights, practiced eyes and wisdom of my screener buddies.
Try a tighter crop on the train and the crossbuck, and maybe toy with a black and white...just ideas...I think it is fine the way it is, but in my opinion that might help it conform to the standards around here...
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Old 12-04-2011, 01:29 PM   #24
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Try a tighter crop on the train and the crossbuck, and maybe toy with a black and white...just ideas...I think it is fine the way it is, but in my opinion that might help it conform to the standards around here...
I considered that...but I'd much rather push the "standards" in different directions than conform just for the sake of conformity. In that sense, getting a shot (or shots) accepted to RP is far less appealing than changing the landscape of railroad photography in general. I'm really not an innovator, but I love the work of those who stretch us to higher levels of acceptance and appreciation when our first inclination is to push back. It's all a part of maturing in the field of train photography---both as practitioners and viewers.
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Old 12-04-2011, 09:03 PM   #25
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I considered that...but I'd much rather push the "standards" in different directions than conform just for the sake of conformity. In that sense, getting a shot (or shots) accepted to RP is far less appealing than changing the landscape of railroad photography in general. I'm really not an innovator, but I love the work of those who stretch us to higher levels of acceptance and appreciation when our first inclination is to push back. It's all a part of maturing in the field of train photography---both as practitioners and viewers.
Hear hear. Hopefully over time those who tried to push the standards have had a bit of success. I would like to think so.

As just one example, seems to me that when I started posting way back when anything that was backlit was an almost certain reject. Then there was the invasion of British influenced backlit and glint shots that after a bunch of screaming and bitching eventually became acceptable, even highly favoured. Or maybe that was just my imagination.

But What I continue to find interesting is the contrast between the huge population of really uninteresting but technically okay wedgies, and the occasionally really gangbusters shots. What seems to suffer are the ones in between. What intrigues me is the screeners willingness to take wedgie after wedgie, but nit pick many of the efforts to do something a bit more creative. Creates a lot of incentive to do the same thing over and over, at least if posting here is important to the photographer.
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