Old 04-16-2007, 08:52 AM   #1
jaanfo
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ok, I've posted a number of times on this forum asking how to improve upon certain shots, or certain ideas of shots... some of you may remember my last thread, in which I asked about putting together a backlit sunset shot. It took a little while for all the elements to come together, we've had some bad weather and clouds the past few weeks, but the other night the weather was perfect, I wasn't working, and I was able to get up to where I wanted to shoot the photo (and the train was on time!). I was absolutely thrilled with the shot, uploaded it, and it was greeted with a rather lukewarm response (Talking about number of views, comments are all positive though, thanks guys!).

Image © Jaanfo
PhotoID: 183701
Photograph © Jaanfo


I found that rather strange considering a shot I thought was sort of iffy was uploaded at the same time and got a much warmer response...

Image © Jaanfo
PhotoID: 183699
Photograph © Jaanfo


And the Mystery deepened even more when a similar shot taken two days sooner was given both a Screener's choice and generated a LOT of responses and a decent view count...

Image © KBoes
PhotoID: 183835
Photograph © KBoes


So I was wondering what my sunset shot seems to lack, why nobody seems interested in what, for me, was probably was among the more technically difficult shots I've successfully taken and had uploaded into the database.

To a degree I have to be honest that I'm jealous I didn't get a Screener's choice. For the most part I've been happy when a photo breaks 500 views in the first week... I know people are enjoying my photos and that's why I like to contribute... but overall my view counts for recent photos has dropped. Upon noticing that I looked at my photos and realized they were all looking the same, so I settled in a bit more, learned my new camera and improved the photo quality of recent shots. My last three shots were a bit more choreographed, I practiced each shot and manually adjusted it so it didn't get the bluish tinge my first photos that came from my D40 had, and I am looking to take a few more shots with this quality (One I'm aiming for will take pure luck too). It wasn't that *I* didn't get a Screener's choice, or sixteen comments and 400+ views; I was thrilled to have it on the site... I'm just confused as to how a similar (yet different) shot can generate so much more interest.

Truth be told reason I'm analyzing myelf is I'm well into my last month in San Diego... I'll be heading back East for a few months before settling back in around the Los Angeles in a new job. Before I head off I'm trying to document a few places along the SD sub that I have yet to get onto here and I'm really hoping to have at least one truly memorable shot of the railroad action here, both for me and for the members of this site and others I participate in. I thought I'd begun to understand what people here were interested in but, as you can tell above, I still have some work. Does anybody have any advice for what I'm missing? (both in the shots people like and those people don't notice).

In the meantime, I'm studying the people's choice and Screener's choice photos

My Shots: http://www.railpictures.net/showphotos.php?userid=7493

Thanks!

Last edited by jaanfo; 04-16-2007 at 09:08 AM.
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Old 04-16-2007, 11:28 AM   #2
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Your sunset shot's profile is blended in with the rest of the dark elements of the picture. On the shot below, there is no down as to what the silhouette is, because that is the only dark element in the picture. When looking at your thumbnail, and even the picture itself, it's hard to tell without studying the picture if you are looking at a train or a distant hillside. The rule I like to follow is just that.... when doing a silhouette, try to make the subject of your silhouette the only dark element surrounded by the background light, aside from any relevant ground or other structures. If darker elements blend in with your silhouette, it does not jump out at you as well.

Comparing the middle shot to your silhouette, I would say the palm trees are much catchier. You are drawn to want to click on it from the thumbnail, whereas the silhouette shot looks at first like some sky, a pond, and something hard to define in the middle.
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Old 04-16-2007, 02:22 PM   #3
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^^^What he said. There's nothing in the thumbnail that screams "look at me!" to my eyes. The subject is blended in with the bridge/dark and looks like just another sunset shot. Not saying it's bad, it just doesn't have that extra "oomph" for me...
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Old 04-16-2007, 02:58 PM   #4
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Image © Jaanfo
PhotoID: 183701
Photograph © Jaanfo
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ween
...There's nothing in the thumbnail that screams "look at me!" to my eyes...doesn't have that extra "oomph" for me...
It did the exact opposite for me, and was my favorite over all the others listed above. Maybe I just like dramatic contrasts. It's definitely my favorite over the other two photos. Nice work!
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Old 04-16-2007, 04:03 PM   #5
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^^^ What they (4kv, ween) said.

The thumbnail doesn't say "train" to me.
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Old 04-16-2007, 04:50 PM   #6
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Although the first shot has nice coloration, it has a boring composition. Just as you don't want to center your image in every shot, you also don't want to split the frame with your horizon.
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