Old 04-16-2008, 07:58 PM   #1
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Thumbs up Backlit? ok I see it now

im working on getting a second picture on railpictures unfourtunatley its not being to easy i got this rejection for being backlit i dont see it but im on a laptop i will agree that some of the plow is dark but i dont know how to compensate for the sun not shining on the nose at least around here its not easy any way here they are


http://www.railpictures.net/viewreje...d=511079&key=0
the first time i understand overprocessed i had to use noise ninja which was surprising


http://www.railpictures.net/viewreje...&key=882031122
second time just backlit

http://www.railpictures.net/viewreje...d=511415&key=0
backlit uncorrected re upload and overprocessed
i did try to brighten it up a little

heres a wide angle shot that was rejected at a different location
http://www.railpictures.net/viewreje...&key=688846383

i dont much see backlit on this one either but im just a noob of course

i took wide angle because i didnt want to cross four tracks and tresspass

its probably not anything breathtaking i know but its still something i like
any advice is welcome thank you

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Old 04-16-2008, 08:17 PM   #2
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You're getting dinged for the shadows on the nose of the lead unit, on both shots. Unfortuantely, there's nothing that can be done about it.
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Old 04-16-2008, 08:25 PM   #3
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I see a perfectly lit coupler. Sure,there are shadows on the nose, but there almost will be shadows on the nose or the side. The reject is borderline absurd; however, some of the shots might be a tad hot on the side of the unit.

Note I was meaning the straight on shots, not the side angle.


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Old 04-16-2008, 09:04 PM   #4
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Joe,

Forget the coupler, look at the nose of the unit. The entire right side is shadowed.

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Old 04-16-2008, 09:21 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Freericks
Joe,

Forget the coupler, look at the nose of the unit. The entire right side is shadowed.

Charles
Partially shadowed, yes. If he can get the side of the unit looking a little less blown out, and keep the nose as is, I think it should get in. (It might not get in, but I think it should.) Maybe I'm just being contrarian, but the nose doesn't always have to be perfectly lit.


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Old 04-16-2008, 09:27 PM   #6
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Could it get in? Like Joe said, with some adjustments probably.

There's a ton of traffic around his home area, I'd focus on getting better light on the next shot.

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Old 04-16-2008, 11:06 PM   #7
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The angle of the sun is quite neutral to the position of the train, that is why only half of the locomotive is lit. It isn't technically backlit but maybe that was the closest reason for rejection.

A number of people here have commented that three-quarter wedge, common power photographs need to be perfect to be accepted. I think this may be one of those cases. With 45' lighting, this shot probably would have been accepted.

That's what I think, anyway ...
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Old 04-16-2008, 11:13 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe the Photog
I see a perfectly lit coupler. Sure,there are shadows on the nose, but there almost will be shadows on the nose or the side. The reject is borderline absurd; however, some of the shots might be a tad hot on the side of the unit.

Note I was meaning the straight on shots, not the side angle.


Joe

i have to agree with joe some of the plow is dark but the nose i think is lit fine ive seen a few similar (not comparing naturally) shots here with a few shadows on the nose, i dont know about the sides being washed out the engines were ditry of course i was shooting on the ''sunny side'' of the train i think when you take head on shots on the lit side i guess it creates a few shadows my first shot on railpictures i shot from the ''dark side'' of the train and the nose was lit perfectly outside of a few shadows on the plow

http://www.railpictures.net/viewphot...=231095&nseq=0

should i maybe try the opposite side next time?



''There's a ton of traffic around his home area, I'd focus on getting better light on the next shot.

Loyd L.''

theres not really a lot of traffic through my area some days are busy...uh er than others all i saw was that southbound and a northbound in which the sun was deffinitley not in favor of the northbounds
as seen here
http://www.railpictures.net/viewreje...d=511089&key=0

i dunno is there like a 2 week wating period after you get your first shot in?
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Old 04-17-2008, 12:20 AM   #9
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I've suffered from the 'backlit' gremlin on a largely front-lit train with many a subsequent rejection too...

But the problem can be the shape of the nose of the train causing the shadow - the GE CS44 in the picture is a case in point with it's angled nose. I'm guessing that if it was flat fronted it wouldn't be so much of a problem. To me, the fact that part of the nose is in shadow actually confirms the shape of the nose, which might not be so apparent if fully lit. It highlights, if you like, a feature of the loco I, not knowing too much about locos in the US, might otherwise have missed.

Here in the UK, the streamlined Class 43 High Speed Train units have a high degree of rake below the lights causing a lot of shadow under the nose, even if the sun is head-on. I've had at least one photo rejected because of this. Class 91 locos and DVTs are also similarly vulnerable to deep shadow - as you say not a lot you can do except perhaps utilise 'lower sun' lighting if available.

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It seems though, and this has certainly been argued before - that the 'light on the nose' requirement is applied rather inconsistently - there are many examples of what could be called backlit shots getting in - in fact the current picture of the week is an example - there's not a glimmer of light on the nose of the A4....

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but that doesn't mean it's not a great photo!

I guess it's all in the eye of the beholder (the screener in this case) with 'artistic' or other 'special' merits overiding 'normal' requirements (or not as the case may be).

Andy

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Old 04-17-2008, 05:49 AM   #10
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''I guess it's all in the eye of the beholder (the screener in this case) with 'artistic' or other 'special' merits overiding 'normal' requirements (or not as the case may be).

Andy''

i agree with you photography is an art to begin with but i fugure this was a database for all things railroad with high quaity photos unlike flicker,rrpicturearchives,photobucket etc. which just accepts anything
i know this picture may not be anything artistic i.e overpass, bushes etc i guess the coal spill adds to the scene(i made shure it was in the pic) though. as far as the backlit shot that got in its worty of what it did get but i beleive had the photo been taken say yesterday instead of 2001 more than likely it would have been rejected just one guys opinion of course

any advice from anyone on how i could gettbetter nose light would be welcome different angles which side of the train would be best etc
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Old 04-17-2008, 06:10 AM   #11
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To me, your rejects seem to be having a "high sun" issue since the plows are in the shadow of the deck, and the sky has a high sun look to it. Sometimes it seems this rejection reason is interchanged with the "backlit" rejection. Now that it's getting to be spring/summer, be careful when shooting midday. As far as RP goes, high/summer midday sun can be a killer because of the shadows and semi-washed out sky. I'm not one to say don't shoot during midday, but try to take a step back and compose in such a way that there is less emphasis on just the train. Also try shooting from above.

Oh, and as to the aforementioned POTW, it seems backlighting is much more acceptable with steam.

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Old 04-17-2008, 06:49 PM   #12
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i dont understand why backlighting is acceptable on steam shots to be honest not saying i dont like it i dont see whats so bad about a couple of shadows i would have understood high sun or distracting shadows (i always seem to get backlit) but not really poor lighting i beleive it was around 1:30 2:00pm when i took the first shot was around 3:30 on the wedge shot so i guess it was midday i got out at around 10:00 am but it was just a veeery slow day, hardly any trains at all.
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Old 04-17-2008, 07:24 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Watain
i dont understand why backlighting is acceptable on steam shots
in my opinion...which is really not all that qualified but i can guess:

1. steam locos *usually* are black thus nose shadows don't show up as well as on say the yellow nose of csx locos
2. the pilot area on steam locos usually protrudes the furthest out so over-hanging shadows are less of a problem unlike the pilots on widecabs which are easily shadowed by the "front porch"
3. backlighting accentuates the plume from steam
4. steam is much rarer than diesel. who wants to see a high sun shot of a D9 or GEVO when there are thousands of well lit shots to be seen? not the case with steam.
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Old 04-17-2008, 07:29 PM   #14
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For what it's worth, your first shot isn't really back lit, but it does have shadows on the nose and more importantly, everything looks washed out and flat. The screener thought it was over processed as well as noting the shadows on the nose.

Your second version looks much better, with better colors and lacks the flat look, but the shadows are more noticeable, so it got rejected for that. Since it's basically a standard 3/4 wedge shot, it's unlikely to get in even on appeal.

Light (or it's lack) on the nose is one of those issues that RP struggles with. Unless a shot is clearly outstanding, RP tends to reject shots that have shadows on the nose, or large unlit areas on the nose or side. Back light, or rear quadrant side light, does improve the scenic aspects of many shots and if those elements of a photo are strong, back lit shots often do get in. With steam locomotives, back light really brings out the detail and texture in the smoke or steam and also leads to light glinting off the boiler and other portions of the mechanism. The current POW shows how, when everything else is perfect, the lack of light on the nose becomes irrelevant and the screeners understand that. Clearly rules are made to be broken when the result is great art!

But, as in most things, don't try "breaking the rules" type shots until you have mastered standard shots.

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Old 04-18-2008, 05:50 PM   #15
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I wasnt trying to ''break the rules'' I didnt want shadows on the side of the nose or the plow I disagree on the washed out colors the colors are not washed out maybe my first upload because i had to use a grain removal tool so it came out smooth not washed out the sky is maybe not blue enoguh problably because I wasnt using my uv filter and it was midday i waited for all day on a train ,I like to get strait on shots I also like the wedge and im not about to run through a rail yard over 4 tracks and tresspass, the only pictures that are of that yard are wedge shots unless the photographer has a telephoto lens i guess i could just accept defeat and move on to the next shot. im not a professional im a railfan.
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Old 04-18-2008, 06:57 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Watain
I wasnt trying to ''break the rules'' I didnt want shadows on the side of the nose or the plow I disagree on the washed out colors the colors are not washed out maybe my first upload because i had to use a grain removal tool so it came out smooth not washed out the sky is maybe not blue enoguh problably because I wasnt using my uv filter and it was midday i waited for all day on a train ,I like to get strait on shots I also like the wedge and im not about to run through a rail yard over 4 tracks and tresspass, the only pictures that are of that yard are wedge shots unless the photographer has a telephoto lens i guess i could just accept defeat and move on to the next shot. im not a professional im a railfan.
Look, wading through this as best I can (and could you PLEASE start writing sentences, with periods and capital letters, so we can more easily tell what you are saying? PLEASE?) you simply haven't figured out or are still rebelling against (like all too many people) something essential about RP. RP, generally speaking, does not care about what circumstances you faced when you took the picture. Especially for a basic picture with standard power.

Cloudy instead of sunny? Too bad.
Sun angle leaves part of the nose in shadow, and didn't have access to a different spot to shoot from? Too bad.
Could only get trackside at 1pm and had high sun? Too bad.
Etc.

The more common the shot (common angle, typical power, typical composition, wedgie, whatever), the less leeway you get on this stuff. That is RP, adapt or go elsewhere.

Just keep in mind that there are lots of good shots to be taken that won't make RP, and lots of not as good shots to be taken that make for great memories and so forth.
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Old 04-18-2008, 08:41 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Watain
as far as the backlit shot that got in its worty of what it did get but i beleive had the photo been taken say yesterday instead of 2001 more than likely it would have been rejected just one guys opinion of course

any advice from anyone on how i could gettbetter nose light would be welcome different angles which side of the train would be best etc

Regarding the POW that has been discussed in this thread, it may have been taken back in 2001, but it got into the RP database this week or last, so it faced the latest standards. I suspect that the reason it was allowed is because the photo offers so much more than a common equipment roster shot. Not only is the train unique, but take a look at the entire scene....it's just gorgeous....and the exposure is so nicely balanced so that nothing is very overexposed or underexposed...even the numbers on the nose of the loco. This picture could easily be a painting.

I guess I wouldn't agree that steam shots get a free pass either. They face the same critera with PERHAPS a little leeway given, particularly if the photo is of something rare, is particularly artful or has a special effect (like a pan). I've had steam shots rejected for high sun, bad contrast, poor composition etc etc. There's no e-ticket for steam chasers.

My suggestion on lighting is to look at your shadow.....use your body like the gnomon on a sun-dial. The shadow should point toward the closest spot on your subject. Ideally, you'd probably also like to see your shadow be longer than you are tall. With those conditions, you'll have plenty of nose-light and you won't get bagged for "high sun". Seeking out spots with good scenery and times of day when these conditions exist is the challenge of railfanning. And the hardest thing to master is the patience required for that search.
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Old 04-19-2008, 01:46 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JRMDC
Look, wading through this as best I can (and could you PLEASE start writing sentences, with periods and capital letters, so we can more easily tell what you are saying? PLEASE?) you simply haven't figured out or are still rebelling against (like all too many people) something essential about RP. RP, generally speaking, does not care about what circumstances you faced when you took the picture. Especially for a basic picture with standard power.

Cloudy instead of sunny? Too bad.
Sun angle leaves part of the nose in shadow, and didn't have access to a different spot to shoot from? Too bad.
Could only get trackside at 1pm and had high sun? Too bad.
Etc.

The more common the shot (common angle, typical power, typical composition, wedgie, whatever), the less leeway you get on this stuff. That is RP, adapt or go elsewhere.

Just keep in mind that there are lots of good shots to be taken that won't make RP, and lots of not as good shots to be taken that make for great memories and so forth.


Well I am so sorry if my english, puntcuation, spelling etc is not to your liking. I don't see where people have had a hard time making out what I am saying. From what I can tell this is the internet didnt think anyone would care about proper grammar. Of course I dont shoot on cloudy days anymore found that out when I was younger, and about standard power I suppose it is standard but GEVO's are less common here than the faded old AC4400's. plus there isnt any dramatic scenery in this area, outside of Copper Creek in Speers,Ferry Virginia, and Natural Tunnel in Glentia VA . I guess the sun was to high like I said in an eairler post im a noob to the whole photography thing I have been taking pictures for a long while though I suppose, since I was 16...gave up though had a few factors keeping me from the hobby School,Job,Lack of Equipment etc. I did not start taking pictures again until January 08' still had pretty much no equipment i.e point and shoot,and a crappy 20 year old film SLR (no offense to the film users of this site), didnt get a good DSLR till my 19th birthday back in March. Rebelling? Do you honestly think I want to take backlit shots? So I realize they are not concerned about peoples personal situations it doesnt really bother me, I know they have a website to run, and I am glad they have a screening process not letting everything in the world get in like other sites. I used to get very frustrated about rejections until I finnaly got my first shot in and it felt very good. So rejections dont fase me anymore. Some rejections do leave me scratching my head though such as a BNSF picture I took which is deffinitley not common power here, and it kept getting hammered for bad color the appeal was rejected so I called it quits and moved on. I was mostly just looking for advice,and answeres to my noobie questions when i started this thread.

Well anywho hope my typing skills were more pleasant to you this time
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Old 04-19-2008, 01:52 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinM
Regarding the POW that has been discussed in this thread, it may have been taken back in 2001, but it got into the RP database this week or last, so it faced the latest standards. I suspect that the reason it was allowed is because the photo offers so much more than a common equipment roster shot. Not only is the train unique, but take a look at the entire scene....it's just gorgeous....and the exposure is so nicely balanced so that nothing is very overexposed or underexposed...even the numbers on the nose of the loco. This picture could easily be a painting.

I guess I wouldn't agree that steam shots get a free pass either. They face the same critera with PERHAPS a little leeway given, particularly if the photo is of something rare, is particularly artful or has a special effect (like a pan). I've had steam shots rejected for high sun, bad contrast, poor composition etc etc. There's no e-ticket for steam chasers.

My suggestion on lighting is to look at your shadow.....use your body like the gnomon on a sun-dial. The shadow should point toward the closest spot on your subject. Ideally, you'd probably also like to see your shadow be longer than you are tall. With those conditions, you'll have plenty of nose-light and you won't get bagged for "high sun". Seeking out spots with good scenery and times of day when these conditions exist is the challenge of railfanning. And the hardest thing to master is the patience required for that search.
Well I never said that I did not like the photo as I had said it was well deserving of what it got.

As for this rejection I did look at the way my shadow was pointing and used that, but I didnt think to look at how long the shadow was(like I said noob) . I will deffinitley take that into consideration next time I shoot thanks for the advice.
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Old 04-19-2008, 01:56 AM   #20
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Quote:
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plus there isnt any dramatic scenery in this area, outside of Copper Creek in Speers,Ferry Virginia, and Natural Tunnel in Glentia VA
Virginia is not a scenic state aside from what you listed??
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Old 04-19-2008, 02:15 AM   #21
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Southwestern Virginia has good scenery aside from what I listed thats what I was reffering to. I guess I actually meant Northeast, Tennesee for the most part.
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Old 04-19-2008, 02:55 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally posted by Watain:
I disagree on the washed out colors the colors are not washed out maybe my first upload because i had to use a grain removal tool so it came out smooth not washed out the sky is maybe not blue enoguh problably because I wasnt using my uv filter and it was midday i waited for all day
Go back and look at your first version and compare it with your second version. "Washed out" means the colors are too light. Look at the leaves on the trees in the background and the colors on the unit. Mid day high sun also causes colors to look flat and lifeless. Apart from the shadows caused by high sun angles, that's the other reason for not shooting in the two or three hours around solar noon.

You need to take advantage of the search function in RP to find some good work that you can study and perhaps emulate. Look for photos by Chris Starnes and Ron Flanary. Both do much of their work in Virginia, Tennessee and Kentucky. Study the shots they post and try and figure out what they are doing that is different from what you are doing.

I realize you may not have the greatest camera in the world, but a sunny day shot won't have noise issues and if you submit a properly composed photo, you should be able to get it in.

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Old 04-19-2008, 06:06 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by a231pacific
Go back and look at your first version and compare it with your second version. "Washed out" means the colors are too light. Look at the leaves on the trees in the background and the colors on the unit. Mid day high sun also causes colors to look flat and lifeless. Apart from the shadows caused by high sun angles, that's the other reason for not shooting in the two or three hours around solar noon.

You need to take advantage of the search function in RP to find some good work that you can study and perhaps emulate. Look for photos by Chris Starnes and Ron Flanary. Both do much of their work in Virginia, Tennessee and Kentucky. Study the shots they post and try and figure out what they are doing that is different from what you are doing.

I realize you may not have the greatest camera in the world, but a sunny day shot won't have noise issues and if you submit a properly composed photo, you should be able to get it in.

Michael Allen
I believe the noise mostly came from using D-lighting on the in camera edidting feature and probably the 200 iso,I didnt have my uv filter on my lens (itwas hazy too) etc. It's a $1,200 camera so i dont think its the camera. Probably Should invest in some better glass when I save some money up though I suppose. Im shure the first reject came from the Mid day sun (I finnaly know what that means now lol) with washed out colors, I used noise ninja (which I never will again), and the crappy shooting conditions and my processing skills didnt help much either so I see what you mean now thank you. I do look and have been looking at the work of Chris,Ron,Dustin since I got back on this website in January I love their work and I do study it, I suppose experience is the only factor they have, that I do not have, I still get nervous and shaky when I get next to the tracks to take a head on shot when a train is coming.
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Old 04-19-2008, 10:22 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Watain
Southwestern Virginia has good scenery aside from what I listed thats what I was reffering to. I guess I actually meant Northeast, Tennesee for the most part.
You will learn to SEE shots, may require planing and forethought at a higher level. As the summer gets here the ugly midday light gets longer. Look at your shadow as you stand track side, If its 2/3 or shorter than you it is getting iffy.
You don't have to stop shooting, but may want to try higher look down shots.
You have a lot of good scenery to work with.
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Old 04-19-2008, 03:19 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Watain
Im shure the first reject came from the Mid day sun (I finnaly know what that means now lol) with washed out colors, I used noise ninja (which I never will again), and the crappy shooting conditions and my processing skills didnt help much either so I see what you mean now thank you. I do look and have been looking at the work of Chris,Ron,Dustin since I got back on this website in January I love their work and I do study it, I suppose experience is the only factor they have, that I do not have, I still get nervous and shaky when I get next to the tracks to take a head on shot when a train is coming.
I see some good progress here, but you still have more to learn (as do we all!). You now understand about high sun and mid day shooting, so that's a good lesson learned.

You mention your post processing skills needing some work. If you shoot in good light at lower light angles you really won't need to do much post processing. It's trying to fix a shot that has problems to begin with that leads to all the over processing issues. Crop, resize for RP and sharpen may be all you need to do. Noise Ninja is a great program, but it's not for indiscriminate use and you really do have to know how to adjust all the variables and know how to use layer masks. Set it aside for when you have a lot more experience.

A $1200 camera should produce excellent results and 200 ISO shouldn't be giving you any noise or grain problems. Are you shooting at the highest JPEG quality and resolution settings? RAW is good, but maybe best put off for later as well.

You get nervous standing next to the tracks for a head on shot! That's a lesson you still need to learn then. Don't do it! Look at Chris Starnes' work and try for shots that include some scenery. Virginia looks pretty good to me in these shots!
Image © Chris Starnes
PhotoID: 225753
Photograph © Chris Starnes

Image © Chris Starnes
PhotoID: 213771
Photograph © Chris Starnes

Image © Chris Starnes
PhotoID: 212533
Photograph © Chris Starnes

Michael Allen
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