Old 08-01-2006, 03:12 AM   #1
a231pacific
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Talking Digital manipulation, or it's not nice to fool the screeners!

A really cool head on zoom pan of 261 appeared (briefly) and then was gone. I guess it was a photo shop creation, but it was pretty cool, none-the-less. It even got a screener's choice!

Is there anyway to create a separate section for art work of this sort? I've seen several other digital manipulations that people have posted in the forums after they were rejected, and some of them were quite nice. The 261 was really excellent and I wouldn't mind a chance to see it again, but I agree, if it's a fake, it's not appropriate for the main data base.

Michael Allen
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Old 08-01-2006, 05:12 AM   #2
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I'm not sure how best to do this, but in a very general way I agree that some kind of "categories" might be useful. Scenics, wedgies, nightshots with fog, snow shots without sun, digital manipulation, whatever. It seems to me the best interests of this forum, and of the participants, is to see the "best" and "most interesting" train images out there however created. So we need to embrace the reality of digital manipulation in its various forms and artistic possibilities.

From a personal viewpoint, as I learn to use Photoshop, more and more of my pix are going to benefit from some kind of digital manipulation. And the fine line between "fixing" a photograph and "digitally manipulating" the image is going to become a finer and finer line. Frankly, as an "artiste" (I say that very much tongue in cheek) I don't want to have to worry about the line, but rather produce the best images I can.

I have no specific answers, but I do agree that the concept needs consideration.

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Old 08-01-2006, 11:22 AM   #3
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Default Artistic Shots Digitally Managed

Hello Michael and John,

I do agree that there is a need to have a manipulated or managed section for members to post to.

This must not be mixed with the factual shots though, as many of us use the database for research for forthcoming trips. Image arriving at a location to find that it is not quite what you expected.

So how to handle this?

In the UK, some magazines accept digitally altered shots, but they always include a rider to explain the alterations. Perhaps a category could be added, when it is selected a new dialog box could be opened to explain the enhancement.

One UK magazine runs a photo contest each year and has a category specifically for "fiddled" shots.


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Old 08-01-2006, 02:39 PM   #4
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I agree about this, there are some pretty talented photoshop users out there.

I found this manipulation on another message board. Pretty amazing, huh?
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Old 08-01-2006, 03:39 PM   #5
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Looks like New Orleans...
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Old 08-01-2006, 03:56 PM   #6
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I think there is a risk here that we might not be considering. To me, RP is about showing railroads in their natural splendor. Once we allow digital manipulations in, then we lose something there that we might not even be thinking about right now.

Seeing a three train meet that actually passed at different points in the same hour might be OK and kinda cool. But seeing a BNSF train submerged in water isn't what I think of when I think of digitally manipulated photos. Seeing a shot in all black and white except for maybe a bright red part of a warbonnet might be cool, but a negative image of an NS roster shot might be boring.

All of this is, I guess, a matter of taste. But I would hate to be the site admins trying to come up with what is and what is not allowable. The dig manips might be best saved for other web sites.


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Old 08-01-2006, 04:12 PM   #7
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Quote:
But I would hate to be the site admins trying to come up with what is and what is not allowable.
I'm with Joe saying this is not a good idea. Photography is an art and that's why there's such heartache over the screening standards here sometimes, especially when it comes to 'artistic' shots. Imagine opening up a category soley for digital manipulations. How does one screen those shots? Or do they let every one of them in? Remember, not all digital manipulations are created equal, so do you really want to read whining posts here about why this digitally manipulated shot got in and this one didn't? Afterall, it's a fake photo, it's art, so how can screening standards be applied?

So, this may be an idea for an enterprising person out there to follow. If there's a market, start you own website on the subject that features nothing but digitally manipulated shots. But if you do, just try and do it without all the damn pop ups...
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Old 08-01-2006, 04:54 PM   #8
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Since i'm the one who posted the 261 shot that we are talking about, I feel I need to explain something here. I feel this photo was not "created" or is not a "fake", even though I used Photoshop to enhance it. The BNSF in the water is truely a manipulation, where my photo was only enhanced. Isn't there a difference? Isn't there a time when it is okay to take a photo that has ground motion blur, and add a bit more? I did not create a new background, or paste the 261 into somewhere it has never been. So whether I took my shot at 1/50 of a second and got the blur from the camera or took it at 1/200 and added more blur I guess makes the difference if the photo gets accepted or not. Pretty lame in my opinion. I'll attach my photo later when I get to that computer so everyone can see what i'm talking about.

Jeff Comfort
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Old 08-01-2006, 05:47 PM   #9
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Here is the photo of the 261 I took. I really want to know what everyone thinks about this being accepted or not because of the added motion blur.

Thanks,

Jeff
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Old 08-01-2006, 06:06 PM   #10
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We all do post processing here. If we didn't, we'd be stupid and probably would not have many if any shots on RP. But there is a difference between post processing and digitally manipulating a shot. A pacing or panning shot from trackside is one thing, but adding motion blur to a shot where you couldn't have done a pan or a pace shot is over the line.

To me, that's manipulated in that something is happening in the shot now that wasn't there when the image popped up on the back of your camera or when you got the slides or film back. It's different than cloning out a black speck of dust that may or may not be a bird or sharpening a digital image which are notoriously somewhat softer than they should be coming out of a camera.

No one is pointing a finger at you here Jeff that I am aware of, just having a debate on what we *think.* Since a screener or admin has yet to speak on this in this thread, it's all just words on a screen anyway.


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Old 08-01-2006, 06:15 PM   #11
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As Joe stated, post processing an image (levels, sharpening, etc) is not a problem. Adding additional motion blur to the image as you did is not acceptable here on our site. You may find this to be lame and that is certainly your opinion to have but for what we are trying to accomplish, we do not need that type of material.

As far as a place to post those images on the site, in the future I can see us coming up with some sort of photo album feature much like our sister site JetPhotos.net. If and when we do get that feature here on RP, that would be a suitable place to post your Photoshop "creations."

Thanks guys.
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Old 08-01-2006, 06:23 PM   #12
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Hers is the original shot from my camera, scaled down a bit. This is before I added more blur and tweaked the levels. As you can see, there is blur. I got this by panning down as the 261 was passing under me as I clicked the shutter over and over again. This was the last shot before it went under the bridge I was standing on. I did not use Photoshop to add something that wasn't there. I only added more than was there. I realized that no one is getting down on me for manipulating the photo. I taking all of the opinions as a learning experience. I just was to know where the line is so next time I take a photo I have fallen in love with after playing with it I know whether I should send it or not.

Thanks to all.
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Old 08-01-2006, 06:28 PM   #13
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Chris,

Thanks for replying to this thread. As you can see, I am just trying to gain some understanding of what is acceptable and what is not. When I posted that photo last night, I read the guidelines. NO WHERE in the photo guidelines does it say that manipulated photos will not be accepted. I learned this the hard way. I went to show my wife the image online and in the Screeners Pick section, only to see it was yanked. I got a very short and almost rude email from Chris Kilroy expaining that these photos are "clearly" not accepted. Where in the site is this explained? All I want is understanding and this stuff explained. I am not looking for everyone to change the site so my pretty little picture gets accepted. Just understanding.

Thanks,
Jeff
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Old 08-01-2006, 06:39 PM   #14
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I think that's pretty darn cool looking. There definitely should be a place to showcase that kind of work, and I feel that place is with the rest of the database. I guess it's up to the screeners and admin to make the final decision like they do the rest of time when people upload anything, but if it were up to me, I'd take it.

I think it should be accepted because this is truly "digital art", and there's nothing wrong with that. Plus, it keeps other people on their toes. Who here doesn't wish they could produce something like that? I know I sure wish I could.

Just because someone is a gifted photoshop "artist" shouldn't mean that their work should get rejected. Like it was said before, there's a place for this type of work, and to be honest, this picture wouldn't even need to be located in a separate "shopped" gallery. It's fine on its own, and a shot like this keeps things "fresh" around here. Who here besides Ween isn't tired of the same 'ol same 'ol? Plus, I'm pretty sure I've seen other substantially enhanced images accepted here before, anyway.
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Old 08-01-2006, 06:49 PM   #15
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Jeff, I suggest you repost the photo as is. It still is a sharp photo.

Regarding digital enhancements and alterations -
If it was allowed on RP to the degree you took it, the site would be flooded with such. Most of us have been attempting pan shots for years and spent hours and dollars only to end up with a shoebox, or treasure chest full of almosts. I like the shot, however, and I long ago mentioned how cool it would be to have a place to share such photos on RP, in an area seperate from the rest of the photos but just as easy to access. You should always note when you have digitally altered a photo more so then you could with film in a chemically processed image.

As for confusion at RP, the location should be seperate from the rest and taking points from the above threads, perhaps two sections, modified and insane, both of which are a legitimate form of art.

Here's a few I've toyed with:
First, one I haven't: A shot of the Acela going well over 100 mph which I still have yet to get it right. I have resisted the tempation to shoot at 1000th of a sec and blur the background as tempting as it is.

Second - a modification. (insane category)
How many of us would LOVE to see more photos like this one!

Third - a gross modification. (insane category - needing more work)

Enjoy

/Mitch
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Old 08-01-2006, 07:46 PM   #16
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Mitch,

Done deal. I submitted the photo in it's unedited form. It's not a cool as the other one though. LOL! Who cares! It's still a fun pictures, right?

I agree with you about everyone having edited photos on the site. I have not disagreed with this fact. The fact is that I can't find anywhere on the site where it says you CAN'T submit edited photos. I feel the way this was handled was aweful. But that's between me and the editors of this site.

By the way, I LOVE your shot of the Acela. Incredible!!!! Is that image posted anywhere? It should be! Very impressive. I love the action shots and I think you nailed that one right on. That image really shows the speed of that train. Something a roster shot could never, ever do.

Jeff
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Old 08-01-2006, 08:32 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mgoldman
Regarding digital enhancements and alterations -
If it was allowed on RP to the degree you took it, the site would be flooded with such. Most of us have been attempting pan shots for years and spent hours and dollars only to end up with a shoebox, or treasure chest full of almosts. I like the shot, however, and I long ago mentioned how cool it would be to have a place to share such photos on RP, in an area seperate from the rest of the photos but just as easy to access. You should always note when you have digitally altered a photo more so then you could with film in a chemically processed image.
Very good point, Mitch.

Jeff, as far as the way the issue was handled please accept our appologies. As you will read on these forums some of our younger and less mature contributors sometimes cause our nerves to run a bit thin with digitally manipulated photos which they are trying to 'sneak' onto the site. Unfortunately I think you fell into that category even though that was clearly not the case. We will make sure it clearly does state the policy on our upload guideline page. Once again, sorry for the confusion. For what its worth, the "real" image has been accepted.
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Old 08-01-2006, 09:08 PM   #18
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Chris,

Thank you for the attention you have given this issue. And yes, apologies accepted. I too apologize for creating such a ruckus with my photo. I seem to learn things in life the hard way, and this is another great example. And hopefully the guidelines will be more clear in the future for other newbees who may get caught in this same situation. I'd hate to see people get really upset and leave what is a first class railroad photography site. And please do consider having an "artsie" photo catagory for the great images that would not be productive in the main database but are really fun to look at. (As long as they are not Dash-44's frame high in really fake water) :P

Now, let's get to the real business at hand. Posting great photos!!!

Happy railfanning to all!

Jeff
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Old 08-01-2006, 09:25 PM   #19
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Default Well said

Well Said Jeff

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Old 08-01-2006, 09:30 PM   #20
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> As long as they are not Dash-44's frame high in really fake water :P
> Jeff

I like it!
Hopefully there will be room for both, or three - modified, fantasy liveries and insane.

/Mitch

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Old 08-01-2006, 11:20 PM   #21
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Default BNSF out of Lake St. Cloud

Love that shot of the BNSF rising out Lake St. Cloud. Much cooler than the usual!!
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Old 08-02-2006, 12:02 AM   #22
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Quote:
Who here besides Ween isn't tired of the same 'ol same 'ol?
Zing! I guess I'll stop eating pizza, listening to AC/DC, rooting for the Cubs and the Cowboys, and abandon pretty much everything else I enjoy doing on a repetitive basis since apparently it's a foul to enjoy your favorite type of photo (telemashed 3/4 wedge shots) over and over again!

I never said I don't enjoy seeing the manipulated shots, but there's a point in manipulation where a person's photographic talent is overshadowed by his/her Photoshop talent. And last time I checked, this isn't photoshoppedrailpictures.net. And honestly, did you expect any other type of response from a person who thinks it's bad to digitally remove wires from a shot because it's not a true representation of history?!?
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Old 08-03-2006, 10:30 PM   #23
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Here is a guy who is a dab hand with "what if scenarios". Sorry they are all UK based but the site demonstrates that there is an interest in well thought out digitally manipulated photos, many of the pics on this site have over 1,000 hits. Anything similar for other countries out there?

Like the BNSF in the water picture - it is almost believable.
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