Old 09-07-2011, 01:08 AM   #1
turkeytop
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Hello everyone.

I知 new to this. I don稚 know much about photography or railroads. But I was given a new camera as a retirement gift and I知 trying to learn how to use it. As there are railway lines near my home, trains are the subject of many of my photos.

My first submission was rejected, of course, for what I知 sure are good reasons. But because I知 unfamiliar with some of the terminology used here, I知 not sure I understand the reasons. I want to learn so I can try again. What exactly is meant here? The first part is self explanatory. I shouldn稚 take photos on a cloudy day. But what is meant by 田ommon angle and standard power?

Can anyone help me here?


Thanks.


Quote:
- Poor lighting (Cloudy): Common angle cloudy day shots of common/standardpower are generally not accepted.
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Old 09-07-2011, 01:22 AM   #2
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First - welcome, both to the site and to train photography. It's a really fun hobby that I've enjoyed for nearly forty years myself. I look forward to seing your pics.

Second - the rejection reasons are all boilerplate rejections, in this case, meaning that the entire sentence may not apply to your actual circumstances (or it may). It's hard to tell without seeing the image. Assuming that the entire rejection applies, what it means is that cloudy day pictures are much more likely to be accepted if they are of rare moves, or brand new never seen before locomotives, or once in a lifetime events, things that cannot just as easily be captured on a sunny day. The common/standard power part of that, is referring to every day locomotives, like BNSF GEVOs or Union Pacific SD70Ms, but that's not an absolute rule. Even a one of a kind locomotive, if it has been around for awhile and can be shot on a sunny day will garner this rejection if shot on a cloudy day.

Third, use the images on the site to give you the best gauge of whether or not your submission is going to work.
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Old 09-07-2011, 02:09 AM   #3
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To add to what Charles said, it can take a bit to learn the RP site and the RP pattern, the RP way of doing things (which isn't the only way to do good photography, it is the way the screeners like it to be done for this site).

One way to do so is to post the URL of your rejection into a new thread in the Railroad Photography forum. You will get plenty of feedback on your shot. That is the most common use of that forum, so don't be shy about it, everyone posts and asks, including the veterans.
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Old 09-07-2011, 02:20 AM   #4
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Here is one I haven't yet submitted. Anyone have any opinions or advice?

http://london.marknmel.com/albums/mi...0810.sized.jpg
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Old 09-07-2011, 03:00 AM   #5
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I'm afraid that one wouldn't work for a number of reasons - (but be assured that it's a lot better than I was taking when I started).

1) There is no sun on the train. You want to keep the sun behind you, especially when you are starting out. My best advise is to aim your shadow at the train. Now, this will mean that any train going the wrong way won't work.

2) You cropped the train with the frame. You always want to let the train fade out into the horizon, or have something in the frame crop the train (like a building that it's coming around).

3) You're so tight on the train, we don't know where we are. Now, this third one can be more easily challenged than the first two - sometimes super tight shots work, but in general, be a little looser with your frame. Show us the building by the tracks, or the bridge down the line, or the tree on the other side. Give the train some context.
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Old 09-07-2011, 03:16 AM   #6
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1. you need to realize that it is not so easy to take pictures.
2. some of the people here are professional photographers and others are good enough to be professionals
3. listen and learn
4. this website wants things done in a very particular way, so you have to learn the rules.

here are a few rules. (there are many more, which you will learn)
Shoot with the sun to your back in the morning or late afternoon
Do not cut off a train at the edge of your photo: either include the entire train, or have it cut off naturally by trees, buildings, whatever.
Do not submit square photos. Keep it close to a 2X3 ratio while you are getting the hang of things.
The subject point of your photo should generally follow the "rule of thirds" which you should google.
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Old 09-07-2011, 03:17 AM   #7
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Thanks. That's helpful. I'll see if I still have the original, uncropped version. But I won't be able to do anything about the sun.
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Old 09-07-2011, 03:20 AM   #8
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No - there's no way to save that photo... but that's just for this site. You can totally save it for yourself.

In the end, take pictures that make you happy. If part of that is posting, take Hatchetman's rules to heart.
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Old 09-07-2011, 03:40 AM   #9
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Here is one that seems to violate the rule about cutting off the end of the train. But it made it anyway. Is it because of the photo's other merits?

http://www.railpictures.net/images/d...1303349427.jpg
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Old 09-07-2011, 03:46 AM   #10
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You're right about that, and you will find every rule we give you broken if you search through the data base.

In my opinion (which is worthless) that image shouldn't have been included. I'm guessing it made it because of the incredibly vibrant color.
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Old 09-07-2011, 01:58 PM   #11
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here's a useful thread for newcomers: http://forums.railpictures.net/showthread.php?t=11436
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Old 09-08-2011, 01:42 AM   #12
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Thanks everyone for all the advice. I'll take it to heart. I've been reviewing the photos I've taken so far and clearly none of them meet the standards for posting here. I'll have to change my way of doing it.

Until now, all of my photos have been purely hit and miss. I go out for long walks or bike rides every day and I always take a camera along. If I'm near a rail line and I hear a train coming, I quickly grab the camera and snap a picture before it gets by. That isn't good enough. I'll have to plan my photos ahead and be in the right place, at the right time, when the conditions are right. I live near a busy rail line where several trains pass every day, so I should have plenty of opportunities. I also need to learn some photography skills.

So maybe in a few months or a year, you may see some of my photos here. Meanwhile I'll be lurking here, following what the rest of you are up to.
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Old 09-08-2011, 01:48 AM   #13
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feel free to ask questions if you are unsure of something. look at a lot of the photos here.
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Old 09-08-2011, 01:54 AM   #14
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Turkeytop,

Your description of what you do is very similar to what I was doing in the late 80s and early 90s. There's nothing wrong with it if you are having fun.

I you want to hone your talent, take one or two of the bits of advice given so far, and try to work them into your next shot. You don't have to set up five hours ahead of time and know one-thousand things to get a good shot. Just remember, sun at your back, don't cut off the train, and open up your framing enough to show some context.
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Old 09-08-2011, 02:01 AM   #15
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Do the railways publish any kind of a schedule for their freight trains?
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Old 09-08-2011, 02:37 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by turkeytop View Post
Do the railways publish any kind of a schedule for their freight trains?
I don't know about the Canadian lines. As far as I know, the US roads don't publish a schedule for public consumption, but there are trains that keep pretty regular schedules, and there are probably Yahoo groups or other railfan sites where you can find schedules for a particular area or railroad. I know there are some railfan destinations that provide basic schedule information as well. For instance, at the Horseshoe Curve visitor's center they post a schedule of the normal trains around the curve. However, even if you find a "schedule" you have to take it with a shaker of salt, because there are all sorts of issues that can keep trains from following the posted schedule.

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Old 09-08-2011, 04:19 AM   #17
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Generally freight is hit or miss, but as you get to know lines, you will discover that some trains run at scheduled times. Unfortunately those schedules are not public. Join the YahooGroup for your area. Buy the Canadian Trackside Guide. And talk to local railfans. Eventually you will find you have a great deal of info.
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Old 10-25-2011, 01:55 AM   #18
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The following link is not to one of my photos. It is one that appeared in a Canadian newspaper today. It term of composition, is it one that would be acceptable here?

http://beta.images.theglobeandmail.c...333688cl-8.jpg
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Old 10-25-2011, 02:32 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by turkeytop View Post
The following link is not to one of my photos. It is one that appeared in a Canadian newspaper today. It term of composition, is it one that would be acceptable here?

http://beta.images.theglobeandmail.c...333688cl-8.jpg
No. It would likely be rejected for:

-unlevel
-bad cropping/composition
-poor lighting/cloudy day/common power

Keep in mind that what you see published elsewhere, whether it's in a magazine, newspaper, web article, whatever, doesn't fall under the same set of "rules" that the owners of this website have established for pictures to be accepted. For instance, in any given railroad publication, you can find countless photos that are published that wouldn't be accepted here. That's fine because the editors of those magazines can choose any photo they see fit to publish. Same thing with this website.
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Old 10-25-2011, 03:01 AM   #20
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boy, that one would get nailed for about 10 different reasons.
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