Old 02-26-2009, 03:06 AM   #26
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Keith:

As the others have stated, your idea for a sunset shot may have been a good one but the overall composition and lighting just do not work well. I'm not sure cloning out a power pole on a photo that was rejected for being backlit is a productive use of anybody's time.

If you really want to improve I would suggest taking a constructive look at some of the other glint, sunset, silhouette, etc. shots in the database and try to figure out what they did "right" rather than try to compare them to your shot being rejected.
Wow, I don't think anyone could say it as diplomatically as Chris just did. There's no substitute for taking criticism and going back to the drawing board.
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Old 02-26-2009, 03:07 AM   #27
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So how do some of those extremly post processed Knapp shots make it on here?
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I'm not a screener, don't ask me!
Aside from what Dave said, and I am not a fan of some of the Knapp processing, the issues there generally have to do with light. RP allows a fair amount of latitude in that dimension (don't get me started!). What you are talking about is removing elements of the scene. That is an entirely different dimension, for which RP gives zero latitude.

In my view the shot isn't going to work and removing a pole is not the main issue.
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Old 02-26-2009, 03:07 AM   #28
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So how do some of those extremly post processed Knapp shots make it on here?
Whenever we see a shot get accepted that leaves us scratching our heads and/or whenever we get a rejection that just doesn't seem to make sense to us, our best course of action is to remember one really key thing:


IT AIN'T OUR SITE!!


Seriously, the blood pressure drops considerably when one comes to grips with that fact.
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Old 02-26-2009, 03:08 AM   #29
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Well, by posting those other comparisons, I pretty much got a good idea what I did wrong and they did right, and I didnt mean to offend anyone.
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Old 02-26-2009, 03:10 AM   #30
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Well, by posting those other comparisons, I pretty much got a good idea what I did wrong and they did right, and I didnt mean to offend anyone.
Good. Now go out, shoot some more, and come back to show us what you've learned!
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Old 02-26-2009, 03:12 AM   #31
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Aside from what Dave said, and I am not a fan of some of the Knapp processing, the issues there generally have to do with light. RP allows a fair amount of latitude in that dimension (don't get me started!). What you are talking about is removing elements of the scene. That is an entirely different dimension, for which RP gives zero latitude.

In my view the shot isn't going to work and removing a pole is not the main issue.
I was not going to clone the poles and resumbit for acceptance, only to post the retouched image here to get an idea if the image would have worked from a slightly different angle or if it would still have had no hope even without the poles in those specific spots. There are ways I can reshoot from a similar angle and keep the poles away from the top of the engine in the shot.

But if the overall angle from that spot wont work (very hard to get a complete silhouette there) then I may as well just come up with a different spot.

What I was wondering is if maybe I got the camera lower and used a wider angle lens (with the lens at 28mm I was backed up as much as I could go in the shot against the fence behind me), then I could still get the sunlight coming between the tracks and the bottom of the engine and between the wheels, ect.
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Old 02-26-2009, 03:17 AM   #32
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I was not going to clone the poles and resumbit for acceptance, only to post the retouched image here to get an idea if the image would have worked from a slightly different angle or if it would still have had no hope even without the poles in those specific spots. There are ways I can reshoot from a similar angle and keep the poles away from the top of the engine in the shot.

But if the overall angle from that spot wont work (very hard to get a complete silhouette there) then I may as well just come up with a different spot.

What I was wondering is if maybe I got the camera lower and used a wider angle lens (with the lens at 28mm I was backed up as much as I could go in the shot against the fence behind me), then I could still get the sunlight coming between the tracks and the bottom of the engine and between the wheels, ect.
Understood. In general (always exceptions), shots with engines that are not either whole or cab-only seem "off" such as a cut through the middle of the long hood. The sunlight/tracks/wheels thing sounds promising, give that a go.

But as far as this shot goes, remember, the rejection was for light, not for angle or pole.
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Old 02-26-2009, 03:27 AM   #33
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Right but I'm confused about the lighting / backlit thing, when are silhouette or sunset shots not backlit?

I guess what I'm trying to say is, would this have been ok if the whole engine had been surrounded by sky so it didnt blend into the darker areas such as the bridge, ground, ect and the shape of the engine was then more defined agains the lighter sky even though some of this "side" of the engine was still lit slightly?
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Old 02-26-2009, 03:36 AM   #34
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Right but I'm confused about the lighting / backlit thing, when are silhouette or sunset shots not backlit?

I guess what I'm trying to say is, would this have been ok if the whole engine had been surrounded by sky so it didnt blend into the darker areas such as the bridge, ground, ect and the shape of the engine was then more defined agains the lighter sky even though some of this "side" of the engine was still lit slightly?
Keith, it sounds to me like you need to go to your local library and check out some books on basic photography. that's not a dig at your skills at all, but some introductory instruction on how to achieve some of the shots you're attempting could go a long way to making you a better photographer. We've all been where you are - perplexed, a little angry, not sure why our shots just aren't as good as we think they are. But you have to walk before you can run. That 50mm lens and hand-me-down AE-1 may not seem too glamorous, but goddamn if it didn't turn me into a decent shooter after tons of practice. You're well on your way, but it really seems like you could benefit by taking a few steps back and working on technique. It's a long road, no need to sprint right off the blocks.
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Old 02-26-2009, 03:45 AM   #35
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Understood. In general (always exceptions), shots with engines that are not either whole or cab-only seem "off" such as a cut through the middle of the long hood. The sunlight/tracks/wheels thing sounds promising, give that a go.

But as far as this shot goes, remember, the rejection was for light, not for angle or pole.
For what its worth, this is the only other shot I had of the same scene where the pole isnt "coming out of the engine" and mainly only the cab is visible.

I really like this one, but I guess I can see why its not technically correct.
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Old 02-26-2009, 03:56 AM   #36
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So how do some of those extremly post processed Knapp shots make it on here?
Most of what Knapp does happens in camera, by way of his crazy lighting rig. The reason his shots look "processed" is because of the artificial on-sight lighting he uses to make his exposures, not because of processing.

I strongly suspect Knapp does only about the same amount of post-processing as the rest of us, but he's starting with a photo that's very different from what most of us shoot under day light, or using a tripod.

I'm not a huge fan of Knapp (and even less a fan of Link, who he's frequently compared with), but it's important to recognize what he does is based on in-camera work, not relying on photoshop to fix everything for you.

If you can't get a half-way decent exposure out of your camera, you shouldn't even bother post-processing it.
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Old 02-26-2009, 04:07 AM   #37
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Well, most of his shots are absolutely incredible, its only a few I noticed on here look like cheap HDR images or something, like really over post processed.

I guess I shouldnt really bring up his images, hes obviously a professional and I'm just a guy shooting for fun in my spare time lol.
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Old 02-26-2009, 04:23 AM   #38
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Actually, looking at his most recent shots, I think you're right, the HDR beast has gotten to them, which is kind of a shame, since the main thing I feel his work had going for it was that most of the magic was done in-camera.

Of course, I have issues with the idea of using an extensive flash-set up to do train photography, since I think it "artificializes" the scene by introducing something that didn't exist before hand.

This is why I really can't think at O. Wilson Link's pictures as a documentary or descriptive work, considering he was enlisting whole towns to basically be actors in scenes he created.

In this regard, I like Knapp, because he at least doesn't include people in his photos unless they were there to begin with. Since his photos are taken in the dead of night, that means there aran't a lot of people in most of his photos.
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Old 02-26-2009, 05:24 AM   #39
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For what its worth, this is the only other shot I had of the same scene where the pole isnt "coming out of the engine" and mainly only the cab is visible.

I still like this one, but I guess I can see what its not technically correct.
So, this angle with more slightly more glow on the nose (see previous post like 3 up), and better reflection off the rails still wouldnt work right, even with just the cab in the shot so its not so dark over the whole side of the engine and its not split in the middle? (this upload came out bad compare to the actual image) If this angle still doesnt cut it for even an exception of the backlit rejection, then I dont want to bother submitting and wasting screeners time.
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Old 02-26-2009, 01:06 PM   #40
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This is why I really can't think at O. Wilson Link's pictures as a documentary or descriptive work, considering he was enlisting whole towns to basically be actors in scenes he created.
That's good, because he was a creator as much as a documentary shooter! You don't have to like his stuff (and I am not a big fan either, actually) but you shouldn't apply one standard to judge when he was following a different one entirely.
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Old 02-26-2009, 04:52 PM   #41
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Wow, I don't think anyone could say it as diplomatically as Chris just did. There's no substitute for taking criticism and going back to the drawing board.
I can be diplomatic too.............. How 'bout spending your time reshooting it instead of reworking and reposting?
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Old 02-26-2009, 08:54 PM   #42
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Most of what Knapp does happens in camera, by way of his crazy lighting rig. The reason his shots look "processed" is because of the artificial on-sight lighting he uses to make his exposures, not because of processing.
Wrong. His stuff is usually overprocessed, even his day shots. Sky posterization doesn't happen in-camera. Neither does a color train and B&W everything else. TRAINS processed his shots correctly; he typically does not...
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Old 02-26-2009, 09:24 PM   #43
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Where's Jim and his popcorn .gif this is really getting good
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Old 02-26-2009, 09:39 PM   #44
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I've got to agree with Ween - the Knapp pictures I've seen on here lately come across as either converted from a photo to an oil painting, or pixelated, or otherwise heavily manipulated. That's definitely not in-camera. Again, they look very different in TRAINS - although even then, I have a strong preference for Link's work over Knapps. That's just personal preference. And there's also plenty of Link's work out there that did not involve "recruiting whole towns" to stage a scene. If any of you get a chance, head to Roanoke (where you can do plenty of railfanning and picture taking) and check out the Link museum in the old N&W station (if you haven't already). I think you'll come away with a new appreciation for his work.

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Old 02-26-2009, 11:22 PM   #45
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I've got to agree with Ween - the Knapp pictures I've seen on here lately come across as either converted from a photo to an oil painting, or pixelated, or otherwise heavily manipulated.
Yeah, as I said upthread, I hadn't looked at Knapp's shots on RP in awhle. His recent stuff is indeed over-processed and HDRed to death, as is basically everything he's shot during the day.

I like his older night pictures, when it seemed like he really tried to use his flash units to simulate the actual available lights so the end result was a shot that looked roughly the same as it would to the naked eye, at least enough to suspend disbelief.

As for Link, I am interested in seeing more of his work, especially photos he took in the day light.
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Old 02-27-2009, 01:53 AM   #46
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Theres no way to get the sun under the arches, the sky cant be seen that low while keeping the rail line in the shot.

The only thing maybe possible would be to lay on the ground to get a lower angle to the shot and maybe see some light between the wheels/under the engine.

I'll do a quick clone and get the pole out and drop the brightness down a little, the RAW image was alot darker on the engine, I think when I brought some highlights out in the sky it bumped the brightness up on the engine as well.
It looks like this thread took a left turn a way's back. I may be too late to get it back on course but I couldn't help noticing what you said.

Some locations just don't work well to get a railroad photo. I know of several that if they are ever properly lit, it means the world is in a heap of trouble.

Some times the elements are mostly there, but in the wrong place and you just have to let it go. I love sunsets and I can see the lure of taking that shot. I'd have done the same, especially if I didn't have time to get to a location where everything worked. The shot would likely have remained on my harddrive never to be shown to anyone. That's just the way it is sometimes.
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Old 02-28-2009, 12:29 AM   #47
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Here are my comments fromt he peanut gallery:

Good book:"Understanding Exposure" by Bryan Petterson. It has helped me a lot in just normal shooting. I had a good idea of what I was doing, reading this make more sense with certain pictures. I still read it when I do not compose a shot properly to figure out where I went wrong.

Your picture, the first thing I see is the bright sun setting, and it draws the attention away from the beautifully colored sky and the locomotive.

I have tried to submit a few photos but only have 1 in the DB, which took about 6 months for me to get in. What I have learned from these guys is location. Look around and recon the area some to see what your best angle is going to be, where the sun is at and going to be when you take you shot. If it is late in the day you will probably get a "High Sun" rejection. The other biggie is the scene around you. I have had a few shots like yours that I thought are great but they have a tree branch or other obstruction protruding into the picture and kills it.

It might take some time but just keep working at it! Read the forums each day and you will see that almost all the new comers have the same problems.
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Old 02-28-2009, 12:41 AM   #48
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If it is late in the day you will probably get a "High Sun" rejection.
If it is in the middle of the day in the summer you will probably get a "High Sun" rejection.
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Old 02-28-2009, 01:02 AM   #49
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Yea, forgot he is back East. It is like summer out here already.
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