Old 01-11-2017, 03:31 PM   #1
Daniel SIMON
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I would be interested to hear what others think about the fact that the picture below has been awarded with a Screener's choice. I am a little bit confused, but this is just my opinion.

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Old 01-11-2017, 04:52 PM   #2
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Hi Daniel,

I guess first and foremost, it is important to note that "Screener's Choice" simply means that the screener who approved it thought it was meritorious and deserving of home page exposure. It was one person's opinion, albeit someone with the power to give it that exposure. It doesn't necessarily imply that everyone else should like it. If it doesn't float your boat, so be it.

When it comes to Screener's Choices, there is just no predicting it. I have seen some really fantastic shots get them, and I have seen some that I thought were relatively plain. Different strokes for different folks. I have submitted stuff that I thought might get recognized, only to find that not only did the screener not think it was special, but the RP audience ho-hummed it as well. I've had others that I posted that I thought were nice, but nothing exceptional, and they got the badge. So go figure.

With respect to the image in question, I think it is a pretty scene, with a colorful train snaking through some lush countryside, but the bright, low-contrast area on the left is indeed odd. You most often see that in photos in which the sun is just outside the frame, but in this case, the image appears to have been shot from above and the camera is looking down on the train. It is difficult for me to imagine the sun being just off the left side. So unless there was a big mirror reflecting the sun nearby, or an accidental nuclear detonation , I am struggling a bit to understand why the image looks like that. I don't hate it and I'm not about to tell anyone the image isn't deserving of someone's praise (in this case, the Screener), but it just looks more odd to me than anything else.
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Old 01-11-2017, 05:06 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinM View Post
Hi Daniel,

I guess first and foremost, it is important to note that "Screener's Choice" simply means that the screener who approved it thought it was meritorious and deserving of home page exposure. It was one person's opinion, albeit someone with the power to give it that exposure. It doesn't necessarily imply that everyone else should like it. If it doesn't float your boat, so be it.

When it comes to Screener's Choices, there is just no predicting it. I have seen some really fantastic shots get them, and I have seen some that I thought were relatively plain. Different strokes for different folks. I have submitted stuff that I thought might get recognized, only to find that not only did the screener not think it was special, but the RP audience ho-hummed it as well. I've had others that I posted that I thought were nice, but nothing exceptional, and they got the badge. So go figure.

With respect to the image in question, I think it is a pretty scene, with a colorful train snaking through some lush countryside, but the bright, low-contrast area on the left is indeed odd. You most often see that in photos in which the sun is just outside the frame, but in this case, the image appears to have been shot from above and the camera is looking down on the train. It is difficult for me to imagine the sun being just off the left side. So unless there was a big mirror reflecting the sun nearby, or an accidental nuclear detonation , I am struggling a bit to understand why the image looks like that. I don't hate it and I'm not about to tell anyone the image isn't deserving of someone's praise (in this case, the Screener), but it just looks more odd to me than anything else.

Hi Kevin,

I fully agree with your above comments. Getting a Screener's choice on RP is a big lottery. Most of the pictures that get one are absolutely stunning. Some others are not, and I am really not a fan of this particular one (and not only because it shows a diesel and not a steamer ! ).

Having said that, I should not complain. It is not every day that a non US picture is awarded with an SC !
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Old 01-11-2017, 06:24 PM   #4
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That's certainly a quirky choice.
I always worked hard to avoid flare.
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Old 01-11-2017, 07:50 PM   #5
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I have seen that sort of intentional background flare or haze in portraiture (in which I don't much care for it). I am not gaga over this shot but am glad to see recognition given to non-traditional choices. I certainly would not put it at the bottom of the SC pool.
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Old 01-11-2017, 08:26 PM   #6
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I noted the comment, not Philippines, somewhere in Indonesia. He must have corrected, tho kind of odd since all other photos are of the same train.

Here was better description in another photo:

Progo train meet Taksaka train over the bogowonto bridge, Jenar, Central Java.

.

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Old 01-12-2017, 01:52 PM   #7
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I'm not a fan of it in the context of railpictures, it looks more like an oil painting and less like a photo. My main issues with it:

- Lack of contrast
- Over saturation
- the upper left is overexposed, where the mist or fog or whatever is kind of washing out the photo
- lack of sharpness, it's very soft
- backlit

Actually, i'm not 100% convinced that this shot ISNT' a painting, it's very soft

It's also ironic that it breaks so many of RP's "rules" and yet is not just accepted, it gets an SC!

That said, it's an interesting, and pretty shot
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Old 01-12-2017, 02:31 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by troy12n View Post
I'm not a fan of it in the context of railpictures, it looks more like an oil painting and less like a photo. My main issues with it:

- Lack of contrast
- Over saturation
- the upper left is overexposed, where the mist or fog or whatever is kind of washing out the photo
- lack of sharpness, it's very soft
- backlit

Actually, i'm not 100% convinced that this shot ISNT' a painting, it's very soft

It's also ironic that it breaks so many of RP's "rules" and yet is not just accepted, it gets an SC!

That said, it's an interesting, and pretty shot
Troy, you nailed it !

I 300% agree with you. It is not a bad picture, but it violates so many RP rules. It always come back to the same issue here ............... Screening Inconsistency
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Old 01-12-2017, 05:11 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel SIMON View Post
It is not a bad picture, but it violates so many RP rules. It always come back to the same issue here ............... Screening Inconsistency...
This is not a matter a inconsistency, only a reflection of the limitation of using "rules" to create or judge "art". Most of the really good images on RP break a lot of the rules. Good pictures either work for the viewer or they don't work. The rule that trumps all other rules is whether the viewer likes it. Obviously the screener liked this one. Me? Not so much. The inconsistency is in what each of us likes.

The real challenge is for any of us, screener or poster, to fully explain why we like or don't like an image, or how we can make better images. Rules can be very helpful, but rules have severe limitations since some of the best images are as good as they are because they break key rules. What would be really helpful would be if a screener could discuss all that, but of course they don't have time.

Part of the problem with RP is they have slowly expanded what they will accept to include images more "adventuresome" than wedgie locomotive shots. That of course has made arbitrary rules less relevant, whether trying to explain to people what kind of images are acceptable, or why any given image was accepted or rejected.
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Old 01-14-2017, 01:19 AM   #10
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Since we are talking about consistency, I couldn't get slides 25 years older accepted with a sky with "stuff" in it. Some that took me forever to clean up, but did look OK after and glad I went through the effort.

Bob

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Old 01-14-2017, 01:48 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobJor View Post

Since we are talking about consistency, I couldn't get slides 25 years older accepted with a sky with "stuff" in it. Some that took me forever to clean up, but did look OK after and glad I went through the effort.

Bob
I've been unsharpening my skies ever since Janusz made a comment about most images from slides on RP having a lot of sky pixilation a few months ago. It does take a good amount of time, especially shots from urban areas with lots of wires or code lines in the background.

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Old 01-14-2017, 01:55 AM   #12
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Smile Mr. Pixelation

Janusz is Mr. Pixelation. Because of him I apply a bit of gaussian blur to most of my images, and occasionally do a major "desharpening" of my sky. All because of him. I often don't see the pixelation but I don't doubt it is there. One of the neat things about this place is different folks see different things and it helps learn new things. Even at my age.
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Old 01-14-2017, 01:58 AM   #13
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I do wish screeners would be stricter on bad skies in slide scans. It's not that hard to clean up. But they should at least be consistent about it.
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Old 01-14-2017, 02:17 AM   #14
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I think there are many subjective aspects of a scan. Often we try to save one that was not great to start but we feel is still worth it from a historical interest. There is also moving between Provia, Kodachrome, Ektachrome, Velvia. Reducing Vibrance is often my cheap way to get away from a cast. Many slides I took I guess I was not that astute and certainly wasn't always thinking of all the rules.

But if there are little dust dots and hairs in the sky it is not subjective. Whether you think they are OK I guess is subjective.

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Old 01-14-2017, 02:42 AM   #15
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But if there are little dust dots and hairs in the sky it is not subjective. Whether you think they are OK I guess is subjective.

Bob
It's not just that, it is sometimes outright pixellation or just poor scan quality, but the sort that often cleans up easily with some selective blur. A pet peeve.
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Old 01-14-2017, 02:26 PM   #16
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I do wish screeners would be stricter on bad skies in slide scans. It's not that hard to clean up. But they should at least be consistent about it.
Like John, I often don't see it, but I have learned from you that it may exist. While I see your point about stricter screening, early in my submissions I would not have been far enough along in the learning curve to know how to fix it. Given constant rejections for noisy skies, I may have given up and walked away. Maybe a rejection with a little guidance about how to fix the problem would help some of us old farts who are new to the digital world. In fact, that would be a welcome addition to all rejections, where possible. The one exception to that would be composition, which doesn't have a one size fits all correction, but the heavy emphasis on ROT in this rejection is often misleading in determining the exact problem.
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Old 01-14-2017, 02:53 PM   #17
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Like John, I often don't see it, but I have learned from you that it may exist. While I see your point about stricter screening, early in my submissions I would not have been far enough along in the learning curve to know how to fix it. Given constant rejections for noisy skies, I may have given up and walked away. Maybe a rejection with a little guidance about how to fix the problem would help some of us old farts who are new to the digital world. In fact, that would be a welcome addition to all rejections, where possible. The one exception to that would be composition, which doesn't have a one size fits all correction, but the heavy emphasis on ROT in this rejection is often misleading in determining the exact problem.
I understand, and I generally let it ride (in my head; in reality I have no power to let it ride or not!). I have seen cases where there is a pixellation reject and I think to myself how unfair that is given what gets on. But I understand it allows the less technologically up to date types to get their older shots on for everyone to see.
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