Old 10-16-2012, 03:26 PM   #1
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Default I feel so dirty! Lol. Zephyr Image Critique

After several rejections, I relinquished control of an image to the will of Railpics. Not a big deal - as it made it's rounds elsewhere in the form I much prefer including a nice metallic 20X30 print ready for my office wall.

No disrespect to admin - and I appreciate the SC, though I'd have loved some flexibility and discretion in respect to how I obviously strongly desired my vision to be presented. The original edit was perhaps too tall (ie; extra sky) or did not follow the rule of thirds (ie; the engine was centered), but I felt the composition's possible "flaws" were strongly outweighed by it's strengths - that being the openness of space I had hoped to convey which is intrinsically the Midwest along with much better inclusion of the roadway which I feel substantially improves the appeal of the image.

The RP Crop
Image © Mitch Goldman
PhotoID: 412060
Photograph © Mitch Goldman



Original crop:

Second crop:

Curious what everyone's thoughts are in regards to the image as seen on RP in relation to the rejected crops.

Thanks!

/Mitch
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Old 10-16-2012, 03:55 PM   #2
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The road is a little far to the right for tastes.
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Old 10-16-2012, 04:00 PM   #3
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Great shot Mitch!
I think in this case, less is more. It is not possible all in one shot. An earlier frame with the road or this frame with the house (but without/minimal road).
Otherwise the lighting is great and and I can not find words about the train.
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Old 10-16-2012, 04:07 PM   #4
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It's your story. Tell it the way you want to. Unless you are somehow getting paid (maybe indirectly). Then do what you have to for the $$.
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Old 10-16-2012, 04:11 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Hatchetman View Post
It's your story. Tell it the way you want to. Unless you are somehow getting paid (maybe indirectly). Then do what you have to for the $$.
Not getting paid - I shoot for the enjoyment (most of the time, anyway). Just had hoped to present the image as I saw it - n/charge!

/Mitch
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Old 10-16-2012, 04:14 PM   #6
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The road is a little far to the right for tastes.
Thanks '35 -

All perceptions are valid and I appreciate your point of view.

I would retort (make my perception clear) that on the second edit, the more panoramic of the two - the image would seem to follow the rule of thirds very nicely - first 1/3, the barn, 2nd, the train, last, the road.

/Mitch
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Old 10-16-2012, 05:22 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mgoldman View Post
After several rejections, I relinquished control of an image to the will of Railpics. Not a big deal - as it made it's rounds elsewhere in the form I much prefer including a nice metallic 20X30 print ready for my office wall.

No disrespect to admin - and I appreciate the SC, though I'd have loved some flexibility and discretion in respect to how I obviously strongly desired my vision to be presented. The original edit was perhaps too tall (ie; extra sky) or did not follow the rule of thirds (ie; the engine was centered), but I felt the composition's possible "flaws" were strongly outweighed by it's strengths - that being the openness of space I had hoped to convey which is intrinsically the Midwest along with much better inclusion of the roadway which I feel substantially improves the appeal of the image.

The RP Crop
Image © Mitch Goldman
PhotoID: 412060
Photograph © Mitch Goldman



Original crop:

Second crop:

Curious what everyone's thoughts are in regards to the image as seen on RP in relation to the rejected crops.

Thanks!

/Mitch
I think it's nuts they rejected the first two. The aesthetic difference between all three version is really pretty minor. They are all stunning!
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Old 10-16-2012, 05:38 PM   #8
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One thing I tell folks is if RP does not want to accept your shot as you see it, you're free to decide that it's their loss and not to post the shot if it means changing it too much from how you saw it in your mind's eye.

For my tastes, the accepted shot is the better of the three, but I don't think it follows the Rule of Thirds as I see it. The main subject of the shot is nearly directly in the center from side to side. (Of course, the Rulle of Third was never meant to be hard and fast and, of course, it's all subjective anyway.) My take on it would have been to crop out a little more of the road and to let the train get a little closer to the house behind it. In my view, this would frame it better and have the tree and car closer to the edge of the frame.

If you had really wanted the road in the frame, I would have backed up, yes, into the road (if you could do that without becoming someone's hood ornament) or got on the other side of the road.

I think it's a beautiful shot though, if maybe shadow and highlighted a bit much. But that may be a perception on my part of what RP accepts and doesn't accept.)
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Old 10-16-2012, 05:50 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mgoldman View Post
Curious what everyone's thoughts are in regards to the image as seen on RP in relation to the rejected crops.

Thanks!

/Mitch
Mitch,

I like wider compositions than what rp.net prefers to show more of the surroundings in general, so I'm an easy sell on the other two crops being better (though they all look great!). In fact, I got dinged so often for "bad cropping" earlier in my time here on shots that I then cropped down and had accepted that I don't even bother trying to submit "my version" but rather crop it for how I know (think) they'll want it up front to avoid the go-around (which mostly works). So I shoot for myself first, magazines/publications second and then figure I can crop to make it work here if I want.

Michael

I will note that every now & then I get stubborn with one that I think really needs to be a certain way - the composition isn't always *only* about the train, or can tell a bigger story when it's more than just a tight comp of the train. Here's one that got in on appeal if I recall correctly:

Image © Michael Harding
PhotoID: 407436
Photograph © Michael Harding


Whereas this is a scene I've tried a couple times and never had any luck getting accepted here:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/mdhardi...7625913611363/

But that's just one of the differences in tastes between here and other venues. I will credit rp.net that they are fairly consistent in their preferences. Well, except for some of the wacky one-off stuff that slips on here from time to time.

Regards,
Michael
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Old 10-16-2012, 05:51 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Mgoldman View Post
I would retort (make my perception clear) that on the second edit, the more panoramic of the two - the image would seem to follow the rule of thirds very nicely - first 1/3, the barn, 2nd, the train, last, the road.
An interpretation of the rule of thirds in that sense makes sense if the objects within each third fall properly into their slots. Here the barn is centered in its third, the train is somewhat centered in its third but shades to the left, but the highway is waay to the right even within its own third. As a result the highway is too far to the right. The tree on the right is well placed but the highway overpowers it.

Putting that aside, as I am relatively unwedded to the rule of thirds, I accept lots of exceptions, I am ok with either version. If anything, the shot might be better balanced if the train were shot 1/2 car length earlier (but then it is farther away, a tradeoff).

What is great about the shot is the way the clump of trees frames the glinty power with a dark halo, sweet.

The
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Old 10-16-2012, 05:51 PM   #11
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Lightbulb Very nice glint.

I like the original and would have made one slight modification - see if you can find it.

Name:  Zephyr at Dusk B MR.jpg
Views: 216
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I have examples like this, such as:

My version

Remember the Santa Fe

RP version.

Image © EL ROCO Photography
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Old 10-16-2012, 05:54 PM   #12
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The car in Mitch's shot did not bother me at all. It actually made me wonder if whoever that was would see Mitch's shot and realize Mitch picked the better spot.
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Old 10-16-2012, 05:56 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Joe the Photog View Post
The car in Mitch's shot did not bother me at all. It actually made me wonder if whoever that was would see Mitch's shot and realize Mitch picked the better spot.
See, you spotted it right away.

That is why it needs to go.
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Old 10-16-2012, 06:22 PM   #14
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See, you spotted it right away.

That is why it needs to go.
I was tempted!
The print does not have the parked car.

/Mitch
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Old 10-16-2012, 06:29 PM   #15
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@ Joe - too tight and loss of the road relegates the shot to more of a wedge without additional elements to carry some of the weight.

@ Janusz - Both the barn and road are "two finger spaces" away from the edge of the photo while the train is smack dab in the center, albeit, the engine is to the left.

@ Michael - Precisely! And, it is because of those that do get through that we get frustrated when others do not. I guess the glass is half full from the screener's point of view and half empty from the poster's point of view.

/Mitch
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Old 10-16-2012, 06:44 PM   #16
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I like the road because it provides a vanishing point and adds depth to the shot as does the abundance of sky and clouds.

I also like the left side with the farm and all that landscape stuff.

And there is a train.

It is a complex image which is why certain people have trouble digesting it.

Complex images are much more interesting than simple images with one single subject.
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Old 10-16-2012, 06:50 PM   #17
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Since I'm not a fan of the road in the shot (especially the cut-off road of the RP version), I probably would have composed the shot with the right side of the frame just to the right of the tree. Then I would have cloned out any remaining evidence of the poorly positioned vehicle.

Still a killer shot though, Mitch.

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Old 10-16-2012, 06:58 PM   #18
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@ Janusz - Both the barn and road are "two finger spaces" away from the edge of the photo while the train is smack dab in the center, albeit, the engine is to the left.
Vis road, ah, well, no. Maybe your eye is pulled to the vanishing point of the road (itself just to the right of center in its third), but its presence in the shot is established by the prominent wide portion in the foreground. This is why the road feels "well over there" a bit.

Mind you, I like the shot both ways, albeit I probably lean towards having the road. But it is not a classic rule of thirds, and the right side may feel wide-ish to some as a result. The tree helps a lot.



It's a debaters point rather than a critique of the shot.
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Old 10-16-2012, 07:20 PM   #19
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Mitch:

Great job; the barn and the road's vanishing point do an excellent job of bracketing/framing the train.

George
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Old 10-16-2012, 08:12 PM   #20
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Vis road, ah, well, no. Maybe your eye is pulled to the vanishing point of the road (itself just to the right of center in its third), but its presence in the shot is established by the prominent wide portion in the foreground. This is why the road feels "well over there" a bit.

Mind you, I like the shot both ways, albeit I probably lean towards having the road. But it is not a classic rule of thirds, and the right side may feel wide-ish to some as a result. The tree helps a lot. It's a debaters point rather than a critique of the shot.
Thanks J - there's no such thing as a wrong perspective, generally speaking, rather just differing perspectives and tastes. It's interesting to see your take on the image in regards to the rule of thirds. Myself - I view the image from left to right horizontally where the rule seems to work vrs diagonally.

Jim - Thanks. I like your crop and likely had a few similar which I debated with. My own issue with such a crop is that it seems to pinch the track and tree tight up against the frame. Further more, it made the composition more like a simple and less appealing 3/4 wedge while the loss of the road and field to the right means losing the feel of the vast openness of the plains of the Midwest that I was trying to capture.

George - Thanks, curious as to your favorite rendition.

El' - Great minds, they say... : )

? - Someone mentioned though can't seem to locate it now, that the shadows and highlights was a bit much - certainly a valid point of view which I would find worthy of reviewing. This helps much - a point of view that I took notice of, and burned shadows prior to submitting but perhaps a bit more would be beneficial. There are certainly times when others see things that the original poster did not - which is insight that can be gained from such a post. I recall redoing all of my W&W photos after discovering they were too warm thanks to later uploads by Kevin Madore.

Mind you, not looking to win a debate here -just trying to see differing points of views - hopefully, one I did not see, while presenting my own to see if those points are with merit.

Thanks!

/Mitch

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