Old 05-13-2010, 07:46 AM   #1
Mgoldman
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Default Bad Crop Monster

I've heard many tall tails of the bad crop monster and even encountered it a few times as well. At one point, I thought it was living in my neighborhood though simultaneously, I've read on this very discussion board that it's been sited elsewhere.

I am going to let this one go - it missed the Philly train for now but if I get enough positive feedback or perhaps constructive tips on better cropping, I will consider reposting on a future date.

Personally - I LOVE the crop. I can not imagine a better crop nor can I find fault in any way with the present crop. My upload fear was only that it may have been noisy due to the necessary high ISO. This is not an easy photo to take without the risk of long drawn out discussions with badged personnel.

So, while I'll take advice on all issues, I am primarily interested as to whether in your opinion(s) this crop is so poor a rejection is merited.

http://www.railpictures.net/viewreje...key=1275759418

I simply do not get it. As if someone told me 1+1 does not equal 2 today.

Thanks

/Mitch
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Old 05-13-2010, 08:01 AM   #2
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Tall tales, that is. Too late Chris!

/Mitch
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Old 05-13-2010, 08:26 AM   #3
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Looks great to me Mitch, and plenty to look at, looks like some one has hit the wrong button, or not looked at the shot properly.

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Old 05-13-2010, 09:33 AM   #4
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Myself...love it and I would be proud to print it and frame it if it were my own, but for RP there might be too much emphasis on including too many buildings. If you have enough pixels I'd crop some off the right and lose a little of the sky..but I'd do that only if you really want it on the site, like I said I really enjoy it as is.
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Old 05-13-2010, 09:42 AM   #5
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On second thought a little off the left and a little off the sky looks good to me, I would try again Mitch it looks like a winner.
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Old 05-13-2010, 12:05 PM   #6
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Off the top and right sides, The car is to low and to the left.
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Old 05-13-2010, 01:51 PM   #7
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Photography is an art. You, as a photographer, are an artist. DON"T let anyone tell you how to crop. That would be like telling Picaso "More red over there, and a spalsh of Blue here." It's what makes YOUR picture YOU. Its what YOU see through the lens.
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Old 05-13-2010, 02:00 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by railtrekker View Post
Photography is an art. You, as a photographer, are an artist. DON"T let anyone tell you how to crop. That would be like telling Picaso "More red over there, and a spalsh of Blue here." It's what makes YOUR picture YOU. Its what YOU see through the lens.
I tend to agree with the sentiment here. The main thing is that you are happy with the shot. If RP.net is also happy, then great. If not, then it's no big deal. Try not to be tempted into uploading a shot that you are not happy with just to conform to the rules.
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Old 05-13-2010, 02:01 PM   #9
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This is one of those instances where I don't understand the criteria of this site at all. This is a dynamic shot from a new angle I haven't seen before, perfectly exposed with good color. If the screener thinks it could be improved with a slight adjustment (such as maybe 1/4" or so off the left side), this is the time when they should take a few seconds and use the comment box. Otherwise, if they really think this shot doesn't deserve to be on here at least as much the dozen or two roster wedgies from yesterday, I don't get it, but that's just me.
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Old 05-13-2010, 02:19 PM   #10
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Well, I'm not sure what the "new angle" is that Diamond (Nick? memory loss today, sorry) refers to but all I see is a conventional shot except with elevation (the high section of the platform? with a step stool also?). The result has an odd feel, as though the train is about to dive into a tunnel under the photographer, but then not really. The very low placement of the train the frame - which I am not biased against, see my blog entry - doesn't work for me here.

But it's not bad, and I suspect the rejection is not for a "major" cropping issue but rather for a minor one. I would crop on the left in between the two buildings in the background, above the smaller yellow one, or even further and cut into the 2nd building. A bit off the sky and a bit off the right, it now looks less awkward to me.

My main complaint about the shot is not the crop but the light, it is an in between sort of light that I don't much care for, maybe a bit too processed also.

Keep them coming, Mitch, love the Philly stuff, you do it well.
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Old 05-13-2010, 02:21 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Diamond D View Post
Otherwise, if they really think this shot doesn't deserve to be on here at least as much the dozen or two roster wedgies from yesterday, I don't get it, but that's just me.
This is a common complaint, which I think misses an essential understanding of RP. These sorts of shots simply should not be compared to the wedgies. I think of them as two channels into RP, with two audiences (overlap, of course) and one should never, in evaluating screening, make comparisons across the two. That just isn't how RP works.
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Old 05-13-2010, 02:33 PM   #12
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If it's how you wanted Mitch. Call it done.

I tend to lean towards J's cropping example though.

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Old 05-13-2010, 03:03 PM   #13
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I think we're flying through nit-pick territory here....

I see nothing wrong with Mitch's original crop. Could he have gone tighter as some are suggesting and would that look alright? Sure. He elected to go wider, and to me, the degree to which he did falls within the bounds of artistic license.

Obviously, with any rejection, we have to remember Rule 1.
  • The site owners get to decide what the product looks like.
With that golden rule in mind, the most frequent negative feedback that I get from other photographers when discussing RP is that sometimes, the degree of control that is exerted over content and presentation (assuming good image quality) is a turn-off to them. Those folks might cite this particular cropping issue as an exhibit for their case.

It would be great to hear some Screener's thoughts here. Why did they shoot this one down over a seemingly minor disagreement on the crop. Were there other issues that rubbed them the wrong way and the crop just pushed them over the edge? Having been where Mitch is, I'd like to know myself.
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Old 05-13-2010, 03:15 PM   #14
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I could see a slightly tighter crop as others have mentioned above, but I believe I would appeal first defending why you wanted the shot to come out the way it did. If they accept it, great. If not, then decide if you want to crop it to RP's wishes or keep it as is and in a personal collection. I like it the way it it, FWIW.
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Old 05-13-2010, 05:11 PM   #15
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Thanks for the advice, comments and thoughts - especially the two crops.

It's rather surprising to note how cropping an 1/8th of an inch or so off the top and left /or right brings the train into the scene. On the other hand, it gets kind of tight on the PECO building nearly cutting off it's antenna. A trade off worthy of debate and consideration. Janusz, I like the extra saturation and will make that enhancement, though, I think I'll cool it off just a pinch (loose some red /yellow). And as an FYI, there is a chain link fence which I had to shoot above in order to get the shot. In the past, one could simply walk past the non-existent fence to the end of the platform for some really great angles but even here I was pushing my luck.

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Old 05-13-2010, 05:33 PM   #16
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Janusz, I like the extra saturation and will make that enhancement, though, I think I'll cool it off just a pinch (loose some red /yellow).
As info, I didn't touch the saturation or anything else but crop. It looks a bit off to me now and I presume that is due to opening it in MS Office Picture Manager and then some sort of SRBG/AdobeRGB or other color management issue. It looks to me like the brown is too strong, but I suspect that is a function of the software. I like the color in Arne's version much better than in what I attached.

I use MS Office Picture Manager only for quick crops when I am messing with RP forum shots.
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Old 05-14-2010, 12:13 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by JRMDC View Post
Well, I'm not sure what the "new angle" is that Diamond (Nick? memory loss today, sorry) refers to but all I see is a conventional shot except with elevation (the high section of the platform? with a step stool also?).
Yup, it's Nick. I'm not saying that view isn't already in the database, just that it's one I haven't seen before, and it's a great backdrop.

Quote:
This is a common complaint, which I think misses an essential understanding of RP. These sorts of shots simply should not be compared to the wedgies. I think of them as two channels into RP, with two audiences (overlap, of course) and one should never, in evaluating screening, make comparisons across the two. That just isn't how RP works.
Sorry, I don't really get that. Are you saying there's one set of roster/wedgie criteria, and one set of "artsy" criteria? Obviously lighting and PEQ are wholly subjective calls, and plenty of shots get in on cloudy days or backlighting if the screener deems that they "work". But are "artsy" shots held to a higher standard with regards to criteria such as cropping because they could be slightly better? If so then like I said, that's where screener's comments should be used.

But the fact is, even with a crop that's just a bit too far left in my opinion, this represents "the best railroad photos on the 'net" moreso than a lot of other pictures which were accepted yesterday. Maybe I'm still missing the point, but that's what I get from their motto...
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Old 05-14-2010, 01:17 AM   #18
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I agree with J and Joe. Take some off the left, that helps a lot. And yes, the light is weak. But O/W a very strong, interesting city-scape compo.

What really did not work for me was the catenary support wire coming in from the left causing a stomach-churning eye-lurch with the catenary going out the right. Perhaps that also contributed to the "bad" crop reject.
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Old 05-14-2010, 02:38 AM   #19
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Sorry, I don't really get that. Are you saying there's one set of roster/wedgie criteria, and one set of "artsy" criteria? Obviously lighting and PEQ are wholly subjective calls, and plenty of shots get in on cloudy days or backlighting if the screener deems that they "work". But are "artsy" shots held to a higher standard with regards to criteria such as cropping because they could be slightly better? If so then like I said, that's where screener's comments should be used.
No, what I am saying is that artsy shots that are inherently more interesting than a wedgie, even in their current less-than-preferable technical state, will not get in and should not. RP is not going to accept an artsy shot with lots of flaws just because it is more interesting than the many accepted wedgies. RP will still hold out for improvement, in the various technical dimensions, of the artsy shot.

So, your next to last sentence quoted above, it isn't a higher standard, it is that the standard is not lowered just because the shot has higher artistic quality and so "on net" might be considered to already be equal to or more worthy than a standard wedgie. The "slightly better" criterion will still be applied.
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Old 05-16-2010, 10:51 PM   #20
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Lots of interesting comments here. I particularly liked Januz' comment about different "avenues" for wedgies versus artsy shots, although I share some of Diamond D's confusion as to what that means. And Kevin was right on about nit pick territory and the site owner making the calls (even when they may be close calls), that's the nature of the beast.

While as "artists" we all have to decide what we want our own work to look like, the feed back is interesting since even an artist (or at least most artists) needs a "consumer". So I find it useful to listen to what others think, and sometimes it changes my own view. But in the end our art should reflect our own view. Don't change it unless you really think the changed image is better, not just because somebody else thinks so.

If anything I would have rejected Mitch's picture for what looks to me like over processed color (even though I do the same thing occasionally).

But net net seems to me it should have been accepted, in the sense that I think it is a superior picture to many that are accepted. But like so many things here, that is just a personal view and your mileage may vary.
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Old 05-16-2010, 11:12 PM   #21
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I think we're flying through nit-pick territory here....
Maybe? Someone thinks there wrong explain why you have the way you do and if it make scents it may get on with out cropping it.
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