Old 12-23-2007, 11:09 PM   #1
ABX
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Default Bad composition?

Hi everyone,

I just tried uploading this picture, it got rejected. Quite frustrating, I thought I had a pretty good recent picture that was worth uploading:

http://www.railpictures.net/viewreje...&key=901765676

Can anyone explain the reason for rejection, and how it applies to this picture? I really have no idea...

Thanks!
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Old 12-23-2007, 11:19 PM   #2
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I think you need to crop in more on the train and get rid of the space on the right side. I always try to include some of the scenery too and end up cropping it out to get it accepted.
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Old 12-23-2007, 11:44 PM   #3
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There's a ton of action on the left, nothing on the right

think of a properly composed photo as a see saw with two children that weigh the same.

Your photo has the fat kid on the left side of the see saw

Crop some of the right side off, and emphasize the train

good luck!

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Old 12-24-2007, 01:21 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbassloyd
think of a properly composed photo as a see saw with two children that weigh the same.

Your photo has the fat kid on the left side of the see saw
That's the greatest explanation of a photo reject I've ever seen!



And it's true. Too much dead space stinking up the place on the right ofthe photo. It's a nice scene overall and the road is a nice touch. I hope you can crop enough, yet keep theroad and not destroy the image quality. If not, can you get back to this spot?


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Old 12-24-2007, 01:43 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbassloyd
Think of a properly composed photo as a see saw with two children that weigh the same.

Your photo has the fat kid on the left side of the see saw

Crop some of the right side off, and emphasize the train.
I will have to remember that one!
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Old 12-26-2007, 04:52 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by travsirocz
I think you need to crop in more on the train and get rid of the space on the right side. I always try to include some of the scenery too and end up cropping it out to get it accepted.
This photo makes me understand the best shots are the well centered on the train, and not to include much of space area around either on the right and left side. Now i have the idea for the perfectly picture RP screeners will not reject!
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Old 12-26-2007, 05:15 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Werkur
This photo makes me understand the best shots are the well centered on the train, and not to include much of space area around either on the right and left side. Now i have the idea for the perfectly picture RP screeners will not reject!
I'm guessing when you say "well centered," you actually mean "focused on" meaning the train is the focal point of the picture. Because I know you have been part of a conversation where you were told that the train is not supposed to be centered, that you should follow the Rule of Thirds. However, to say the train should be the focal point doesn't really do this site justice. There are many photographs where the train is just part of a larger photo. Meaning the train does not have to fill 3/4s of the frame. Others have more scenic examples. Here's one or two of mine that come to mind --

Image ©
PhotoID:
Photograph ©


Image ©
PhotoID:
Photograph ©



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Old 12-26-2007, 05:23 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe the Photog
I'm guessing when you say "well centered," you actually mean "focused on" meaning the train is the focal point of the picture. Because I know you have been part of a conversation where you were told that the train is not supposed to be centered, that you should follow the Rule of Thirds. However, to say the train should be the focal point doesn't really do this site justice. There are many photographs where the train is just part of a larger photo.

Joe
Here's my favorite example:
Image © Andrew Blaszczyk (2)
PhotoID: 209706
Photograph © Andrew Blaszczyk (2)

If the train is the focal point in my shot I rarely feel it meets my personal standards. It takes some truely awesome light or some other strange "effect" to get me to take a standard 'train shot'. I am a strong advocate for the Rule of Thirds and annoy myself a majority of the time by shooting the train in the middle of the frame and needing to crop to fit my requirements.

As for the photo in question here it reminds me of this shot of mine:
Image © Andrew Blaszczyk (2)
PhotoID: 178695
Photograph © Andrew Blaszczyk (2)

Notice where I cropped at the tree line and where in relation to the fence posts I put the edge of the photo.

It took me a while to figure out "dead space" and what qualified as being okay to leave in and what to leave out. It basically comes back to the idea of using frames.

Take this shot for example:
Image © Andrew Blaszczyk (2)
PhotoID: 159301
Photograph © Andrew Blaszczyk (2)

Although it doesn't follow the Rule of Thirds, I like it because 1) I'm not usually down in that area 2) Its a scenic shot. It took me a good 20-30 minutes to crop it a way that I thought it wouldn't get axed because of "bad cropping". The simplest "rough edge" on a photo can throw off its balance so its important to make sure it flows and is pleasing to the eye. It's subtle but look at the edges in the CSX shot. The left side is cropped just at the rock along the river and still includes some of the tree branches instead of being directly at the center of the tree. The bottom is cropped directly under the rock in the center of the frame and just above another rock that wouldn't make it proportionate. Despite the tree blending into the others in the background leaving a few branches visible balances out the right with the left side of the photo. The top was the biggest pain because in the original I included the whole 'dark' tree just above the nose of the engine. I had to find two even points on the left and right side to crop at so it flowed. Notice the top right corner and the lighter section of tree about an inch from the top left corner.

I am always this picky when it comes to cropping because I get distracted easily from what I should be looking at when there is an edge that makes me think.
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Old 12-26-2007, 05:45 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe the Photog
I'm guessing when you say "well centered," you actually mean "focused on" meaning the train is the focal point of the picture. Because I know you have been part of a conversation where you were told that the train is not supposed to be centered, that you should follow the Rule of Thirds. However, to say the train should be the focal point doesn't really do this site justice. There are many photographs where the train is just part of a larger photo. Meaning the train does not have to fill 3/4s of the frame. Others have more scenic examples. Here's one or two of mine that come to mind --

Image ©
PhotoID:
Photograph ©


Image ©
PhotoID:
Photograph ©



Joe
Joe,

Yep, first i thought not well centered could be the right kind of shot not to be rejected and in database has some wonderful pics of them.

Second, maybe focusing on train could be a better shot, and most of my shots are meaning on the train, but rejected by another reason (poor nose lighting).

What i may think?

I like well centered and some not well centered when have a building or a river, birds and people on the shot.
I do not following the rule of thirds as standard opinion, but i think when have what i say as artistic value, and most of other of you disagree with me, i like the shot. Many of shots what i say as artistic value has something built (buildings or anything more) and nature area, and some good ones were rejected!

What screeners wants in database? Help me out to undersatand it!

Last edited by Werkur; 12-26-2007 at 05:53 AM.
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Old 12-26-2007, 11:47 AM   #10
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Basically, Werner, the screeners want a properly exposed picture with acceptable to interesting light and composition. The difficulty for you and others coming new to the site is that there are many good/bad dimensions with which you must become familiar: backlight, centering vs. rule of thirds, dull overcast, poles sticking out of the tops of engines, etc. And it's hard since many types of shots are accepted at RP: mostly train vs. mostly scenery, nose-on sun vs. backlit vs. night, sun vs fog vs rain vs snow, wide angles vs. teles.

Sorry to say, but sometimes it just takes time and experience to sort all this out. So a) keep reading all the threads here and think seriously about what you see, try to sort things out into principles and categories, b) look at lots of RP pix and do the same, and c) look at your pictures and try to develop a critical eye toward them. There is no shortcut.

Well, as far as getting shots on RP, there is one sort-of shortcut - begin by trying to capture the simplest possible image - a 3/4 wedgie of a passing train in a scene with simple background, where the sun shines onto the nose and side of the train. Master that, then move up from there.

J

PS And keep in mind that RP is only one set of preferences for pictures - albeit ones grounded in basic photographic principles and thus preferred by many. If you prefer your trains centered in your images, go ahead and do so. Nothing wrong with that! Just don't expect to get many accepted here; nothing wrong with enjoying them at home or sharing direct with friends.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Werkur
Joe,

Yep, first i thought not well centered could be the right kind of shot not to be rejected and in database has some wonderful pics of them.

Second, maybe focusing on train could be a better shot, and most of my shots are meaning on the train, but rejected by another reason (poor nose lighting).

What i may think?

I like well centered and some not well centered when have a building or a river, birds and people on the shot.
I do not following the rule of thirds as standard opinion, but i think when have what i say as artistic value, and most of other of you disagree with me, i like the shot. Many of shots what i say as artistic value has something built (buildings or anything more) and nature area, and some good ones were rejected!

What screeners wants in database? Help me out to undersatand it!
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Old 12-26-2007, 09:56 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Werkur
What screeners wants in database? Help me out to undersatand it!
Werner,

As J explained, the easiest type of shot you can get accepted is the standard 3/4 wedge shot, or a simple roster shot, like your first accepted image:

Image ©
PhotoID:
Photograph ©


For a basic wedge shot, find a grade crossing that does not have obstructions in front of the track and where a train will be coming at a 45 degree angle towards the sun (the sun being behind you). You have the choice to zoom in a little, or a lot (to compose a shot commonly known as a telemash), or don't zoom in at all.

Typical wedge example:

Image © Carl Becker
PhotoID: 206368
Photograph © Carl Becker


Wide wedge example:

Image © Carl Becker
PhotoID: 201838
Photograph © Carl Becker


And my best attempt at a telemash, which in reality was zoomed in as far as I can and then heavily cropped:

Image © Carl Becker
PhotoID: 208578
Photograph © Carl Becker


As you get used to composing wedge shots, then gradually begin inserting more creativity into the photos. Insert grain elevators or other buildings of interest behind the train:

Image © Carl Becker
PhotoID: 183843
Photograph © Carl Becker


And gradually continue to improve. As J also stated, one of the best ways to learn how to crop shots for RP is to browse photos in the database. And don't rely on old photos from here (I've only been submitting for a year but know that some of the older shots would never have a shot getting accepted today.). The standards have drastically changed as time passes and database space lessons.

HTH!

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Old 12-27-2007, 03:50 AM   #12
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Carl and JRMDC,

Perfectly understanding, your shots gaves to me the idea of wedge and as my first photo accepted, a simple roster and the others like zoomed also is a good composition!

Thanks for the comments! I know now what is good for acceptance!
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Old 12-29-2007, 08:20 PM   #13
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Werner,

What camera do you happen to be using? I tried looking at the headers for your accepted image but they had been eaten.

~Carl Becker
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Old 12-30-2007, 01:21 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carl Becker
Werner,

What camera do you happen to be using? I tried looking at the headers for your accepted image but they had been eaten.

~Carl Becker
Carl,

I have two cameras, both are Canon:

S3 IS: For shtos when i am near the subject, i mean close to object;

EOS 400D: For shots when the subject is far away, so i use the 100-400mm lens to get a full image of the obeject on the photo.

For my first accepted image was with the S3 IS, i was right beside the roster, spotting planes on aproach of the runway 27R Philadelphia airport (PHL/KPHL), and the rail line comes across this area.

Last edited by Werkur; 12-30-2007 at 01:29 PM.
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Old 12-31-2007, 04:29 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Werkur
S3 IS: For shtos when i am near the subject, i mean close to object;

EOS 400D: For shots when the subject is far away, so i use the 100-400mm lens to get a full image of the obeject on the photo.
Based on that, you have more than what you would need to get quality photos on here. Right now I am using an A540 point and shoot that I will be soon basically be handing down to my dad, who currently uses an A520. Both of us agreed that since I have gotten the amount of photos uploaded over a year that I have, more zoom power is a must. In your case, just the S3 IS would be more than good enough.

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