Old 06-02-2014, 11:59 PM   #51
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Some railroaders seem to be oblivious to the fact that they are the equivalent of very, very highly paid truck drivers. At least on Class 1 RR's. Shortline employees probably make about what truck drivers do, maybe less. These same people dont realize or dont care that they are the "face" of the railroad.

Because of all the silly rules and safety precautions, the industry is no more dangerous than most these days. Work schedule, while bad for family life, is not nearly as bad as some professions which get paid a whole lot less.

Most encounters are fine, but Charles is right, you certainly remember the bad ones...
Ignorance at its finest.
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I personally have had a problem with those trying to tell us to turn railroad photography into an "art form." It's fine for them to do so, I welcome it in fact, but what I do have a problem with is that the practitioners of the more "arty" shots, I have found, tend to look down their nose's at others who are shooting more "mundane" shots.
Railroad photography is what you make of it, but one way is not "better" than another, IMHO. Unless you have a pole right thought the nose of the engine! -SG
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Old 06-03-2014, 02:19 AM   #52
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Truckers and Railroaders, who else does Troy want to throw under the bus today?

A lot more to the railroad than that, and beyond that driving semi is not nearly as easy as you are insinuating either.

Maintenance men on your poop list too? Farmers?
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Old 06-03-2014, 03:07 AM   #53
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Truckers and Railroaders, who else does Troy want to throw under the bus today?

A lot more to the railroad than that, and beyond that driving semi is not nearly as easy as you are insinuating either.

Maintenance men on your poop list too? Farmers?
I'm not throwing anyone under the bus except the train crews with bad attitudes.

The point I was making was that railroaders and truckers are similar jobs, one gets paid a whole lot more. Presumably because it is perceived to be a more dangerous job, with bad working hours/conditions. Truckers I would say is just as, if not more dangerous. More truckers are killed on the job in a year than engineers/conductors. And in particular, these train crews with bad attitudes, which thankfully are in the minority, seem to be taking their nice paying job for granted. If they dont like railfans, they can be truckers.

Didnt expect you to be able to read between the lines...
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Old 06-03-2014, 03:14 AM   #54
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Meth and all here in Ohio, I can see how you would think that.

Really I just think you are a jerk and take every opportunity to get a dig in against you. Might as well throw the truth out there, you know?
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Old 06-03-2014, 03:19 AM   #55
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Meth and all here in Ohio, I can see how you would think that.
That meth article has been in my signature for a couple weeks. I was just about to take it out, since it's not really newsworthy anymore, but maybe it needs an extra week

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Really I just think you are a jerk and take every opportunity to get a dig in against you. Might as well throw the truth out there, you know?
Awesome...

Meanwhile, back on the farm... these updated rejection reasons are swell
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Old 06-03-2014, 03:30 AM   #56
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And who is being stopped from just taking train pictures and not having to fret over so many details? There are a million places you can share your images where no screening is involved. Why would you have to fret over details here if you didn't care for that? There must be a reason you still submit to RP, even though you dislike the screening process. And if you choose to do so, then why is it hard to play by their "rules"? I have no problem with it at all. If they want me to crop my image differently to be on their site, fine. The crop I like will be on flickr, or my photobucket acct, or wherever. I have never once felt pressured or forced into submitting photos to RP. It's been of 100% free will, and always playing their game, which at times I find to be a fun challenge. And for Pete's sake, sometimes they just happen to like photos the way *I* want them to be, too!
Thank you Jim. I love a lecture just before I go off to bed...

No, I don't want to think too much about "rules" when I photograph. I'd like to think I have enough sense to know what to do by now. Sometimes posting images to RP.net is like masochism---but since I'm kind of into bondage, leather and whips, I keep coming back for more...

Seriously...the new standards are fine. They appear to be more precise with respect to the various things they tend to favor in photos. Nothing wrong with that.
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Old 06-03-2014, 04:06 AM   #57
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I'm sure the guys in my age bracket (60 and older) would agree: that rarely, if ever, happened back in the "old" days. But, it's just one more aspect of the loss of civility and respect, and the deterioration of society. Politicians don't make public policy now---they scream at each other as if it's a blood sport. The whole nation is rude and polarized, so it's not a good place to be now.

Sure, I miss the old days when a member of the crew would lean out and wave--with all five fingers extended, rather than one.
Ron,

Since I am in the plus 60 age range, let me chime in. (To the thunder of eyes rolling by guys in their 20's and 30's)

The USA of the 30's, 40's, 50's even the 60's I would say was made of the WW II generation and their values. They made the USA the world greatest standard of living and the most powerful nation on earth. And there was civility then that does not exist today. In my home, "damn" was the most vile curse word spoken by Dad. And I would agree that many values of today were non-existent and thus verboten.

Gay marriage, mixed marriages, women in the workplace, buying bottled water, shorts and flip flops in church and everywhere instead of suits and dresses are examples that I can think of at the moment.

But if you go back further, you can find politicians being caned on the floor of the US Capital. And a nation so polarized we went to war with each other because so many people in the nation were slaves.

Because I was of the generation that defiantly tossed off bourgeoisie middle class values of dressing for middle class respectability and various other values, I of course now am nostalgic for them. (If CRPA'S "CAP" was held in the 50's everyone, EVERYONE would have been in a suit or a dress.)

Such is the blessing or curse of aging.
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Old 06-03-2014, 04:15 AM   #58
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I believe the same civility today existed in 1940, the difference is people have more avenues in which to be assholes. In 1950 if an engineer flicked you off you might tell your buddies and a few people would know at best. In 2014 that picture of him you took could get 5,000 views in a day and all of a sudden all railroaders are a-holes. Its all about relativity. Were people kinder in 1950? I would say no. My generation is most likely the most tolerant generation to this point in time. Majority of us could care less about black, white, gay, straight, whatever. You can not say that about the generation of people in their 60's-70's right now. I grew up around older men, I know this. Videos such as "How to Tell When a Gay is About" from 1950 pretty much put the nail in that coffin!

For the record, the times I have heard stories about "my old man loved his liquor and an open hand" or "my dad got real mad at mom sometimes... and you know... but it was out of love" FAR FAR FAR outweigh either "my old man always treated my mom as an equal and with respect" or stories from this day in age. Could just be what I have been exposed to but in seems as if back then hitting your wife was seen as ok but it certainly is not today. (DUH!)
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I personally have had a problem with those trying to tell us to turn railroad photography into an "art form." It's fine for them to do so, I welcome it in fact, but what I do have a problem with is that the practitioners of the more "arty" shots, I have found, tend to look down their nose's at others who are shooting more "mundane" shots.
Railroad photography is what you make of it, but one way is not "better" than another, IMHO. Unless you have a pole right thought the nose of the engine! -SG

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Old 06-03-2014, 04:33 AM   #59
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Or in other words, your experience may vary.
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Old 06-03-2014, 04:36 AM   #60
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Thank you Jim. I love a lecture just before I go off to bed...

No, I don't want to think too much about "rules" when I photograph. I'd like to think I have enough sense to know what to do by now. Sometimes posting images to RP.net is like masochism---but since I'm kind of into bondage, leather and whips, I keep coming back for more...
Ha! I knew there was something dark and interesting about you.
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Old 06-03-2014, 06:29 AM   #61
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Good step in the right direction, and I applaud RP's effort to respond to complaints that reflect one of major major issues here. I would throw out one more thought for consideration by RP. One thing that would almost make a rejection a joyous occasion would be a personal note from the screener. Now we know that is probably not practical in general due to the volume of images screened. But maybe that could be one of the privileges associated with elite membership.
Agree and disagree -

Agree - good step in the right direction worth applaud!

Disagree - Notes from screener is an option that should be used when and where appropriate vs if and only when paid for. The screeners on RP should know when and where, and that in the past, it's been very poorly utilized. One specific instance would be to acknowledge a patron's comment to the screener with an open mind should the poster's perspective on an unusual photo have merit. Or, why not every question? It's just plain rude not to answer as we've seen in the past with questions regarding which way unlevel.


On a side note - three suggestions in regards to the new improved rejections list:

1) Lose "Poor" in PEQ. Why not as with other rejections, just go with Aesthetic Quality: This rejection means that the photo is of low aesthetic qualities, does not contain enough rail-related content, or is simply not the type of material we wish to publish.

2) You've added "leaning left" and "leaning right" to the horizon unlevel - why stop there without adding "Perspective Issues" lens or otherwise.

3) Repeating myself - something I tend to do when past statements are not acknowledged (see "admin suggestions / admin to do") - now would be a great time to soften the wording in the rejection statement. Especially when the image has an easily correctable flaw - "Nice shot, one we'd love to include in our database - would you consider making the following edit:"

/Mitch


I'll leave consistency and tolerance for another day...
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Old 06-03-2014, 06:23 PM   #62
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So...that belabored "leaning" shot of mine was accepted (after I "fixed" it), and I see it's now a Top Shot. Mmmmm......

Image © Ron Flanary
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Still....I don't mind using the rotation tool on Photoshop to level a shot, but I still have heartburn when I'm forced to use the lens correction tool to address what is perceived as distortion (as I did for this image). In the case of the subject shot, I had the horizontal features just right---horizontal---but the handrails on the unit were leaning to the right. It was shot at 45mm, so that's close to "normal." In 100 percent of the time years ago, that shot would have never been questioned. Now, it is.

But---I can't win that argument, so I capitulated. And yes...a simple note from the screener would have saved much angst on my part (but, that's a private matter we've discussed off list).

At the end of the day, I shouldn't be so damn touchy. My photography isn't good enough to warrant it.
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Old 06-03-2014, 06:26 PM   #63
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My photography isn't good enough to warrant it.
Wrong, sir. And stop fishing for compliments.
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Old 06-03-2014, 06:44 PM   #64
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At the end of the day, I shouldn't be so damn touchy. My photography isn't good enough to warrant it.
Something only the best photographers seem to say (and believe)!

/Mitch
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Old 06-03-2014, 06:59 PM   #65
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1) Lose "Poor" in PEQ. Why not as with other rejections, just go with Aesthetic Quality: This rejection means that the photo is of low aesthetic qualities, does not contain enough rail-related content, or is simply not the type of material we wish to publish.
I fully agree, Mitch. I've gotten a PEQ before (not many though), and the "poor" part of the name is never well received. Most of the images you'll see on RP.net are not really creative, but more documentary. In fact, most of the site's contributors (and viewers) only want a sunny day shot of their favorite BNSF Gevo, or a plain roster shot of one of the E-units at Spencer. There's nothing wrong with that at all, because it's a personal choice.

But, in those cases where a photographer is attempting to do something a bit more expressive, you get into unstable ground quickly if you judge it in a demeaning manner, and the terminology used for "PEQ" is just that. What, exactly, is "low aesthetic quality"? I saw images at the recent CRPA conference in Lake Forest that were intended to be fine art, but I didn't really like 'em at all. I didn't say as much---because I didn't want to open my mouth and be judged to be a clueless rube. I mention this because what's pure gold to one viewer is pure crap to another.

I never considered it appropriate to demean anyone's attempt at making "art." Of course if you throw up an image to a juried site like RP.net, you should expect judgment. However, I do think the harsh and judgmental language in the "PEQ" category could, and should be softened. As it now stands, it's a rude smack-down---and it pisses people off for no good reason.

I would just say something like "Esthetic Rejection": While RP.net does not pretend to pass judgment on the creative efforts of any photographer, this shot does not, in our opinion, contain enough rail-related content, or we just don't feel it is appropriate for our site.

As for all the technical standards.....color, contrast, sharpness, etc. (yes, even "level")....those are pretty much straight up, and should be understood by one and all. If a shot I submit is too light, a little soft or something of that nature, I understand and accept it. I have issues with "level" at times, though, because one person's view of "crooked" is different from another's.

Finally....noise and grain is not always bad. In fact, it's an important component of much great photography. It's bad for someone's grade crossing shot of a UP freight, but maybe not so bad for a moody shot of a distant signal at night.
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Old 06-03-2014, 10:01 PM   #66
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Engineers and conductors down here on the Chattanooga Sub are overwhelmingly friendly, class guys. Never had a derisive gesture or comment from any of them, and have had many wave and cooperate for a picture. Just last Friday I was holding my 4 year old granddaughter in a field near the tracks to watch a work train go by and the engineer opened the window, waved and yelled a big "hi" to her and then gave the horn a couple of toots. She was thrilled. Can't beat that!
Case in point. Shot this last night, one of several trains we saw all evening, and every one of them had very friendly crews that were trying their best to get my niece's attention. Being 16 months old, all she could do was stare in awe at those big ole trains and listen to the noise.
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Old 06-03-2014, 10:20 PM   #67
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If it matters, I totally started a slow clap for this.

A year or so ago, I was out with a friend and he had his two boys with us, 6 and 11 respectively. Conductor on a local decided to give us all the finger. It was a very tough decision to e-mail the photo to the railroad knowing how touchy a subject it can be among train crews. Nevertheless, what kind of example is that to demonstrate in front of kids?

Several months later, we had the polar opposite. Train was stopped waiting for a couple to pass by, and the engineer invited us up into the cab to shoot the breeze while they waited.

Some folks just can't be nice enough, and others just can't be nice. . .

Just do what they do in Europe. Line up in a row and drop trouser and moon um as they pass.
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Old 06-03-2014, 10:22 PM   #68
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Case in point. Shot this last night, one of several trains we saw all evening, and every one of them had very friendly crews that were trying their best to get my niece's attention. Being 16 months old, all she could do was stare in awe at those big ole trains and listen to the noise.
Odds are you ratio is reduced when you are not with a 16 month old, a child or... a dog!

Nice story and cool shot!

/Mitch
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Old 06-03-2014, 11:03 PM   #69
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Something only the best photographers seem to say (and believe)!

/Mitch
Actually, I do honestly believe it. I'm an old guy trying to post pictures to a site owned by, and supported by (primarily) young guys---many of whom astound me with their talents. I do struggle with an inferiority complex when it comes to "new" images. Of course if it's something I shot 40 years ago, that's different---because the field for those images isn't quite as crowded.

I went down to Spencer and tried to shoot what I liked....and was pleased RP.net accepted the ten I uploaded (except one which was the discussion on another thread---but I "fixed" it, and now it's on as well). I'm sure there are many others images on the folder (of 300 some images) I could upload, but I won't, since I enjoy seeing the work of others more than my own.
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Old 06-03-2014, 11:23 PM   #70
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I'm sure there are many others images on the folder (of 300 some images) I could upload, but I won't, since I enjoy seeing the work of others more than my own.
I couldn't agree more. When I go on a charter with a bunch of other folks I try to control my enthusiasm for my own images because I'd rather see what others did with similar opportunities. So I'll pick one or two of my favorites, save the rest, and enjoy the show. Sometimes it saves me from being embarrassed, and I usually learn something.
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Old 06-03-2014, 11:24 PM   #71
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Actually, I do honestly believe it.
Lol - another thing great photographers seem to have in common.

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I'm sure there are many others images on the folder (of 300 some images) I could upload, but I won't, since I enjoy seeing the work of others more than my own.
Hence the reason the "Similar to previous photo(s)" rejection sucks.

I want to see the "BEST railroad photos on the net" - not the first.

'Course, according to admin - they are no longer similar to similar shots when they get posted later in the year... ?!?!??!

/Mitch
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Old 06-03-2014, 11:33 PM   #72
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"Esthetic Rejection": While RP.net does not pretend to pass judgment on the creative efforts of any photographer, this shot does not, in our opinion, contain enough rail-related content, or we just don't feel it is appropriate for our site.
That's really well worded.
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Old 06-04-2014, 02:22 AM   #73
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...

I want to see the "BEST railroad photos on the net" - not the first.

'Course, according to admin - they are no longer similar to similar shots when they get posted later in the year... ?!?!??!

/Mitch
When I selected a few shots from my Spencer adventure, I tried to select images that others probably hadn't done. I think two of them were kind of conventional views, but the other eight were intended to be "different." How many views of all those units around the turntable do any of us need? I found the people shots, the close ups, the details, and the odd angles to be far more interesting. But---that's just me, and not everyone likes those kinds of shots.
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Old 06-04-2014, 11:45 AM   #74
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In 100 percent of the time years ago, that shot would have never been questioned. Now, it is.
That's because people were conditioned not to contest it, especially since there was nothing you could do about it.
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Old 06-04-2014, 02:48 PM   #75
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That's because people were conditioned not to contest it, especially since there was nothing you could do about it.
Of course I would never, ever question or contest anything...

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