Old 08-21-2011, 05:10 PM   #1
amtrakboy
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Default "Poor Esthetic Quality"--WHY?

Guys,

I have here a photo kicked for "Poor Esthetic Qualities." I don't see why, in view of the fact that I have seen numerous similar-type photos in the database that were accepted. What did the screeners not like about it?

http://www.railpictures.net/viewreje...&key=881792784

Thanks in advance for all criticisms and suggestions!!
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Old 08-21-2011, 05:21 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by amtrakboy View Post
What did the screeners not like about it?
I have no idea. Other than it isn't as earth-shatteringly wonderful as my shot from a few weeks ago

Image © Janusz Mrozek
PhotoID: 370001
Photograph © Janusz Mrozek


Some things that come to mind:

1) it is a plain wedgie, and I guess I find nothing interesting in a plain wedgie blur. A blur in context, I can go for, but here there is essentially none.

2) that of course leads to the question, why mine and not yours? I have no idea. But, I wonder if my going-away shot, a no-no on RP and a sure reject in this case had I shot it as a still, makes it somehow more interesting. My shot is a train sort of entering the frame at speed, whereas yours is just there. Also, I have interesting detail blur on mine, particularly the yellow stripes of the blurred steps, but also some undercarriage detail, where as yours is more of a wash, more blob-ish.

3) You do have some shadow problems. And more than that, those shadows cause the eye to go to the bright spot, which in your case is a detail-free bright gray side of the unit, not blown out but it has that feel, a section of nothingness.

4) I do have some - not much but some - trackside detail in the form of the CPL, you have some rocks in the foreground.

These are all speculations, I have no idea, really. Nice job getting a strong blur in full sun. If anything, I might go for a faster shutter next time, to keep more recognizable detail on the engine, maybe 1/30 sec.
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Last edited by JRMDC; 08-21-2011 at 05:24 PM.
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Old 08-21-2011, 05:29 PM   #3
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Thanks, JRMDC!!! I have several other similar shots I will play around with, and maybe submit, if not "throw out" here for suggestions prior to any submissions to the screeners. I know that photography is purely subjective, and here is no exception. That leads me to say that I myself have seen shots here and there on the database that I personally don't care for, but who's to say? Just because the screeners liked them doesn't mean that everyone out there is all that wild about them!! To me the PEQ rejection is the most frustrating one of all!! Thanks again for your help!!

Last edited by amtrakboy; 08-21-2011 at 08:11 PM.
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Old 08-21-2011, 08:49 PM   #4
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William - it almost would appear you took the shot to add the genre to your collection rather then a true sense of purpose. If you took it to capture a sense of speed or urgency, I think a little more work is needed as I see blur rather then speed.

Janusz's bad angle, overcast cloudy day shot of common power going away with the CPL buried in the shrubs (lol) works because the blur was captured very well. First, it would seem that type of composition works best in a going away shot. Second, there is a greater sense of speed in Janusz's more blurred shot (though note the engine way ahead is almost sharp). And to Janusz's credit, there is in fact, not only a second subject, but an historic subject, as well.

As Janusz stated, the image you present falls a bit short in that it appears to be more of a blurry wedge without a secondary focus point in a nondescript location with a shadowy corner that is a bit distracting.

Try to find a scene that would work even without the blur, add a secondary subject to focus on (even if it's the lead engine sharper due to distance) and lose the shadows and you'll have what you're after.

Here's my latest addition to the genre - also common power in cloudy (but not overcast) skies. I think there is a good sense of speed implied and a secondary reference point to focus on.

Image © Mitch Goldman
PhotoID: 371269
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Old 08-21-2011, 08:56 PM   #5
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with the CPL buried in the shrubs (lol)
I'm still irritated by that, never saw it at the time. I may or may not have been able to do something about it, there was a drop-off in front of me, but I would like to have noticed and tried. Just another item added to my mental checklist, already since checked off on one occasion (but not on an RP-worthy shot, alas). Experience takes time to accumulate...
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Old 08-22-2011, 02:07 AM   #6
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Thanks Mitch for the advice. I'll give it another "go" at several other nearby locations where I can, hopefully, find a satisfactory secondary subject with the train going away and no shadows.
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Old 08-22-2011, 02:49 AM   #7
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I'm not a big fan of blur shots.. I just don't see the point I guess! But either way, it was a good idea with a not-so-good result. Shadows can be tricky, and you definitely got boned by that shadow!
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Old 08-22-2011, 03:25 AM   #8
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The Claymont shot reminds of me of the effect they use in Star Trek when the ships to go to warp.
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Old 08-22-2011, 04:59 AM   #9
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I would have just shot it normal, but I suck at blurring things..
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Old 08-22-2011, 05:46 AM   #10
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amtrakboy,

Since the "Location" description you've provided for all your photos taken at this crossing is so precise, I thought you'd appreciate knowing that the FRA grade crossing inventory defines the location for Cliff Cave Road as Milepost 12.60, not "12.7" as you indicate in your caption data. I hope this helps.
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Old 08-22-2011, 01:29 PM   #11
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J. said it best. Context. If there was some other element in your shot, then it might work. A station, a crossing, a cut of cars sitting on a siding..... anything at all other than just a blurred train. As to location, call me curious, but why do you shoot so often at this one nondescript crossing?
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Old 08-22-2011, 04:05 PM   #12
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Thanks Dave!! I'll make corrections as needed.
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Old 08-22-2011, 04:06 PM   #13
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Joe, I shoot at this location to try different techniques, etc., to get the most out of the location, which is also closest to my home.
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Old 08-23-2011, 03:53 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WMHeilman View Post
I'm not a big fan of blur shots.. I just don't see the point I guess! But either way, it was a good idea with a not-so-good result. Shadows can be tricky, and you definitely got boned by that shadow!
Blur is the best way I can think of to show diesels/electric lomotives are moving.
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Old 08-23-2011, 04:39 PM   #15
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Quote:
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Blur is the best way I can think of to show diesels/electric lomotives are moving.
I'm sure Mitch and others would disagree.

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Old 08-23-2011, 04:40 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amtrakboy View Post
Joe, I shoot at this location to try different techniques, etc., to get the most out of the location, which is also closest to my home.
You probably have got the most out of that location that you're going to get without any other railroad elements around, not counting the actual tracks of course.
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Old 08-23-2011, 05:12 PM   #17
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Quote:
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Should have been a PEQ due to unsafe shooting while driving, equivalent to standing in the RoW in terms of danger, if not worse?
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