Old 06-16-2009, 11:32 PM   #1
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Default Improving Composition

I just got this reject. It is what I thought was the best chance of getting in so far. I did realize after I sent it in that it is way too dark. Is there anything that I could do to improve the Comp?



Last edited by nwritchey; 06-16-2009 at 11:32 PM. Reason: needed to add the link
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Old 06-17-2009, 12:39 AM   #2
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The subject is more or less slap dab in the middle of the frame, which isn't terribly interesting. If you haven't heard of it before, do a search for "rule of thirds."

With regard to the rest of the shot, the crossbucks are blocking the view of the cab, the minivan on the side is cut in half, and it's just a tad soft (you could fix that with unsharp mask in your image editing software).

It looks like you've got an interesting story here - it looks like the train has to stop at a fairly traditional stoplight. If you can safely get into position, perhaps there's a cool shot looking straight down the track at the locomotive - perhaps with a slow shutter speed to get an automobile slightly blurred in the frame? Maybe a side profile shot, clearly showing the stoplight next to the locomotive? Does the crew show any signs of being bored or frustrated waiting? Are there any other people who might be doing something interesting in the background?

Here's another angle of the same place... what makes this shot more interesting to look at then your effort?

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- Sunny light
- Interesting "clutter"
- Local flavor (United Dairy Farmers doesn't exist where I'm from)
- Gas prices and cars will make this photo intensely interesting 30 years from now

The photo in question isn't a bad effort, but I don't think it's compelling enough to get accepted on RP. Get out and try shooting it some more.
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Old 06-17-2009, 01:09 AM   #3
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Harder than you would think to get a good shot. Plan and think ahead for the right spot to stand. Shoot with the sun is out and over you shoulders, and make sure there isn't a cross buck in front of the train or covering the side. You will get it.
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Old 06-17-2009, 02:24 AM   #4
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Thanks Guys

That just happened to be a spur of the moment shot. Was heading home from a day out with the kids and saw the headlight down the tracks and stopped to take a couple of shots. I have had a hard time understanding the whole rule of three's thing.
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Old 06-17-2009, 01:18 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by nwritchey View Post
Thanks Guys

I have had a hard time understanding the whole rule of three's thing.
Make an imaginary tic-tac-toe board on what will be your photo. "Normally" you want in this case the nose of the loco at one of the intersections, with the trailing train going across the photo. I say normally because some variations can be acceptable if the other objects in the photo are interesting enough to fill the frame.

"Text book" Rule of Thirds
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