Old 09-16-2017, 03:54 AM   #1
spacetrain1983
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Default Some new ones I've taken in the past few months

Hey everyone. It's been a while since I posted anything to the forum, but over the past few months I've gotten some new shots, with dates spanning from July 1st to September 9th. These are the 14 best ones out of nearly 1,000 pictures I took in that period of time.

There are too many to fit in one post so here are the first 8, the last 6 will come in a reply.

There are some repeating problems in these that are easy fixes now that I have found a good photo editor, so I'll just address them all right now.
1. Most, if not all, of these need sharpening.
2. Most, if not all, need to be brightened.
3. Most, if not all, need to be leveled.
Those are problems that are prevalent throughout many, if not all, of these pictures. I know they exist, and I am able to fix them with ease. All of these photos, as you see them attached, are un-edited except for resizing.


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Took this on July 1st. Ballast train tied down in Kuna, Idaho. Maybe the lighting isn't so great, but maybe it was just underexposed, not sure.

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These two are of a BNSF oil train climbing MRL's Bozeman Pass in Montana on July 8th. I already tried submitting the first one (train further away) to the site, but it was rejected for the train not filling enough of the frame, which is why I have included the 2nd one with the train closer. The reason I even submitted the 1st one was to include the shadowed mountains in the background. I will admit, there is quite a bit of noise/grain showing on the mountain in the 1st one, so if it hadn't been rejected for the train being too far away, I'm sure it would have been nailed for noise.

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This one is of an eastbound BNSF manifest stopped short of a crossing by Pompey's Pillar, Montana on July 10th. Probably the biggest problems (that aren't listed above) are 1, the train getting distorted by haze and heat after a few cars and 2, high sun. But I figured it was worth sharing here anyway, in case there's hope for it.

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These 3 are of a BNSF coal train climbing BNSF's famous Crawford Hill in Nebraska on July 13th. The middle one is the one I originally attempted to submit, I don't remember what it got rejected for originally but I think it was sharpening. Anyways, for the sake of it, I included the shots before and after that one. The first one, where the train hasn't even begun to round the curve yet, is probably the "worst" of the 3, as so much of the train is in shadow, but I chose to include it because it shows the landscape (well, as much as you can call Nebraska farmland "landscape"). If any of these 3 have a chance, it's probably the 3rd, but I'm not sure, so I'm putting all 3 on here.

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And the last one for this post, on July 14th, a UP local in Idaho Falls, Idaho. The only real problems I can see with this are 1, all the wires and 2, it might be underexposed.

That's it for Part 1 because I've run out of attachments for this post, but part 2 will include the last 6.
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Old 09-16-2017, 04:10 AM   #2
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Here is part 2, and the last 6 "possibly worthy" photos I have taken since July 1st. All of these photos, as you see them attached, are un-edited except for resizing.

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This picture is of an eastbound UP intermodal train in Nampa, Idaho on July 22nd. I was finally back in my regular railfanning area, and I decided to incorporate the deadline of various 90s era locomotives into my shot. And that's where the biggest problem with this shot comes into play: I cut off the nose of the SD90 at the left of the frame. Truth be told, I got startled when the engineer blew the horn, and I jumped, and had to re-frame at the last second. I really need to get a second tripod for this camera... well I have one but I don't use it because 1 tripod is hard enough to manage under my circumstances.

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This photo is of an eastbound UP manifest preparing to leave Nampa on August 17th. I decided to use the Amity Road overpass to frame the shot, and decided to throw in the milepost too. Note the 2nd train that can be seen under the signal bridge. I don't see any major problems with this shot except maybe it needs to be cropped.

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This one is of an eastbound UP intermodal train flying through Mountain Home, ID on August 26th. We were chasing the train half the day; as soon as I turned on my scanner that morning before leaving the house, I heard this train receive permission to leave Nampa. We caught up to it on the interstate, and eventually passed it, leaving me with about a minute to spare to set up at a spot in Mountain Home. The main problems I can potentially see with this are 1, the light isn't THAT great due to the smoke and 2, I cut off the train a bit on the right but I had to in order for lens distortion to not start to kick in, plus the train was traveling at track speed and I didn't have much time to figure out my framing.

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This one is of a westbound UP manifest in King Hill, Idaho, and notable for being my very first (and currently only) catch of an EMD SD70ACe-T4, EMDX 1601, also on August 26th. The main problem I can see with this shot is all the smoke in the air affected the lighting.

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This one is of an eastbound UP manifest entering the yard in Nampa, Idaho on September 2nd. The main problems I see with this one are 1, all the foreground and background scenery and 2, the lighting isn't that great. The only reason I even contemplated this one even possibly having a slight chance is the number on the lead unit. UP 8027. That was the number of the SD9043MAC I got to go into the cab of when I was 4, and that locomotive is now NS SD70ACU #7256, but at least it's still operating. I know sentimental value doesn't typically fly here when it comes to photos being rejected or not, but I figured it was worth mentioning.

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And finally, a westbound UP ash train crossing Indian Creek on September 9th. This was my very first attempt to get a shot of a train crossing this bridge. The main problems I can potentially see with this one are 1, the framing/ROT isn't that great, but I wanted to incorporate the bridge and surroundings into the shot as well as possible, which brings me to problem 2, some parts of the bridge and near main track obscure some parts of the locomotive, however I chose to include it here because I tried something new (to me).

Well, that's all 14 shots I picked out from the past 2 and a half months.
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Old 09-16-2017, 06:28 PM   #3
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I rather like this one, but remember what I like........
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Old 09-18-2017, 03:34 AM   #4
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The second one is destined for an "awkwardly composed" rejection IMHO.

My suggestion on the third one:
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Old 09-18-2017, 03:50 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spacetrain1983 View Post
This one is of an eastbound BNSF manifest stopped short of a crossing by Pompey's Pillar, Montana on July 10th. Probably the biggest problems (that aren't listed above) are 1, the train getting distorted by haze and heat after a few cars and 2, high sun. But I figured it was worth sharing here anyway, in case there's hope for it.

I was just out that way a couple of months ago. It was a family vacation so I didn't shoot many trains, but I do have some thoughts. This is honest constructive criticism, which I think you are after. Most all of your shots are close ups of engines. They really aren't telling much of a story. When you are out in wide open places you have the ability to shoot from a distance. What that does is give the -feeling- of being there. It tells the story of the environment the train is operating in. There are a lot of places there you could have climbed up a hill and taken a shot from a mile away, and put the entire train into a photo. There aren't many places in the rest of the U.S. you can do that. Did you ever take advantage of that? You shots have definitely improved--you are paying more attention to the direction of light, and your compositions are improving. I too like the one BaggyDave mentioned. I'll give you one more word of advice: polarizer.


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Old 09-18-2017, 03:32 PM   #6
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I think there's a lot of improvement and good that you can see potential issues with your own shots. A lot of these look under exposed to me, but with a little work I think many of them stand a shot at acceptance, though there many not be any truly spectacular shots, you can get some on easily. What are you using to edit photos? Lightroom/photoshop will make the post processing you need much easier to do, because without some tweaking, I don't think many can get on as is, but you know that.
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Old 09-18-2017, 03:33 PM   #7
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"I too like the one BaggyDave mentioned."

Does Grumpy need to come knock you guys over the head and tell you the guy got "Glaref!cked?"

On that note, does Grumpy's World still exist in any format these days?
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Old 09-18-2017, 07:31 PM   #8
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"I too like the one BaggyDave mentioned."

Does Grumpy need to come knock you guys over the head and tell you the guy got "Glaref!cked?"

On that note, does Grumpy's World still exist in any format these days?

I heard he did get married recently. See--there's hope for you foamers! Hopefully his new wife won't pussywhip him too badly.


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Old 09-18-2017, 09:16 PM   #9
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Revised definition of Glaref!cked to come-- "You see honey, the sun reflected off of the windshield a bit more than many photographers would find pleasing, and in his mind the photographer expresses mild frustration, but keeps it to himself to avoid offending anyone around him. Besides, it's just a stupid train, right? I mean really...who could get upset over a minor thing like that?"
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Old 09-19-2017, 11:43 PM   #10
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I was just out that way a couple of months ago. It was a family vacation so I didn't shoot many trains, but I do have some thoughts. This is honest constructive criticism, which I think you are after. Most all of your shots are close ups of engines. They really aren't telling much of a story. When you are out in wide open places you have the ability to shoot from a distance. What that does is give the -feeling- of being there. It tells the story of the environment the train is operating in. There are a lot of places there you could have climbed up a hill and taken a shot from a mile away, and put the entire train into a photo. There aren't many places in the rest of the U.S. you can do that. Did you ever take advantage of that? You shots have definitely improved--you are paying more attention to the direction of light, and your compositions are improving. I too like the one BaggyDave mentioned. I'll give you one more word of advice: polarizer.


Kent in SD
I did take some shots from near the top of Pompey's Pillar once the train got moving (because of course it did five minutes after I got to such a place), however none of them came out very well, plus the light was on the wrong side...
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Old 09-20-2017, 02:09 PM   #11
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I did take some shots from near the top of Pompey's Pillar once the train got moving (because of course it did five minutes after I got to such a place), however none of them came out very well, plus the light was on the wrong side...

Eventually you will learn as we all did, that if the light is not working for a shot then don't even climb the mountain. This skill is called "previsualization" and I think it's the most critical part of photography. It's the ability to "see" a photo before you even take it, before you even take the camera out of the bag. It can take awhile to develop this skill. If you were near the pillar and the light was wrong, that suggests that maybe you could have gone the other direction and taken a shot with the train and the pillar? Here's a link to a couple of shots I took in Green River, WY in July where I deliberately tried
to include some of the cool landscape in the background:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/968260...posted-public/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/968260...posted-public/


If it's cloudy/overcast, the light is directionless and is much easier to work with.


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Old 09-20-2017, 02:22 PM   #12
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Kent, those two shots don't look like your usual quality. Well oversharpened, I suspect. What am I missing?
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Old 09-20-2017, 02:38 PM   #13
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spacetrain1983,

Have you tried submitting any of those shots yet? There are certainly some that could get on. If you'd like some help with any of them, pick a few to start out with, as there are too many posted right now to really get good advice on.
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Old 09-20-2017, 04:58 PM   #14
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Kent, those two shots don't look like your usual quality. Well oversharpened, I suspect. What am I missing?
Did you look at them full size? Resizing down isn't always kind to an image.
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Old 09-20-2017, 05:16 PM   #15
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spacetrain1983,

Have you tried submitting any of those shots yet? There are certainly some that could get on. If you'd like some help with any of them, pick a few to start out with, as there are too many posted right now to really get good advice on.
I wouldn't bother with the two that have bridges, or the one with foreground clutter.

Still no discussion of the elephant in the room: Why does this camera produce consistently dark photos?
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Old 09-20-2017, 06:40 PM   #16
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Did you look at them full size? Resizing down isn't always kind to an image.
I thought I did, I think I am. If you don't see what I am seeing then I guess I am not. Is there a full size option in flickr that I am missing?
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Old 09-20-2017, 08:03 PM   #17
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I thought I did, I think I am. If you don't see what I am seeing then I guess I am not. Is there a full size option in flickr that I am missing?
They are oversharpened J. The first one is worst.

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Old 09-20-2017, 08:31 PM   #18
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Is there a full size option in flickr that I am missing?
Yes, several, assuming the original file is large enough.

-select the desired size from the download icon

-click on the diagonal arrows icon

-press L on the keyboard

-left click on the image, which enables zoom and pan

One guy's images had something embedded which turned the image into a hemisphere that could be panned, but he disabled it when it was pointed out in comments.

BTW, they added something cool that I hadn't noticed- the magnifying glass at upper right is not a zoom, it's "Search for similar". I clicked on my B&W "burning" house, and presto, hundreds of B&W abandoned places (and even some trains). Enough to take hours or days to browse through.
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Old 09-21-2017, 12:07 AM   #19
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Kent, those two shots don't look like your usual quality. Well oversharpened, I suspect. What am I missing?

Shot jpeg from my D5300 and zoom lens. I don't always use a D800E and Sigma A lenses.


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Old 09-21-2017, 06:19 PM   #20
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Shot jpeg from my D5300 and zoom lens. I don't always use a D800E and Sigma A lenses.
It's not the equipment, Kent. I routinely get reasonable quality from my 70D (and 50D and 20D before) and zoom lens. You oversharpened them, badly.
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Old 09-22-2017, 12:07 AM   #21
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Always a possibility I hit "sharpen" twice. I was up late ramming out dozens at a crack. I don't use batch processing.


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Old 10-06-2017, 07:29 PM   #22
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The second one is destined for an "awkwardly composed" rejection IMHO.

My suggestion on the third one:
I'm new, so what makes this shot "awkwardly composed"?
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Old 10-06-2017, 08:18 PM   #23
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I'm new, so what makes this shot "awkwardly composed"?
Mostly that it looks like a 2-car local when it is not. Others may disagree, but then there is the windshield glare thing.
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Old 10-06-2017, 08:25 PM   #24
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Mostly that it looks like a 2-car local when it is not. Others may disagree, but then there is the windshield glare thing.
Just my own shitty opinion but the rest of the consist after the two loco's are clearly visible.

I get the glare observation.

I hope I'm not "coming off" as overly defensive, but I'm trying to understand what makes a worthy shot and what doesn't. That's why I am asking the questions.

Thanks.
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