Old 08-28-2007, 10:36 PM   #1
rino54
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Hello to everyone !

I'm preparing an update of a website about Trains and Photography. Most of our readers are Europeans and i would like to introduce them to American Photography.

I will suggest readings of books by Wiston Link, Steinheimer, Schmollinger, Benton. Does anyone of you suggest other photgraphers and/or books titles ?

Also i remember a thread (but can't find it) on which somebody gave some rp.net list of photographers that do "not usual wedgie" pictures. If you can help me to find thispost again.

Thanks a lot !
Renaud
(trying to introduce American Photography to Europeans !)
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Old 08-29-2007, 01:51 AM   #2
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I am curious as to what you mean by American Photography and how it differs from European Photography. Besides subject matter, of course. Do you discern an American style of RR photography, when viewing similar subjects to those in Europe? To me, the dominant differences are those due to equipment and those do to geography, not photographic style.

I don't have a good sense of who the top people are or were. Link, of course.

As for the current RP crowd, I'd start with Andrew Blaszczyk (2) and Michael Rhodes (is he American? a LOT of travel photos, so maybe American behind the camera but not necessarily America in front). My tastes lean toward the creative end over the well-done but documentary end. (These are the names coming to me at the moment; please, nobody feel insulted! )

Daniel Putz (he has 2 ids, look at the one with 200 uploads) has a few of the better stuff intermixed with a lot of good stuff, but his best stuff seems to be on his web pages rather than here. He's young so still building his portfolio. Not well known, probably, but he has some shots I really, really love.

Actually, I would start with Screeners Choice and PCA here - and my own My Comment section which of course I don't know how to give you access to!

On the more "artsy" end, try
http://www.railphoto-art.org/awards_...ward_page.html
and previous years also. The winner's site is http://www.pbase.com/tissot/railroad

In general, I haven't found yet a way to locate all the "artsy" RR stuff yet.

one more link
http://lightsourcephoto.com/Lightsou...e/railroad.htm

BTW, by BenTon do you mean Gary BenSon?
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Old 08-29-2007, 02:37 AM   #3
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Agh I thought you were talking about me when you mentioned inspiration! Sure I have a lot of non-wedgies, but also have some great wedgies, wedgies can be good! Also I might recommend looking at my non-profit book recently released on the Cajon Pass!
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Old 08-29-2007, 02:49 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JRMDC
I am curious as to what you mean by American Photography and how it differs from European Photography.
Michael Rhodes is from the UK and he's a perfect example of "European style" photography. The line has and continues to become more and more indistinguishable, but if you look back far enough in the RP date field, you will see some comonly applied styles and techniques first through the eyes and camera of Michael Rhodes, Alan-Crotty, Bob Avery and a few others, including Euro-Michael Allen and Euro-John West - styles rub off in close contact. Atleast, that is a comonality I've noticed - darker, more moody and backlit photographs. Could just be limited to my RP viewing...

Ted Benson is highly regarded among photographers, I'm sure that is who you meant. Perhaps lesser known, but very impressive would be William L. Withuhn.

As an American photographer, I'd be tempted to pass over your US links and get better aquainted with European styles - while there may still be a distinguishable line. Otherwise, We can all meet at a McDonalds and have a slide show.

/Mitch
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Old 08-29-2007, 02:52 AM   #5
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I would say that photography style is more down to the individual rather than where they hail from, wherever that may be in the world.

Of course one's "home" location could well have a bearing on the type of photographs that they take, but only to the extent that maybe a city dweller would tend towards shots featuring buildings or industrial scenes or somebody who lived in the country might concentrate on "trains in the landscape" type shots.

BTW Michael Rhodes is from the UK, though I do wonder how much time he spends here when looking at his photos

Oops, look like Mitch beat me to it!
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Old 08-29-2007, 03:06 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mgoldman
Ted Benson is highly regarded among photographers, I'm sure that is who you meant.
OOPS! Of course.
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Old 08-29-2007, 09:44 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WembYard
I would say that photography style is more down to the individual rather than where they hail from, wherever that may be in the world.

Of course one's "home" location could well have a bearing on the type of photographs that they take, but only to the extent that maybe a city dweller would tend towards shots featuring buildings or industrial scenes or somebody who lived in the country might concentrate on "trains in the landscape" type shots.

I agree - the style is down partly to the individual and partly to the location. eg - while looking at RP I notice that many more US shots are taken at track level than in the UK. This is partly due to the fact that access to the trackside may be easier in the US than here (all UK railways are fenced off by law), partly to geography (for instance, the US has large areas where just about all you can do is track level shots, whereas the UK has much more variety in a smaller area), and also that UK railways seem to have vast amounts of undergrowth obscuring many views. As the UK has numerous overbridges, shots from these tend to dominate.
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Old 08-29-2007, 10:07 AM   #8
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Good morning !

First, my apologize to Ted benson. I wrote my message late yesterday and was a bit tired !

I'm going to try to explain what i meant with American Railroad Photography. Yes i think there is an American Style, and this is not recent. And another great point about American Railroad Photography culture is that all kind of pictures (wedgies and artsy) find some room on magazines.

Here in Europe, we don't have any magazines like Railroad Illustrated (ex CTC Board) or Railroad Explorer. Most of the railfan publication are about explaining class of locomotives, or some line. If you have the opportunity to visit a french (or any european) forum, you'll see that most of the pictures are what i'm calling "descriptive". By this word i mean close up, with train only as subject. Like one guy told me once, the "real nice pic" of train is the one you can read the locomotive number ! For me, wedgies are nicer koz, at least, the angle and light is good.
So with a friend of mine, from Sweden, we're trying to introduce what i call the "American way" to do railroad photography. I know it sounds ambitious but we'd like to show how "you" do pictures to improve the way people do here. As we have no money to do a paper magazine, we're doing a pdf one. I'm not going to develop there but if some of you want to know about our project, there are links on my signature (help is welcome).
By "American way" i mean : giving more space to the train by showing landscapes or people thar are around the railway universe ; working more with light and especially hard light like glint or backlit ; showing "artsy" and suggesting people to do some. Maybe i am a day dramer but i hope that will help to improve the way some people are doing pictures of trains here. And maybe in future will we able to do some paper work (like Dave books) or some photographers will persuade some european editor to publish such shots in their mag.

I hope i explained my point with the right words ! Some links are really interesting and we'll give them on the website and our forum. Also it will help me to improve my way of doing pictures. I can hardly find creative idea sometimes. So watching more and more pics, reading books is my way to find inspiration.

Thanks for your comments and suggestions.

Renaud
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Old 08-29-2007, 10:55 AM   #9
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You may also want to consider simply finding the good, "American-style" shots on RP, and doing an article contrasting those with shots taken in a "European-style," perhaps even at the same or similar locations.

You might consider these to be "American-style" or more creative than the European norm; I have to wonder whether the style is in fact universal. At any rate, given current political/cultural conflict, it may behoove you to include as much European photographer work as possible!

Image © francois iliovici
PhotoID: 143426
Photograph © francois iliovici

Image © apothequer
PhotoID: 196580
Photograph © apothequer

Image © J.Lago
PhotoID: 194381
Photograph © J.Lago

Image © mtnsuborg
PhotoID: 189693
Photograph © mtnsuborg

Image © Craig Walker
PhotoID: 192442
Photograph © Craig Walker

Image © Always de Sun
PhotoID: 167482
Photograph © Always de Sun

Image © apothequer
PhotoID: 188809
Photograph © apothequer

Image © Richard Stevens
PhotoID: 167494
Photograph © Richard Stevens

Image © Brian Stephenson
PhotoID: 185521
Photograph © Brian Stephenson

Image © Stanislav Zapletal
PhotoID: 183608
Photograph © Stanislav Zapletal

and, FINALLY (been scrolling through my comments section for a long time!), the one I was thinking of
Image © il dottore
PhotoID: 182136
Photograph © il dottore


For that matter, do a profile of Michael Rhodes!

I will also, immodestly, suggest you look at some of my Frankfurt and Thalys pictures, not in the levels of quality above but along the lines you are thinking.
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Old 08-29-2007, 03:31 PM   #10
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You could probably get some ideas from my pbase gallery...

http://www.pbase.com/genesis111989/railroading

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Old 08-31-2007, 12:50 AM   #11
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Janusz,

That's an awesome group of photos you have referenced, and the amazing thing is, I don't remember seeing most of them. I'm going to have to widen my horizons!

I think there are a number of "schools" of photography out there, but I also think the really good photographers have learned to incorporate the best of the others into their own styles.

I think American photographers tend to be more "train centric" although this is certainly not always the case. I had a German railfan once refer to a Victor Hand photo, taken from outside a curve at track level, as a "Classic American shot." This type of photo really emphasizes the mass and power of US locomotives, both steam and diesel.

British photographers utilize back lighting much more and also tend to shoot more scenic shots, where the train is but one element in the scene. I'm especially taken with some of the human interest shots posted by Bob Avery, Alan Crotty and Michael Rhodes. Although US railfans do take human interest shots, there is something different about the two styles.

I'm not as familiar with the styles of other countries, but a couple of Dutch railans that I know are very conscious of foreground elements and their photos have a very unique style. I would say they have been influenced by all the great painters that were Dutch.

To me, German rail photographers seem more like Americans. Watching German and British railfans on the same tour was interesting. The Germans preferred front lit shots, the British preferred back lit shots.

The joke in China was that the Japanese photographers always climbed to the tops of the highest peaks and took their photos from there!

Like all stereotypes, there is an element of truth there, but it can't be applied universally. Just like in trying to determine a national photographic style, you quickly discover that there are as many exceptions as there are followers of the rule.

Michael Allen
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Old 09-04-2007, 08:42 AM   #12
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Hi to every one !

Thanks for your comments and also the pictures. The funniest thing is that the first one (François Iliovici), is from my partner in the I&T project ! He really has inspiration for some subject. Some of his work will be on our first issue.

My idea was not to say there are countries that have a style. I was just showing that in Europe, there was not so much interesting pictures on magazines. And if there are some the design of the mag doesn't help.

Anyway, i'm sharing with you the cover of our first issue. This picture was made by Scott Lothes.



If anyone of you want to share some of its work and ideas on our forums (adresses in my signature), i think it would help our french contributors.

Thanks again for this talk,

Renaud
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