Old 03-01-2008, 12:11 PM   #1
John Craft
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Default What am I missing here?

I noticed that Mike Allen's photo earned not only Photo of the Week, but a PCA:

http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.php?id=223507

Quote:
"Absolutely flawless portrayal of steam!"

"I love the location."

"One of the best 1225 shots I have ever seen"

I also see that Greg Pullano had a similar shot accepted, and there's this comment:

Quote:
Possibly one of the best reenactment rail photos I've seen. One would think it was 1948 rather than 2008.
http://www.railpictures.net/viewphot...=225301&nseq=0


A little background: we actually had three photo lines established for these runbys, about 200 yards apart (at the crossing to the north, and at a caboose on the siding to the south). Quite honestly, I viewed this middle line as just a pickup shot, nothing special; the building is missing a lot of the tin siding, the track is gone, so is all the hardware on the building associated with loading cars, etc. In other words, to me, the building is a big giveaway that it's NOT 1948.

During the runbys, I radioed to Kelly Lynch (who was protecting the crossing) to announce that the next runby would be the last, and his response was "they're all gone already." You can figure out where they were, of course.

So why, in your opinion, does this image generate such a reaction? What makes it "better" than other images taken during the weekend that don't include such an obvious "tell"?
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Old 03-01-2008, 12:24 PM   #2
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Interesting question. Or rather, two questions.

First, why flawless/best? I think they are beautiful shots: crisp winter colors, love the browns!, simple yet effective composition, full bright plume, all white and no gray, interesting sturcture, great textures on it, nice set of freight cars, no distracting details. Very "clean." (Perhaps too clean to be representative of most reality! ) As to whether it is the best of the 1225 set, hmm, that is a toughie. It's not a creative shot - standard composition and such. Excells within that subcategory or genre - may be the best of the "standard" 1225 shots. Doesn't blow me away like Mitch's shot. It is just (just! ) very, very nice.

Second, best reenactment. Well, first of all, that opinion was expressed only once. So maybe you are putting too much into that. There are no non-period details in the shot that catch my eye (the cars are so small and hidden that one can't date them). That is the main thing that hits me. I agree with you, there are details missing, not just the hardware but the miscellaneous things lying around, boxes/barrels, tools/brooms, whatever might be found at such a facility back then. It is too clean to be an accurate reenactment.

But boy, it's a beauty of a shot. Just all around pleasing to the max.
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Old 03-01-2008, 02:21 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Craft
So why, in your opinion, does this image generate such a reaction? What makes it "better" than other images taken during the weekend that don't include such an obvious "tell"?
Mine taken from this location is indeed one of my favorites from the weekend although I have numerous. It is just nice to get some kind of structure in the photo and to have a little fun pretending it is from years gone by from small town America. I think it got a PC for being a pretty picture more than being a 'historic' shot.
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Old 03-01-2008, 02:41 PM   #4
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The wind and the steam and light just work out well. But it's isn't my favorite one posted from that week end shoot.
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Old 03-01-2008, 08:48 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Blaszczyk (2)
I think it got a PC for being a pretty picture more than being a 'historic' shot.
Exactly. It's a really nice composition and pleasing to view. I'm curious, though...with Michael's in constant view on the front page, why didn't Gregg's get rejected for "similar to previous shot?"
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Old 03-02-2008, 12:03 AM   #6
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Appreciate the insights. Janusz is probably right that I'm taking some of the comments too seriously, and not factoring "comment inflation."

JAC
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Old 03-02-2008, 02:03 AM   #7
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John, First let me say thanks for giving us all the chance to take these and many other photos.

When I uploaded my shot, I had a choice of several positions for the engine, including one similar to Greg's, which does hide the cars in the background. I chose the one I did because the smoke shadow in the later shot tends to take away from the building a bit and that was the feature I wanted to emphasize. I liked the colors on the building, plus the sky outlines the front of the engine and pops it out more. I also preferred the balance of the shot, which allowed me to crop out the more derelict portion of the building on the left.

Greg's shot looks more period like, because you don't have the modern cars in the shot and the generally darker exposure looks more like film. I think both are good shots and show how different takes on the same scene can produce different reactions in viewers.

As to whether it's creative, or not, certainly there are shots by Mitch and Andrew that peg the creativity meter, but the shot works for me as a photo, and that's all I was trying to do.

Michael Allen
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Old 03-02-2008, 10:48 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by a231pacific
As to whether it's creative, or not, certainly there are shots by Mitch and Andrew that peg the creativity meter, but the shot works for me as a photo, and that's all I was trying to do.

And yet, what is (to my mind, at least) a much more "flawless recreation" from April

http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.php?id=186758

gets a single, two-word comment.

It's a funny old world, innit

JAC
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Old 03-02-2008, 01:38 PM   #9
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Hi John,

Your shot at Carland, which you didn't post, was better, taken from a low angle with the switch target silhouetted against the sky, but I digress.

It's the time of the year. In February, railfans all have cabin fever, are waiting for spring and idling the hours away looking at Railpictures and posting comments. In April, they are all out taking photos!

You said my April shot was a better "recreation" than my February shot, which is true, but how would you compare them purely as photographs?

Cheers,

Michael Allen
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Old 03-02-2008, 03:40 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by a231pacific
Your shot at Carland, which you didn't post, was better, taken from a low angle with the switch target silhouetted against the sky
I wouldn't necessarily say better. My goal was to cut out the Freightliner and the pole, but I had to give up the second truck. (It the Freightliner hadn't been there, yours would definitely be the better angle.)




Quote:
Originally Posted by a231pacific
You said my April shot was a better "recreation" than my February shot, which is true, but how would you compare them purely as photographs?
My purpose in starting the thread was to discuss viewer reaction to the photos, not the photos themselves. So, my reaction is . . . they're both wonderful shots - they're dramatic, and they convey a real sense of being there. If I had to pick one, I like the "golden hour" feel of the April shot that one doesn't get at 11AM.

But the people have spoken with a well-deserved Photo of the Week and PCA, so I'm in the minority

JAC
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Old 07-31-2011, 07:53 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimThias View Post
Exactly. It's a really nice composition and pleasing to view. I'm curious, though...with Michael's in constant view on the front page, why didn't Gregg's get rejected for "similar to previous shot?"
Funny what you'll find if you search your name.
IIRC, it did get rejected initially....but I liked it so much I wasn't about to just give up. I still regard it as my personal best ever shot.
I wasn't specifically going for anything period or historic, I just wanted to show the entire surrounding and try to fit in as much of the plume as I could...I'm glad it came out as it did.
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Old 07-31-2011, 08:04 PM   #12
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I would have to say that yours is slightly underexposed.
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Old 07-31-2011, 11:01 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gregg Pullano View Post
Funny what you'll find if you search your name.
IIRC, it did get rejected initially....but I liked it so much I wasn't about to just give up. I still regard it as my personal best ever shot.
I wasn't specifically going for anything period or historic, I just wanted to show the entire surrounding and try to fit in as much of the plume as I could...I'm glad it came out as it did.
I think your IC train shot at Aurelius is your best, but I'm a little bias with that one.
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