Old 03-04-2021, 08:31 PM   #1
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Default A trio of rejections

In previous days, I had an unfortunate series of three successive photo submissions rejected. I think I can see what bothered the screener on all three, and all make me think no edit can save them in a re-submission, but I'm sad because I really liked all three.

The first one was dunked for not respecting the Rule of Thirds. Now the scene is a retaining wall, shot across a gap for a road under/across it, and I could bring the eyeline closer to the top third by cropping less of the wall at the bottom. However, if I read earlier discussions right, having the train fill up the space from the left third to the right third is also frowned upon because that's actually centring, so I guess the train I photographed is just too short for the scene to work for RP.

The second one was rejected for a backlit nose. That nose being the nose of a black steam locomotive, I don't think that should have been a big problem, but maybe the screener was also thinking about the shadow of a house on the coaches and the viaduct. The sad part is that with just three pairs of trains a day on that location, this shot is not possible with much better lighting.

Finally, the third one, a zoomed-in shot of a standard-gauge/narrow-gauge junction station from a mountain, was rejected for a reason I never got before: foreground clutter. I'm not sure if the screener meant the faintly visible high-voltage lines, or the catenary pole in front of the parked train in the centre of the image, but I didn't think that would be a problem as the other two trains near the left top & bottom third points (the bottom one being mobile) aren't obstructed; and what I really like about the photo is how the tracks with the two different gauges can be distinguished so well. Alas, apparently doesn't work for RP.

Do you have any other takes on these images resp. scenes?
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Old 03-04-2021, 10:09 PM   #2
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Start with easiest
Second I think is a very nice photo, the shadow on the nose rejection as has been noted is a small thinking rejection, possibly something else is a problem? but for me it is a more visually pleasing photo than 90 pct of what I see but then if you have never been to Europe or seen the small villages in Germany, Austria etc. maybe it does not have the same appeal.
The railings could be another problem, not for me but for screener.

Third - unsupported wires just hanging across a scene is a killer for me in general. They could be dealt with if you had the patience but not sure that would make it.

One - not sure what you meant about train filling up space from left third to right third, that is the basic railfan photo. I could see possible the train closer o left support, and then trying to crop the railing off the bottom and crop to the right. You could clone out that little bit of angle railing.

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Old 03-05-2021, 01:48 PM   #3
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I have no problems with the third, not sure which piece they are considering foreground clutter, but it's a great view.

First one I would probably just try to tighten up the crop, the nose of the lead is fairly centered at the moment as well.
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Old 03-06-2021, 07:26 PM   #4
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Well, after your feedback, I re-submitted the third after removing the high-voltage wires. I also did a small perspective correction. But now I got rejected for horizon level (leaning left). Trouble is, I don't see it at all! If anything, there is a very small tilt to the right (see the yellow crane, the station building front wall right edge, or the front wall of the shed at the bottom). The only thing leaning left is a pole among the buildings on top right, but that pole is not vertical. Maybe the screener mixed up left and right?

What is your take? Would an appeal make sense, or should I just re-submit with a counter-clockwise rotation?
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Old 03-06-2021, 07:43 PM   #5
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Well, after your feedback, I re-submitted the third after removing the high-voltage wires. I also did a small perspective correction. But now I got rejected for horizon level (leaning left). Trouble is, I don't see it at all! If anything, there is a very small tilt to the right (see the yellow crane, the station building front wall right edge, or the front wall of the shed at the bottom). The only thing leaning left is a pole among the buildings on top right, but that pole is not vertical. Maybe the screener mixed up left and right?

What is your take? Would an appeal make sense, or should I just re-submit with a counter-clockwise rotation?
Well first as Loyd was hinting in another thread it is best not to explicitly notate removing wires. I guess wires are a little??? but it is altering the image.

I wouldn't appeal, bring down a vertical ruler and drag it over the image to see what could be wrong, make a small adjustment and notate in comments adjusted clockwise per rejection.

I agree lot of the clues look fine but depends what screener saw or possibly they use some auto checking. Then hope for the best?

Bob
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Old 03-06-2021, 08:24 PM   #6
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Well, after your feedback, I re-submitted the third after removing the high-voltage wires. I also did a small perspective correction. But now I got rejected for horizon level (leaning left). Trouble is, I don't see it at all! If anything, there is a very small tilt to the right (see the yellow crane, the station building front wall right edge, or the front wall of the shed at the bottom). The only thing leaning left is a pole among the buildings on top right, but that pole is not vertical. Maybe the screener mixed up left and right?
I am with the screener and think a lot if those poles esp. near the top of the frame are leaning CCW. Open it up in whatever software you used and put a grid on top of it. I think you'l see it. It probably needs .5% CW rotation to my naked eye
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What is your take? Would an appeal make sense, or should I just re-submit with a counter-clockwise rotation?
I would never appeal a Horizon Unlevel rejection when all you have to do is rott it ever so slightly and put a note to the screeners. Use those appeals wisely
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Old 03-06-2021, 09:35 PM   #7
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I am with the screener and think a lot if those poles esp. near the top of the frame are leaning CCW.
Concrete catenary poles aren't a good measure for what's vertical. Since they bear a weight on one side, by default, they are set leaning away from the track, and in addition, they aren't set too precisely. Walls and steel structures (some of which I mentioned) are a better measure. Having said that, checking the iron mesh poles at center (which are closer to symmetrical) and the signals at the bottom, I see that instead of a rotation CCW or CW, the image can still do with some more perspective tilt (narrowing the top & widening the bottom), so that everything on the left goes CW and everything on the right CCW. I'll go with that.

EDIT: having looked all over the original image for clues again, I take it back. The best clues are the reflections in the river on the right, the cell phone tower on the edge of the station at top right, and the walls and windows of a multi-storey building in the top left corner which I cropped off for the submitted versions. All of these are perfectly vertical with the rotation/tilt settings of the second rejected submission. And three of the right-side concrete catenary poles at the top do, in fact, lean in the 'wrong' direction (inward). The tennis court right of the track which isn't aligned with the tracks might have contributed to the false sense of leaning.

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Old 03-07-2021, 04:53 PM   #8
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I wouldn't appeal, bring down a vertical ruler and drag it over the image to see what could be wrong, make a small adjustment and notate in comments adjusted clockwise per rejection.
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I would never appeal a Horizon Unlevel rejection when all you have to do is rott it ever so slightly and put a note to the screeners. Use those appeals wisely
I thought about your advice, but in the end, I felt I have a really strong case, and maybe could show the editor something interesting. What I did was to upload to Google drive (1) a photo from the same station showing how the catenary poles lean by design, (2) a version of my photo with the same rotation & tilt as the submitted one but without any cropping, with vertical/horizontal cues marked; and linked these in my appeal. It was accepted.

Image © 18 316
PhotoID: 765308
Photograph © 18 316


I guess it's all thanks to Joe pointing at the catenary poles, I would never have guessed that that could lead to the wrong impression because I'm so subconsciously used to them leaning.

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Old 03-08-2021, 01:15 AM   #9
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Congrats on getting your photo on, and also making the top shots

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Old 03-08-2021, 09:17 AM   #10
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Congrats on getting your photo on, and also making the top shots

Benjamin
Thank you! It's funny, now both of my two successful appeals are in my top three most popular (the other one also being my only People's Choice), and I never expected them to be.

I can never guess in advance which of my submissions will be popular and in what way. One of my personal favourites was a dud with only two favs, my second-most-favorited garnered just a few hundred views, while a heavily processed image which I feel barely passes muster on quality - I love it for the scene I captured but I shot it with a crappy smartphone through a dirty scratchy airplane window - is doing relatively well.
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Old 03-08-2021, 11:53 AM   #11
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Thank you! It's funny, now both of my two successful appeals are in my top three most popular (the other one also being my only People's Choice), and I never expected them to be.

I can never guess in advance which of my submissions will be popular and in what way. One of my personal favourites was a dud with only two favs, my second-most-favorited garnered just a few hundred views, while a heavily processed image which I feel barely passes muster on quality - I love it for the scene I captured but I shot it with a crappy smartphone through a dirty scratchy airplane window - is doing relatively well.
Of course this reflects some of the frustration that we have to go thru this extra ??????? on something so subtle(minute) whatever we may think is the case.

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Old 03-08-2021, 12:29 PM   #12
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Thank you! It's funny, now both of my two successful appeals are in my top three most popular (the other one also being my only People's Choice), and I never expected them to be.

I can never guess in advance which of my submissions will be popular and in what way. One of my personal favourites was a dud with only two favs, my second-most-favorited garnered just a few hundred views, while a heavily processed image which I feel barely passes muster on quality - I love it for the scene I captured but I shot it with a crappy smartphone through a dirty scratchy airplane window - is doing relatively well.
Something similar happened to me with this image.
Image © Benjamin R.
PhotoID: 762741
Photograph © Benjamin R.


The above photo was rejected for being "too dark." Well, that was the intention of the photo, and I felt that too much more exposure would ruin the mood; so I appealed the rejection (first time I had ever used an appeal). My appeal was also rejected, surprisingly. Interestingly enough, Iowa Interstate Railroad had actually reached out to me for permission to use said photo, after seeing it on Facebook.

For a while, I decided not to bother resubmitting the image, chalking a rejection up to RP's screeners being set in their ways. A few months later, however, I decided to use luminosity masking in Photoshop to selectively brighten certain areas. The difference was subtle. Noticeable side by side, but one likely wouldn't notice if viewed a few minutes apart. BUT, It was enough to be accepted by the screeners, after resubmission and a comment.

That photo went on to be chosen as #1 people's choice. Another interesting note - it also made Flickr's "Explore" last year, not that "Explore" means a whole lot.

Benjamin
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Old 03-08-2021, 05:40 PM   #13
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Something similar happened to me with this image.
Heh. I saw that when you submitted it and began its glorious run, didn't know the backstory. I can only dream of making a photo with such subtle dark tones without overexposing the bright parts...

Totally off-topic but I always wondered, what's up with that apparently horrible thick exhaust? Does Tier 2/3 compliance mean sh*t? But now, seeing in the text that the lead unit is followed by two old GP38-2s, I surmise the latter are responsible.

Back to rejections defeating the photographer's purpose, and darkness. Reading the comments over the past few months, I learned two things. One, you North Americans have a regular practice of doing night shots with flash arrays (like, I'm guessing, this one from yesterday), with amazing results, but that's something I would never dare here in Europe as it would trigger paranoid fears in local inhabitants, make loco engineers mad and quite likely get me arrested. Two, the RP screeners are used to the flash array images and reject darker night shots done with "real" lights. With that, now I have a better understanding of an early rejection of mine, which was a train at a dimly lit station with the red taillights reflected on the smooth surface of the platform. After the first rejection, I re-submitted a brightened version which I already liked less than the original, but that was too dark for them too, and I had to give up because if I went any brighter the reflection would be totally spoiled.
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Old 03-09-2021, 02:10 AM   #14
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Oh no, those new GEVO's are pretty clean burning. In fact, the newest three (517-519) are "tier 4 credited." When under heavy load, you'll see a massive plume of heat waves and a tiny bit of haze. No black, typically. Those old GP38-2's, however, really put on a show at notch 8

Speaking of which, since we are already off-topic...or on-topic...Here's a shot of an SD38-2 and two GP38-2's thundering away, pulling an empty coal train out of Fairfax, IA. My photo doesn't quite do justice here...The smoke was so thick, traffic on the highway slowed by about 10 MPH!

Yes, the engineer made a special point of rolling some coal around the curve Unfortunately, the SD's are now stored indefinitely/retired. This would be the last time for a 150 leading on the CR line, and, I believe, the third to last time one would lead a train, period.


Click image for larger version

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Perhaps I'll submit the above photo eventually. A re-edit is likely in order; I imagine the hammer of "cloudy, common power" would befall it, in current state.

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Back to rejections defeating the photographer's purpose, and darkness. Reading the comments over the past few months, I learned two things. One, you North Americans have a regular practice of doing night shots with flash arrays (like, I'm guessing, this one from yesterday), with amazing results, but that's something I would never dare here in Europe as it would trigger paranoid fears in local inhabitants, make loco engineers mad and quite likely get me arrested. Two, the RP screeners are used to the flash array images and reject darker night shots done with "real" lights...
Ahh, flash photography. Although I do have four 600w/s battery powered strobes, I've used them only a handful of times for trains. They are mostly used for portraiture and product type work.

I'd imagine the crews and photographers are mostly familiar with each other, so not a big issue to the crew. The last time I used mine for rail photography, was actually by request of the conductor. So, obviously, the crew didn't mind

As for the police, I've never encountered any while illuminating a train with an array of lights. Likely because I haven't done much of it. The few interactions I've had with LEO's while photographing trains were short and painless. A brief explanation usually takes care of any issue. Occasionally, one will hang around the area, to be sure your story checks out.

I don't, personally, know anyone who commonly uses flash photography in the area. I do know of a few, via the interwebs, east of me (Illinois) who do. They don't seem to have any issues with crews or LEO's, but I've not talked to them extensively on the subject. Perhaps they have an occasional run in, but I rather doubt they are noteworthy encounters. If one does it responsibly, I don't see it being an issue.

But, your neck of the woods might be different!

Benjamin
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Old 03-09-2021, 12:47 PM   #15
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Heh. I saw that when you submitted it and began its glorious run, didn't know the backstory. I can only dream of making a photo with such subtle dark tones without overexposing the bright parts...

Totally off-topic but I always wondered, what's up with that apparently horrible thick exhaust? Does Tier 2/3 compliance mean sh*t? But now, seeing in the text that the lead unit is followed by two old GP38-2s, I surmise the latter are responsible.

Back to rejections defeating the photographer's purpose, and darkness. Reading the comments over the past few months, I learned two things. One, you North Americans have a regular practice of doing night shots with flash arrays (like, I'm guessing, this one from yesterday), with amazing results, but that's something I would never dare here in Europe as it would trigger paranoid fears in local inhabitants, make loco engineers mad and quite likely get me arrested. Two, the RP screeners are used to the flash array images and reject darker night shots done with "real" lights. With that, now I have a better understanding of an early rejection of mine, which was a train at a dimly lit station with the red taillights reflected on the smooth surface of the platform. After the first rejection, I re-submitted a brightened version which I already liked less than the original, but that was too dark for them too, and I had to give up because if I went any brighter the reflection would be totally spoiled.
I think the "black" smoke, at least to that extent, is a result of low light and creative interpretation of scene.??? However, malfunctions can happen I found it curious that IAIS would be interested. If you ever read Morant's book the first basic of rail publicity photo is not to present anything that could be seen as a negative.(of course universal). That can be subtle. He took very nice photos of grain branch lines. After they were included in some CP publication, word came down never to use anything like that, they wanted to discontinue many of those lines.

Existing light on RP's is a hit or miss, it can be a high bar and then I see a few lately and am surprised, not something I would try. I have my share both accepted and rejected.

Bob Jordan

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Old 03-09-2021, 06:16 PM   #16
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Oh no, those new GEVO's are pretty clean burning. In fact, the newest three (517-519) are "tier 4 credited."
Tier 4 credit just means it is a Tier 3 locomotive allowed to be built after the Tier 4 regulation date using "emission credits" earned by building Tier 4 locomotives. There is no difference major difference between a Tier 3 GEVO and a Tier 4 Credit GEVO.
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Old 03-18-2021, 05:19 PM   #17
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Here is another trio of rejections (all for reasons I can understand), some of which some of you might find interesting. Or the story behind them.

The first one is a night train on a viaduct rejected for "Lighting (Cloudy)". Some cloudy-day shots with no grey sky visible do make it on RP, but this one wasn't good enough. Now this was my best attempt at a shot I tried to get right for 12 years, but never had the luck with lighting. The view is straight south, so lighting is only good on sunny summer mornings, but on those mornings, often mist rising from the next side-valley to the east obstructs the Sun, and that's what dimmed lights for this photo, too.

The second one was rejected for "Composition (Too Tight)", obviously because the train is too close to the bottom of the frame. I spent half an hour finding the one single spot where neither catenary nor trees block most of the view towards the high mountains and the river. Then I waited another hour because I miscalculated when the Sun will shine down onto the tracks, a time I spent training myself for a perfect timing using the preceding (half-dark) trains, but didn't realise until after I got home and checked in on my screen that I would also have needed a wider-angle lens. I still like the end result but get why the screeners didn't want it.

The third one is the original landscape version of a photo later accepted in portrait crop version:

Image © 18 316
PhotoID: 766289
Photograph © 18 316


I did fear the landscape version might get rejected for foreground clutter for the catenary pole I positioned at center, but the rejection was for "Composition (Balance)"; since the picture did respect the ROT, I'm guessing the right side of the image was seen as too bland and featureless. I liked including it for giving a better sense of the topography.
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Old 03-24-2021, 07:11 PM   #18
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Something similar happened to me with this image.
Image © Benjamin R.
PhotoID: 762741
Photograph © Benjamin R.


The above photo was rejected for being "too dark." Well, that was the intention of the photo, and I felt that too much more exposure would ruin the mood; so I appealed the rejection (first time I had ever used an appeal). My appeal was also rejected, surprisingly. Interestingly enough, Iowa Interstate Railroad had actually reached out to me for permission to use said photo, after seeing it on Facebook.

For a while, I decided not to bother resubmitting the image, chalking a rejection up to RP's screeners being set in their ways. A few months later, however, I decided to use luminosity masking in Photoshop to selectively brighten certain areas. The difference was subtle. Noticeable side by side, but one likely wouldn't notice if viewed a few minutes apart. BUT, It was enough to be accepted by the screeners, after resubmission and a comment.

That photo went on to be chosen as #1 people's choice. Another interesting note - it also made Flickr's "Explore" last year, not that "Explore" means a whole lot.

Benjamin
This is a striking, memorable photograph. I really enjoy it.
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Old 03-27-2021, 04:24 PM   #19
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The shadow on the nose rejection as has been noted is a small thinking rejection...
There's a lot of that, and it further is not done with any consistency - you'll find plenty of shots that "don't have light on the nose" that have been accepted.

Which, in no small part, is why you'll see my photos here:

https://richardbischoff.smugmug.com/
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