Old 06-19-2012, 02:18 AM   #1
fecchaser
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Default New to RP, would like advice on rejected photo

Hi, I am new to Railpictures. I have been taking railroad photographs for 35 years. My background is I am a professional artist, so I am somewhat familiar with Photoshop. I submitted the attached photo as my first ever attempt on RP. It was rejected for the following: - Bad Color: Not enough color depth or too much color saturation. I am not sure what exactly that means. Can someone give me some advice and what exactly is wrong with the photo. I know the lights at Mid America Car in Kansas City have a yellow hue to them. Thank you for your advice and criticism. John
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File Type: jpg BNSF 5988.jpg (474.9 KB, 228 views)
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Old 06-19-2012, 02:35 AM   #2
Hatchetman
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I believe you already identified the problem...the yellow hue. The screeners generally frown upon the off-hues that various lights create. See if you can correct it a bit in Photoshop. Don't despair the reject, most have gone through the same "learning process" regarding what the screeners want. Your status as an artist may actually hurt you as the approach here is more scientific. The engineering/math sorts seem to enjoy getting things precisely "correct" in terms of color, sharpness, leveling, etc.
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Old 06-19-2012, 02:40 AM   #3
JRMDC
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Welcome to RP!

First thing first. RP likes things a particular way. Sometimes "better" means universally better, or nearly so, other times "better" means in the eye of one particular beholder, who happens to be an RP screener, or in between. You don't have to agree with them, and they don't have to agree with you! Don't take it as a judgment on your years of work. BTW, that also applies to what people say in this forum. Ultimately only you can determine what you like or dislike about a shot. But as this isn't your site, others will judge whether your shots appear.

Here, RP does not go for the yellow sodium lights, and you will have to color correct them.

But, and first, here is a second piece of advice about RP. The screener will often give you one rejection reason when more than one apply. They rush through the many, many shots that are submitted and they often or generally don't do more than one or two, regardless of how many apply. It is frustrating to all of us who upload here, but that is part of how it goes here.

In your case, I think this composition is not going to work. That fence/gate is awkwardly placed. A "wedge" view of a unit like this is called a "roster shot" and for RP such shots have to be much freer of flaws than other shots. Here I don't see anything else, any other compositional element or other image characteristic that is worthy of overlooking a flaw like that. Others may disagree, hang around for more opinions, that is what we offer here; we are mostly not affiliated with RP other than enjoying participation on their forums.

I suggest trying a different shot for upload. I also suggest spending time browsing through RP's many shots, to see what "works" here, what is accepted. Good luck!
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Last edited by JRMDC; 06-19-2012 at 02:43 AM.
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Old 06-19-2012, 04:24 AM   #4
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Lightbulb My Thoughts....

As JRMDC stated, for this "Site" your image has some issues that need to be addressed.

(1) First is the fence.

The way your image is composed, people call these roster shots or 3/4 wedgies and they need to be free of obstructions and shadows.

Such as:

Image © EL ROCO Photography
PhotoID: 379518
Photograph © EL ROCO Photography


So the fence kills this one and there is no way to fix it.



(2) Next is the huge shadow on the nose of the unit.

When you submit images to this Site the nose needs to be in the light (like the image above).

That usually goes for night shots as well.

Eastbound and Down

Unfortunately, you have a big shadow up front.

Sometimes you can fix that by making the exposure longer, but here it seems the light from the side is so bright that if you were to bring out the nose, the side would be so blown out it would look terrible.

Further, backlit shots are usually disallowed such as:

Amtrak No. 131 at Fullerton

Unless you can make them interesting.

Image © EL ROCO Photography
PhotoID: 361928
Photograph © EL ROCO Photography


Or:

Image © EL ROCO Photography
PhotoID: 320438
Photograph © EL ROCO Photography




(3) Lastly is the yellow hue from the Sodium lights.

Since you have an artistic background I hope you know to shoot your images using RAW format.

If you were to do that, you could use Photoshop or any other program to correct the white balance.

With Sodium lights I like to set the camera WB to Tungsten and that gives you a good place to start while on location.

You could also program in your own WB number if you were familiar with the location.

All my night shots have been corrected for WB and the ones at the Fullerton Station are particularly tricky because there are three different types of lights, all having a different spectrum.


In this area, the lights are very yellow.
Image © EL ROCO Photography
PhotoID: 361929
Photograph © EL ROCO Photography



In this area (down the platform) not so much.
Image © EL ROCO Photography
PhotoID: 301044
Photograph © EL ROCO Photography



From this angle, the lights are much whiter.*
Image © EL ROCO Photography
PhotoID: 348769
Photograph © EL ROCO Photography



You will need to experiment and figure out how to bring the BNSF orange out of the yellow.

Last edited by Holloran Grade; 06-19-2012 at 04:33 AM.
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