Old 02-21-2008, 11:05 PM   #1
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Default It ain't fun right now

I sat down this morning to process some shots and let out a heavy sigh. I just wasn't looking forward to it. I'm not really sure why. Sure, I've been getting more rejects lately for reasons I've never had problems with -- mostly underexposed and oversharpened. But these are things that can be fixed and I'm not really that concerned about that.

Maybe it's the doldrums over shooting the same basic scenes with the same basic generic wide cab Class 1 power. Variety in Columbia is the stuff they spread over KFC chicken, not power on the railroads. (I'm not sure that makes sense. Something about eleven herbs and spices.) When I do get to venture out lately, the trains are either nowhere near where I am or are running against the sun.

The photography part is actually still fun for me. It's the processing and then the process I have to go through. I have to dump it into the lap top, process it, then load it back onto the card and dump it onto the desk top computer. The monitor on the desk top is really bad and there's no way I can do any editting on it other than resizing. It's aggravating, but it doesn't explain my bad luck with oversharpening and underexposing, both of which are happening in the processing, I think, not the picture taking.

Anyway, no real point to this thread. Just wanted to bitch and moan a little.


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Old 02-21-2008, 11:15 PM   #2
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Anyway, no real point to this thread. Just wanted to bitch and moan a little.


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Its ok Joe. the tech at work have one cheep? a bit of snooping may get you a used one cheep. Richard
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Old 02-22-2008, 01:29 AM   #3
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I was 0 for 3 on acceptances this evening, so my idea or their idea of what's acceptable has changed.
But if we're gonna bitch, I have to whine about the price of gas. For whatever reason, I am unable to be content to just sit near a yard and snap photos, I have to chase. The cost to do this is getting unacceptable.
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Old 02-22-2008, 03:19 AM   #4
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Boo hoo.

I'm sure if you reflect on how great it is to have a nice, new camera, the fact that you actually have trains to shoot, and the time to do it while many folks out there do not, you'll see how petty it is to bitch and moan about it...
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Old 02-22-2008, 05:57 AM   #5
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Well, if you're going to do it, I sure as hell get to.

I'm at college now, and thus I have no vehicle. The tracks are a 20 minute bike ride, and a 30 minute walk, and don't have the train traffic to justify this (20 very sporadic trains a day) walk/ride when it's 10 degrees out and the windchills nearing the negatives. Oh, and no real places for shelter either. Oh, and finally, since my school is in a city surrounded by farm fields for a hundred miles in almost any direction, there's nothing else to do to pass the time either.

Finally, for everyone who bitches about having to put things in your personal collection, here's one for you. I've now reached the point that I have pictures in my personal collection that I can't share because of reasons (none of which I'm complaining about or questioning), namely because they were taken at work. Hah! Take that.

Alright, I'm done for now.

Edit: No, I guess I'm not done yet. I also lack the money to buy a decent digital imaging program, thus my post processing sucks lately.
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Old 02-22-2008, 06:28 AM   #6
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If we're complaining then I'd like to join in as well! My problem isn't that I don't have time or money or lack of trains in fact its quite the opposite. Looking back at last years photos, railroads are pretty much the only subject I shot. As a person, who may or may not look into persuing a career in photography (some aspect) this isn't good at all. I need to spend more time out in the woods or at the beach or something but the tracks keep luring me back begging to be shot differently. How does one get over this sickness?!

I plan on going on trips to different state parks this spring/summer/fall but what makes the trip worth the effort, time and monet?

All these are rhetorical questions of course, I just needed to get that off my chest.

A friend once told me to slow down with the railfanning because I would get sick of it, who knew the complete opposite would happen and I wouldn't be able to stop!

Okay, off to bed! Thanks for the venting thread Joe!
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Old 02-22-2008, 10:20 AM   #7
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It's pretty bad for me too.

What about these problems?

I'm semi-retired.
I have to use a Canon EOS5D and 24-70mm F2.8 and 70-200mm F2.8.
I live ten minutes walk from an LRT system, 3 miles from a major steam heritage line, six more HLs within 45 minutes drive.
I live near one of the major cities in UK with dozens of routes, freight and passenger, all around it.
I can get drive anywhere decent in the UK to photograph trains within four hours.
I can drive twenty minutes and get on a plane and get anywhere in Europe within two hours, all for $200.

And I'm off now to photograph Steam 4-6-2 6201 Princess Elizabeth on the main line. (About ten minutes drive away).

Of course I'm not complaining, It's just that after 40 years of doing it on a shoestring and having very little time as the family take attention, it's nice to gloat a little now that I'm in a comfy position.

Mind you, the weather's still mostly crap here.

(Please don't hate me)

Oh I forgot to mention that even will all that, I'm still lousy at railway photography!

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Old 02-22-2008, 02:27 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Blaszczyk (2)
If we're complaining then I'd like to join in as well! My problem isn't that I don't have time or money or lack of trains in fact its quite the opposite. Looking back at last years photos, railroads are pretty much the only subject I shot. As a person, who may or may not look into persuing a career in photography (some aspect) this isn't good at all. I need to spend more time out in the woods or at the beach or something but the tracks keep luring me back begging to be shot differently. How does one get over this sickness?!
I'm with you on this one, Andrew. I set out over two years ago with landscape photography being a big interest of mine. About a year into it, I got bitten by the train-photography bug and I've REALLY neglected what I set out to accomplish. I used to love spending my free "photography time" hiking through woods and the sand dunes of west Michigan, but now the lure of the rails has pulled me away from those trails.
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Old 02-22-2008, 04:10 PM   #9
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I got bitten by the photography bug back in 1959 at age 11, and have been hooked ever since. There is no cure for the bug, as my wife will attest to!! I started railfanning back in 1960, and today find it hard to divide my photo time between railroad photography and aerial photography. I have attached two aerial photos I snapped on our recent trip to Los Angeles--weather and lighting were absolutely perfect for shooting, so I shot away!!!
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Old 02-22-2008, 05:13 PM   #10
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My turn.

I suffer from type 2 diabetes. I very recently had a stress test and wound up having emergency angioplasty with a stent inserted into a coronary artery that was 99% blocked. The attending cardiologist/surgeon said he couldn't understand why I had not had a major heart attack already. I nearly had one during the stress test.

Due to health and personal family related reasons I have been unemployed for nearly a year. Money is extremely tight, so road trips of any distance to shoot trains with gas at $3.00 a gallon is out of the question for me.

All this limits me to visiting the same couple of places over and over again, with a small number of locations and angles to shoot from. This winter I have been out maybe a half dozen times total due to circumstance and lousy northern Ohio weather.

Still I love railfan photography. It is extremely frustrating to be so constrained in scope, and sometimes I can't help but feel a little envious when I see such marvelous shots as we see in the database here, taken in places I just can't visit for now. It is even more frustrating to finally get out for an hour or two with my camera and then have the few resulting shots be rejected by the screeners for whatever reason.

Even so, I feel somewhat blessed that I am still here with my family and at least for now healthy enough to continue doing what I love, even if I must do it on a limited basis.

To those of you that have the means and health to railfan however and wherever you please, I say consider yourselves fortunate. If doing what we do is not so much fun for you these days then take a week ot two off, regroup, get back to the fundamentals, review and re-live the experiences of taking those shots that are special to you, and most of all count your blessings!
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Old 02-22-2008, 05:20 PM   #11
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I have Type 2 Diabetes also. So far, the only constraint it has on me, my life and my hobbies is repeated and often stops at restrooms. (Or sometimes down dirt roads.) My eye sight is not what it used to be and in time, I will be wearing glasses.

One thing I worry about is not being able to travel more now in the event somethng life altering -- like death -- happens sooner than expected.

Rich, I certainly feel your pain. I guess one thing I need to learn is to enjoy the days more, enjoy the mundane locations over and over and, well, just have fun.

In my original post, I meant to convey the thing I am having the least fun with lately is the post processing.


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Old 02-22-2008, 05:43 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich K
Still I love railfan photography. It is extremely frustrating to be so constrained in scope, and sometimes I can't help but feel a little envious when I see such marvelous shots as we see in the database here, taken in places I just can't visit for now. It is even more frustrating to finally get out for an hour or two with my camera and then have the few resulting shots be rejected by the screeners for whatever reason.
Rich, I feel EXACTLY the same way. My constraint is not financial/medical, however, but rather the way we divide up tasks in my family. Basically, if I am heading out during the weekend, I had better be taking at least my son along! Having a 5-year-old along restricts location, position at the location, and attention to the camera. I really, really, want to be able to shoot more "marvelous shots."

Also, of late we are doing more non-train outings. I often prefer to take my son on an active excursion, usually a hike of some sort, rather than to sit in the car trackside waiting for a train. There are a few places where there are things to do trackside, but the good stuff (in terms of hiking in particular, which we love) is elsewhere. And this weekend, his first time skiing.

Thus, only one uploaded shot taken since a photo charter outing in early November. That's a rate of only four shots a year!
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Old 02-22-2008, 05:54 PM   #13
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My wife also has Type II diabetes, and I have had to divide up a lot of my time, to look after her, take her to the doctor as necessary,etc. Furthermore, her mother is battling breast cancer and I have also been very busy taking her to the hospital daily for her radiation treatments, and her doctor visits. My wife has enough to worry with in her condition, so I very much feel the need to help wherever I can. For me, railfanning and photography have, for the most part, been "shoved onto the 'back burner,' for the most part for the past 2 months.
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Old 02-22-2008, 06:16 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JRMDC
I often prefer to take my son on an active excursion, usually a hike of some sort, rather than to sit in the car trackside waiting for a train. There are a few places where there are things to do trackside, but the good stuff (in terms of hiking in particular, which we love) is elsewhere.
Good for you!

The time you spend with your little one will pass so very quickly, and you can't turn back the hands of time years from now to do the things with him you are doing now. Some of the saddest words you can utter when it comes to your family are "should have . . . would have. . . . could have"!

I have two daughters, and some of our fondest memories are of times when they were quite young when we would take my reflector telescope out at night to a dark spot in the area Metroparks for an evening of stargazing. I spent more time having fun with them than I spent at the eyepiece, and I will always have those wonderful memories, as will they long after I am gone.

God willing you will be around, and the railroads will still be running, years from now when these fleeting moments with your young son will no longer be possible. Then you can spend time time between trains remembering all the good times you had with him. Better still, maybe you can pass your love of this hobby on to him as he grows up, and then you can take your railfan photos someday down the road with him standing next to you!
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Old 02-22-2008, 06:19 PM   #15
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I was kind of feeling the same way a little over a year ago. So I signed up to work for an on-line sports magazine (my other love besides trains is sports), and I get to shoot NCAA football, basketball, Arena League Football, etc. It's a nice break from trains all the time, and I have also found it is much more challenging to get a good shot of a NASCAR stock car going 180 than it is to get a intermodal doing 45. I also started my own photography business with a friend of mine which has really taken off faster than expected. All this just makes the times I do get out track side more enjoyable. Also, I've found that if you have someone else to ride along with, the time spent track-side is much more enjoyable than just sitting in a car alone.
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Old 02-22-2008, 06:25 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich K
The time you spend with your little one will pass so very quickly,
Absolutely! It is a conscious sacrifice. A tradeoff, actually, and there is more "up" than "down".

Quote:
and then you can take your railfan photos someday down the road with him standing next to you!
Almost all of my shots from the last several years (excluding photo charter) are with him standing nearby or, more usually, sitting in the nearby car. He has a low tolerance for loud diesel horns. I grab my shot and then jump in the car and watch with him.
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Old 02-22-2008, 07:13 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JRMDC
Basically, if I am heading out during the weekend, I had better be taking at least my son along! Having a 5-year-old along restricts location, position at the location, and attention to the camera. I really, really, want to be able to shoot more "marvelous shots."
J, if your son looks like he will be the railfan type (which I don't see how thats not possible), I would actually recommend starting to take at least him (or the whole family) on some longer trips as finances allow of course. While non-train outtings are fun and benefit the whole family if your son does grow up to be the kind of railfan you or even worse, I am, then he will want to eventually see his (maybe not so good) and your photos of "rare" stuff when he was younger. Let me clarify, we (my family) missed the NS steam program because my parents kept putting off a trip down south to see it. Lack of Internet and word about these trips is also to blame. I see shots of these trips now and regret going so much its crazy, of couse I wouldn't really have anything 'amazing' but I was 6 when they shut down the program and I believe I was already holding a camera at that time. Even if I didn't have anything, my dad and mom would, and I could possibly remember some things from these tripa and be able to relive them through pics/vids.

What I'm trying to say is just because he may not seem too thrilled by the noise now, 10+ years down the road he'll be glad you took him to some railroad that may not be operating now.

I keep telling my dad how disappointed I am in him for not taking any photos of the RR's around Jersey City in the 60's and 70's, jokingly of course!

So, what may seem like a pain may be the best thing for your (or anyone's) children in the future, from my own personal experience.
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Old 02-22-2008, 07:36 PM   #18
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Andrew makes a good point. My dad started taking me out with him before I could walk. He has shots at Abrams Yard of my barely able to walk standing watching a rebuilt RS3 shift the yard. As soon as he could, he got a camera in my hands, and I look back now and I'm glad he did. I have shots of D&H C420s and Uboats under Starucca Viaduct along with other shots that I'm glad I got. Granted, they are nowhere near RP-type shots, but just the fact I have them is better than nothing.
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Old 02-22-2008, 08:04 PM   #19
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Wow, I wish my dad had gotten me interested in railfanning rather than the other way around. I hear ya with the being tired of the same old, same old, Joe. While I can afford to drive around in my area, I don't have the resources to make many trips non-locally. I also hear ya with the post processing thing, but that's not recent...I've never liked that.

But for all those who have the RP rejection blues or a sick of shooting locally...here's a little story of cheer and why RP is still great. I'd been bummed recently over the lack of snow down here and the fact that it seems I'll never have any snow shots. Then my g/f and I broke up, so naturally I needed a little railfan therapy this week, widecabs or no.

So, yesterday, I walk into a lounge on campus to do a little studying and recognize this [rather attractive!] chick from the gym. Then I look down, and as her desktop wallpaper is a recent POTW from RP. (GASP!) Needless to say, I had to ask about it. She says something along the lines of "...yeah, I love trains, I don't take pics, but I love to watch. I live by the tracks near school..." I introduce myself, and she says "Oh my God, you're the one with the pics this week from the cemetery across the street from my appartment!" Long story short, it's my 22nd today, and guess who volunteered her appartment to throw a party...

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Old 02-22-2008, 08:24 PM   #20
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... Long story short, it's my 22nd today, and guess who volunteered her appartment to throw a party...
WOW!!!!!!!!
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Old 02-22-2008, 08:42 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cassfan3
So, yesterday, I walk into a lounge on campus to do a little studying and recognize this [rather attractive!] chick from the gym. Then I look down, and as her desktop wallpaper is a recent POTW from RP. (GASP!) Needless to say, I had to ask about it. She says something along the lines of "...yeah, I love trains, I don't take pics, but I love to watch. I live by the tracks near school..." I introduce myself, and she says "Oh my God, you're the one with the pics this week from the cemetery across the street from my appartment!" Long story short, it's my 22nd today, and guess who volunteered her appartment to throw a party...
All I have to say is holy crap! That's better than I've been able to do linking females and this hobby. Well done, and congrats!

She mention my name by any chance?
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Old 02-22-2008, 08:44 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe the Photog
In my original post, I meant to convey the thing I am having the least fun with lately is the post processing.
Joe,

The best thing I can tell you about the Diabetes is listen to your doctor, and do the things diabetics must do to control the disease, and take your meds!

I didn't, and now I am paying a heavy price. Frequent trips to the bathroom are the least of my diabetes related problems. My toes are numb, the bottoms of my feet burn all the time, and my legs from the knees down ache constantly. I have kidney damage and coronary heart disease, both a byproduct of my condition as well.

As for your finding the post processing more tedious than fun these days, I can relate to a degree. I still rather enjoy post processing with PSE 5.0, but then I have only been at less than a year. What makes post processing frustrating to me is when I spend the time to tweak shots that are pretty good out of the camera only to get rejected for not enough light on the nose, etc. It is especially bothersome after you have a run of a half dozen or so in a row that are arbitrarily dismissed by a screener. I have come to the point where I seldom even appeal anymore. If I like them then it's good enough for me.

Think of it this way my friend. Even the best hitters in baseball are only sucessful 30% of the time. What you are feeling right now is perhaps frustration over a bit of a slump. All it takes is for one to have a look at the excellent shots you have in the database to know that this will soon pass.
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Old 02-22-2008, 08:54 PM   #23
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All I have to say is holy crap! That's better than I've been able to do linking females and this hobby. Well done, and congrats!

She mention my name by any chance?
Haha...sorry, I somehow forgot to bring you up, Andrew. However, if you can make it down to Charlotte tonight feel free to join the party. Her appt. IS right beside the NS main...nothing like intoxicated rail pictures!
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Old 02-22-2008, 09:00 PM   #24
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Quote:
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Haha...sorry, I somehow forgot to bring you up, Andrew. However, if you can make it down to Charlotte tonight feel free to join the party. Her appt. IS right beside the NS main...nothing like intoxicated rail pictures!
It's tempting but I'll have to pass this time. Altough that sounds like a very amusing situation. Don't forget to include some human interest () into your shots from there.
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Old 02-22-2008, 09:15 PM   #25
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Don't forget to include some human interest () into your shots from there.
... but let's keep this G-rated!
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Cabooses
Engine Details
Farm and Train
Plumes!
Railroad Details
Signal Details
Switchstand Shots
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