Old 03-26-2008, 02:52 AM   #1
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Just sharing some recent WSOR photos.



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Old 03-26-2008, 03:10 AM   #2
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Great shots! I would try to submit.
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Old 03-26-2008, 04:30 AM   #3
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They're cool........but they look a little Photoshopped. Maybe it's HDR? I don't know, but they don't look natural. Maybe it's me...
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Old 03-26-2008, 05:00 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ween
They're cool........but they look a little Photoshopped. Maybe it's HDR? I don't know, but they don't look natural. Maybe it's me...
I was thinking the same thing Ween. The lighting seems a bit odd. To me, it seems like certain parts of the photos have different light direction than other portions. The different lighting angles contradict one another.

Nice compositions though. I decided to take a look through your gallery too. You've got some nice work in there.
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Old 03-27-2008, 02:07 AM   #5
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Thanks for the comments guys. Ween and Brandon could you elaborate more on your comments...are there specific areas or parts of the photo that jumped out at you?
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Old 03-27-2008, 03:04 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Aaron Jors
Thanks for the comments guys. Ween and Brandon could you elaborate more on your comments...are there specific areas or parts of the photo that jumped out at you?
I am not them, but what I see on the first one is that the sky is a bit brighter on the left side, suggesting the sun is behind the building, yet there is a bit of glint on the side of the power, suggesting the sun is to the right. Actually, the shot has a nice overall glow, very rich, and I didn't look closely until reading what they said.
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Old 03-27-2008, 03:58 AM   #7
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Ween and Brandon could you elaborate more on your comments...are there specific areas or parts of the photo that jumped out at you?
The photos as a whole jumped out because of the unnatural look to them. I think they're neat, but not something I couldn't pull off at this point in the hobby straight out of the camera.

The second one looks like a High Dynamic Range shot or something, like multiple exposures were used and blended to make the final image. I am curious what your workflow was when you downloaded these shots off of your camera...
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Old 03-27-2008, 11:53 PM   #8
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Ween you are correct these images are not something you could pull directly out of the camera as a camera cannot reproduce what the human eyes can.

Basically all I did was take 2 different exposures one for the train and one for the sky and combine them in photoshop. This is what I saw when taking the pictures.

JRMDC you are correct the sun is behind the building and I believe the glint on the side of the train is the light reflecting off the snow. I didn't add any light or anything to the shot, if I used just one shot the sky would have been completly blown out.
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Old 03-28-2008, 12:12 AM   #9
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Cool. Submit the first one, please. In the comments to the screener, you may want to mention that you used an HDR technique.
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Old 03-28-2008, 01:02 AM   #10
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Cool shots none-the-less but they are still digitially manipulated and should not be allowed in the database. Sure, anyone putting their photos up on RP has to do some form of digital manipulation, whether it being converting it to B&W, cloaning out dust, or even lightening up under exposed areas. However, the merging of two images falls in the category of a "fake" image. It is not something the human eye sees nor something that cannot be done with a camera alone.

Sure, they are nice photos but overall are doctored to an unrealistic state.
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Old 03-28-2008, 01:20 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by quiksmith10
Cool shots none-the-less but they are still digitially manipulated and should not be allowed in the database. Sure, anyone putting their photos up on RP has to do some form of digital manipulation, whether it being converting it to B&W, cloaning out dust, or even lightening up under exposed areas. However, the merging of two images falls in the category of a "fake" image. It is not something the human eye sees nor something that cannot be done with a camera alone.

Sure, they are nice photos but overall are doctored to an unrealistic state.
Sorry, Brandon, I fully disagree. The merging of two overlapping images, the same image, actually, the exact same framing, with two different exposure levels, is a standard (advanced, but standard) technique for dealing with the limited dynamic range of a camera in comparison to the human eye.
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Old 03-28-2008, 01:30 AM   #12
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You disagree that it is digital manipulation? It is certainly something that can't be produced through normal means and certainly something that can't be produced from a camera.

Certainly, some instances it can be pulled off without little evidence and it actually helps the overall quality of the image. However, when it's as obvious as this and it makes the image look, I'm sorry to say, fake, it is not true railroad photography.
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Old 03-28-2008, 01:47 AM   #13
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Brandon I have to say I completely disagree with you as well. A camera is simply not capable of recreating certain scenes as the human eye can see them. Don't quote me on these numbers exactly but the human eye can see something like 20 stops of light and the camera can only record up to 10 or something to that degree.

Anyway the point is that the scene I saw with my eyes cannot be recorded with a single exposure because the camera is incapable of doing so. These shots were processed to recreate the scene as it was and as I saw it.

If I were to manipulate the image to be something that I did not see or that the scene was not than I would agree with you but that is not the case.

I noticed you live in the Gettysburg area I'm going to be out that way for work later in April and was thinking of visiting Gettysburg any Trains in the area?

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Old 03-28-2008, 02:00 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by quiksmith10
You disagree that it is digital manipulation? It is certainly something that can't be produced through normal means and certainly something that can't be produced from a camera.

Certainly, some instances it can be pulled off without little evidence and it actually helps the overall quality of the image. However, when it's as obvious as this and it makes the image look, I'm sorry to say, fake, it is not true railroad photography.
Well, first of all, there is the definition of "true railroad photography" and the question of who decides. Hopefully, you simply got carried away in rhetoric, and hopefully you are not too narrow minded in what true railroad photography can be.

On the other end of the scale are the RP guidelines, whose section on manipulation says
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The purpose of our website is to display genuine, authentic photographs of trains and railroad related scenes. Bearing this in mind, digital manipulation of photographs (beyond standard post-processing techniques such as levelling, sharpening, dust removal, etc.) is not permitted on photographs submitted to RailPictures.Net.
Now, perhaps HDR is not a "standard" technique. I'm not sure what is. I would make an argument that many things done here are manipulative, such as increasing saturation. Others are perhaps out of the realm of what I will loosely call basic techniques, such as local contrast enhancement. I think both are acceptable. I don't know if HDR is generally considered acceptable in practice but I am pretty sure I have seen some on RP. I have even read an RP screener (or was it just a multi-hundred uploader) here on the forum use the term "burn and dodge" in regard to his own work.

In between, I draw a distinction between modifications, manipulations to some, whose purpose is to better present the image in what I will call its representational glory, and those modifications whose purpose is to intentionally distort from representation in pursuit of artistic expression. It is the latter that are definitely excluded from RP, and it is my observation that the former are accepted at RP, and my opinion that they should be.

Where to draw the line is, of course, subjective. I can understand someone disagreeing with me on which side of the line an image falls, but that is a separate debate from what the goal is (where one can also disagree with me!).
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Old 03-28-2008, 02:05 AM   #15
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Point well taken Aaron. I was not there as I don't how true to form your edited shots come to reproducing what you saw. From my first impression though, and I think Ween hinted on this earlier, is something just looks "un-natural" with the photos. The two tones of light from the seperate images just don't blend together right in my eyes, giving it the "fake" appearance I pointed out earlier. To each his own but I'm sorry to say these images do not look realistic in my eyes.
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Old 03-28-2008, 02:40 AM   #16
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Quote:
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Well, first of all, there is the definition of "true railroad photography" and the question of who decides. Hopefully, you simply got carried away in rhetoric, and hopefully you are not too narrow minded in what true railroad photography can be.
We each have our own definition of "true railroad photography," which is what makes this such a great hobby. We all get to see scenes differently through each other's eyes. My definition is obviously different from your's and Aaron's here. I have the right to hold my expression true, as does everyone. What might be blinded by your own definition of photography is opened up in someone elses. Which is why critiquing is so helpful. No body is right and nobody is wrong but everyone is entitled to their own opinion.

I can easily see that you are "narrow minded" in your view point as well. We all are as we all hold our own opinion and are highly unlikely to give it up once we are set in our ways.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JRMDC
Now, perhaps HDR is not a "standard" technique. I'm not sure what is. I would make an argument that many things done here are manipulative, such as increasing saturation. Others are perhaps out of the realm of what I will loosely call basic techniques, such as local contrast enhancement. I think both are acceptable. I don't know if HDR is generally considered acceptable in practice but I am pretty sure I have seen some on RP. I have even read an RP screener (or was it just a multi-hundred uploader) here on the forum use the term "burn and dodge" in regard to his own work.

In between, I draw a distinction between modifications, manipulations to some, whose purpose is to better present the image in what I will call its representational glory, and those modifications whose purpose is to intentionally distort from representation in pursuit of artistic expression. It is the latter that are definitely excluded from RP, and it is my observation that the former are accepted at RP, and my opinion that they should be.

Where to draw the line is, of course, subjective. I can understand someone disagreeing with me on which side of the line an image falls, but that is a separate debate from what the goal is (where one can also disagree with me!).
As stated before, there are times where it can work well and provide little if any hint that it was done. However, the photos at hand are a little too noticable in my opinion. I think with a little work though, they could be brought within realstic means. There is definitely room to work in and a better photograph can be created. I think the main thing that needs to be done is to bring the cast of light to a more equal balance across the image so it doesn't have a "cut and paste" look.

On an OT stint, is anybody watching the over-time game between Xavier and West Virginia? It has been one hell of a game. Back to watching the the final minutes.......
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Old 03-28-2008, 03:25 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by quiksmith10
I can easily see that you are "narrow minded" in your view point as well. We all are as we all hold our own opinion and are highly unlikely to give it up once we are set in our ways.
Well, I regret using the term "narrow minded" when I should have said that I hoped you didn't hold too narrow a definition of what railroad photography can be. So I'm sorry.

And one can draw a distinction between railroad photography and photography of railroad subjects, the latter obviously can be as broad as all of photography but the former need not be.
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Old 03-28-2008, 04:25 AM   #18
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Quote:
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Well, I regret using the term "narrow minded" when I should have said that I hoped you didn't hold too narrow a definition of what railroad photography can be. So I'm sorry.

And one can draw a distinction between railroad photography and photography of railroad subjects, the latter obviously can be as broad as all of photography but the former need not be.
Sometimes, your explanations make my head spin. They sometimes remind me of what a politician would say....in a good way, that is.

BTW, no offense taken.
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Old 03-28-2008, 04:32 AM   #19
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Fake looking or altered pics are accepted here at rpnet. They also receive awards. I am not being negitive, only just supportive.

Image © Jean-Marc Frybourg
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Photograph © Jean-Marc Frybourg



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Old 03-28-2008, 04:34 AM   #20
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They sometimes remind me of what a politician would say....in a good way, that is.
There is a good way?

Some day we'll run across each other around here, and you will see whether my writing persona matches my in person persona!
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Old 03-28-2008, 04:42 AM   #21
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Anyway the point is that the scene I saw with my eyes cannot be recorded with a single exposure because the camera is incapable of doing so. These shots were processed to recreate the scene as it was and as I saw it.
I need your eyeballs then, because I don't see the world that way.

As for HDR, I'm on the fence, but more leaning toward the nay sayers as far as RP goes. HDR (supposedly) fixes a limitation caused by the camera...the same argument can be used for sharpening or saturation.

You could also use the argument that using two images and merging them is a foul. However, I'll use layers and masks when processing my images...isn't a layer another form of an image?

The problem though, for me anyway, is that an HDR workflow produces an image that reflects more Photoshop skill than photography skill. And it just doesn't look real. Why is it that I can spot an HDR image when they are supposed to represent what my eyeballs see naturally? My eyeballs spot them right away as standing out and looking fake.

I guess you can argue the stops of an eye vs. the stops of a camera sensor, but an HDR image just doesn't look right to my 20 stop eyes...
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Old 03-28-2008, 04:48 AM   #22
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And it just doesn't look real. Why is it that I can spot an HDR image when they are supposed to represent what my eyeballs see naturally? My eyeballs spot them right away as standing out and looking fake.
I think it is a matter of expectations. When we look at images, we are accustomed to seeing narrow dynamic range versions of what our eyes see. An HDR shot may be more representative of what the eye is used to, but we don't see them very often, so they stick out as different.

Especially since part of what HDR must do is compress the "usual" dynamic range, in order to fit the extra range in to the usual jpg. Or at least that is my understanding. So an HDR not only brings in extra range, but the usual range within the total looks different.

For an analogous reason, I don't care as much about sharpening as most. I have worn glasses all my life and have rarely had crisp vision. Certainly not, in comparison to contact lenses, which I have worn from time to time. So I will see a shot that others consider undersharpened and say, that's fine, and sometimes I see well-sharpened shots, including my own, and say wow, that seems excessive. All because of what my particular eyes are used to seeing.
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Old 03-28-2008, 04:53 AM   #23
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J, you're talking about what your eyes expect to see looking at a photo. The argument presented was HDR recreates the scene as is. I don't see it that way...not when I see and HDR image and not in real life.

In other words, if I stood with a guy taking a photo and he processed it as an HDR image, I guarantee the HDR representation would in no way match the scene I saw when I was trackside with the guy.
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Old 03-28-2008, 06:22 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ween
J, you're talking about what your eyes expect to see looking at a photo. The argument presented was HDR recreates the scene as is. I don't see it that way...not when I see and HDR image and not in real life.

In other words, if I stood with a guy taking a photo and he processed it as an HDR image, I guarantee the HDR representation would in no way match the scene I saw when I was trackside with the guy.
Well, I disagree here a bit. I think the problem here is that the reason the HDR looks "fake" is that you're not used to seeing it in a photo. The human eye can see more levels at the same time than a camera sensor. When exposing a shot that has lighting in these examples, if you expose the darker areas enough for the camera, the light areas are blown out. If you expose the light areas properly, the dark areas are too dark. You eye "exposes" both parts properly.

Take Aaron's picture above (The W &S engine cat the crossing). Excellent photo. The sun is off to the right. You can see the highlights of the sun on the plow. to get that exposed properly, the side of the engine would be way dark. The human eye can process that ambient light on the side of the engine and it doesn't look dark to the eye. The camera can't.

A perfect example of this is a room with a window in the day time. You see the light from outside & the ambient light lighting the walls. However, if you try to photograph it, you either get the window correct & everything in the room too dark, or the room exposed correctly & the window way blown out.

Check out the examples below. The HDR (which I did quick & dirty) best represents what my office looks like. The other 3 are how my camera sees it with different exposures.

Window ok:


Window starting to get blown out,room still darker:


Room like eye sees it, window way too blown out:


HDR, closest to what my eye really sees:
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Old 03-28-2008, 06:43 PM   #25
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Quote:
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HDR, closest to what my eye really sees:
Exactly, closest but still not good quality to what is reality. As of now, it is near impossible in some conditions to represent with current technology what we are seeing.

Your image, although close to reality, is far from it. It has a very flat and "doctored" look to it. The image severely lacks contrast. I believe in adding contrast, the window would start to blow-out and the shadows would begin to fade to black.

I think some things need to be faced in that no matter what you do, certain scenes can't be recreated digitally to make them look as they were seen with our own eyes.
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