Old 12-11-2012, 02:11 AM   #1
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Default Help: Bad contrast.

I've only tried to submit three or four shots here, but I thought this one would be a winner. Rejected: Bad contrast. Any reasonable way to fix this? All I have is Picasa as far as photo editing goes.

Thanks in advance,

Kris

Picture:

http://www.railpictures.net/viewreje...00&key=5501265

Seems a bit dark I suppose.
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Old 12-11-2012, 10:47 AM   #2
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I actually like the shot as is, but I'm not a screener so that won't help you much. I imagine the bad contrast comes from it being a little dark on the contrast side. The blacks might be a litttle too black. Aside from that, I think the shot could use some brightening on the exposure to show more of the trucks. The shot has what I call a "fine art" look to it. It woujld probaly go over good on some art photography web sites more than RP.

I also think they may hit you for cropping next. The shot is 1200 pixels wide, but only 700 pixels tall. Also, the Danforth bilding needs a little room under it while the silo needs some on top of it. A 1200X800 crop woujld probaby do fine here. I like the shot and think with some tweaking it will get in.
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Old 12-11-2012, 12:00 PM   #3
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What did they do with 100??
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Old 12-11-2012, 01:20 PM   #4
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In addition to what Joe said, RP likes shots leveled at the center, whereas you have made the station level. Make the right edge of the grain elevator in the back vertical and you will be all set.
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Old 12-11-2012, 06:30 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe the Photog View Post
I actually like the shot as is, but I'm not a screener so that won't help you much. I imagine the bad contrast comes from it being a little dark on the contrast side. The blacks might be a litttle too black. Aside from that, I think the shot could use some brightening on the exposure to show more of the trucks. The shot has what I call a "fine art" look to it. It woujld probaly go over good on some art photography web sites more than RP.

I also think they may hit you for cropping next. The shot is 1200 pixels wide, but only 700 pixels tall. Also, the Danforth bilding needs a little room under it while the silo needs some on top of it. A 1200X800 crop woujld probaby do fine here. I like the shot and think with some tweaking it will get in.
I usually prefer to not edit a shot this heavily, but the weather was trashy. Forcast was hinting towards light snow, but when I got there it was a rain/sleet mix. I used B&W to hide the otherwise undesirable color. AS far as the odd numbered crop, I went with a 16x9 so I could use it as wallpaper for my computer I'll try your suggestions and resubmit.

Here is the full set from the day:
http://indianarailroads.org/board/in...?topic=11536.0

-Kris
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Old 12-11-2012, 07:05 PM   #6
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Round 2 yields a rejection for unlevel horizon.

http://www.railpictures.net/viewreje...98&key=6106660

Last edited by e-unit; 12-11-2012 at 10:16 PM.
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Old 12-11-2012, 10:21 PM   #7
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Round 2 yields a rejection for unlevel horizon.

http://www.railpictures.net/viewreje...98&key=6106660
Level the image with the vertical nearest the center of the image.

E-unit, what happened to the 100? It was paired up with 101 when the train came through Michigan last week.
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Old 12-12-2012, 04:34 AM   #8
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Quote:
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Level the image with the vertical nearest the center of the image.

E-unit, what happened to the 100? It was paired up with 101 when the train came through Michigan last week.
Good question. Last reliable report was a week ago in Michigan. I think the setup changes for the different regions. For this run it was IC 101 leading 4 IC coaches+ 1 CN coach and CN 9452 taking the rear wrapped in christmas lights.

Last edited by e-unit; 12-12-2012 at 08:52 AM.
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Old 12-12-2012, 05:20 AM   #9
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Ouch - the "fixed" shot is the one that has poor contrast.

As is, I really liked the shot - just follow the advice from Janusz and Joe:

Keep the dark contrast but perhaps lighten up the darkest areas such as the trucks. Shadows and highlights or selective dodging but make sure you keep something in the shot solid black. And then center from the center - ie; line up a vertical in the center of the image and you should be golden. For "extra" credit, you can then fix any perspective issues if the right and /or left lean.

Nice job - works well in B&W.

/Mitch
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Old 12-12-2012, 08:30 AM   #10
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Well I put this version into queue...
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 3.jpg (320.6 KB, 103 views)

Last edited by e-unit; 12-12-2012 at 09:08 AM.
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Old 12-13-2012, 06:12 AM   #11
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Now they say its too dark

I give up.

I'll return to rrpicturearchives I guess. I earn editors picks there and cant even get on here. So long suckers
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Old 12-13-2012, 12:05 PM   #12
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It is too dark. You can't even see the trucks. It's an easy fix to make it enjoyable for all to view.

Did you earn an editor's pick on this underexposed image?
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Old 12-13-2012, 12:56 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by e-unit View Post
Now they say its too dark

I give up.

I'll return to rrpicturearchives I guess. I earn editors picks there and cant even get on here. So long suckers
I understand your pain, we've all been through it. I just started posting here a year ago and had similar problems and almost gave up. I'm very glad I didn't. If you hang in there and keep working on this and other pictures, you'll find it does you a world of good and will make you a better rail photographer. And if this picture is any indication, it looks like you have good stuff to share. I've still got a long ways to go to ever be a good rail photographer, but I'm way ahead of where I would have been had I not stuck around here. It's the best free education you can get!
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Old 12-13-2012, 04:50 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimThias View Post
It is too dark. You can't even see the trucks. It's an easy fix to make it enjoyable for all to view.

Did you earn an editor's pick on this underexposed image?
I like the composition. I like the subject. I'd like to see more from you though I would not expend any of my free time sorting through RRArchives.

I'd suggest just dropping this one - or throw it into the "I took this shot" in Archives and give RP another shot with a better image.

I do not think you can fix it. It IS dark. If it's naturally dark, it's just an unappealing image. If it's underexposed, or you simply would like the image to have more "pop", you can go into Levels or Curves and brighten both the whites and blacks so it won't be as murky. Unfortunately, for RP and even a general mass appeal, having the trucks shadowed so much that there is absolutely no recoverable detail kind of relegates this shot to Archives.

As for Mr Pick's advice on a free education - he's right. You'll learn lots here - what works in general, what works with this audience, and what works with this set of screeners. For the most part, your photography will improve though there will times where not everyone will be in sync and it'll be times like that where you have to pick your battles. Are you breaking new ground here or simply trying to make the best of a bad (weather) situation?

/Mitch
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Old 12-13-2012, 07:41 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mgoldman View Post
I like the composition. I like the subject. I'd like to see more from you though I would not expend any of my free time sorting through RRArchives.

I'd suggest just dropping this one - or throw it into the "I took this shot" in Archives and give RP another shot with a better image.

I do not think you can fix it. It IS dark. If it's naturally dark, it's just an unappealing image. If it's underexposed, or you simply would like the image to have more "pop", you can go into Levels or Curves and brighten both the whites and blacks so it won't be as murky. Unfortunately, for RP and even a general mass appeal, having the trucks shadowed so much that there is absolutely no recoverable detail kind of relegates this shot to Archives.

As for Mr Pick's advice on a free education - he's right. You'll learn lots here - what works in general, what works with this audience, and what works with this set of screeners. For the most part, your photography will improve though there will times where not everyone will be in sync and it'll be times like that where you have to pick your battles. Are you breaking new ground here or simply trying to make the best of a bad (weather) situation?

/Mitch
I was teasing about the whole giving up part. I was just trying to make the best out of a rainy December day shot. I just couldn't pass up shooting an IC E-unit with a passenger set on city of New Orleans turf.

As far as the shot being too dark and trucks not being visible, I can see them on my end. My monitor is a matte finish/high brightness LED. I'll have to hook up to my TV via HDMI and see what it looks like on there.

I like this site, but as a second year photographer I might be pushing a bit too hard to get in here. With the archives, I can put in all my "80%" shots and call it a day. Here I have to put in two shots at a time and chances are both will be denied for a petty reason, then I have to go back and spend even more time editing just for it to be denied again. Now it feels more like a job than a hobby to me. I already work 5 days a week and I try to spend one day out if the weather is good. Now I have to spend the other day off just editing lol.

Here is the two EP's I received and my pic that rotates on the homepage. They wont even get accepted in here.
http://upcoaltrain.rrpicturearchives...spx?id=2614265
http://upcoaltrain.rrpicturearchives...spx?id=2640519
http://upcoaltrain.rrpicturearchives...spx?id=2680563

My archives page:

http://upcoaltrain.rrpicturearchives.net/

Last edited by e-unit; 12-13-2012 at 08:01 PM.
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Old 12-13-2012, 08:31 PM   #16
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I have 43 pictures here at RP now. Took me two weeks to get a first one on. Then the next dozen or so pictures averaged about two rejections each before they were accepted (some of which I now wish hadn't been accepted!) Then it got to where I'd get a couple of submissions rejected, but then one would get on with no rejections. Of the last 10 or so pictures I've submitted, one was rejected for "undersharpened," so I boosted it a tad and it was accepted, and the rest were accepted on the first submission.

I looked through some of your pictures over on the archives and you have some good compositions and some interesting subject matter scattered around in there. If you keep submitting, I think you'll get the hang of it very quickly, and I think you'll be happy that you stuck it out. You've got some good stuff to contribute - it just needs a little polishing and refining.

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Old 12-14-2012, 02:28 AM   #17
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Glad you were teasing about giving up, e-unit. I never even touched a real camera before 2 years ago, and I've learned lots in a short time, largely from the rejection process. My shots aren't Screener's Choice material yet, but I think I've finally gotten past being a Screener's Nightmare.

And reading the Forum contributions helped much, too. Even when I wasn't trying to learn I was picking up things about leveling, contrast, you name it, just by reading along here.

And when I've wanted to give up I just remember why I got a camera and started pointing it at trains in the first place: It's a hell of a lot of fun, even when the results are less than RP-worthy.
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Old 12-14-2012, 01:12 PM   #18
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Quote:
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As far as the shot being too dark and trucks not being visible, I can see them on my end. My monitor is a matte finish/high brightness LED. I'll have to hook up to my TV via HDMI and see what it looks like on there.
Try having a print made. You'll then see how bright you have your monitor and how dark the image is. I've actually used that technique in the past to calibrate my monitor.
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Old 12-14-2012, 01:14 PM   #19
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Here is the two EP's I received and my pic that rotates on the homepage. They wont even get accepted in here.
http://upcoaltrain.rrpicturearchives...spx?id=2614265
Blurry/soft. You don't see that?
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Old 12-15-2012, 05:38 AM   #20
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Blurry/soft. You don't see that?
I do. My camera is a 3 year old 200 dollar Canon. It only does so good in low light. The sunset was too good to just toss the shot in the cyber trash can.

I've seriously tried that shot 10 times. The Hoosier State/Cardinal never travels into the sun in the parts so I have to play the cards dealt.

Here is another 'poor' shot from this location.

http://upcoaltrain.rrpicturearchives...spx?id=3145332
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