Old 09-10-2007, 08:01 PM   #1
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Default Rejected Photos, Opinions Welcome

Hello -

It's been since early 2006 that I've had a photo accepted by RP, despite listening to and implementing the suggestions here on the forums - plus taking the rejection reasons to heart. After 17+ months of submitting, I'm getting frustrated.

Here are some photos I took this weekend:

I love this shot for the clouds, because they seem to surround the engine. This photo was through Adobe Photoshop to adjust the color and contrast. Reasons for rejection were:
- Poor Lighting (High Sun): The angle of the sunlight is too high, a common problem in the summer months of year on mid-day shots.
- Underexposed

Photoshop really woke up the blue in this picture, but:
- Poor lighting (Backlit): The image is backlit or doesn't feature enough nose light on the subject.

- Poor Esthetic Quality: This rejection reason means that the photo is of low esthetic qualities, or is simply not the type of material we are wishing to publish.
Why is it that I can view interesting detail photos on RP of engines, signage, even tracks, but a picture of a working flag gets rejected? I even woke up the colors with Photoshop rotated the photo so it was straight!

I like this one for the cloud formations and the distant skyline behind a working yard. Initially I submitted this one before I remembered to sharpen it. Sure enough it was rejected for undersharpened. So I sharpened it, resubmitted, and got:
- Blurry
- Composition/Balance: The composition of this photo is poor relating to the overall balance of the image.

These aren't all the rejections I received this weekend, but the ones above provide a good cross-section of what comes back to me from RP consistently. What skill do I need to be focusing on?
Kurt Clark

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Old 09-10-2007, 08:28 PM   #2
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The skill you need to be focusing on is shooting in the right light conditions. It's not that these are bad. It's just that, if you are shooting a plain-jane engine-only shot, the standards for good light are much higher than for a moving train - and the standards for that are high enough!

For engine-only shots like these, the basic rule is that each of the two "faces" that are toward the camera must be lit by direct light. In the first one, the nose is dark, because the sun is to the left of you and well above you ("high sun") and is shining down from the top and a little to the back of the unit (the other end is probably getting some light). In the second one, the side is not sufficiently lit; presumably the other side of the engine is well lit.

Third shot, I've had a very similar shot (CSX, label stickers, not flag) rejected. My best guess is that a shot of a completely flat surface doesn't interest RP. Just like a shot that shows nothing but a flat sign probably wouldn't work either. There is no depth to the picture (and none in mine, oh well), no third dimension.

Fourth shot, the light is dull. It looks like the sun decided to tuck itself behind a cloud. That doesn't fly at RP either. Maybe some feel RP should accept such shots. Maybe, maybe not, but they don't, and we all know it (except new people).

So, three out of four shots, you were ok except you didn't have the sun lighting up the engine. Solution: find some sun! And don't get frustrated when you don't have it. I had an entire afternoon of pretty nice shots that I was very pleased with, but none made it onto RP because all had the sun hide just as the train came. Most frustrating! But that's the way it goes. They still have a comfy place in my personal collection.

Keep shooting and come back again, happy to comment and maybe even help.
My RP pix are here.
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Old 09-10-2007, 08:54 PM   #3
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Lighting is the most recurring killer for me too!

Here in Southern West Virginia... getting good light, in a deep valley, without fog or haze.. is a tough task.

I guess I just need to take a vacation out west soon..

Just keep at it WetRails, and once you get the sun to work out for you, you'll be good to go!

Loyd L.
Those who seek glory, must also seek infamy.

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