Old 07-03-2013, 02:42 AM   #1
Ron Flanary
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Default Ron's Rejects

For those who think I don't get rejected---I certainly do. Below is one they just rejected, but I honestly can't say that I blame the screener. The reasons were "undersharp" (not much more I could get out of the heavy grain of an Ektachrome slide shot in low light) and "poor image quality" (ouch!).

This was a 1972 Ektachrome slide taken under extreme lighting conditions. I used Photoshop to do as much as possible to make it work--but obviously I didn't make the cut. This is 1972 OCS at Norton, VA behind two freshly-painted Southern E8s. The train is headed back to DC via Bluefield, Roanoke and Lynchburg--an overnight ride, with the occupants (the company's board of directors) riding in several all-room sleepers, plus some of the office cars.

No...I wouldn't bother to appeal, because there isn't much I can do to overcome those problems. I did want to share it with the crowd so you would know that yes, I do get rejected (and sometimes quite often). Sigh....

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Old 07-03-2013, 02:51 AM   #2
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While I can see why they rejected it, im glad you shared it with us. Interesting signal arrangement, can you give details? Odd looking N&W signal not lit, with a doll arm, and a lit switch position lamp. Was the Clinch Valley not CTC then? Hand throw switch at an signaled interlocking seems odd.
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Old 07-03-2013, 02:54 AM   #3
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I like it, course I am looking at it on my phone, so the resolution is not that demanding.
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Old 07-03-2013, 02:57 AM   #4
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It doesn't have to be on here to be a good and / or interesting photo. But I am glad to know that you are a mere mortal like the rest of us..

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Old 07-03-2013, 03:20 AM   #5
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While I can see why they rejected it, im glad you shared it with us. Interesting signal arrangement, can you give details? Odd looking N&W signal not lit, with a doll arm, and a lit switch position lamp. Was the Clinch Valley not CTC then? Hand throw switch at an signaled interlocking seems odd.
That's a standard absolute N&W signal for that time. The doll mast means the signal governs the left track, not the right (even though it's on the right side of the track). There's a power switch beyond this hand throw, so the main is the line to the left. The track diverging to the right is a yard track, reached by throwing the switch in the foreground (you wouldn't need this signal to go there either, since it governs the left track). A hand throw isn't unusual in CTC or ABS territory, as long as it has a lock and timer. The lighted high target would be necessary to show switch position at night.

Yes, the CV got CTC in the mid-'50s (it was timetable/train order territory until then).

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Old 07-03-2013, 03:22 AM   #6
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It doesn't have to be on here to be a good and / or interesting photo. But I am glad to know that you are a mere mortal like the rest of us..

Loyd L.
You have no idea how mortal...and how average. I do good to know which end of the camera to look through...
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Old 07-03-2013, 03:23 AM   #7
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I like it, course I am looking at it on my phone, so the resolution is not that demanding.
Maybe all RP shots should only be viewed on an I-phone. That would ease a lot of problems...
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Old 07-03-2013, 03:24 AM   #8
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That's a standard absolute N&W signal for that time. I think that is a hand throw (which isn't unusual in CTC or ABS territory, as long as it has a lock and timer), because the home signal is past the point of switch. I'll have to look at some other photos from that era to answer all the questions. If it's a hand throw, the lighted high target would be necessary to show switch position at night.

Yes, the CV got CTC in the mid-'50s (it was timetable/train order territory until then).
I realize you can have hand throw switches on a ctc main, but they are typically onto industry sidings or spurs, it appears this switch handles a turnout (entrance to a siding actually) off of the main, which seems odd for a ctc layout. And what I meant about the signal is it does not appear lit, but that could just be the exposure, and the mast bracket on the left is similar to a doll arm bracket, which i cant say I have ever seen on the N&W.
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Old 07-03-2013, 03:37 AM   #9
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This is 1972 OCS at Norton, VA behind two freshly-painted Southern E8s. The train is headed back to DC via Bluefield, Roanoke and Lynchburg--an overnight ride, with the occupants (the company's board of directors) riding in several all-room sleepers, plus some of the office cars.
I'm always amazed that people can recall such details from a random shot from over 40 years ago.
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Old 07-03-2013, 05:01 AM   #10
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I realize you can have hand throw switches on a ctc main, but they are typically onto industry sidings or spurs, it appears this switch handles a turnout (entrance to a siding actually) off of the main, which seems odd for a ctc layout. And what I meant about the signal is it does not appear lit, but that could just be the exposure, and the mast bracket on the left is similar to a doll arm bracket, which i cant say I have ever seen on the N&W.
I had forgotten, but that's a spur that dropped down the hill and across two legs of the Interstate wye (at grade) to serve the old Norton Coal Company tipple. This allowed the yard crew to work back and forth on the spur without the aggravation to the dispatcher for permission to go back and forth through a control point. The spur was abandoned several years ago when the tipple closed. Somewhere I have a shot of the Norton yard crew working the spur.

The signal was lit. You can barely see the two red aspects on the top.
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Old 07-03-2013, 05:02 AM   #11
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I'm always amazed that people can recall such details from a random shot from over 40 years ago.
But I can't remember what I ate for lunch yesterday...
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Old 07-03-2013, 05:38 AM   #12
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But I can't remember what I ate for lunch yesterday...
I feel your pain.

Wait, what were we talking about again?

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Old 07-03-2013, 06:44 AM   #13
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...... A hand throw isn't unusual in CTC or ABS territory, as long as it has a lock and timer.

Electric Switch Stand - Photo for Listorama by El Roco Photography, on Flickr
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Old 07-03-2013, 01:09 PM   #14
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Those high level timers are more considerate of those who must throw these switches, since you don't have to bend down. Back here, the timer is on the ground beside the switch stand. I see this one has a slightly elevated target, with a reflectorized red stripe showing to the main if the switch is reversed.

Thanks for sharing...very cool.
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Old 07-03-2013, 01:24 PM   #15
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Another case of a visually stunning photo being rejected for its lack of technical purity. I'm surprised no one is angry.

Ron, you could crop in from the right and bottom. Eliminate some of the darkest regions and give you a more dynamic composition.
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Old 07-03-2013, 01:31 PM   #16
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I had forgotten, but that's a spur that dropped down the hill and across two legs of the Interstate wye (at grade) to serve the old Norton Coal Company tipple. This allowed the yard crew to work back and forth on the spur without the aggravation to the dispatcher for permission to go back and forth through a control point. The spur was abandoned several years ago when the tipple closed. Somewhere I have a shot of the Norton yard crew working the spur.

The signal was lit. You can barely see the two red aspects on the top.
Thanks Ron, that would explain the doll arm on the signal (a track exists between the signal and the track it governs).
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Old 07-03-2013, 02:27 PM   #17
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That's pretty cool, though I can see why it was rejected. A little to much processing required. Keep em coming Ron.
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Old 07-03-2013, 03:42 PM   #18
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That's pretty cool, though I can see why it was rejected. A little to much processing required. Keep em coming Ron.
Honestly it looks more like an oil painting than a photo at that size, but yea
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Old 07-03-2013, 08:15 PM   #19
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Honestly it looks more like an oil painting than a photo at that size, but yea
You're right. That might make a great subject for an actual painting. Thanks...
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Old 07-03-2013, 08:27 PM   #20
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Another case of a visually stunning photo being rejected for its lack of technical purity. I'm surprised no one is angry.

Ron, you could crop in from the right and bottom. Eliminate some of the darkest regions and give you a more dynamic composition.
I have multiple thousands of old slides left to scan, and this one wasn't good to begin with. Photoshop at least salvaged an interesting image, not necessarily a good one. However, this is the kind of image that could easily end up as a spread in a magazine, such as Trains---because it's visually pretty cool. It's a textbook example of why an accepted photo on RP.net will not necessarily cut the mustard in print media....nor will a rejected RP.net shot be unusable in print media. Acceptance here is just an opinion. And---opinions are like butt holes: everyone's got one.

Bob, I agree---a closer crop would improve the overall look of the shot. My first cut at that was exactly as you proposed. However, this only made the grain of the Ektachrome slide larger, so the quality of the image was reduced further. I just went full frame, and included that switch target---although the composition wasn't nearly as good.

If grain weren't an issue, this would be the optimum crop. And---it's a killer shot, if the image quality was any good. Where was my Nikon D600 in 1972??

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Old 07-03-2013, 10:05 PM   #21
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^ Ron, I think if I was to be a critic, and I have no right to be, but I will anyway, the thing that kills it the most to me are the radioactive glowing coaches and reflection on the second unit.

I know the conditions were not ideal and you are working with old, grainy slide, so it is what it is.

Here's a little edit I did, not that you need help.

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Old 07-03-2013, 11:11 PM   #22
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I have multiple thousands of old slides left to scan, and this one wasn't good to begin with. Photoshop at least salvaged an interesting image, not necessarily a good one. However, this is the kind of image that could easily end up as a spread in a magazine, such as Trains---because it's visually pretty cool. It's a textbook example of why an accepted photo on RP.net will not necessarily cut the mustard in print media....nor will a rejected RP.net shot be unusable in print media. Acceptance here is just an opinion. And---opinions are like butt holes: everyone's got one.
I've yet to see a railroad magazine that was more concerned about quality than just getting a shot that fits the story.
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Old 07-04-2013, 01:36 AM   #23
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Ron,

That switch stand is rather new (there are plenty of the ones you described around) and it controls a set out track at CP Walker in the Cajon Pass.

It was installed in 2008 and is rarely used (for MOW equipment and hi-rails) and only during the day (small Target and no light).
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Old 07-04-2013, 02:42 AM   #24
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I guess I'm like a cat chewin' on a grind stone...sometimes I won't let things go. I hadn't seen Troy's version when I did this one, but here's a small version. The "radioactive" look of the sun reflecting off the cars and second unit were pretty much as it was. This is also a better crop. I had to lose the switchstand, because it centered the front of the unit in the frame...a common rule of thirds compositional error.

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Old 07-04-2013, 02:59 AM   #25
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what about a black and white conversion.. lol

I'm kidding.

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