Old 02-15-2017, 06:25 PM   #1
abr
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Default Uncorrected Reupload (Not Really)

I guess the screener hit the wrong button, because I've never uploaded it before and the only other rejections I have from the last seven days are images that have since been accepted into the database. Here's the rejection in question:

http://www.railpictures.net/viewreje...51&key=1904850

It'a another image from my 1/29/17 shoot at Princeton Junction, so the lighting was not optimal, especially facing west at this time of day. With some editing, I think I've more or less gotten the coloring/lighting on the cab car where it needs to be.

With that being said, looking at this with fresh eyes, I think the contrast could use some improvement, particularly in terms of the trees at right. To resolve it, I'm thinking I'd need to lower the exposure and/or darken the highlights and blacks a little bit (perhaps selectively).

Are there other issues, like the platform canopy or technical flaws I should keep in mind in deciding whether to edit further and resubmit?

I know the thread will probably cover it, but if I wanted to verify the actual reason for the rejection, would it be best to use the contact screeners form on the site or ask the question through the appeal link?

Thanks!
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Old 02-15-2017, 06:48 PM   #2
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Again the highlights look way too bright to me, making it appear over exposed. It might also be just a bit oversharpened, I think I can see some "incipient ziggies" (to coin a new phrase) around the MofW equipment, but maybe that is my imagination. On the attached version all I did was darken the highlights using the shadow highlight tool. As to the rejection reason, those darn screeners seem to be all thumbs.
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Old 02-16-2017, 04:45 AM   #3
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John, thanks for the advice. I've made changes in line with your suggestions. I'll see how it goes.

Meanwhile, when I went to upload tonight, I noticed a nasty surprise: they cut my upload limit from 2 to 1. I know it's something that has happened to others, but is is disheartening.

The timing is particularly surprising given that I've had two shots make it among the top 4 shots in a 24-hour period in the past week. I've been more selective with my uploads in recent weeks and any rejections I've had in the past week (and a significant portion of rejected images of mine generally) were images that were later accepted into the database after some adjustments. I could understand if this occurred earlier when I was getting far more rejections earlier on. Is there any chance the erroneous rejection for an uncorrected upload played into this?

Is there a good way for me to request an explanation and/or (politely) appeal this? Is there any metric for how long it might otherwise take to get back to my old two upload limit (e.g., a rough % of accepted images or a specific timeframe)?

Last edited by abr; 02-16-2017 at 04:48 AM.
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Old 02-16-2017, 10:57 AM   #4
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Maybe I need to be take the highlight reduction further, but seriously?

http://www.railpictures.net/viewreje...30&key=9274334

I filled out the comment field too, so shouldn't I have gotten another basis for rejection? Do I contact the screeners and/or admins through the contact page or the appeal link to draw attention to the fact that an inaccurate/unclear basis for rejection was used before resubmitting (if i do so)?

Below is a screenshot of the rejected versions.
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Additionally, here's the highlight reduction taken further from last night's reject...I think now it's almost exactly at the same point as your version John. Am I correct? Any other thoughts?
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Last edited by abr; 02-16-2017 at 11:07 AM.
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Old 02-16-2017, 11:59 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by abr View Post
Do I contact the screeners and/or admins through the contact page or the appeal link to draw attention to the fact that an inaccurate/unclear basis for rejection was used before resubmitting (if i do so)?
Post by admin just a few weeks age:

http://forums.railpictures.net/showt...550#post190550
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Old 02-16-2017, 01:54 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by abr View Post
I guess the screener hit the wrong button, because I've never uploaded it before.....

I know the thread will probably cover it, but if I wanted to verify the actual reason for the rejection, would it be best to use the contact screeners form on the site or ask the question through the appeal link?
Hi Adam,

You have to be careful about interpreting RP rejections too literally.

I believe that the screener selected the best button that he could to inform you as to why he was rejecting this image. True, you may never have uploaded this particular frame before, but the screener clearly recognized the scene from a previous set of rejections, and saw that this photo had the very same issues as the ones previously rejected. The principal issue is, as John indicated, that the image is overexposed. If you take a look at your histogram on that rejected image, the bunching on the right border indicates that there is a lot of pure white....meaning no data. In plain English, the highlights are blown.

Now, assuming that the highlights are not more than a couple of stops overexposed, and that your original file is camera raw, you could certainly recover those highlights and make the image look better. The question is, should you?

My $.02 is that when you are starting out with RP, pushing the limits of what they like is probably not the greatest strategy. Your goal needs to be to build portfolio of nicely lit, nicely composed shots with interesting elements in them. The lighting in this scene clearly wasn't finding favor with RP previously, so submitting yet another frame with that same blah lighting and the same image overexposure issues probably didn't win you any brownie points and may have resulted in the upload limit reduction. Yes, you did manage to get one frame from this shoot into the database, but rather than continue to push your luck, the message to take from that last experience probably should have been to move on to images that more closely fit the profile that RP is looking for.

Again, start your portfolio with the best stuff you can get. The goal is not quantity, but quality. As they say, you never really get a SECOND chance to make a FIRST impression.
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Old 02-17-2017, 03:30 AM   #7
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Kevin, thank you for your insightful response. I don't think I'll bother with this particular shot again at this time.

Here's my rationale for that submission and why the lighting issue wasn't so cut and dry here:
  • Others in the forum noted that the prior “cloudy day” rejection of the Acela Express passing this crew from a similar vantage point in similar light was largely due to technical issues, namely one with the focus and/or depth of field (shot at f/4.5) leaving a bit of a softness in the scene that really couldn’t be remedied.
  • Two “cloudy day” shots with atypical sights at this station (track workers and maintenance of way equipment) subsequently made it on here despite the lighting conditions, once technical issues were resolved. Both were among the “Top Shots” for a 24-hour period in the week before. As you said, reasons for rejections can’t always be taken literally. If I had taken those “cloudy day” rejections at face value, they wouldn’t have made it.
  • The Cab Car photo was shot at f/7.1, meaning a wider depth of field. It did not have the sharpness issue the Acela shot did. It had the track workers and MoW equipment that distinguished the accepted “cloudy day” photos from the rejection of standard roster shots. I reduced the highlights compared to the Acela shot (although not enough in hindsight).
  • The Acela shot was rejected over a week before and no longer in my rejected photo list by the time the Cab Car shot was uploaded.
Based on those considerations and the aforementioned acceptances, it didn’t seem unreasonable to think the Cab Car shot might stand a chance if there were no lingering technical issues and could prove popular on this site, if accepted. Those factors, along with the fact that I had no other rejections in the days prior to the first upload of the Cab Car shot, is why the punishment seems to disproportionate compared to the “crime” of submitting this photo. Especially when I filled in comments explaining changes and differences in the appropriate field for each upload.

I see a few issues for all parties with the way this was done too. Without any sort of warning, I had no sense that I might be facing a problem. With my relative success, particularly in the last week with those shots and several others accepted during that timeframe, I think it’s fair to see how I thought I might be “turning a corner,” not “teetering on the edge of a cliff.” Furthermore, without an explanation as to why my upload limit was reduced, I don’t have a complete sense from the screeners/administrators directly as to specific issues I need to be made aware of. Moreover, I have no sense of what metric they would use to decide to later increase my upload limit again, if possible.

Does my thought process with the Cab Car uploads, and why it seems so harsh, sound reasonable to all of you? Or am I far off the mark? I would be happy to clarify further if anybody thinks it might make a difference.
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Old 02-17-2017, 04:43 AM   #8
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Hi Adam,

Are you using the histogram in you processing program to adjust on the images? I'm guessing from the one that I saw on the rejection that the answer may be no. If that is the case, you may want to spend a little time reading up on it. I think it could save you some of the trial and error on difficult shots like the one we are discussing. Bringing the exposure down a bit and then bringing in enough highlights to get the right side of the histogram in bounds would have been a great start on that one. If the resulting processing left the train a bit dark, you could easily compensate with shadows, curves, etc to fix the darker parts of the image.

The histogram would help you recognize an over or under exposed image and help you figure out how much adjustment it takes to get it right.
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Old 02-17-2017, 12:51 PM   #9
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Kevin,

Thanks for the suggestion. I'll definitely read up on it. After all, I can't afford more mistakes like that at the present time.

Are there any other tools you would recommend reading up on for Lightroom?

Objectively speaking, does anybody see anything unreasonable in my conduct/explanation of the events? I want to make sure i'm not overlooking anything.

I'd add that if you look at my recent accepted images, I think there's more variety and creativity than my earlier submissions, which is why this came off as such a surprise.
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Old 02-17-2017, 07:07 PM   #10
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[*]The Cab Car photo was shot at f/7.1, meaning a wider depth of field.
No one is going to notice the difference. And why f7.1 and not f8? I'll never understand the use of these "in between" f-stops.
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Old 02-17-2017, 10:00 PM   #11
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No one is going to notice the difference. And why f7.1 and not f8? I'll never understand the use of these "in between" f-stops.
Jim, I guess the f-stop itself isn't so core to my point. Really it's the idea that this didn't appear to have the same focus/sharpness issue that the Acela shot did. Without that technical flaw and with some elements in common with the two other "cloudy day" shots that were accepted and highly-viewed, I thought the Cab Car shot might make it (again, had I not had the highlighting issue).

As for using f/7.1, it was too long ago to remember. The lighting conditions might have changed suddenly where I didn't have much reaction time and ended up on that aperture.
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Old 02-25-2017, 08:48 PM   #12
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I'm writing, in large part, to see whether I still have the ability to post in the forums.

So, I decided to step away for a bit after the second "Uncorrected Reupload" rejection. I sent a polite email explaining the situation and apologizing for any misunderstanding on my part and asking for them to clarify and/or reconsider the basis for the cut to my upload limit. I waited a few days, but have not gotten any response.

I attempted to upload a photo for the first time in over a week from a different shoot on a sunny day (the last upload I submitted was the second "Uncorrected Reupload"). The "Add Photos" page still shows an upload limit of one photo per 24-hour period. However, when I tried to submit it, I got the following message.

Quote:
Your account has been suspended/banned from uploading photos. Please contact administration@railpictures.net for more information.
It seems rather harsh, especially without any sort of notice or explanation, but it's their site and they can do whatever they want, so I'm not looking to debate the merits of their decisions, as it would largely be pointless to do so.

Accordingly, I know that nobody outside of the site administration can say for certain, but based upon their past track record, is it more likely that this is a permanent ban or a temporary suspension? If it's more likely a suspension, how long do they typically last in similar situations?
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Old 04-05-2017, 10:05 AM   #13
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I'm writing, in large part, to see whether I still have the ability to post in the forums... It seems rather harsh, especially without any sort of notice or explanation, but it's their site and they can do whatever they want, so I'm not looking to debate the merits of their decisions, as it would largely be pointless to do so.
Are you still unable to upload photos? I suggest you consider Elite membership which normally has unlimited upload slots. But be careful even with that; I had unlimited slots reduced to 5 per day pushing my luck a bit too far. I've heard of upload slot reduction as a result of appealing screener decisions so that should also be avoided.
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