Old 11-27-2012, 01:35 PM   #51
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To Jim, Loyd and admin - what's it like living in your world?
Mitch, are you OCD about anything in your life? If not, you're a lucky person.
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Old 11-27-2012, 03:53 PM   #52
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Same issue on a different Metro line - Bridge is at a slight grade...

http://www.railpictures.net/viewreje...60&key=2851346
I think some distortion correction is called for



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Old 11-27-2012, 04:48 PM   #53
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It didn't bother me as much in the past (and I'm sure I have some on here that are not spot on), but having a photo level is one of the few non subjective points to photography. You can debate over composition, mood, color, etc. all day long long. You can even debate on whether or not it being level is an issue to you. The fact remains that a photo is either level, or it's not.
Whether a photo is sufficiently close to level to make it's level-ness an issue is subjective. You and Jim will notice unlevel in cases where I will not, and all of us will notice in cases where Ron will not. While level is objective, the extent to which it is good enough, and so not worth the effort to revise and reupload is subjective.

In that sense, I believe, it is no different than noise. Noise is harder to measure than level, but one can think of an ideal/standard for noise, such as the total lack of noise in the part of a shot where one applies gaussian blur to a blue sky. Who is to say that a shot is sufficiently de-noised?

But then there is a shot like this, which leaves me just completely puzzled. Perhaps bad skies are my particular bugaboo.

Image © Steve Armitage
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Old 11-28-2012, 12:38 AM   #54
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.....But then there is a shot like this, which leaves me just completely puzzled. Perhaps bad skies are my particular bugaboo.
Image © Steve Armitage
PhotoID: 416070
Photograph © Steve Armitage


I am missing it, what is the issue here?
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Old 11-28-2012, 12:52 AM   #55
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The sky.

But it's level...

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Old 11-28-2012, 01:36 AM   #56
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I wonder if that plume of steam is up to Mitch's standards.
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Old 11-28-2012, 01:52 AM   #57
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I am missing it, what is the issue here?
I see extensive pixellation in the sky.
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Old 11-28-2012, 02:04 AM   #58
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While level is objective, the extent to which it is good enough, and so not worth the effort to revise and reupload is subjective.
The standard for good enough should be.... level I understand where you are coming from, though.

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In that sense, I believe, it is no different than noise. Noise is harder to measure than level, but one can think of an ideal/standard for noise, such as the total lack of noise in the part of a shot where one applies gaussian blur to a blue sky. Who is to say that a shot is sufficiently de-noised?
I'm not sure how I'd classify noise. It doesn't exist in real life, yet it is a sometimes important part of the grit and grain appeal of Film. Personally, I'll take noise free and a bit less sharp over sharp and noisy any day.

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Old 11-28-2012, 02:33 AM   #59
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Picture is from 2006. I have had a similar issue on slide scans. Wonder if this was a scan.
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Old 11-28-2012, 03:13 AM   #60
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I wonder if that plume of steam is up to Mitch's standards.
Actually - BECAUSE it is Steve Armitage's shot, I just may have rejected it. I didn't notice it until your query but I do not see any issue with noise or levelness but blatantly note a clipped /blown highlight in the rather remarkable plume. Odd for someone such as Steve to let this happen, let alone not correct it. However - if I were to reject a photo from a valued well followed long time member, I'd most certainly follow up with a comment from the screener suggesting the fix and why and even go a step further and accept it on an appeal.

So - I suppose the much more obvious clipped pure white spots in the plume is as visible to me as .25 degrees unlevel is to all of admin. Either way, I would not simply reject such a photo with nothing but a prewritten vague rejection statement.

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Old 11-28-2012, 03:18 AM   #61
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I completely agree with your diagnosis Dr Thias. By eyeball (since I'm at work and not in the leveling lab) I would figure about .5 degrees off.

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Boys, boys, boys...even if it is (and I don't concede it is), that falls well within the "bull shit" range as a reason for a rejection. It's a great shot, and it deserves to be accepted. This is another case of seeing the rivets rather than the locomotive. It's also the sort of anal retentive and vacuous thinking that drives some people into a blinding rage.

Not me, though....

Oops....late to the discussion on this one. I see it was accepted. There is a God after all...

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Old 11-28-2012, 03:23 AM   #62
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The fact remains that a photo is either level, or it's not.

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Seriously: that's not true at all Loyd. You've just eliminated the creative expression of any photographer who seeks to cant an image as a compositional interpretation of a subject. That's as legit as it gets in this field.

You might have just as well said that no train photo other than an uncoupled, low sun locomotive roster shot is acceptable.
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Old 11-28-2012, 03:32 AM   #63
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Seriously: that's not true at all Loyd. You've just eliminated the creative expression of any photographer who seeks to cant an image as a compositional interpretation of a subject. That's as legit as it gets in this field.

You might have just as well said that no train photo other than an uncoupled, low sun locomotive roster shot is acceptable.
With all due respect, Ron, I suppose Loyd can defend himself but I, at least, took his comment in the context of RP and of the discussions in this thread and elsewhere, which have been about leveling imprecisions, not intentions.

I don't recall a reject of an intentionally rotated shot ever being brought to this forum since I have been participating. Apples and oranges. We can talk about whether RP should accept such shots (I would welcome them), but that is a separate topic.

I have seen two in RP, a Steve Crise vertical and a horizontal by Robin Coombes. IIRC
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Old 11-28-2012, 04:07 AM   #64
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Boys, boys, boys...even if it is (and I don't concede it is), that falls well within the "bull shit" range as a reason for a rejection. It's a great shot, and it deserves to be accepted. This is another case of seeing the rivets rather than the locomotive. It's also the sort of anal retentive and vacuous thinking that drives some people into a blinding rage.
Ron, I think I'll concede to admin on a technical issue such as "levelness". You need to be levelheaded about this - if it is not level, it's worth fixing but to your (our) point - there is a BS range where perhaps it's best to simply let it roll. Say - +/- .5% with a note to member to consider correcting CCW or CW. At the very least, however - for the last and umteenth time, just let us know which way and what was the reference!

PS - Ron - I am less annoyed by this since purchasing a new accessory. PM me with your address and I'll send you one for Christmas!



It's the same one admin uses when screening!

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Old 11-28-2012, 04:16 AM   #65
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Paging Dennis Livesey. Paging Dennis Livesey.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dutch_angle
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Old 11-28-2012, 05:10 AM   #66
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Picture is from 2006. I have had a similar issue on slide scans. Wonder if this was a scan.
According to the caption, it is a scan of "film."

Now whether that is a scanned slide or a print, I don't know.

Either way, "I" would cut him a break.


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..........It's also the sort of anal retentive and vacuous thinking that drives some people into a blinding rage.
You mean there is some other type of discussion that is supposed to go on here?

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Old 11-28-2012, 05:14 AM   #67
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According to the caption, it is a scan of "film."

Now whether that is a scanned slide or a print, I don't know.

Either way, "I" would cut him a break.

I don't read.
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Old 11-28-2012, 05:17 AM   #68
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I don't read.
I guess that is why you are an author and I am not.
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Old 11-28-2012, 11:14 AM   #69
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With all due respect, Ron, I suppose Loyd can defend himself but I, at least, took his comment in the context of RP and of the discussions in this thread and elsewhere, which have been about leveling imprecisions, not intentions.
That's exactly what I'm saying. Not being able to correctly level a photograph, or simply not caring if it's level would have nothing to do with artistic intention, especially in the context of the discussion of the photography here.

I can't recall a recent debate here over this topic in which the photographer said "But I purposely wanted it to be off level". I certainly agree with Ron in that an artistically not level shot is one idea a photographer can use, but being off .5, 1, or even 2 degrees for a standard composition (aka the majority of the photos we debate here) doesn't fit the criteria.

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Old 11-28-2012, 02:12 PM   #70
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That's exactly what I'm saying. Not being able to correctly level a photograph, or simply not caring if it's level would have nothing to do with artistic intention, especially in the context of the discussion of the photography here.

I can't recall a recent debate here over this topic in which the photographer said "But I purposely wanted it to be off level". I certainly agree with Ron in that an artistically not level shot is one idea a photographer can use, but being off .5, 1, or even 2 degrees for a standard composition (aka the majority of the photos we debate here) doesn't fit the criteria.

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Thanks, Loyd---good points.

My continuing heartburn with the "leveling" issue relates to the inordinate amount of attention given to this aspect of an image. "Back in the day," you never, ever heard railfan photographers talk of a "leveling" issue. Sure, we all made every attempt to get our shots right, but it just wasn't realistic to accomplish that. So, when an image comes in at less than one degree this way or that, it would never concern me. Unless a subject was visibly tilted, no one cared. And---I still don't care to this day.

Of course with digital photo manipulation software, a whole new generation of photographers has come along with new terms like "white balance," "noise," and "leveling." When I was younger, those terms (respectively) related more to a Republican caucus meeting, how my father described the music of the Beatles, and something a concrete finisher would do. But, with this software, the younger digi-world photographers pick the flies out the buttermilk and are never, ever happy with what they bring back in the "can." They pull up their image and twist it this way or that, crop it this way or that, enhance this, clone out this or that, change the saturation on that, sharpen, dull and contort with "lens correction" images until reality is lost. I know, because I've been seduced to use the same techniques. There's a side of me that says this isn't really honest photography. Again---"back in the day" you had to compose a shot (including "leveling"), get the right f-stop and shutter speed, focus, etc. and get it right the first and only time you had. What you shot is what you had. From there, you went to a slide show. If a shot was a little bit too dark, or too light, or whatever----tough luck, dude---you missed it. At least it was "honest."

None of this suggests the current ways are all that bad. In many ways, there has been general improvement because of digital photography. No, I wouldn't want to go back to film. However, inordinate obsession with small details causes us all to overlook the redeeming values of many great train shots. And that is my point.

I've seen quite a few excellent images on the forum that have been rejected for picky "leveling" issues. I seriously doubt anything I say will change that. It doesn't mean I agree with it, however.
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Old 11-28-2012, 04:12 PM   #71
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........The younger digi-world photographers pick the flies out the buttermilk and are never, ever happy with what they bring back in the "can." They pull up their image and twist it this way or that, crop it this way or that, enhance this, clone out this or that, change the saturation on that, sharpen, dull and contort with "lens correction" images until reality is lost. ..............
If you printed your own film, you would have been doing this all along, which is part of my gripe with the "shoot it as it sits" crowd.

I do agree that some of the fuss is over done, but the speed with which one can manipulate an image file and hit save, is hours faster than developing the film, getting the darkroom ready, mixing the chemicals, doing test strips and exposing, then developing the prints.

Not to mention repeating when they did not come out as you wanted.

Now, if you took your film to Fotomat then you never experienced all this fun and as such, you would tend to accept "what was in the can."

I personally like to crank the sliders at times and I think the images can turn out better.

Bottom line, I can adjust the camera only so much, if the sun and the painted surfaces of things don't cooperate, then a little manipulating generally saves the day.

Consequently, I have a lot more "good shots" due to digital.
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Old 11-28-2012, 04:32 PM   #72
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This is another case of seeing the rivets rather than the locomotive.
What if they train wasn't there and I still pointed it out as being unlevel. What would I be counting then? What do landscape photographers count when they point out an unlevel horizon on sunset shot? The waves in the ocean?


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My continuing heartburn with the "leveling" issue relates to the inordinate amount of attention given to this aspect of an image. "Back in the day," you never, ever heard railfan photographers talk of a "leveling" issue. Sure, we all made every attempt to get our shots right, but it just wasn't realistic to accomplish that.
As with most anything in life, technological advances allow for one to do something they've never done before.

I don't recall anyone ever complaining "back in the day" that they couldn't upload photos to something called the internet to share with the world. But now we can. I wonder if there are people now who complain about us having that ability and would rather go back to the old days when it wasn't possible.

Furthermore, all those images you weren't able to get perfectly level back in the day? Well, you can now. Feel free to send them to me after you scan them and I'll be happy to do it for you.
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Old 11-28-2012, 06:50 PM   #73
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Again---"back in the day" you had to compose a shot (including "leveling"), get the right f-stop and shutter speed, focus, etc. and get it right the first and only time you had. What you shot is what you had. From there, you went to a slide show. If a shot was a little bit too dark, or too light, or whatever----tough luck, dude---you missed it. At least it was "honest.".
...the "youngsters" have no idea...It was hard!

Worse yet, the "meter was running" every time you pushed the shutter. Film and processing were expensive!
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Old 11-28-2012, 07:56 PM   #74
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...the "youngsters" have no idea...It was hard!

Worse yet, the "meter was running" every time you pushed the shutter. Film and processing were expensive!
Thank you, Don. It's nice to hear from someone else who knows. I squeezed off exposures like they were gold.
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Old 11-28-2012, 07:58 PM   #75
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If you printed your own film, you would have been doing this all along, which is part of my gripe with the "shoot it as it sits" crowd.
I was speaking of color transparency film, not negative film. Of course you could manipulate during the printing process of the latter.
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