Old 05-07-2007, 07:13 AM   #1
Ryan W
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Default Why were these pictures rejected?

Can somebody tell me why all 8 of these shots were rejected. What would be even better is if the moderator himself came to this thread to explain to me why these photos were rejected. The reason for the rejection of the majority of these photos makes no sense to me.

For instance the "image cropping". Nothing was changed, only thing that was done to these photos was that they were resized to the "optimized" size that this website said images were favorable at. Proportions were still in tact. Nothings crunched or streatched.

Bad angles and colors? Give me a break. You can actually see the locomotives unlike the other pictures i can find in this site. Such as where everythings just a few streaks of light and a blur. Or a complete head on shot of a train where you have no clue what engine it is.

Colors - Its a night shot, its supposed to be a little different.

Foreground obstructions - Big deal, you can still see the train engines. However this might be the most understandable reason out of all of them, but not really.


Now with all that said, i can see why a few of these might not be acceptable, but i think these are some great shots. And the fact that all of my photos were rejected for rediculous reasons makes me very angry. What do these people that moderate these pictures expect? Am i supposed to go out and spend $2000 on camera equipment in order to get photos acceptable enough for this picky group of people or what? I would like some sort of an explanation.



http://www.railpictures.net/viewreje...d=369406&key=0

http://www.railpictures.net/viewreje...d=369407&key=0

http://www.railpictures.net/viewreje...&key=684366207

http://www.railpictures.net/viewreje...&key=271927857

http://www.railpictures.net/viewreje...&key=864857942

http://www.railpictures.net/viewreje...key=1087972424

http://www.railpictures.net/viewreje...key=1055685496

http://www.railpictures.net/viewreje...&key=873440418
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Old 05-07-2007, 07:23 AM   #2
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Ryan,

I'm sorry to tell you this, but the screeners are 100% correct in rejecting all of those shots. Each reason stated is valid. If you're willing to listen to constructive criticism, I'll be more than happy to give my opinions. But then again, I don't want to waste my time trying to help someone who doesn't think they need it.

I can tell you this though: having your photos rejected here is not the end of the world. In other words, there's no reason to get upset.

The forums are an excellent resource to help when it comes to this hobby, but you've gotta be willing to put forth the effort to listen and to learn when advice is given...
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Old 05-07-2007, 07:28 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ween
Ryan,

I'm sorry to tell you this, but the screeners are 100% correct in rejecting all of those shots. Each reason stated is valid. If you're willing to listen to constructive criticism, I'll be more than happy to give my opinions. But then again, I don't want to waste my time trying to help someone who doesn't think they need it.

I can tell you this though: having your photos rejected here is not the end of the world. In other words, there's no reason to get upset.

The forums are an excellent resource to help when it comes to this hobby, but you've gotta be willing to put forth the effort to listen and to learn when advice is given...


I am willing to listen. What is wrong with my photos?
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Old 05-07-2007, 07:45 AM   #4
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First one:

Completely unlevel and the lights are way too blown out. The pinkish blobs under the BNSF unit lead to the Poor Esthetic Quality rejection.

Second one:

The overall tonal qualitiy of the shot is dull, hence the bad color. There's an overall cast to the shot as well. Add the light flare and the wind sock sticking out of the engine as no-nos.

Third one:

Completely unlevel. It looks like you were balancing your camera on one of those concrete barricades which led to the Foregroud Obstruction reject later on. But for the stated reason, the lights are far too blown out.

Fourth one:

See reason #3.

Fifth one:

See reason #3.

Sixth one:

Foreground clutter. That's a killer regardless. Even if someone made that shot with a $10,000 camera, it would still have been rejected.

Seventh one:

See reason #6.

Eighth one:

It's a combination of 1 thru 5.

Have you read the Photo Submissions Guidlines? If not, here's a link:
http://www.railpictures.net/addphotos/guidelines.php

The best way to understand why a shot has been rejected is to look at what's been accepted. If you're looking through the database at recent shots (all those in 2007 and most of 2006), compare them to what you're trying to upload. If you can honestly look at the quality and composition of those accepted shots and see that yours aren't the same, you'll probably be in the sights for a rejection.

In the case of these photos, now is the time to learn how to improve. These shots are not gonna make it, so you need to move on past the rejections. Search through the Forums here for night photography and research what's already been written about it.

Good luck...
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Old 05-07-2007, 07:54 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ween
First one:

Completely unlevel and the lights are way too blown out. The pinkish blobs under the BNSF unit lead to the Poor Esthetic Quality rejection.

Second one:

The overall tonal qualitiy of the shot is dull, hence the bad color. There's an overall cast to the shot as well. Add the light flare and the wind sock sticking out of the engine as no-nos.

Third one:

Completely unlevel. It looks like you were balancing your camera on one of those concrete barricades which led to the Foregroud Obstruction reject later on. But for the stated reason, the lights are far too blown out.

Fourth one:

See reason #3.

Fifth one:

See reason #3.

Sixth one:

Foreground clutter. That's a killer regardless. Even if someone made that shot with a $10,000 camera, it would still have been rejected.

Seventh one:

See reason #6.

Eighth one:

It's a combination of 1 thru 5.

Have you read the Photo Submissions Guidlines? If not, here's a link:
http://www.railpictures.net/addphotos/guidelines.php

The best way to understand why a shot has been rejected is to look at what's been accepted. If you're looking through the database at recent shots (all those in 2007 and most of 2006), compare them to what you're trying to upload. If you can honestly look at the quality and composition of those accepted shots and see that yours aren't the same, you'll probably be in the sights for a rejection.

In the case of these photos, now is the time to learn how to improve. These shots are not gonna make it, so you need to move on past the rejections. Search through the Forums here for night photography and research what's already been written about it.

Good luck...


Ok. Thanks for taking the time to explain that. I have one question though. Where you mention the windsock sticking out of the locomotive. How is that any different than a telephone pole or train signal sticking up behind a train in the background of a shot?
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Old 05-07-2007, 07:56 AM   #6
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First off, spending thousands of dollars on equipment won't guarantee good photos. From the looks of it, your equipment is capable of creating good photos, you just need to learn how.
There are too many photos for me to pick apart every one but I will give you a few tips.
1) Try shooting in full sun/not high sun before you attempt night photography.
2) Shoot in esthetically pleasing areas. Shooting at engine facilities is generally only useful for roster shots.
3) Level your photos
4) Roster shots need to follow some general rules. Full sun/not high sun, 3/4 angle, preferably not coupled (especially front), absolutely no clutter, etc.
5) Clutter is bad
6) Engine placement is key
7) Just because you took the photo, doesn't mean it's good.
8 ) Lastly, If you truly want to develop your skills, take all the advice and criticism with an open mind. No one (I hope) is out to personally hurt you.
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Old 05-07-2007, 07:57 AM   #7
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Quote:
Where you mention the windsock sticking out of the locomotive. How is that any different than a telephone pole or train signal sticking up behind a train in the background of a shot?
Good question. For composition's sake, it's usually ideal to try and avoid anything in the background when you're shooting a roster-type shot like that. If there's something in the background, it makes it look like something is 'growing' out of the top of the engine...
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Old 05-07-2007, 08:04 AM   #8
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What is considered a roster shot?

What does 3/4 angle mean?

What is engine placement?
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Old 05-07-2007, 08:11 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan W
What is considered a roster shot?

What does 3/4 angle mean?

What is engine placement?
A roster shot is basically a shot of the engine like the manufacturer would take, taken from the 3/4 angle, which is your angle relative to the tracks. You'll hear the 3/4 angle referred to as a 'wedge shot' sometimes. Basically 3/4 angle is somewhere between looking straight down the tracks and looking at them perpendicularly (or from the side)...
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Old 05-07-2007, 08:25 AM   #10
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What does engine placement mean?
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Old 05-07-2007, 08:31 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan W
What does engine placement mean?
It depends, but usually it means placing the subject on a 1/3 line of the frame. If you think of the image being sliced in thirds both horizontally and vertially, you'll want to place the subject on one of the 1/3 lines. In other words, don't put the subject smack dab in the center of the frame. Another way to think of it is if you have the engine facing to the left, frame the engine so it's on the left 1/3 of the frame (i.e. it's not on the right side with a bunch of dead space in front of its nose all the way to the left edge of the frame).

Hope that helps...
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Old 05-07-2007, 03:30 PM   #12
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Looking through those photos, you may consider purchasing a tungsten filter. This blue filter neutralises yellow lights that are often used in yards.

Take this photo of mine, for example:

Image © Michael James
PhotoID: 181507
Photograph © Michael James


I used a tungsten filter here and you can see the colours are quite good even though yellow yard lights were in use. Toward the rear of the train you can see that the white flourescent light from the station is rather blue because I've used the blue filter. Still, it doesn't look too bad.

Here is another example taken under white lights

Image © Michael James
PhotoID: 173361
Photograph © Michael James


I had to use a relatively short shutter speed here because there were some yard lights in my photo and I wanted to reduce the 'starring' effect (I think that's what you'd call it) and refraction of light through my lens.

Everything else has been said. But I would suggest taking photos in full sun before attempting night shots. You've thrown yourself in the deep end there.

I have not spend thousands on my camera equipment (yet). I own a Canon 350D worth around AUD$1500 and a 28/105mm (non L-Series) lens worth AUD$400.
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Old 05-07-2007, 05:40 PM   #13
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Quote:
Now with all that said, i can see why a few of these might not be acceptable, but i think these are some great shots. And the fact that all of my photos were rejected for rediculous reasons makes me very angry. What do these people that moderate these pictures expect? Am i supposed to go out and spend $2000 on camera equipment in order to get photos acceptable enough for this picky group of people or what? I would like some sort of an explanation.
Ryan, I hope we aren't all wasting our time here trying to help you, because your post is pretty hostile in tone. Rejection hurts, but it's also how you get better. If you aren't interested in getting better and think your shots are great as they are, then I guess we won't be seeing your work on RP anytime soon. If you do want to get better, pay attention to what the others have said, but mainly spend a lot of time looking at what others have done. Then go out and take a lot of your own pictures and look at them with a critical eye.

Quote:
For instance the "image cropping". Nothing was changed, only thing that was done to these photos was that they were resized to the "optimized" size that this website said images were favorable at. Proportions were still in tact. Nothings crunched or streatched.
Image cropping means properly composing your shot. You can do this in camera, or you can do it later when editing. It means cutting out distracting elements near the edge of the picture and giving the photo a center of interest. It doesn't mean distorting anything. As you said, you uploaded your shots exactly as you took them. You should have cropped them to make for a more pleasing image.

Quote:
Bad angles and colors? Give me a break. You can actually see the locomotives unlike the other pictures i can find in this site. Such as where everythings just a few streaks of light and a blur. Or a complete head on shot of a train where you have no clue what engine it is.
Bad angle means the way you were looking at the subject just doesn't look good. It can mean you have part of the engine hidden behind a building, it can mean a going away shot, it can mean a number of things, but the screeners usually intend it to mean that the shot just doesn't look good from the position where you took it. Bad color means that you haven't adjusted for the color cast caused by the lights. Even though it's at night, I bet your eye didn't see things as a sick yellow. It's the way your camera's sensor saw the light. You can correct this with filters or with white balancing before you shoot or with white balancing in your image editing program.

Quote:
Colors - Its a night shot, its supposed to be a little different.
Yes, night shots are supposed to look a little different, but blown out lights, lens flares and sick yellow coloration do not make for good looking night shots. Take a look at some of the examples in the archives to see what we mean.

Quote:
Foreground obstructions - Big deal, you can still see the train engines. However this might be the most understandable reason out of all of them, but not really.
Actually, foreground obstructions are a big deal. You can't see the trucks or the bottom of the engines behind the concrete barriers. If you think shots of just the tops of locomotives are good pictures, then you need to think about your standards for what is "good."

Finally, you can take perfectly good photos with digital cameras costing a few hundred dollars. You do have to know how those cameras work and what they will and won't do. It may be that to take decent night shots, with good color and no lens flare, that you would need a better camera, but there are plenty of shots to be taken in the daytime and inexpensive cameras can do just fine. It's when you get into difficult lighting situations where you need the ability to make manual adjustments that more expensive cameras win out.

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Old 05-07-2007, 06:05 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by a231pacific
Ryan, I hope we aren't all wasting our time here trying to help you, because your post is pretty hostile in tone. Rejection hurts, but it's also how you get better. If you aren't interested in getting better and think your shots are great as they are, then I guess we won't be seeing your work on RP anytime soon. If you do want to get better, pay attention to what the others have said, but mainly spend a lot of time looking at what others have done. Then go out and take a lot of your own pictures and look at them with a critical eye.
Michael, I think you should give the person a bit of slack. His initial post was hostile but subsequenty he seems to have shown himself a willing learner.

Maybe you didn't read through the thread before posting.
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Old 05-07-2007, 07:19 PM   #15
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Note I said "I hope we aren't wasting our time" and then proceeded to make some comments that I think should be helpful. Time will tell.

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Old 05-07-2007, 08:07 PM   #16
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Ryan, you have gotten a lot of good advice here, hope you consider it. A bunch of folks have spent a fair amount of time trying to help you, you should appreciate their efforts.

The subtitle of this site is "the best railroad photos on the net". By definition that implies somebody (not you) is going to decide if your photos qualify as among the best, and some folks are going to get pix rejected. Lots of photos get rejected (I think about 50 percent). I have been taking pix for almost 50 years, posting here for about year, have 198 pictures in the data base including a reasonable number of Screeners Picks, POW, PCA's, etc., and got two rejected yesterday. You can agree or disagree with the screeners, but they are the folks who try to pick the "best", right or wrong.

This is a great place to learn. After getting a photo rejected yesterday for too much "noise" (actually it was the real stuff....film grain), I asked for some help, learned about Noise Ninja, purchased it, and presto I had a better picture using some tools I never knew existed. I am just a bit less ignorant today than I was yesterday.

Good luck.

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Old 05-07-2007, 11:01 PM   #17
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Hey, Ryan;

Night time photography is a hard animal to tame. Kudos for going out there and trying. One thing that might help us is to know what kind of camera you are using as well as any settings you might remember. Were you shooting full manual or not?

The best advice I can offer you after reading the fine stuff from others above is to be patient, but be persistent and keep trying. Photography is a beautiful thing once you get into the hang of it.

I can assure you that not all of us have spent 2000 bucks on a camera. My camera is now considered rather ederly in some circles and it was noteworthy when released because it wsa the first digital SLR that cost under one thousand dollars a few years ago.

Hope you'll take the advice of those above me.


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Old 05-08-2007, 12:16 AM   #18
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Ryan,

When I got home and could deal with your shots in Photo Shop, I took your fifth photo, which I think is the best one and did a little work on it to show how leveling, cropping, color balancing and sharpening can improve the shot.

I did two versions, one using the cluster of three lights on the left side of the photo and the curve of the second track. I think it's the more interesting version, but some might not like the fact that the engine is on the right side of the frame.

I did a second version with the engine on the left, showing the communication tower and office building. This is probably the more conventional crop and does keep most of the flaring lights out of the finished shot.

Compare these two versions with your original unmodified shot and see what you think.

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Old 05-08-2007, 03:55 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan W
What do these people that moderate these pictures expect? Am i supposed to go out and spend $2000 on camera equipment in order to get photos acceptable enough for this picky group of people or what? I would like some sort of an explanation.
No, it's not always about the equipment used, it's about how the pictures are taken. In fact, the camera I use was on sale for around $179 at the time. I could have probably gotten more zoom/megapixels if I had gone with a different company, but I felt that a Canon A-type was a good way to start. Perhaps soon I will move on to something else, something that will strongly telemash and provide large, excellent calendar-style photos.
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Old 05-08-2007, 04:01 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike B.
First off, spending thousands of dollars on equipment won't guarantee good photos. From the looks of it, your equipment is capable of creating good photos, you just need to learn how.
I agree with Mike. Some seem to think that in order to get good shots, you need an expensive, do-everything-you-want kind of camera. That is not true. I am pretty pleased with a less than $200 camera that has gotten me over 50 RP pics in half a year.

I have even heard of one person who got pics on RP with an around 1 MP camera. Impressive!
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Old 05-08-2007, 06:09 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carl Becker
I agree with Mike. Some seem to think that in order to get good shots, you need an expensive, do-everything-you-want kind of camera. That is not true. I am pretty pleased with a less than $200 camera that has gotten me over 50 RP pics in half a year.
Holy crap! Someone on here actually agrees with me.
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Old 05-08-2007, 07:07 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike B.
Holy crap! Someone on here actually agrees with me.
I agree with you 100%. My little $300 fella has gotten me into some books and Trains Mag.

Ryan, night photography is quite a beast to tame. First try doing some day work for RP.net and getting the standards down for that first then move to night work. I've been submitting for 3 years now and I barely have any night work b/c Im still trying to get day stuff down! At the moment, Im working w/ sunrise and sunset shots. Good luck man and don't give up!
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Old 05-08-2007, 03:14 PM   #23
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If anyone thinks it's the equipment and not the shooter that makes the difference, looking at Mike Bjork's work will disprove that. I had no idea he is using a $300 camera! Those are some great pictures he has posted on RP.

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Old 05-08-2007, 06:14 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by a231pacific
If anyone thinks it's the equipment and not the shooter that makes the difference, looking at Mike Bjork's work will disprove that. I had no idea he is using a $300 camera! Those are some great pictures he has posted on RP.

Michael Allen
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Old 05-08-2007, 11:30 PM   #25
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I don't disagree but I don't agree either. Sure, the photographer must actually posses the skills and creativity to produce a good photo, but the camera also plays a part in it too.

A more expensive DSLR will have quicker focusing, more auto-focus points, the ability to set ISO, etc. This makes taking photos significantly easier. The lens also plays a big part in the quality of the image. You can see a huge difference in image quality between the normal Canon lenses and their L-Series lenses.
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