Old 04-23-2008, 01:28 AM   #51
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Originally Posted by John Ryan
Oh, yes.

Is this an example of what you mean?

http://rrpicturearchives.net/showPicture.aspx?id=826277
I suppose it is. You got me. Man, I just love the negativity around here. John from Ann Arbor, have you ever been to the Yahoo Obscar group? I'm guessing that you have, but if you haven't, I think you'd enjoy the company. It's right up your alley. And by the way, I admitted in an earlier post that there are a lot of dregs on 'Archives.net'. Naturally you're going to get quite a bit of that on an unmoderated site. Not sure if you read that or not.

And J and Kimi Raikkonen, no offense here; whether they were positive or negative, where did Alec say he was looking for a critique of his shots? Man oh man, this site full of way too many armchair critics just chomping at the bit. I wonder if some of you guys would be able to be that frank if you were critiquing someone in PERSON.
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Old 04-23-2008, 01:43 AM   #52
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When I want pics for my modelling I go to RRPA, Fallen Flags or other sites. Not here. This is usually my last resort for that as I will not usually find what I am after like routing of traction motor cables for a CN Dash 9 built in 1994. I did find that in a webshots album hidden away somewhere but I lost the link (note to self find my favourites link since before computer crash). A lot of not so great shots to wade through to find gems like the SOO4401 shot of Alec.

What I find here are ideas for my own photography so that when composition, lighting etc are correct I can frame my own pics istead of drooling on my desk from everyone else's work. Also gives me ideas of what is out there for picturesque vistas or scenes when I travel.
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Old 04-23-2008, 01:54 AM   #53
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One reaso I really like RRPA:

You'll find historic pictures there that you'll never find here.

http://rrpicturearchives.net/showPicture.aspx?id=445672

As many of you know, the L&C is my hometown shortline and I have never seen this shot before tonight. (Thanks to Chris Kilroy and others for mentioning RRPA in the cloudy thread.)

I don't go to RRPA to see great photos, although there are some there. I go to see train pictures. I find stuff there from my own backyard from years ago or else I'll find stuff a hundred or two hundred miles away that I didn't know about. There';s some issues with navigating the site I don't like, but I have no problem with folks going there and loading their backlit, crooked shots with far away subjects that would never fly here. To each their own and that web site is a great recon tool.


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Old 04-23-2008, 03:09 AM   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WisconsinCentral
Well, yes, If you look for the biggest pile of crap, what do you think you'll find?
More crap?

I find the comparisons between RP and RRPA fascinating. It seems to me that the photography on RP seems to be several steps above RRPA. The shot I link was an example of something encountered while doing research for a model train importer. It wasn't something that I deliberately sought out, but I remembered this thread and thought I'd throw some fuel on the fire.

Admittedly, RRPA does have its place. If it were to vanish, a few of the photographers there would migrate over to RP and most would go to flickr. RRPA is an amalgamation of photographs, be they good, bad, or ugly. RRPA doesn't aspire to be anything other than a catchall, whereas RP attempts to present the "best" photography.

If we view this from a psychological and statistical point of view, we can come to an interesting - if controversial - conclusion. If we are to assume that most people operate under the rules of human nature, then we can accept that people know they will be judged by the company they keep. Whether conscious or not, we evaluate and rate those around us. We make judgments based on associations, and this same principle can be applied when judging railroad photography venues.

When a community has established itself as being the "best," a certain status is conveyed when one joins that community. That same status and prestige is more firmly established when one participates in the community by posting their work. If you want your work to be in company with the "best," post to the site with the "best" photography. We can also assume that the site with the "best" photography will attract the most viewers. If you want the largest audience for your work, post to the site with the "best" photography. We also desire the "approval" of others, and that comes very directly in the judgement bestowed by the screeners.

I think it's safe to say that psychology drives the good photographers to railpictures.net. An interesting parallel with that is to look at what happens to RRPA. If the top percentile of photographers are submitting to railpictures, they probably aren't wasting their time with submissions to additional sites. That means that the same top percentile is subtracted from the talent pool at RRPA, leaving RRPA with ...

Again, RRPA has its place and serves its purpose. I was looking for detail shots earlier today as a reference for development for a model product. I didn't find a lot of "soul," just below-average photography. But those photographs, blurry and crooked as they were, served my purpose.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ccaranna
You got me. Man, I just love the negativity around here. John from Ann Arbor, have you ever been to the Yahoo Obscar group? ... I think you'd enjoy the company. It's right up your alley.
"John from Ann Arbor" has been an active participant on ObsCar for five, perhaps six, years. Should you dig through the archives, you will encounter a commentary about how I think railpictures is bad for creative photography. I still stand by those comments. What I took to task was the fact that railpictures enforced a certain set of "standards" upon their contributors that I felt limited the range of photography they would accept. While the screeners have opened up somewhat over the last two years, I still think that the standards are an issue.

Standards themselves aren't bad. If railpictures didn't have standards, it would be just like RRPA (but with talking advertisements). Standards are great, but I think the screeners sometimes become wound too tightly around those standards.

I've never taken an original photography myself, and as I view what little I've accomplished over the past few years, I'm finding myself increasingly dissatisfied with what I've done. There was a time when I was simply happy to see a train. When I started photographing trains, it took me some time to figure out how to get the light in the right place. Then I worked on composing the elements within the frame. Now I'm at a point where I'm trying to draw greater context into my work. Really, I know what a train looks like. I suspect you do too. What does that leave us with?

I think the screener process encourages a certain kind of type of photography. I see a lot of photos on this site (and in my collection) that, while technically perfect, convey no emotion and serve no purpose. I think railpictures could do with fewer "wedgies at grade crossings" and focus more on exploring the limits of railroad photography. I'm sure this is a tremendously unpopular opinion, but the world doesn't need another 100,000 photos of wedge shots from grade crossings. That's what RRPA is for.
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Old 04-23-2008, 03:22 AM   #55
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Originally Posted by ccaranna
And J and Kimi Raikkonen, no offense here; whether they were positive or negative, where did Alec say he was looking for a critique of his shots? Man oh man, this site full of way too many armchair critics just chomping at the bit. I wonder if some of you guys would be able to be that frank if you were critiquing someone in PERSON.
He was making an argument, and I pointed out that his evidence didn't support his argument. I didn't even come down hard on the shots, just stated the obvious. Had he said - these are my shots, and I don't want feedback - I would have said nothing.

BTW, I didn't actually realize they were his shots. He said "if you look a bit farther" and and "those didn't seem hard to find at all" and I though he ACTUALLY FOUND THEM HIMSELF. (Perhaps he was being playful or sarcastic.) I thought he was saying that decent shots were easy to find on RRPA. I had no idea they were his until I read your post, I thought they were three randomly found shots. The point of my criticism was to debunk his argument.

My opinion of them is unaffected by who shot them, and, yes, I would very easily say what I said in person if they were presented with criticism in mind. If they were my shots, I would want someone to point out flaws. I don't view pointing out flaws as "negativity" unless it is a context in which critique is not wanted. That wasn't the case here, since they weren't presented as Alec's shots, in my perception.
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Old 04-23-2008, 03:28 AM   #56
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Originally Posted by John Ryan
I think railpictures could do with fewer "wedgies at grade crossings" and focus more on exploring the limits of railroad photography. I'm sure this is a tremendously unpopular opinion, but the world doesn't need another 100,000 photos of wedge shots from grade crossings. That's what RRPA is for.
My view is that RP to a significant extent combines what in sports are the minor and major leagues. There are a lot of wedgies here. That is the training ground upon which people practice going up against the RP standards and become better photographers. Some move on to higher and higher levels of excellence. Some do not.

An alternative arrangement would be to separate the majors and minors into two web sites, both screened. I don't know whether that can be done or is worth doing. I accept that RP combines the best and the lower level, I seek out the nuggets within the wave of wedgies, and I aspire to move up the ranks myself and I take advantage of what is basically a free sort-of Socratic teaching through the screening process.

You raise a separate issue of how RP shapes rail photography, points well taken, similar arguments have been made in this forum by Sean Hoyden. I haven't formed an opinion on that but I am listening to what people are saying.
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Old 04-23-2008, 03:39 AM   #57
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Originally Posted by ccaranna
And J and Kimi Raikkonen, no offense here; whether they were positive or negative, where did Alec say he was looking for a critique of his shots? Man oh man, this site full of way too many armchair critics just chomping at the bit. I wonder if some of you guys would be able to be that frank if you were critiquing someone in PERSON.
First of all, my name is not Kimi Raikkonen, although I certainly wish it was as I would be a very gifted and rich man.

Back to the topic at hand, Alec showed those three shots as proof that there are good shots on RRPA. I, and J, simply pointed out that those shots are flawed do not even measure up to RP standards.

If you view honest criticism as negative, then you ought to read the quote from JeanLeGrand in my signature.
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Old 04-23-2008, 03:42 AM   #58
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More crap?

I find the comparisons between RP and RRPA fascinating...
That would all work if RP was the ultimate in railroad photography. RP, of course, is not the ultimate in railroad photography.
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Old 04-23-2008, 03:43 AM   #59
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Dang and Just when I though a F1 driver liked trains

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike B.
First of all, my name is not Kimi Raikkonen, although I certainly wish it was as I would be a very gifted and rich man.

Back to the topic at hand, Alec showed those three shots as proof that there are good shots on RRPA. I, and J, simply pointed out that those shots are flawed do not even measure up to RP standards.

If you view honest criticism as negative, then you ought to read the quote from JeanLeGrand in my signature.
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Old 04-23-2008, 03:52 AM   #60
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After reading these forums for a couple of years, it's pretty clear that there are a lot of people who are focused on getting their shots on RP and will do whatever it takes to get their shots accepted. I think this supports John's position, but then again, if doing what it takes involves learning how to take a better picture, then that's fine by me.

John would like to see greater creativity accepted on the site, and I would too, but it may be a function of who the screeners are. How many photographers of the level of (pick your favorite Obs Car participant) have the time to lend their talents to screening? If folks who are doing a perfectly adequate job of screening technically decent shots are told to start accepting "artistic shots", how much out of focus, tilted, bad color crap is going to slide in under the "artistic exemption?" Unless you really understand it, don't do it. I've seen a few shots get in recently that should have been excluded for being way over processed, probably because a screener was trying to push the envelope a bit. Some of them even made PC, but that didn't make them good photos.

I think the RP screeners are doing a good job and as John has conceded, they are evolving as well. Sometimes it takes some pushing, but with photographers like John, Mitch, Andrew and the British contingent posting and sometimes pushing the limits, more good stuff is getting in. I'd like to see fewer wedgies, but if they are technically correct shots, it's pretty hard to exclude them. If the site were to become elitist, then viewership would fall off, as would advertising revenue. Bottom line, this is a business.

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Old 04-23-2008, 05:09 AM   #61
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Bottom line, this is a business.
Bingo.

People get wrapped around "The best railroad photos on the 'net" moniker and miss the fact that when you're trying to make money, you're not going to promote your product as anything else but the best. When I bought my car, the dealer didn't tell me it was "average" or "good enough"...he said it was the best even though he knew I knew better.

I'm just waiting for the "How many shots does O. Winston Link have on RP?" question to come up...
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Old 04-23-2008, 06:41 AM   #62
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Quote:
Originally Posted by a231pacific
Bottom line, this is a business.
To a very small extent, that's correct. Does the site make more than it costs? Yes, but probably (okay, definitely) not what most people think. If RP.net was the cash cow that a lot of people seem to think it is, I wouldn't wake up at 6:00 every morning to go to work full time making model airplanes. Trust me.

As Chris Starnes and I were first discussing the idea of giving RP.net a go out by the runway at Louisville Airport in 2002, the last thing on our minds was money. We are both life long train enthusiasts, and saw an opportunity to bring a new and unique community to the internet. I think we've been fairly successful in that, and above all else, I can say without hesitation that I'm damned proud of what this site has developed into.

I can also say, again without hesitation, that this is every bit as much work as a full time job for both of us, and whatever money we get out of it is an absolute drop in the bucket compared to how much work goes into it. Managing 5 unix boxes, 2 million lines of code, not to mention the screening of photos, appeals, comments, e-mails, corrections, replying to e-mails... you get the idea... it's not something any sane person would do for the little kickbacks we get.

So you're right, it could be considered a business, but it's so much more than that. Personally, I love waking up every morning and realizing that over 100,000 people around the world, on that day alone, will derive enjoyment from the websites that I've built. I love the technical side of websites, starting a programming project and the satisfaction I get when an idea turns into reality. I love being able to do all that in two hobbies (railroads and aviation) that have been part of my life since I was a kid, and that I still love today. That, so much more than money, is what keeps me coming back every day for more.
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Old 04-23-2008, 09:21 AM   #63
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Kilroy
To a very small extent, that's correct. Does the site make more than it costs? Yes, but probably (okay, definitely) not what most people think. If RP.net was the cash cow that a lot of people seem to think it is, I wouldn't wake up at 6:00 every morning to go to work full time making model airplanes. Trust me.

As Chris Starnes and I were first discussing the idea of giving RP.net a go out by the runway at Louisville Airport in 2002, the last thing on our minds was money. We are both life long train enthusiasts, and saw an opportunity to bring a new and unique community to the internet. I think we've been fairly successful in that, and above all else, I can say without hesitation that I'm damned proud of what this site has developed into.

I can also say, again without hesitation, that this is every bit as much work as a full time job for both of us, and whatever money we get out of it is an absolute drop in the bucket compared to how much work goes into it. Managing 5 unix boxes, 2 million lines of code, not to mention the screening of photos, appeals, comments, e-mails, corrections, replying to e-mails... you get the idea... it's not something any sane person would do for the little kickbacks we get.

So you're right, it could be considered a business, but it's so much more than that. Personally, I love waking up every morning and realizing that over 100,000 people around the world, on that day alone, will derive enjoyment from the websites that I've built. I love the technical side of websites, starting a programming project and the satisfaction I get when an idea turns into reality. I love being able to do all that in two hobbies (railroads and aviation) that have been part of my life since I was a kid, and that I still love today. That, so much more than money, is what keeps me coming back every day for more.
Kudos, to the both of you, Chris and Chris. The RP.net and JP.net (including their spin-offs) family of websites are, I'd have to say, my most frequently visited websites. I've enjoyed, and will continue to do so, many an hour of browsing through photographs and videos.

Here's to the next spin-off!
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Old 04-23-2008, 12:23 PM   #64
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Okay,
Save starting a new thread about the same issue i got,ill try and bring this thread back on topic since i received same rejection of poor lighting when i have similar shots in database already.
http://railpictures.net/viewreject.php?id=513906&key=0 -was overcasted with some sunlight on the nose shining through the clouds.

Image © Trevor Harris
PhotoID: 223413
Photograph © Trevor Harris



Image © Trevor Harris
PhotoID: 231069
Photograph © Trevor Harris


One is from same position taken in overcast conditions and one taken in different location but overcast weather,The trains are'nt very common in the Database,only handful of images in the database of rejected engine.

I Appealed the image including these images plus serval other images about the shot but rejected without any feedback from screeners.
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Old 04-23-2008, 12:57 PM   #65
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Kilroy
Personally, I love waking up every morning...
Model airplanes, railroad and aviation photography, managing two websites, family, personal life...wait, you actually have time to SLEEP??
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Old 04-23-2008, 07:25 PM   #66
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Guys, I never said that those are the best or even close. Sure, some contrast adjusting would be needed, but my point was that there are quite a few shots that maybe need work, but still look nice. Why do you think they are at RRPA in the first place, because I didnt even blink when thinking to upload them here. I love Railpics, I come here everyday usually, so Im not saying anything negative about this great place, but like stated earlier, when your looking for an engine or shots for modeling, then that is where you go.

To be honest, I like Railpics a bit more for being the "photography" place, its not always about the engines here. But, engines are what interest me most in Railfanning, so I also enjoy roster shots. Call me crazy, trust me I know.

And Im not mad about the criticism, I pretty much put it out there. Nothing unjust in my opinion.

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Old 04-23-2008, 08:23 PM   #67
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Trevor,

Your rejected shot definitely has less light and is darker than the ones you referenced. Your Picton shot has colorful flowering trees and with no sky showing, it doesn't look as much like a cloudy day, other than the uniform light on the train. Your accepted Yanderra shot has some shadows and might even have a bit of sun. Certainly the train in that shot stands out from the background and has better contrast than your rejected shot.

Sometimes it's a matter of degrees, whether a shot gets in or not, but you certainly have plenty of sunny shots, including shots of the AT-26C's, so I'd let the rejected one go. Just because a cloudy day shot gets in from time to time doesn't mean every cloudy day shot should get in. On a different day with a different screener your referenced shots might have been rejected too.

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Old 04-24-2008, 12:05 AM   #68
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Lets just agree that we all have different opinions on both websites. I enjoy posting photos on both. You can see this fact about me in my signature. Obviously, I post alot more there than here, but I would have an equal amount here, if they'd accept my photos more often. Am I complaining? No. I look at Railpictures.net as a railroad photography website, and try to improve my photography skills here, along with looking for new locations to shoot from, be it far or close to my home.

RRPictureArchives on the other hand, is a place for rookies to get the hang of railroad photography. They can be pretty terrible over there at times, but as mentioned by Alec, you can trace locomotives fairly well, you can get roster shots if modeling a specific locomotive and you can stay up-to-date with what photos your friend's have.

At RRPictureArchives, the photos may not always be good, keep in mind that these are people new to the rail photography scene, or are just posting whatever they get while trackside. I personally like putting my best on only, but I slip up occasionally and put a couple terrible ones on. There are also alot of excellent photographers on RRPictureArchives. For example, I consider Alec to be pretty good, Tom Habak, Mark Hardin, Scott B, Myself (I hope), Matt Hicks, and the list goes on.......

Both websites are good in their own way.
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Old 04-24-2008, 01:55 AM   #69
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I'd probably have an album on rrarchives but they didn't accept my registration (must not have liked my sample photo).
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Old 04-26-2008, 04:40 PM   #70
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alstom
...I am always unhappy when I wind up with a Wedgie or Roster Shot from a location that is far from my home. I never had that attitude before learning here.
This statement helped me understand why I haven't submitted a photo to this site for quite a while. It's not that I disagree with the concept of photos being screened, and I think most of the pictures on the site are excellent, but when I was actively submitting photos I was always thinking about what I could do to get them accepted at rp.net. I decided that, for me, it was much more important to shoot what I like and share the ones I thought were worth sharing.

Basically, I am more of a railfan than a photographer and that has a great influence on any pictures I take. I don't think that is what rp.net is looking for. I guess I never learned to be unhappy about shots just because they weren't worthy of this site. Hopefully I never will.

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Old 04-26-2008, 06:00 PM   #71
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Originally Posted by htgguy
This statement helped me understand why I haven't submitted a photo to this site for quite a while. It's not that I disagree with the concept of photos being screened, and I think most of the pictures on the site are excellent, but when I was actively submitting photos I was always thinking about what I could do to get them accepted at rp.net. I decided that, for me, it was much more important to shoot what I like and share the ones I thought were worth sharing.

Basically, I am more of a railfan than a photographer and that has a great influence on any pictures I take. I don't think that is what rp.net is looking for. I guess I never learned to be unhappy about shots just because they weren't worthy of this site. Hopefully I never will.

Jim
Well put, Jim. I too sometimes find myself, even while taking shots, thinking "is this RP.net quality". I sometimes forget that even a picture rejected by this site can be a fine quality shot that I (and countless others) would enjoy. Bottom line for me is.....I LOVE watching trains, and if I get a good picture too, well that's a bonus.

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Old 04-26-2008, 10:53 PM   #72
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If you are shooting only for RP, then it's time to decide if that is what you really want. I enjoy submitting shots to RP, but I will never stop taking pictures because RP won't take them. I got out to the West Slope on the NS Pittsburgh line and took pictures until the sun went down knowing full well not one shot would ever been seen on RP. However, in 30-40 years, I will be glad I shot a pair of SD70M-2s at 7:45 at night.
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Old 04-27-2008, 12:43 AM   #73
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I shoot for myself. If I think a photograph is good enough to submit to RP.net, then great. If I don't, then that's also not a problem.
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Old 04-27-2008, 12:52 AM   #74
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Ryan
I think the screener process encourages a certain kind of type of photography. I see a lot of photos on this site (and in my collection) that, while technically perfect, convey no emotion and serve no purpose. I think railpictures could do with fewer "wedgies at grade crossings" and focus more on exploring the limits of railroad photography. I'm sure this is a tremendously unpopular opinion, but the world doesn't need another 100,000 photos of wedge shots from grade crossings. That's what RRPA is for.
All in all that post was very well put; you won't get any arguments for me. However, I believe you're getting into dangerous territory when photos lacking in emotion are deemed "to have no purpose". I agree, I want to see images that have depth and character, but honestly how many of that caliber get created that often? Even the very best photographers find capturing the "ultimate" scene challenging and elusive. If we held the standards here to that high a level, there'd be a dozen photos accepted in week, by TWO photographers.

I agree about not seeing another 100,000 well-lit grade crossing wedgies, but whether we like it or not, it's still the bread and butter of railroad photograhphy. I think most people that visit here would agree that capturing a train in "optimal RP.net" conditions is even a considerable challenge to those that don't get out to photograph that much, so I don't like it when wedgies get knocked around. Heck, speaking of RRPA, when you visit, tell me how many well-lit wedges you find. Not that many. Most shots there are taken with no consideration of light in the least bit. Unfortunately, the well-lit wedge has become loathsome (by some) as a result of it's sheer oversaturation on the internet. Yep, it has characteristics that enable it to be the simplest style to hold a standard, so it's no surprise that there are so many in existence.

I think some of us have gotten wound up so tight on being perfect and striving for the ulitmate picture that we've forgotten what it is about railfan photography that got us interested in the first place. Not every shot can and will be a "masterpiece", however there are a lot that are very pleasing nonetheless.
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