Old 05-22-2016, 01:09 AM   #1
spacetrain1983
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Default Backlit and low contrast

http://www.railpictures.net/viewreje...96&key=8722592
Got this shot of a UP manifest crossing a bridge. It was rejected for

"Contrast (Low): The contrast (relative difference between light/dark areas) is too low, making the image look washed out.
Backlit (Side): The visible side of the train does not feature enough light."

Not sure about the contrast. And for the backlighting... I worked with the lighting I had. It was impossible to get any other shot that was sunny. I got a pacing shot, but that was under clouds.
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Old 05-22-2016, 01:43 AM   #2
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The contrast is low, but the bigger issue is the lighting. The sun really needs to be behind you to make this shot work.
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Old 05-22-2016, 02:17 AM   #3
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Contrast is an easy fix. Overcoming the site's distaste for backlight will be trickier.

Maybe do something about that distracting bright sliver at lower left.
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Old 05-22-2016, 04:52 AM   #4
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Submitted an edit with higher contrast. Was still rejected for low contrast, and now apparently it's cloudy lighting...
http://www.railpictures.net/viewreje...24&key=7197440
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Old 05-22-2016, 05:32 AM   #5
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Your increase in contrast is subtle - clicking back and forth between the two versions, I can see the difference, but not at first glance. I'd be curious to see what this would do with a notable change in contrast.

But the bigger issue is a) the dark train and b) the absence of shadows throughout the frame, which is feeding into the lack of contrast. The light is flat, cloudy-overcast light. The image reeks of "blah" and I suspect a generous increase in contrast wont help much. There is only so much one can do with a contrast adjustment if the underlying image tonality doesn't have much variation. I don't see RP going for this one.

You could try BW - in cases like that a darker train sticks out against a mid-tone background. It would take some work; the proper channel mix is not obvious to me, given that the yellow on the engines is also seen to some extent in the foliage on the hillside. I have to wonder if interesting tonal separation is possible.

Prospects look bleak, sorry to say.
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Old 05-22-2016, 05:37 AM   #6
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Ah, the frustrations of railroad photography. You nailed the composition here but there's not enough light. Save it for your personal collection.

Also, don't get downhearted by RP. There's some improvement in there. Just keep taking everyone else' advice except mine and you'll be fine.
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Old 05-22-2016, 07:47 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JRMDC View Post

You could try BW - in cases like that a darker train sticks out against a mid-tone background. It would take some work; the proper channel mix is not obvious to me, given that the yellow on the engines is also seen to some extent in the foliage on the hillside. I have to wonder if interesting tonal separation is possible.
A quick try shows that the silvery bridge is the bigger problem- a black bridge would have been better.

Edit- A color swap solved the disappearing bridge problem:
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Old 05-22-2016, 11:16 PM   #8
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http://www.railpictures.net/viewreje...57&key=2954456
Turned it B&W, and that seems to have at least eliminated the contrast rejection... though IIRC I might've upped the contrast a bit, but I don't remember...
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Old 05-22-2016, 11:51 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spacetrain1983 View Post
http://www.railpictures.net/viewreje...57&key=2954456
Turned it B&W, and that seems to have at least eliminated the contrast rejection... though IIRC I might've upped the contrast a bit, but I don't remember...
You're done. Put it aside, move on.
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Old 05-22-2016, 11:57 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by miningcamper1 View Post
A quick try shows that the silvery bridge is the bigger problem- a black bridge would have been better.

Edit- A color swap solved the disappearing bridge problem:
Now that lead unit looks like this:



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Old 05-23-2016, 12:23 AM   #11
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Quote:
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Now that lead unit looks like this...
The grime makes SP/DRGW fans feel more at home with the Omaha invaders!
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Old 05-23-2016, 02:23 AM   #12
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Hi Spacetrain,

Unfortunately, high-sun and backlit are just a bad combination. All of the good light is on the top of this train, not on any of the surfaces we can see in the image. I also have to agree with the other folks also that this particular train is not very photogenic, even in the best light. All in all, I would not pursue this one any further with RP.

I highly recommend shooting some front-lit images taken in early morning or afternoon light. You need bright sun....meaning a CLEAR day with blue sky. Post them here first before submitting. Only submit stuff that folks here think has a chance. Too many folks have lost upload privileges in the past. You don't want to join that club.
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Old 05-23-2016, 03:48 PM   #13
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Sorry, I dont see that getting on... go back when the sun is better. This isnt anything you cant repeat...
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Old 05-23-2016, 07:09 PM   #14
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Well, as it happens I am going to Salt Lake City this weekend, and hopefully I can get some nicely lit UTA, Amtrak, Utah Railway, and UP shots.
Side note, how odd it is that the two shots of mine that have been accepted were both taken in Utah...
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Old 05-23-2016, 10:21 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spacetrain1983 View Post
Well, as it happens I am going to Salt Lake City this weekend, and hopefully I can get some nicely lit UTA, Amtrak, Utah Railway, and UP shots.
When you're there, I advise you follow these guidelines:

1. Get to a location at least a few minutes ahead of the train. That way you will have time to assess the location and move on if it isn't good.

2. Look through the viewfinder and decide before the train arrives on a composition that will satisfy the rule of thirds. If the location doesn't work, move on to a different location.

3. If the shadow that your body casts is not pointing directly at the spot where the lead locomotive will be when the train arrives, it is the wrong time of day to be at that location. Again, move to a different location.

If you keep these in mind, you should come home with some images that will not need to be "force-fit" into the RP database. As Kevin said above, post them here for comments before trying to upload, as the screeners have limited patience for repeated bad submissions.
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Old 05-23-2016, 10:42 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Decapod401 View Post
When you're there, I advise you follow these guidelines:

1. Get to a location at least a few minutes ahead of the train. That way you will have time to assess the location and move on if it isn't good.

2. Look through the viewfinder and decide before the train arrives on a composition that will satisfy the rule of thirds. If the location doesn't work, move on to a different location.

3. If the shadow that your body casts is not pointing directly at the spot where the lead locomotive will be when the train arrives, it is the wrong time of day to be at that location. Again, move to a different location.

If you keep these in mind, you should come home with some images that will not need to be "force-fit" into the RP database. As Kevin said above, post them here for comments before trying to upload, as the screeners have limited patience for repeated bad submissions.
I will add to these recommendations that you make sure you have HARD shadow, and that your shadow is longer than you are tall.
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