Old 08-04-2006, 02:17 AM   #1
htgguy
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Default No Accounting for Taste...Mine, That Is

I am getting really confused. Last weekend I shot this picture:

http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.php?id=153200

I thought it was pretty cool. I liked the way it turned out after getting shot down twice for bad cropping (it was landscape and needed to be portrait, I could see it after working on it for a while.) I think it is one of the finest pictures I have taken.

Then on Tuesday morning, on my way to work I see a headlight, wait for the train, and shoot this:

http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.php?id=153523

I like it OK. It has something in the shot besides the train to make it interesting, but I still don't think it is super fantastic. The best thing about it is the Cascade Green!

The second shot gets almost triple the views of the first one. Does this happen to anyone else? I thought I had a masterpiece with the GE, and shot the SD as an afterthought on my way to work. Just goes to show I don't know as much as I think.

I'm not complaining, just making an observation that my judgement leaves something to be desired!

Jim
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Old 08-04-2006, 02:35 AM   #2
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Just a thought, but GE's are a dime a dozen anymore. But to see two -2's still in Cascade Green leading a freight at speed definately is more appealing to me at least. At alot of places around the country seeing second generation power is rare , particularly on a Class 1, plus it is also a more scenic shot with the "Prairie Skyscrapers" in the background. But, that is just my opinion, take it for what it is worth
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Old 08-04-2006, 02:36 AM   #3
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Let me preface my thought on the fact that this is strictly my opinion, do not regard it as a rule.

I know what a train looks like, I know what a train looks like, I know what a train looks like. . . . .

By the time you finish reading that line is about how long it'll take me to lose interest in seeing another nose on shot of a BNSF GE unit. That DOESN'T mean it's not a technically sound photo, nor does it mean it's not interesting. But what makes it different than any other telephoto shot? When I first looked, I couldn't tell if the photo had been taken in California or New York until looking at the photo info below. There's nothing there that I haven't seen before, especially if I'm a repeat visitor to RP.net.

On your second shot, you have the primary element, the train surrounded by signals, and a grain elevator. When I see that thumbnail, I want to click because I think to myself, "Have I been there before?" or "Hmm, that looks like a new angle to try there." Many people will click on a photo because they think a spot looks particularly familiar to them, or like me, they want to identify "landmarks" for their own railfanning trips.

A good rule of thumb is to decide what type of viewer you would like to cater a particular photo to. Be it a photographer, another railfan, someone who enjoys looking at photos of trains, or even a student looking for illustrations for a research paper.

Just explaining from my view.

Sean
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Old 08-04-2006, 02:39 AM   #4
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I agree with the other Sean too......
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Old 08-04-2006, 02:40 AM   #5
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Quote:
The second shot gets almost triple the views of the first one. Does this happen to anyone else?
It seems like almost all the time! I think I'll have a really, really interesting shot that if others like it half as much as me, the views won't stop, but it's met with a room temperature reception.

But this goes to show you that views on a photo don't matter. If you like the shot and it motivates you to go out and try and capture that feeling again, then that's all that matters.

Either way, Jim, nice shots!
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Old 08-04-2006, 02:40 AM   #6
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Default Compare the thumbnails.

I think it is the look of the thumbnail. With your first shot, the orange GE unit is prominent and cleary can be seen. Also, like with black NS dash9s, a BNSF pumpkin are a dime a dozen. Also, the lead locomotive is the only thing to look at in the photo.

On the other hand: the greenies are smaller in a thumbnail and there are other items of interest (signals, grain elevator). Thus, more views to see the larger image.
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Old 08-04-2006, 02:42 AM   #7
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A good rule of thumb is to decide what type of viewer you would like to cater a particular photo to. Be it a photographer, another railfan, someone who enjoys looking at photos of trains, or even a student looking for illustrations for a research paper.

And that includes yourself. If you shoot what you like, what excites you, then it's a no-lose situation...
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Old 08-04-2006, 02:54 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hoydie17
Let me preface my thought on the fact that this is strictly my opinion, do not regard it as a rule.

I know what a train looks like, I know what a train looks like, I know what a train looks like. . . . .


Sean
Excellent point, thanks for the observation! That does make sense when you look at it from someone else's point of view. I am still at the stage where I look at it and say "Hey, I took a pretty darn good picture from a technical POV...", while the people who are clicking on the pictures have a whole lot of technically correct pictures to choose from.

Jim
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Old 08-04-2006, 03:14 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by htgguy
Excellent point, thanks for the observation! That does make sense when you look at it from someone else's point of view. I am still at the stage where I look at it and say "Hey, I took a pretty darn good picture from a technical POV...", while the people who are clicking on the pictures have a whole lot of technically correct pictures to choose from.

Jim
You are not doing anything different than anyone else (myself included) hasn't done when they started this hobby. As Sean's great thought proves, how you have some thoughts to think about before your next shot. The number of views of the two shots should speak volumes.

Thanks for the comments Sean.....dead on target.
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Old 08-06-2006, 11:17 AM   #10
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I disagree with this. I've got numerous well lit and well composed shots, but no one gives a damn because they're not shot in the mountains. Unless it's a) a UP heritage unit, b) a wreck, or c) from somewhere in the mountainous west, the view count is going to be pathetically low.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Starnes
snip The number of views of the two shots should speak volumes.

Thanks for the comments Sean.....dead on target.
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Old 08-06-2006, 01:56 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Save The Wave
I disagree with this. I've got numerous well lit and well composed shots, but no one gives a damn because they're not shot in the mountains. Unless it's a) a UP heritage unit, b) a wreck, or c) from somewhere in the mountainous west, the view count is going to be pathetically low.
Well, first thing is, can you define "pathetically low"?

If you consider a good RP.net photograph one with a 5000 views a "good" one, then out of 130,000, the database is severely lacking.

Using views as a determination of a good photo is totally unrealistic and quite frankly is a terrible way to qualify the perceived quality of a photo. Some photos in this database have 30,000 views or better. But keep in mind how long they've been in the database. Longevity is a photo's 2nd best friend on this website. It's first being an ambitious photographer going to great lenghts to produce it.

The photographers that have bragging rights to POTW, TOD, PCA's get a distinct advantage. Their thumbnail gets posted on the front page, where it is bound to get more attention than your most recent photo taken at the AMTRAK station.

Disagree if you wish, but you should keep in mind there is more to a good photo than how many people choose to click on it.

Sean
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Old 08-06-2006, 07:16 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Save The Wave
I disagree with this. I've got numerous well lit and well composed shots, but no one gives a damn because they're not shot in the mountains. Unless it's a) a UP heritage unit, b) a wreck, or c) from somewhere in the mountainous west, the view count is going to be pathetically low.
Regarding thoughts on using view count as measure on RP:

Look at Michael Bhien's recent photos, all brilliantly composed and well lit and all from "mountainous West". None of them made Top Photo of the Day and as I recall were beaten out by a roster shot and a shot from the East.

The problem with view count is clear - you have a varying audience and if you submit late in the day, as Michael did, you have a limited audience as well. Views are based on interest - a great photo, or a photo which requires magnification to see certain details is always going to gather more views then a generic shot. It's not which shot is better, rather which shot generates more interest with the viewing audience.

If you want more views, take photos that stand apart from the rest in interest, uniqueness or creativity and while you're at it, post as early as possible - RP opens for bussiness at 1AM Eastern every morning, so post between 1 AM and 10 AM for the most exposure.
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Old 08-06-2006, 07:31 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mgoldman
If you want more views, take photos that stand apart from the rest in interest, uniqueness or creativity.

Special Emphasis on this part.

Sean
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Old 08-06-2006, 07:49 PM   #14
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My point exactly, thank you. It was Chris that inferred that "the view count should tell you", that is what I disagree with. View count is meaningless to how "good" a photograph is.
What is irksome is that photos taken of the 3 things I mentioned seem to get special consideration, even if they're poorly composed, poorly lit or of low quality.




Quote:
Originally Posted by hoydie17
Disagree if you wish, but you should keep in mind there is more to a good photo than how many people choose to click on it.

Sean
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Old 08-06-2006, 08:37 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Save The Wave
I disagree with this. I've got numerous well lit and well composed shots, but no one gives a damn because they're not shot in the mountains. Unless it's a) a UP heritage unit, b) a wreck, or c) from somewhere in the mountainous west, the view count is going to be pathetically low.
Brian:

Sorry for the confusion, I think you misunderstood exactly what I was saying. The views comment was dealing with Jim's two shots in particular (as a compairison between those two images) and is not applicapble to the site as a whole. I'll be the first to agree that views are not a good guage to determine how "good" a photo is. It is simply a function of how many people are compelled to click on your thumbnail to see the large size. Does that have anything to do with how good the image is? Sometimes, yes....but certainly not always.
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Old 08-07-2006, 12:50 AM   #16
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From my experience submitting to RP, I have learned composition is key and is above the technical aspect (i.e. sun behind your back...). The expection is unless its a rare roster shot or wedgie, scenery and an interetsing compostion always wins. Damn heritage units ruined Top of the Day numerous times for me!
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Old 08-07-2006, 11:02 PM   #17
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Jim,

You need to realize that the number of hits a photo gets often has nothing to do with how good the photo is. On the home page, click on the link for most popular of all time...50% of the shots will be of wrecks.

The other thing you should realize is that none of us has time to click on all the shots, so we scroll down the page, looking for interesting photos. Wedgies and tele-mashes of locomotive fronts don't do much for me personally, and the thumbnails show me all I need to see, so I scroll on by. Shots like your BN SD's by the elevator are more interesting for a number of reasons and the tumbnails will get me to stop and check them out.

The nice thing about RP is there are lots of different photo styles on display and you can pick whatever floats your boat!

Michael Allen

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Old 08-08-2006, 01:13 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by a231pacific
Jim,

The nice thing about RP is there are lots of different photo styles on display and you can pick whatever floats your boat!

Michael Allen
Which brings us to another interesting point:
Put a boat in your shot and it'll get more views!
; )

/Mitch
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