Old 07-28-2006, 12:40 AM   #1
htgguy
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Default Any Advice on this Reject?

Well I guess I must have learned a little something because I am not going crazy anymore over getting a photo rejected. I do think I sometimes need to ask for help understanding the underlying reason for the non acceptance and this helps do a better job in the future. With that said I would appreciate comments on this photo. It was first rejected for undersharpened , which on reflection I could see. I thought with a little work it looked better and might stand a chance. It is not a prize winner but I think it is decent. I would not submit it if I was ashamed of it.

The final rejection was for poor lighting (cloudy). I knew there was cloud cover when I took the picture and did not have an intention to submit it but after looking at it I thought it turned out OK. I often look at pilot details and number boards to determine how clear a photo is and they looked good to me.

I don't know if it matters to anyone but me but this shot is one that I can only get around midday here. That is the time the local is in town. It is uncommon to see a single geep on the BNSF Staples Sub.

I don't know if there is something very obvious that my inexperienced eye does not notice that makes this something that I should just save for my "PC", if there is I would like to hear it so I can learn from it for future reference. One thing that makes this pic special to me is that it is the first one I have submitted without cropping. I felt kind of good that I framed it in a way that was pleasing to my eye. Not perfect, I would have like to have had an angle that got more train, but better than I have done before.

I have two questions. First, is this even worth appealing for any reason, and second, what do you see that is a "deal killer" in this pic that I can learn to look for in the future? I kind of feel like I am whining if I appeal a poor lighting rejection. All advice appreciated.

Jim
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Old 07-28-2006, 12:48 AM   #2
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Common power? Anything but. It's still underexposed, though.
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Old 07-28-2006, 01:34 AM   #3
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We can all appreciate bagging the rare catches, finding a local on a one-train-a-day line, and the like. But, this one would be for your "own pleasure."

The pros here can get hazy or cloudy day shots accepted, due to getting the exposure right while taking the photo. This photo though, is dark and lackluster (because of the overcast skies), as well as being from the "shady" side.

Quote:
Originally Posted by htgguy
The final rejection was for poor lighting (cloudy). I knew there was cloud cover when I took the picture and did not have an intention to submit it but after looking at it I thought it turned out OK. I often look at pilot details and number boards to determine how clear a photo is and they looked good to me.
I know how you feel. I regularly go out on cloudy days determined not to hope for any RP photos. Yet, my amatuer eye leads me believe I have a good one post-processing.
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Old 07-28-2006, 02:34 AM   #4
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Jim,

Your second attempt was better, it was much sharper.

I may not be the best one to answer this for you, since I've had some cloudy day shots rejected as well, but I'm a sucker for GP-30's!

I disagree that the shot is under exposed, but it lacks contrast. Fooling around with the histogram, the picture actually looked better if I darkened the midtones just a bit. A better approach is to use curves, so I placed the shadow dropper on the darkest point I could find under the engine and the shadows immediately darkened, giving the shot more contrast and punch.

I would guess that the real problem is with the busy background. The pole that is growing out of the back of the rear hood is a problem, plus the building next to the cab doesn't help either.

Can you shoot this with either more interesting buildings in the background, or at least get the engine away from the poles? Personally, I think a cloudy day shot would be preferable to a high sun mid-day shot, but if you want a cloudy day shot to be accepted on RP, it had better feature some great scenery and be spot on for exposure. Otherwise, pray for the local to be late!

Michael Allen
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Old 07-28-2006, 03:13 AM   #5
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Thanks for the comments. I can't see that it is underexposed. It is kind of "blah" colorwise and certainly it's not classically lit. I guess that it means more to me because I know the location and how unlikely it is for me to get the chance to take this picture. Maybe what I am realizing is it has "sentimental value" for me and that affects my judgement. Makes it suitable for my personal collection.

I personally prefer the cloudy light of this shot to the harsh midday light there would be on a crystal clear day. That does not mean I am criticizing the screeners or RP policy, it probably shouldn't make the cut either way.

I need to learn more about PSP and histogram adjustment. There is a neat old brick building just west of the spot I shot this (actually just behind the loco) that might make a cool background. I will keep an eye out for it when the opportunity presents, which might be next week or next year.

One other thing is this just drives home how inconvenient having to work is. I caught this on my way back to work after lunch and managed to steal about 10 minutes for fanning. Job gets in the way again!

Jim
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Old 07-28-2006, 05:05 AM   #6
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Red face Sentimental Value

One of the gremlins in this business is "sentimental value" or perhaps better described as the photographer's knowledge of things that make a picture special to him. I have a lot of shots that I think are great because I remember stuff about when they were taken, who is in them, and so on. Unfortunately it is often difficult to convey that to a viewer. In some cases the new Photo Article section can help deal with those situations. But in many cases those pix are best left for the photographer to fully enjoy privately.

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Old 07-28-2006, 11:39 AM   #7
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When all else fails

Cheat (Insert evil laugh)
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Old 07-28-2006, 02:16 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Switched out
When all else fails

Cheat (Insert evil laugh)
That may work, but the distance from the nose to the last visible car is at least 200 feet and I don't know of many cameras that have that kind of depth of field... The entire train from front to back is sharp, while the background is completly blurry!
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Old 07-28-2006, 05:15 PM   #9
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Wink Cheating

Oh, I like that version.

But in this digital age what exactly is cheating. Here is an example of one of mine that has been heavily photoshopped. The original was heavily back lit and dark. The result has more in common with a painting than with a photograph in terms of color and lighting:

http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.php?id=145040

Was this cheating, or do I get special dispensation because it was a 45 year old picture?

John
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Old 07-28-2006, 08:39 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John West
Oh, I like that version.

But in this digital age what exactly is cheating. Here is an example of one of mine that has been heavily photoshopped. The original was heavily back lit and dark. The result has more in common with a painting than with a photograph in terms of color and lighting:

http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.php?id=145040

Was this cheating, or do I get special dispensation because it was a 45 year old picture?

John
In my opinion I think it is the latter. Since you didn't take away or add to the photo nor did you change what is in focus or out of focus you just adjusted the ligthing situation which is sometimes encouraged in appeals on "underexposed" photos so I don't think its cheating. Plus "cheating" to get a 45 y/o photo of steam is much better than "cheating" to get a recent pic of any diesel on, anyday!
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Old 07-29-2006, 01:10 AM   #11
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John, that appears to be no more cheating then a dodge or burn during processing in a lab. I've done similar with my black hole steam photos of the 614. Blurring the background in the diesel photo however is "cheating", atleast here on RP. I'm all for a "cheating" category, how cool would that be?
I have a great photo of a Reading Rhor Turbo!
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Old 07-29-2006, 01:21 AM   #12
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Wink But how about.....

.....removing telephone poles? Is that cheating? Not that I'd do a thing like that!

John
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Old 07-29-2006, 03:01 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John West
Oh, I like that version.

But in this digital age what exactly is cheating. Here is an example of one of mine that has been heavily photoshopped. The original was heavily back lit and dark. The result has more in common with a painting than with a photograph in terms of color and lighting:

http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.php?id=145040

Was this cheating, or do I get special dispensation because it was a 45 year old picture?

John
I would think "photoshopping" would be cutting-and-pasting or similar. I think what you did would be akin to an archival restoration. I think any complaints about this photo might come from those who dislike colorization of B/W movies a la Ted Turner!
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Old 07-29-2006, 04:11 AM   #14
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I'm going for a "two fer" in this post.

1.) The "cheating" shot of the GP-30's obviously isn't what you want to be submitting on RP, but I think a different point was being made. With the background out of focus, and the contrast tweeked, it became a much better shot. Armed with this knowledge, Jim can go back and try again, by either selecting an area with a more suitable background, or by shooting at f/2.8 and throwing the background out of focus, or both.

2.) I think John's shot is probably too processed for RP as well, but it would be nice to have a digitally manipulated section to post to. There have been other calls in other posts for such a feature.

If John were to take his shot to a service bureau and have them print it out 20" X 30" on watercolor paper, I'd bet a number of people would be impressed with John's "Ted Rose" painting! Very nice work John, both with the camera and afterwards in the virtual darkroom!

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Old 07-29-2006, 07:33 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by a231pacific
I'm going for a "two fer" in this post.

1.) The "cheating" shot of the GP-30's obviously isn't what you want to be submitting on RP, but I think a different point was being made. With the background out of focus, and the contrast tweeked, it became a much better shot. Armed with this knowledge, Jim can go back and try again, by either selecting an area with a more suitable background, or by shooting at f/2.8 and throwing the background out of focus, or both.
Spot on Michael that's what I was hoping people would see. By throwing the background out of focus you effectively pull the subject out of the mess that was the background. I must admit the result I achieved was better then I was aiming for as it was the first time I had tried that technique in Photoshop.

Christine
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Old 07-29-2006, 12:26 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by a231pacific
I'm going for a "two fer" in this post.

1.) The "cheating" shot of the GP-30's obviously isn't what you want to be submitting on RP, but I think a different point was being made. With the background out of focus, and the contrast tweeked, it became a much better shot. Armed with this knowledge, Jim can go back and try again, by either selecting an area with a more suitable background, or by shooting at f/2.8 and throwing the background out of focus, or both.

Michael Allen
Thanks for spelling it out for me-I need all the help I can get. Now I am starting to see what all of you are getting at. I might be having an AH HA moment.

Jim
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Old 07-29-2006, 03:17 PM   #17
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Good Jim,

That's what this is all about, helping each other.

I learned to take pictures from being with guys who knew what they were doing, I'm learning photo shopping from these forums and from talking to other people who know what they are doing. It doesn't do any good to keep knowledge to one's self. This isn't a competitive event, at least I hope not!

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Old 07-29-2006, 03:25 PM   #18
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By the way, throwing the background out of focus isn't used as much by railfans as it should be, It is absolutely standard for wildlife photographers and sports photographers. That's why those guys on the sidelines at the NFL have those giant lenses that are about a foot in diameter, they want the athlete to be tack sharp and the fans swilling beer in the background to be just colored blobs of light!

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Old 07-30-2006, 07:46 AM   #19
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Default Very good point Michael.

Excellent point Michael.

It may well have saved a few shots I've taken East of the Mississippi where clutter seems to preside over scenery.

Let's recoin an old phrase F8 and be there and say; F1.8 and be there.
(Gross exaggeration below - I kinda like it).

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Old 07-30-2006, 01:34 PM   #20
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I would think gausian blur would do this photo some justice.

Edit: I should have written gradient blur.
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Old 07-30-2006, 04:08 PM   #21
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Hey Mitch, that's "throw the background out of focus," not the foreground!

Looks like an EMD advertising shot! Great looking train though!
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Old 07-31-2006, 03:29 AM   #22
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Mitch, It looks like something out M$ Train Simulator
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