Old 12-16-2011, 12:34 AM   #1
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Smile My latest reject......

I rather expected this to get rejected, partly because it is a bit artsy fartsy, and partly because I took it with my wife's little Coolpix camera. But after I downloaded it the quality looked okay and (after some perspective correction) I liked the geometry provided by the classic Budd equipment. I thought the image was worth sharing here, and curious as what other think of it.

http://www.railpictures.net/viewreje...&key=542640772

I started out just taking a record shot of the car (a good friend and retired railroader is the great grandson of the Cornwall for whom the car is named), but then got intrigued by the scene.

Oh well, the prints that I have made for my friend look good.
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Old 12-16-2011, 12:49 AM   #2
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Looks like a grab shot with a really noisy sky to me.
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Old 12-16-2011, 01:07 AM   #3
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I like it, but I guess RP doesn't.
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Old 12-16-2011, 01:14 AM   #4
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Well....I like it. It's a simple composition that succeeds for that very fact: it's simple. The classic Budd lines of the ex-CP Canadian cars lead your eye to the "Park" car on the rear. Also, the blue letterboard on the near sleeper reflects a few of the clouds.

Finally, the yellow step box on the ground below the vestibule trap is as classic as it comes.

Nice shot, John. I have no idea why it was rejected. It certainly meets or exceeds all the "standards."
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Old 12-16-2011, 01:26 AM   #5
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I am not a fan. Putting that aside, I see no flaws. My guess as to the reject is that maybe they wanted to see the entire metal plate that displays the car name ?????

In short, I have no idea.
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Old 12-16-2011, 01:48 AM   #6
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My guess as to the reject is that maybe they wanted to see the entire metal plate that displays the car name ??
Interesting that you mention that Janusz. I have the identical shot with the whole name plate and after viewing them both decided I preferred this one, it is "cleaner". But I can see your argument. The end of the name plate is an interesting detail. If I really cared I might try to redo it, but it's more work than its worth. I only processed this one so that I could give my friend a print. And then I got intrigued if an image from a little Coolpix could get into RP....RP did had one from an iPhone.

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Looks like a grab shot with a really noisy sky to me.
Troy, I'll have you know I spent time freezing my arse off carefully composing that image. And its tough to properly compose an image on one of the darn little lcd screens on the rear of a cheap point and shoot....especially at something below zero temps. Grab shot my eye. It is NOT a grab shot, it only looks like one. And good thing you never shot Tri-X........

Thanks guys.
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Old 12-16-2011, 01:51 AM   #7
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Quote:
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Troy, I'll have you know I spent time freezing my arse off carefully composing that image. And its tough to properly compose an image on one of the darn little lcd screens on the rear of a cheap point and shoot....especially at something below zero temps. Grab shot my eye. It is NOT a grab shot, it only looks like one. And good thing you never shot Tri-X........

Thanks guys.
I hear you, John!!!
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Old 12-16-2011, 02:00 AM   #8
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Interesting that you mention that Janusz. I have the identical shot with the whole name plate and after viewing them both decided I preferred this one, it is "cleaner". But I can see your argument. The end of the name plate is an interesting detail. If I really cared I might try to redo it, but it's more work than its worth. I only processed this one so that I could give my friend a print. And then I got intrigued if an image from a little Coolpix could get into RP....RP did had one from an iPhone.
To say "argument" is flattering, but really, I was not being humble, I chose the word "guess" with some care.

As for the Coolpix, I think there is a huge gap between point and shoots and cell phones in terms of image quality. An iPhone shot on RP is impressive, a Coolpix/Powershot/whatever is not; I have two on myself (albeit the Canon S95 is considered relatively high-end for a shirt pocket camera).
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Old 12-16-2011, 02:20 AM   #9
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I chose the word "guess" with some care.
Heck, if you really knew what was going on in the minds of the screeners you would be missing your real calling......
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Old 12-16-2011, 02:33 AM   #10
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Quote:
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Troy, I'll have you know I spent time freezing my arse off carefully composing that image. And its tough to properly compose an image on one of the darn little lcd screens on the rear of a cheap point and shoot....especially at something below zero temps. Grab shot my eye. It is NOT a grab shot, it only looks like one. And good thing you never shot Tri-X........
I'm not insulting you, dont take it so personally, it's just my opinion, it's the first thing that popped into my head. Also the image quality issues (the noise in the sky) that at least I see.
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Old 12-16-2011, 02:41 AM   #11
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I'm not insulting you, dont take it so personally, it's just my opinion, it's the first thing that popped into my head. Also the image quality issues (the noise in the sky) that at least I see.

Troy, Troy....I was joking. I actually appreciate your candor. That's why I posted it here, to get feedback. Every now and then it is useful to get some feel for how out of step with the world I really am......sigh.
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Old 12-16-2011, 03:16 PM   #12
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Shoot the Park car. They like the Park car.
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Old 12-16-2011, 03:18 PM   #13
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Something a little like this.
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Old 12-16-2011, 03:59 PM   #14
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Once again....the original concept of RP was to weed out the "bad" shots---not select the "best" shots. The goal posts have been moved quite a bit since Rail Pictures was first created, and they're always being shifted one way or the other. It's never black and white (no pun intended).

Only the most naive would believe RP's image base represents the "best." It's just an image data base of "pretty good" train shots. The quality ramps up to some of the best railroad images you'll ever see at the top end of the scale, but that's a mighty small percentage of all shots on the site. The vast majority merely meets the basic standards of "good" photography---including the rather large percentage of traditional wedge shots in the sun. Although they all might be rather droll, if competently photographed, they deserve acceptance on the site.

In a corollary to that point, the value of having (or not having) one's train images on RP is greatly overvalued. In that sense, there's no difference between someone who vilifies RP for every reason, real or contrived, under the sun (like Dan Valentine) and someone like Chase Gunnoe, who finds it to be the best way to showcase his photography (not to pick on either person).

Both of them are wrong, because of the exaggerated value they place in RP.

I'm sure I'll hear rebuttals to these points, but that's how I see it (again, as both a participant and observer from Day One of RP).
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Old 12-16-2011, 05:14 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Flanary View Post
Once again....the original concept of RP was to weed out the "bad" shots---not select the "best" shots. The goal posts have been moved quite a bit since Rail Pictures was first created, and they're always being shifted one way or the other. It's never black and white (no pun intended).

Only the most naive would believe RP's image base represents the "best." It's just an image data base of "pretty good" train shots. The quality ramps up to some of the best railroad images you'll ever see at the top end of the scale, but that's a mighty small percentage of all shots on the site. The vast majority merely meets the basic standards of "good" photography---including the rather large percentage of traditional wedge shots in the sun. Although they all might be rather droll, if competently photographed, they deserve acceptance on the site.

In a corollary to that point, the value of having (or not having) one's train images on RP is greatly overvalued. In that sense, there's no difference between someone who vilifies RP for every reason, real or contrived, under the sun (like Dan Valentine) and someone like Chase Gunnoe, who finds it to be the best way to showcase his photography (not to pick on either person).

Both of them are wrong, because of the exaggerated value they place on RP.

I'm sure I'll hear rebuttals to these points, but that's how I see it (again, as both a participant and observer from Day One of RP).
Excellent summation. I can only add that for all of RP's imperfections it is fun, and for that I am very grateful. Perhaps most importantly it has created a great venue for younger railfan photographers to share their stuff, learn, and meet others in the hobby. And it is useful to me as well in that it has led to publication of a few of my images (and enough bucks in my pocket to at least pay for my membership each year). And if you look beyond the wedgies there are some fine images scattered through the site. But some folks do take it way too seriously, pro and con.
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Old 12-16-2011, 05:44 PM   #16
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Quote:
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Excellent summation. I can only add that for all of RP's imperfections it is fun, and for that I am very grateful. Perhaps most importantly it has created a great venue for younger railfan photographers to share their stuff, learn, and meet others in the hobby. And it is useful to me as well in that it has led to publication of a few of my images (and enough bucks in my pocket to at least pay for my membership each year). And if you look beyond the wedgies there are some fine images scattered through the site. But some folks do take it way too seriously, pro and con.
And...I would merely add that your follow up is profoundly on target as well.

I do find worth in RP, as you do, and it has provided a lot of fun, new friends, engagement in lively discussion on the subject of rail photography, some bucks and additional opportunities for publication (as you noted).

Finally: I've learned new things about railroad photography, particularly the newer digital techniques. Rather than level criticism at the work of others, I try to learn from their work. I am sometimes confounded by rejections of my work (and the work of others), but I attribute it either to just a respectful disagreement over frequently innocuous details, or factors I can't control.

Thanks, John. As always, a very thoughtful commentary on your part.
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Old 12-16-2011, 06:50 PM   #17
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I have a somewhat similar shot in the DB, thought you could say mine has more of a message to it.
Image © Matthew Hicks
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Old 12-16-2011, 07:10 PM   #18
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I have a somewhat similar shot in the DB, thought you could say mine has more of a message to it.
Image © Matthew Hicks
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Photograph © Matthew Hicks
That's a nice shot, too!!
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Old 12-16-2011, 07:27 PM   #19
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I have a somewhat similar shot in the DB, thought you could say mine has more of a message to it.
Image © Matthew Hicks
PhotoID: 316163
Photograph © Matthew Hicks
\

Yeah, but mine had snow on the ground, winter lighting, and I was freezing my arse. That really screams CANADA! But my arse (fortunately) was not in the picture. C'est la vie.
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Old 12-16-2011, 07:45 PM   #20
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In this instance, I prefer a horizontal crop, like Matthew's. Perhaps that is something you could look into, Mr. West, if you have horizontal frames, that is.
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Old 12-16-2011, 08:28 PM   #21
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In this instance, I prefer a horizontal crop, like Matthew's. Perhaps that is something you could look into, Mr. West, if you have horizontal frames, that is.
I do have horizontal frames, but in my mind the image is pretty uninteresting....simply the last three cars of the train. After taking the horizontal frames I moved in closer and went vertical in an attempt to achieve a bit more interesting perspective. My main objective was to record the name of the car, since it is named after the great grandfather of a friend. But I thought in the process I might get a reasonably interesting image. What I got was a nice picture for my friend (prints are in the mail to him). While I am not going to pursue it any further, it is interesting to get input from others, because it always intrigues me how different folks view images differently, and that is a fun part of the learning process here. It all goes into the mind's file. Maybe next time in a similar situation I'll work harder to find a horizontal image that is interesting.
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Old 12-17-2011, 09:52 PM   #22
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I always felt horizontal images like that were more compelling because of the way the train became a long leading line, rather than a short one.
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Old 12-17-2011, 11:34 PM   #23
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I always felt horizontal images like that were more compelling because of the way the train became a long leading line, rather than a short one.
In general I would agree with you. In this case, since it was just the rear three cars the horizontal version looks like...well....just the last three cars.
By going vertical I thought maybe the more angled lines would create enough visual drama (so to speak) to make it at least interesting. Keep in mind my primary object was to capture the car name, since Cornwall was a friend's great grandfather. But even though I liked it enough to try posting it here (the infatuation with one's lastest effort syndrome) as the image ages I tend to agree with "ho hum" view. I thought about taking a picture of the whole train, but the "scenery" around the engine was kind of junky. And my feet were getting cold.
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Old 12-18-2011, 12:22 AM   #24
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Quote:
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I always felt horizontal images like that were more compelling because of the way the train became a long leading line, rather than a short one.
Totally dependent on the angle and your elevation.

I'm gonna whore out a couple that would look stupid as horizontal/landscape shots to prove my point:

Image © Troy Nolen
PhotoID: 379620
Photograph © Troy Nolen

Image © Troy Nolen
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Photograph © Troy Nolen
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Old 12-18-2011, 01:59 AM   #25
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I like the composition, great colors...but the name plate placement bugs me. I wish it were just not there at all. it's distracting for some reason.
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