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Old 09-11-2007, 01:25 PM   #76
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe the Photog
Since Brandon is done with this thread and won't see my reply, I don't think you were out of line. Usually I would not care to see someone call out photographers. But in this case, Brandon should have posted links to a few of the fifty percent of the shots on RP that shuold not be here. If he couldn't do it, then he should shut up. Which, I guess, is what he did.

I did not see your posts as personal attacks.
I could have quoted that word for word.
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Old 09-11-2007, 01:42 PM   #77
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Wow, I missed a lot of excitement last night (stupid sleep)! It's early but let's see if I can straighten some things out even though most people are probably sick of this thread.

If there were to be a 'meeting' of the 5 screeners to discuss what type of lighting is acceptable or not, it simply would never end. Each person has their own idea of acceptable lighting FOR THE MOST PART.

Secondly, if you have a uniquely composed shot or concept, lighting becomes secondary to the majority of the screeners. If it is a STANDARD in the woods shot then lighting/color/technicals become the primary focus. If the screener picks up on something then he'll tell you to fix something or that it doesn't work. Next time try something different in composition or if you like it, get it RIGHT.

Thirdly, be your worst critic and look for the slightest flaws. and see "Secondly...".

My favorite fact of this entire "ordeal" is that Ween's corrected version would have easily been accepted. LOL

-AB (who enjoys shooting in bad lighting)
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Old 09-11-2007, 04:00 PM   #78
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For the record, I left and would not continue the debate on this thread to protect the photographers photos that made it in. It would not be right to call out shots of photographers that I think shouldn't have made it. I wouldn't do it and I'm sure you wouldn't. It would only lead to a flame war. I will show you one of mine to give you an example of the type of photos I'm talking about. I wouldn't give a point without evidence. There is a method to my madness.

With a cooler head this morning, I want to say that Mike missed the point of my post and I failed to catch that, bringing the entire "fight" out of proportion. The only type of photo that is the problem is the high sun or near high sun photo. This is the kind of photo that has a high acceptance and rejection rate. I only feel that these photos are not being screened correctly. Mitch saw my point right off the bat, in that it makes a photographer frustrated when they think their photo should be put into the database (with a minimal shadow on the front plow) when it ends up being rejected and the photographers sees others just like his accepted. It's not an issue of the amount of light in the image, which is what Mike was trying to point out with mine. You can tell this by his comment on the the CSX 679 photo as being the only one that should have been allowed in the database. Almost every photographer here has a photo that was taken on a cloudy day and it was accepted for other reasons than it not having sunlight. This is not the type of photo I was talking about. My posts were in regards to BartY's photo because that falls in line in the type of photos I was talking about.

Sorry to draw this thread so off topic (I think we can all agree this is a touchy topic). However, it just gets frustrating when you try to get your point across and it only gets picked apart and taken way out of context.

Andrew, thanks for replying to this topic. I was just trying to give a few suggestions to what I thought was going on and you responded to that, thanks. You have some very good points there.

Now that my point is clear and pin-pointed down to a type of light in a photo, did anybody actually sit down and take a look at my portfolio on RP since Mike called it out?
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Old 09-11-2007, 04:51 PM   #79
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I think of it like this. Within the realm of high-sun shots, you state that there is a problem in screening. This necessarily presumes a definable standard for an acceptable shot - the metric by which you say 50% accurate, 50% misjudged.

I say no way! The inherent problem with high-sun shots is that the quality of the lighting is much, much more subjective than a standard shot. I think we all have different tastes, for example, for the extent to which trucks are lit up or not, or the sides of the trailing cars lit up, or the extent to which dynamic brake bulges throw shadows down the side of an engine. Also, some environments are more condusive to looking decent during high-contrast mid-day sun than others; some places just look blown out while others maintain some vibrancy, and people's tasstes for that level of contrast and, for lack of a better term, the level of "mid-day blah" vary. Thus, the screening of high-sun shots is much more reflective of the personal tastes of the screener than other kinds of shots.

So I say you are entitled to your 50% evaluation, but you are claiming much too much certainty, too much implicit invoking of a standard. It's just your opinion.
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Old 09-11-2007, 04:52 PM   #80
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quiksmith10
Now that my point is clear and pin-pointed down to a type of light in a photo, did anybody actually sit down and take a look at my portfolio on RP since Mike called it out?
Yes, I did, and in the past I've looked at Mike's too. I believe he said that he thought your shots were lacking in light, with lots of shadows.

I can see why he said that, because it's obvious that both of your styles are quite dissimilar, most notably in the lighting department. However, I find your recent shots very moody and thought provoking. They are a departure from most of the submissions in the database that I see from day to day, and I think it's a refreshing change. Here's a few of shots I particularly like:

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Old 09-11-2007, 05:31 PM   #81
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Thanks for the kind words Ken. Yes, our styles are different.

Janusz, my figures are most likely off but that is surely how it feels like to me. There is no way to actually get figures on something like that because no records are kept for those things. I apologize if those values seems so certain but I meant them to be a very rough estimate of what I believe I'm seeing. You are correct in your stance on the personal tastes of the screener.

This brings an interesting point. Maybe if there was a way for a screener to flag a questionable photo instead of just leaving it in the queue. This might let the other screeners know it has been looked over and indeed does need a second opinion. Maybe also in addition to the "flag" there could be some sort of check box in which the question at hand could be selected. This could lesson the affects of personal tastes on rejects such as what brought about this thread. Just a thought.
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Old 09-11-2007, 07:21 PM   #82
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quiksmith10

This brings an interesting point. Maybe if there was a way for a screener to flag a questionable photo instead of just leaving it in the queue. This might let the other screeners know it has been looked over and indeed does need a second opinion.
I don't know the details, but I am aware that sometimes screeners ask for second opinions. If you have a shot in the queue, and it gets down to 1, and then it disappears, not showing up either as accepted or rejected, that means it has been put aside for someone else to look at.
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Old 09-11-2007, 10:34 PM   #83
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Mr. Smith -
It doesn't really matter what you say unless you want to take back what you said earlier. The fact is that you said that 50% of the shots accepted here have bad light and then you admitted that a lot of your shots have bad light as well. It's very black and white but you're just refusing to admit that.

Now, if you were paying attention, I said that good light doesn't necessarily mean full sun in the beginning. You obviously missed that though with your remark about what I said about your CSXT 679 shot.

Now you're claiming that 50% of the photos on here suffer from high sun, or something close to it. That is just wrong!

I think it all comes down to the fact that your upset about some of your photos not being accepted. I always laugh at people who get upset over a rejection. It's not your website so you have no right to put your photos on RP. The admins can choose to not accept your photos (or mine) simply because they don't like you. There are some inconsistencies but so what, they don't even need a reason to reject a photo IMO.
It's their website and their rules. If you don't like the way they do things, pack up and leave because they have no obligation to make you happy. You are a guest here and you have to make them happy.

There are other places to put your photos than RP and I'm not referring to other websites.
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Old 09-11-2007, 11:58 PM   #84
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Both of you, back off! It's getting boring... (and yes, I was participating in this also )

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike B.
Now you're claiming that 50% of the photos on here suffer from high sun, or something close to it. That is just wrong!
But I can't let it all go. Mike, you are just plain wrong on this particular point, Brandon was saying that 50% of high-sun photos are wrongly accepted, not that 50% of the shots here are high sun.

Now, let it go! All of you (and me)!
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Old 09-12-2007, 12:00 AM   #85
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JRMDC
Both of you, back off! It's getting boring... (and yes, I was participating in this also )



But I can't let it all go. Mike, you are just plain wrong on this particular point, Brandon was saying that 50% of high-sun photos are wrongly accepted, not that 50% of the shots here are high sun.

Now, let it go! All of you (and me)!
So 50% out of the high sun photos accepted here are bad, not just 50% of the photos accepted? That's not what he said originally...
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Old 09-12-2007, 12:09 AM   #86
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike B.
It's their website and their rules. If you don't like the way they do things, pack up and leave because they have no obligation to make you happy. You are a guest here and you have to make them happy.

There are other places to put your photos than RP and I'm not referring to other websites.
I do not totally agree with you there, Mike. Whilst businesses have the right to outline their own terms and conditions, consumers also have the right to be treated with respect. Friendly and polite customer service fosters repeat business. Therefore, a business to consumer relationship is not just a "our way or the highway" relationship but rather a two way street.

As consumers of the service that RailPictures provides, we have the right to submit photos, appeal rejections, and voice our opinions/provide feedback on these forums. A business will never keep every single customer happy, but they endeavour to keep the majority of their customers satisfied. There are various types of 'satisfied' customers including brand advocates who would support RailPictures to the death. I could go on for hours (because I'm studying Business ...) but it would probably bore you to death.

From what I have observed, the administrators of RailPictures and their team of screeners know exactly what they're doing. Just take a look at the size of RailPictures/JetPhotos and the amount of repeat submitters. I only wish I had the finances and knowledge to create such a site.

Sure, there will be people who've been pissed off by RailPictures and attempt to create their own site, but they'll come crawling back. My best example there is, people started leaving RailPage Australia when two people created Wheels on Steel because RailPage's server was unreliable. Now that they've got a new server and reliability has increased dramatically, Wheels on Steel is nothing but a "Whinge about RailPage" Forum.
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Old 09-12-2007, 12:54 AM   #87
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Blaszczyk (2)
My favorite fact of this entire "ordeal" is that Ween's corrected version would have easily been accepted.
That's precisely point of this thread...
The contributor, as well as others, get frustrated having photos rejected without a qualified reason. Had a screener simply stated a more accurate rejection - "green tint" or "color balance" or maybe a side note saying "nice shot, try adjusting the tint to get it accepted" all this would be moot.

RP is just setting itself up here. There is no way the contributor could go in to Photoshop and remove the "high sun". And even if he could... RP would still reject it for the green tint which was the issue all along. Ping pong.

On behalf of RP however, as I mentioned earlier, the appeal process was a big step forward in rectifying the situation.

/Mitch
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Old 09-12-2007, 01:20 AM   #88
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If there's anything to be said about this post, it would be that it struck a chord with many more than even I expected. I'm seeing alot of stuff about light light light. What am I taking away from all of this? That I should probably invest in a bank of flashes like those used by the great O. Winston Link to take pictures of steamers in the late 1950s. In Seattle I can count on two things: clouds and fog. Sun, not so much. Always being on the correct side of the loco without breaking the law? Also not so much. Because of this post, plus some great suggestions from other forum members, I decided this morning before work to look through most of the digital photos I've taken since my first photo went on RP in late 2003. I found that lighting - or lack of it - was consistently an issue throughout the years. Pictures I took in Montana have wonderful warm light. Even a recent rejection of a F-unit in California had beautiful lighting (but got axed for other stuff):



Most everything I've taken in and around Washington has been either digitally brightened or ended up unfixable. Okay, there was a fair share of crummy composition too, but I've learned more in that respect than I have in the realm of magically creating light for my photos. I'm not aware of one picture I've taken that has been accepted by RP in its true state.

So I'm going to try different things, maybe even going back to my 35mm and slide film, since digital doesn't seem to serve my purpose well in terms of RP. Naturally this will require that I get in my truck and head out with a camera, tripod, and a thermos of Kona coffee...darn it all. This post has shown me that I'm not alone in the trials I fall into. Tough love is a bear, when it comes to taking pictures, yeah?
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Old 09-12-2007, 01:26 AM   #89
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WetRailsWA
In Seattle I can count on two things: clouds and fog. Sun, not so much. Always being on the correct side of the loco without breaking the law? Also not so much.
Major contradiction! If there are clouds and fog, there is no correct side of the loco!

Quote:
So I'm going to try different things, maybe even going back to my 35mm and slide film, since digital doesn't seem to serve my purpose well in terms of RP.
How does film instead of digital increase the amount of light falling on a locomotive?
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Old 09-12-2007, 02:50 AM   #90
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From what I have observed, the administrators of RailPictures and their team of screeners know exactly what they're doing. Just take a look at the size of RailPictures/JetPhotos and the amount of repeat submitters. I only wish I had the finances and knowledge to create such a site.
Precisely. If RP has as big of a problem that Mr. Smith claims it does, then RP wouldn't of had the success it has. RP can afford to piss a few people off and to play by their own rules.
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Old 09-12-2007, 02:59 AM   #91
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Quote:
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Major contradiction! If there are clouds and fog, there is no correct side of the loco!
Even when it's cloudy there is less light on the "wrong" side of the train. The difference in light is small but I always try to shoot on the right side when it's cloudy. Occasionally, I do go venture to the wrong side though.

WetRailsWA: Take a look in the database for the cloudy shots and see how you can improve. Good shots in cloudy weather can be had, but require and bit more planning to pull it off. It requires you to be more aware of your surroundings and how everything will effect the photo. Typically, you don't want to have a lot of sky in a shot if it's overcast.

I wish I had more fog where I live. I like the look of it with early morning light. Also try out some night photography. I've been playing with night shots lately and have been reasonably happy with my results. On of them even got a PCA, and it had fog in it too!

I feel your pain with the lack of sun. I prefer to shoot in sun so when there isn't any, I sometimes get frustrated. Shooting without sun just takes a bit of a different approach, but it can be done. Don't give up!

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Old 09-12-2007, 03:47 AM   #92
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Quote:
Therefore, a business to consumer relationship is not just a "our way or the highway" relationship but rather a two way street.
I'll remember that next time I'm filling up my gas tank at $3.19 a gallon...
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Old 09-12-2007, 03:52 AM   #93
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JRMDC
I say no way! The inherent problem with high-sun shots is that the quality of the lighting is much, much more subjective than a standard shot. I think we all have different tastes, for example, for the extent to which trucks are lit up or not, or the sides of the trailing cars lit up, or the extent to which dynamic brake bulges throw shadows down the side of an engine.
If I wanted to look for inconsistency in RP screening, I would probably look here. The screening is good overall, and if I have a problem with uploading or a real strange rejection that doesn't make sense, that's what appeals are for, and I'm proof they're not a lost cause.

However, high sun is a touchy category. It really seems to vary by screener what is "high sun" and what is not. I can submit a photo, get it rejected for bad contrast (or something to that sense), fix it, get it rejected again because I adjusted it too much, send it back again, get a different screener, and get it rejected for high sun. I can, to an extent, see Brandon's point regarding shots where trucks/sides of trains are dark. Many are on RP.net (even some of mine) but they are not true high sun - while many others are rejected. Sometimes there is not even a shadow on the lower nose, but they don't make it on submission or appeal. Yet, sometimes others get in that are completely nose-lit but have absolutely no light on the entire side of the train, but others get rejected for backlighting and/or high sun. It hasn't proved a huge problem for my dad and I, but it's sometimes noticeable, especially when comparing some of our rejections with accepted photos and other rejected photos shared on the forums for advice.

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Old 09-12-2007, 04:06 AM   #94
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Rusty, you can't tell the difference? Look again. BartY, Leaving in a huff may feel good for a minute or two, but getting your pictures accepted feels a lot better. You may feel that "close enough" is an adequate standard for submitting photos, but why not shoot for "better?"

Sure, inferior photos get accepted. Maybe the subject was more interesting or maybe the screener was nodding off after viewing his 250th shot. So what? Life is unfair. Fortunately there is a mechanism for dealing with it. Actually two mechanisms. You can appeal, or you can submit a better version. After looking at Ween's minor adjustment, I know which I would do.

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Old 09-12-2007, 04:10 AM   #95
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Mike, it's not worth my time to try to continually explain my point when you don't seem to get it. Let's just say I've been on this forum and RP for almost 3 years now and know the workings of RP and "the debates" that occur pretty well. Time's up, moving on.

Everyone else, I apologize of kinda flying off the handle at Mike in the forum. Should have been done privately. I'm glad that to an extent, some people have seen some part of my point on the subject. Sorry that it was convoluted in the beginning.

Mitch, you are very correct. The appeal process has worked wonders for RP and has caused the website to function that much better. It has really given us, the contributors, a voice and the ability to explain to the screeners why we think this photo is RP worthy.
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Old 09-12-2007, 04:11 AM   #96
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ween
I'll remember that next time I'm filling up my gas tank at $3.19 a gallon...
I wish there was some give and take at the fuel station.

This morning I filled up my Commodore with an 80 litre (21 gallon) tank. It cost me about AUD $85 (USD $70) and the attendant wouldn't enter into my bargain. I wish I didn't have to fill up my car for two years!

It is like those passengers who purchase a ticket and believe that it's their God given right to get a seat into the City. A seat allows you to get on the train people!

Some people need to learn that we don't always get what we want in life and that sacrafices need to be made ... says the person who's got assignments due for University and is currently looking outside at a clear blue (spring) sky and heading up the North Coast in less than an hour.
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Old 09-12-2007, 04:14 AM   #97
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As far as the clarity goes, it is definitely much, much sharper.

BartY, believe me, taking the extra time in the beginning can work wonders in getting to understand the workings of a particular photo. Depending on the photo, it takes me around the order of 5 - 10 minutes it edit and fine tune it. Even when I'm done, I like to take a short break and do something else and then return to the photo. I've found out that a lot of times, working on a photo for 5 - 10 minutes straight will make you become blind to certain defects. Coming back after a break refreshes your view of the photo, making sure it is indeed to your liking. Your photo is definitely RP material.
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Old 09-12-2007, 04:15 AM   #98
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quiksmith10
Mike, it's not worth my time to try to continually explain my point when you don't seem to get it.
Well how about you actually back up what you say with an explanation? Answering my questions might help too.

You sound an awful lot like Jim Thias.
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Old 09-12-2007, 04:27 AM   #99
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Over 90 responses, wow. I had to go back and see what the original reason for the reject was ("poor lighting", for those still keeping score). Gotta wonder, if it had been "bad color", would we be this far down the road?

* * *

I used to host an open mic night for writers in Philly. And there was this one guy...we'll call him R. R said to me once that he was disgusted with the lack of response (i.e., applause) he was getting to his stories, and that he had a good mind to leave and never come back. I told him he was welcome to do so, but that there was a chance nobody would notice, and suggested that if his absence was meant to punish us, he might want to think of something else. Of course, he stayed.

Do I sometimes feel like picking up my marbles and going home? Sure. And there'd be no stampede of folks begging me to reconsider. But seems I have more to gain (learn) by staying, even if it means taking a few on the chin.

* * *

In any case, I agree tho that Ween's corrected version solves the 'green' problem and should be a winner.

* * *

I also like what Brandon said about tinkering with a photo then leaving it and returning to it later. Sometimes the only fresh pair of eyes we have is our own.
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Old 09-12-2007, 05:03 AM   #100
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JRMDC
How does film instead of digital increase the amount of light falling on a locomotive?
I should have been more clear. I'm curious to try playing around with exposure settings etc. to allow for some more light. I'll never admit to being a pro, but at least I can experiment. Plus my 35mm has a 200mm lens in the kit so I can try for some more long range shots. Whether it's the environment or the camera, I just seem to get dark pictures out of my digital. I can't afford another digital right now, so working with what I have is the best option.
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