Old 10-21-2010, 01:01 AM   #1
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Default The drought continues

http://www.railpictures.net/viewreje...&key=317828983
http://www.railpictures.net/viewreje...d=867295&key=0

This puts me to about 35 straight rejections. Advice is desperately needed.

I am told more than half the battle is my 'camera'. Yes, I am that sad that I counted.

Fire away boys n' girls, and don't let up.
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Old 10-21-2010, 01:13 AM   #2
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First: it's near square. RP doesn't like square. This composition doesn't look good square, in my opinion. If you are 1024 pixels wide you should be 683-819 pixels tall, for RP probably closer to the lower end in many instances, and you are around 900. This one, crop the top. But the light, I can't tell, but it looks light overcast, does not look sunny at all, not well lit. Just not a day to take a standard wedgie and hope for RP acceptance. Try something else on a day like that or just accept in advance that it isn't going to be an RP day.

Second: going away shot! RP does not like those, generally speaking. (BTW, unrelated to the rejection, but detail matters. You have cut off half of the crossbucks in the background, you need a shot taken a few seconds later. Detail matters.)

Generally speaking, with all those rejects, I suspect that you are not doing enough thinking about what you are doing and what works. What have you learned from your 35 rejects? Seriously, write it down in this thread, let's start from there. If you don't remember, you didn't learn anything, too bad.
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Old 10-21-2010, 01:17 AM   #3
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First: it's near square. RP doesn't like square. This composition doesn't look good square, in my opinion. If you are 1024 pixels wide you should be 683-819 pixels tall, for RP probably closer to the lower end in many instances, and you are around 900. This one, crop the top. But the light, I can't tell, but it looks light overcast, does not look sunny at all, not well lit. Just not a day to take a standard wedgie and hope for RP acceptance. Try something else on a day like that or just accept in advance that it isn't going to be an RP day.

Second: going away shot! RP does not like those, generally speaking. (BTW, unrelated to the rejection, but detail matters. You have cut off half of the crossbucks in the background, you need a shot taken a few seconds later. Detail matters.)

Generally speaking, with all those rejects, I suspect that you are not doing enough thinking about what you are doing and what works. What have you learned from your 35 rejects? Seriously, write it down in this thread, let's start from there. If you don't remember, you didn't learn anything, too bad.
Maybe I need to start fresh, yank all from the site, and try it all over again? Appreciate your help Sir.

Last edited by IHapsias; 10-21-2010 at 01:19 AM.
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Old 10-21-2010, 01:19 AM   #4
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35 straight rejections? And you still have 10 upload slots? wtf...........
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Old 10-21-2010, 01:21 AM   #5
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35 straight rejections? And you still have 10 upload slots? wtf...........
I don't have a RPElite membership.... Its only 3 a day now for non RPElite members. Its embarrassing, I know, and I deserve it for submitting such mediocre photos that I should have known were not going to make it.
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Old 10-21-2010, 07:38 PM   #6
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Lightbulb They gave me only 1 per day.

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I don't have a RPElite membership.... Its only 3 a day now for non RPElite members. Its embarrassing, I know, and I deserve it for submitting such mediocre photos that I should have known were not going to make it.
After they got mad at me I only had 1 a day until I lobbied and got more per day.

Your first shot has bad contrast (seems washed out) and the side of the train (the cars) are in the shade - very bad.

The second one has a car on the front of the engine.

If you are going to shoot DPU's do it like this:

Image © EL ROCO Photography
PhotoID: 334621
Photograph © EL ROCO Photography


Also, take into account that they don't normally go for low angle shots which is why I was surprised this one got in.

Image © EL ROCO Photography
PhotoID: 341492
Photograph © EL ROCO Photography


this one, no:

Distributed Power II - A Pair of General Electric ES44DC's

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Old 10-21-2010, 01:21 AM   #7
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Maybe I need to start fresh, yank all from the site, and try it all over again? Appreciate your help Sir.
No need to yank shots, why "try it all over again"? It is very hard to pick up tone from simple posts, but this seems a bit drama queen-ish. Just keep working at it but with more focus.

Or maybe you are joking, hard to tell on the web.

Seriously, describe the 35 to us.
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Old 10-21-2010, 01:26 AM   #8
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No need to yank shots, why "try it all over again"? It is very hard to pick up tone from simple posts, but this seems a bit drama queen-ish. Just keep working at it but with more focus.

Or maybe you are joking, hard to tell on the web.

Seriously, describe the 35 to us.
I have 11 in the rejection queue right now.
http://www.railpictures.net/viewreje...&key=317828983
http://www.railpictures.net/viewreje...d=867295&key=0
http://www.railpictures.net/viewreje...3&key=78979935
http://www.railpictures.net/viewreje...&key=373165777
http://www.railpictures.net/viewreje...4&key=79277177
http://www.railpictures.net/viewreje...&key=673686614
http://www.railpictures.net/viewreje...d=866130&key=0
http://www.railpictures.net/viewreje...d=866125&key=0
http://www.railpictures.net/viewreje...d=865653&key=0
http://www.railpictures.net/viewreje...key=1296237168
http://www.railpictures.net/viewreje...key=1229388964


There were a lot more the last one, I had 5 different rejection reasons on the photo. Before that were just different photos that were 1 time tries and didn't make the cut.
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Old 10-21-2010, 01:36 AM   #9
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IIRC correctly, every one of those has been discussed here. So you are getting the feedback. Some general comments:

- get the technical details right. No reason for unlevel, no reason for wrong dimensions (near square). Get the stuff under your easy control right.

- forget about the BW. Get the basics right first, consider that a later addition to your skills. And for gods sake forget about processing tricks like selective shadows. Just stick to the basics. At this point the special stuff is throwing you off rather than helping, I suspect.

- stick with standard compositions when you can, things that work consistently. Nothing where everything is far away, where the nose is centered, etc. Stick to the basics for now.

misc:

Santa Fe - nice shot, were you standing immediately next to Tom Mugnano when you took it? See 338461. Try again in a month or two, maybe.
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Old 10-21-2010, 01:53 AM   #10
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IIRC correctly, every one of those has been discussed here. So you are getting the feedback. Some general comments:

- get the technical details right. No reason for unlevel, no reason for wrong dimensions (near square). Get the stuff under your easy control right.

- forget about the BW. Get the basics right first, consider that a later addition to your skills. And for gods sake forget about processing tricks like selective shadows. Just stick to the basics. At this point the special stuff is throwing you off rather than helping, I suspect.

- stick with standard compositions when you can, things that work consistently. Nothing where everything is far away, where the nose is centered, etc. Stick to the basics for now.

misc:

Santa Fe - nice shot, were you standing immediately next to Tom Mugnano when you took it? See 338461. Try again in a month or two, maybe.
Yes sir. I have another photo from a slightly different angle I WAS going to try, but after realizing my mistakes, its staying off the queue till another 2 or 3 months.
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Old 10-21-2010, 01:41 AM   #11
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Ian: I have a few suggestions for what they are worth:

1) On the first shot it was a cloudy day. Go back on a sunny day and take the exact same shot with another train.

2) Second shot, the train is going away. RP does not accept a lot of those.

Several of your rejections are for "Size (Dimensions)". Use photo editing software to correctly size your photograph. Do it for every picture you submit.

Several of your rejections are for either composition, balance or cropping. Do NOT put the nose of the train in the center of the picture. Rule of thirds. Nose of the train to the left or right.

A couple were for being unlevel. Use your photo editing software to level the shots. If you do not have photo editing software, buy it. Christmas is coming up if you want to stick a relative with the cost of the purchase.

It is not your camera. Your camera is great. Most of your shots are easily fixable if you re-shoot them.

..oh yeah...and do everything JRMDC said.
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Old 10-21-2010, 01:52 AM   #12
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This takes all the creativity away but...

Have you tried looking through the database at old photos for locations you are planning on going to in the near future? If you know in advance that you're free this weekend and want to head over to McKeesport then look up photos from other photographers in McKeesport taken around this time of year and try your best to replicate what they have done. This might make it easier to understand what works and what does not.

I think you may simply need better planning skills. Anytime I know I am going to be at a certain place I usually already have an idea of what I am going for before I even get there.
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Old 10-21-2010, 01:57 AM   #13
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This takes all the creativity away but...

Have you tried looking through the database at old photos for locations you are planning on going to in the near future? If you know in advance that you're free this weekend and want to head over to McKeesport then look up photos from other photographers in McKeesport taken around this time of year and try your best to replicate what they have done. This might make it easier to understand what works and what does not.

I think you may simply need better planning skills. Anytime I know I am going to be at a certain place I usually already have an idea of what I am going for before I even get there.
I will take your advice to the fullest. This weekend I will make sure to try so.
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Old 10-21-2010, 01:58 AM   #14
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The Santa Fe is the only good one out of the batch really, well that and the CSX SD40-2 but the composition on that one is a problem.
Do some screener fishing with the Santa Fe SD75M's, Its a nice shot and has enough difference from Tom's.
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Old 10-22-2010, 04:34 AM   #15
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Lightbulb It is about 98% planning and the other 2% is dumb luck.

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This takes all the creativity away but...

Have you tried looking through the database at old photos for locations you are planning on going to in the near future? If you know in advance that you're free this weekend and want to head over to McKeesport then look up photos from other photographers in McKeesport taken around this time of year and try your best to replicate what they have done. This might make it easier to understand what works and what does not.

I think you may simply need better planning skills. Anytime I know I am going to be at a certain place I usually already have an idea of what I am going for before I even get there.
This is good advice.

Many of these people including me have shot at certain locations numerous times and know when to be there and where to stand.

That makes a lot of difference because you don't waste as much time on badly set up shots.

There are certain places that I can tell you where the sun will be and when and at what part of the year it will be there.

Such as this:

Image © EL ROCO Photography
PhotoID: 327035
Photograph © EL ROCO Photography


and

Image © EL ROCO Photography
PhotoID: 326121
Photograph © EL ROCO Photography


Your chances of going down to Fullerton and nailing either of those shots with that specific light is not that high because it is there for about 60 days at a certain time of year and at a certain time of the day.

How do I know this?

I took a lot of poor shots and figured it out.

The same with the Cajon Pass.

There are places to shoot in the morning and others to shoot in the afternoon and some are better in Summer and others in Winter.

It takes a while to figure that out.

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Old 10-22-2010, 05:36 AM   #16
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http://suncalc.net and the photographer's ephemeris are two programs that will take a lot of the guess work out of the sun aspect.
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Old 10-22-2010, 05:43 PM   #17
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Preparation is very important. I rarely head trackside without checking SunCalc. It visibly shows the 2 hour or so time span when each specific shot I have in mind is best lit for what I am trying to accomplish.

As El Roco pointed out, I already know the best time of day and year to be at certain places trackside and that is very important. I don't spend all my time missing trains because the photo I wanted was lit at a different time of day.
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Old 10-25-2010, 11:55 PM   #18
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Such as this:

Image © EL ROCO Photography
PhotoID: 327035
Photograph © EL ROCO Photography
I missed this photo when it was added to the DB, and in the thread here until John updated today.

One question, it this the infamous "Shave and a Haircut Kid!!!" from YouTube?
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Old 10-26-2010, 02:02 AM   #19
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Lightbulb The infamous "Shave and a Haircut Kid!!!"

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I missed this photo when it was added to the DB, and in the thread here until John updated today.

One question, it this the infamous "Shave and a Haircut Kid!!!" from YouTube?
Please give me the link since I don't usually look at train vids on YouTube.

I will take a look and see.

This particular child is not one of the ones I see regularly (it seems mommy and/or daddy drop them off at the train station for babysitting purposes).
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Old 10-25-2010, 09:44 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by PLEzero View Post
This takes all the creativity away but...

Have you tried looking through the database at old photos for locations you are planning on going to in the near future? If you know in advance that you're free this weekend and want to head over to McKeesport then look up photos from other photographers in McKeesport taken around this time of year and try your best to replicate what they have done. This might make it easier to understand what works and what does not.

I think you may simply need better planning skills. Anytime I know I am going to be at a certain place I usually already have an idea of what I am going for before I even get there.
Image © John Ireland
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Old 10-21-2010, 01:56 AM   #21
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Ian: I have a few suggestions for what they are worth:

1) On the first shot it was a cloudy day. Go back on a sunny day and take the exact same shot with another train.

2) Second shot, the train is going away. RP does not accept a lot of those.

Several of your rejections are for "Size (Dimensions)". Use photo editing software to correctly size your photograph. Do it for every picture you submit.

Several of your rejections are for either composition, balance or cropping. Do NOT put the nose of the train in the center of the picture. Rule of thirds. Nose of the train to the left or right.

A couple were for being unlevel. Use your photo editing software to level the shots. If you do not have photo editing software, buy it. Christmas is coming up if you want to stick a relative with the cost of the purchase.

It is not your camera. Your camera is great. Most of your shots are easily fixable if you re-shoot them.

..oh yeah...and do everything JRMDC said.
I have Picasa3 and IRFanview, both are free download softwares.. Maybe I needed this. This weekend if weather permits I'm going to make sure I do a lot of mimicking.
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Old 10-21-2010, 01:58 AM   #22
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Everyone, I want to thank you for giving me this wake-up call on how to have fun on the site and submit photos to get into the database. I will make copies of this forum later tomorrow and save these to my computer. Thanks again everyone, and sorry for my drama.
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Old 10-21-2010, 02:07 AM   #23
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The most important part is that you are here asking for help. To me, thats a good sign.
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I personally have had a problem with those trying to tell us to turn railroad photography into an "art form." It's fine for them to do so, I welcome it in fact, but what I do have a problem with is that the practitioners of the more "arty" shots, I have found, tend to look down their nose's at others who are shooting more "mundane" shots.
Railroad photography is what you make of it, but one way is not "better" than another, IMHO. Unless you have a pole right thought the nose of the engine! -SG
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Old 10-21-2010, 02:31 AM   #24
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I'm still waiting for my first accepted photo. Rejections do pile up and become frustrating but if you listen to advice and have an open mind then it isn't too bad. I like all my rejected photos, even if they don't make it on RP I still enjoy sharing them. Railroad photography isn't about getting a shot on a site, it's about documenting what you enjoy.
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Old 10-22-2010, 12:10 AM   #25
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Brad's advice was terrific, and it's something that I sometimes remember to do. It's amazing how you may not see the best angle or framing until you see it in someone else's shot. I can't tell you how many times I've been along with another railfan and after the train has passed I've looked at the framing of their shots and I'm ashamed at what I did instead.

That being said, there's even more value in getting creative and doing your own framing... just, because I have a sense you're struggling at the moment, for the time being, be a copy cat (but be the best copy cat that there is).
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