Old 04-18-2004, 09:30 PM   #1
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Default Lighting Standards

Are photos only being accepted now if they are taken under clear blue skies? Just curious after having these photos rejected for being too dark even though the sun was out.

http://www.railpictures.net/viewreject.php?id=6426

http://www.railpictures.net/viewreject.php?id=6121
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Old 04-18-2004, 09:35 PM   #2
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They are common power, roster shot style, in marginal light.
Roster shots have to be pretty good as far as lighting goes. Get creative.
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Old 04-18-2004, 11:00 PM   #3
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Okay, but how is this photo any different from what you mentioned above? My only point here is that I can't learn anything if shots under similar conditions are accepted. Otherwise, I wouldn't have wasted my time uploading these.

http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.php?id=58041


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Originally Posted by Curtis Wininger
They are common power, roster shot style, in marginal light.
Roster shots have to be pretty good as far as lighting goes. Get creative.
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Old 04-19-2004, 12:53 AM   #4
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It's not a lot different, but the CN isn't a 3/4 wedge. I think the placement is a little better, but the lighting isn't.
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Old 04-19-2004, 01:02 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ck5644
Okay, but how is this photo any different from what you mentioned above? My only point here is that I can't learn anything if shots under similar conditions are accepted. Otherwise, I wouldn't have wasted my time uploading these.

http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.php?id=58041


Quote:
Originally Posted by Curtis Wininger
They are common power, roster shot style, in marginal light.
Roster shots have to be pretty good as far as lighting goes. Get creative.

Excellent point ck5644, although I think each of your photos could use a touch of brightness in photoshop. The common power, roster shot excuse is weak.

Example - http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.php?id=57998

This might be a good looking picture on print but the scan to digital is just awful and it puzzles me how it got accepted.

I don't see how either of your photos could be considered roster shots since they both show all the power and a good portion of the train. I particularly like the CSX shot.
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Old 04-19-2004, 01:20 AM   #6
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Quote:
The common power, roster shot excuse is weak.
We have plenty of marginally lit shots of common NS and CSX power....the BNSF SD40-2, while not in perfect light, is slightly less-common than a NS C40-9W or a CSX AC4400CW.

If you guys want to shoot the standard power under cloudy conditions that is fine but for our purposes on this website, the shots need to be creative or feature something other than just the train shot from the all-to-common 3/4 "wedgie" angle.
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Old 04-19-2004, 01:39 AM   #7
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I agree with you Chris. The location of the shots is noted in the description. However, from the photo, they could have been taken anywhere. To me, there are more than enough wedge shots on this site. Try adding some of the background of where you shot the photo regardless of the weather and I will stop and examine it instead zipping past it
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Old 04-19-2004, 02:20 AM   #8
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Quote:
Try adding some of the background of where you shot the photo regardless of the weather
This idea works well if you are in Colorado or California or some ohter scenic place, but when you try and show some of the background / landscape of the Midwest (say, oh, Illinois), your stuff gets rejected for 'bad cropping.'

Sure, I don't necessarily want to see corn fields or plains in the background, but sometimes all you're left with are roster-type shots with no background. Just something to think about...
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Old 04-19-2004, 02:43 AM   #9
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Personally, I didn't see anything wrong with either of them, but that's just me. Variety of locations is fine, but I agree with Ween in that some places aren't exactly what most people would consider scenic. What is creative? A piece of fence in each shot?
Then there's the question of what's artistic and what's not. To some a stack of rails is artistic. To some a streak of light shooting past a crossing in the dark is artistic. To others it'd be none of the above. I'm not going to argue what's art and what's not. I've had that arguement before and it''s a no win for both sides.
I'm sure there are some who look at this site for model reference. Someone who might've been able to use the rejected shots above for weathering, detailing, or what ever else. I'm not saying everything needs to be accepted or considered for acceptance. I've had some rejected that upon looking at later thought, yeah, I'm kind of glad that didn't go up. But when you get one rejected for whatever reason and then sign on and find pretty much the same thing accepted, you're going to have to expect people putting up questions like this. And yeah, I know each screener is different and all. I'm just pointing out the obvious.
Kind of curious about one thing though. Do the screeners need to send their submitted shots to another screener or can they post their own work as they feel? Not that it really matters, just something that I and one other former poster have wondered.

thanks!
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Old 04-19-2004, 03:22 AM   #10
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All photos are considered for acceptance. The idea is that you can get to the shots you want without plowing through a 10:1 ratio of wide cab roster shots to scenic or more creative shots.

The only screening we do on our own photos is the "self screening." They are accepted/rejected by another screener.
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Old 04-19-2004, 04:12 AM   #11
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Thanks mojo628...Unfortunately I don't have photoshop so that is not an option. I tried brightening the NS shot with the Olympus Camedia software but that washed it out and the file size was way too big.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mojo628
Quote:
Originally Posted by ck5644
Okay, but how is this photo any different from what you mentioned above? My only point here is that I can't learn anything if shots under similar conditions are accepted. Otherwise, I wouldn't have wasted my time uploading these.

http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.php?id=58041


Quote:
Originally Posted by Curtis Wininger
They are common power, roster shot style, in marginal light.
Roster shots have to be pretty good as far as lighting goes. Get creative.

Excellent point ck5644, although I think each of your photos could use a touch of brightness in photoshop. The common power, roster shot excuse is weak.

Example - http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.php?id=57998

This might be a good looking picture on print but the scan to digital is just awful and it puzzles me how it got accepted.

I don't see how either of your photos could be considered roster shots since they both show all the power and a good portion of the train. I particularly like the CSX shot.
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Old 04-19-2004, 04:37 AM   #12
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That's a good point. The ex-NYC CSX main across upstate New York where the CSX shot was taken is relatively flat which makes it difficult to have props in the background. That's why I composed the shot to at least have the NYC signal in the background. Having said that, I've also had well-lit, none wedge/roster shots, with nice backgrounds rejected too...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ween
Quote:
Try adding some of the background of where you shot the photo regardless of the weather
This idea works well if you are in Colorado or California or some ohter scenic place, but when you try and show some of the background / landscape of the Midwest (say, oh, Illinois), your stuff gets rejected for 'bad cropping.'
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Old 04-19-2004, 05:01 AM   #13
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I dont see anything wrong with those 2 pics, if the screener felt its a common shot, shouldnt he rejected it rather for "common power roster shot" then?
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Old 04-19-2004, 02:07 PM   #14
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The fact that they were common power roster shots added to the lighting problem. Things like that build on each other. I hear talk of having a setup so screeners can enter multiple rejection reasons. This would be great if it becomes possible.

Please don't think I'm trying to say I'm right and you're wrong. It is harder to get scenic backgrounds where there are no mountains.



I'm not trying to brag on this shot, just to say that you can do more than a standard roster shot in flat areas. Also, going to places other than where you live allows you to try your hand at different things. Go to the mountians if you get the chance and try some mountain shots.
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Old 04-19-2004, 05:33 PM   #15
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Here is a good example of turning what would be just a plain roster/wedge shot into something quite a bit more interesting:


http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.php?id=58255

Sometimes the simplest of addtions to the 'scene' of a photo will make a big difference.

Good job Alex.
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Old 04-19-2004, 07:01 PM   #16
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Default Re: Lighting Standards

Quote:
Originally Posted by ck5644
You all are missing the charm of this one! Take a look a the whole RR scene, not just the locomotives. First, look a the pole line pole. It has a full set of insulators on it. Don't see that much these days. Most prosperous RRs did away with pole lines so long ago that it's rare to even see an old pole these days. Second, look at the track. JOINTED RAIL! When was the last time you saw an pair of NS Dash 9s on an intermodal train on mainline stick rail?

I'll bet there isn't one other photo in the entire database like this one.

Selection/rejection should be more than just "what's the locomotive" and "what's the composition".

-Don

P.S. What's with all the photos with board fences in the foreground lately? It's hardly original. Check NS's calendar a few years back - cover photo. What's next? Seeing how much periferal junk we can squeeze into a photo that happens to have a train in it? Where have we seen that style to death?
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Old 04-19-2004, 07:22 PM   #17
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How would one go about composing such a shot?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Starnes
Here is a good example of turning what would be just a plain roster/wedge shot into something quite a bit more interesting:


http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.php?id=58255

Sometimes the simplest of addtions to the 'scene' of a photo will make a big difference.

Good job Alex.
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Old 04-19-2004, 07:32 PM   #18
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I would like to see that implemented. It would be much more helpful to have more than one item to consider.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Curtis Wininger
The fact that they were common power roster shots added to the lighting problem. Things like that build on each other. I hear talk of having a setup so screeners can enter multiple rejection reasons. This would be great if it becomes possible.
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Old 04-19-2004, 07:32 PM   #19
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What has happened is one train moving past a still train. You can close the aperture on your camera a little more than normal to get a slower shutter speed. That (longer exposure) will make it easier for you to get the blur look. Since the trian is moving while the shutter is open, it is blurred.

I HIGHLY recommend the National Geographic field guide series to anyone who wants to learn more about photography. It is a field guide, so it can be quickly read all the way through and is meant to be carried around for quick reference. I own this one and People and Portraits and read them both in less than a week. They both have VERY good information about the mechanics of cameras and compositions. Both books cover pretty much the same thing, so one is enough. You can expand to specific topics, but a lot of the material is repeated. And they are fairly inexpensive.

You can get them at book stores. This is the link to it on Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...books&n=507846
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Old 04-19-2004, 07:43 PM   #20
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The only problem is that I haven't found a way to adjust the shutter speed since I use a low end, point-and-shoot digital. I guess a little experimentation couldn't hurt though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Curtis Wininger
What has happened is one train moving past a still train. You can close the aperture on your camera a little more than normal to get a slower shutter speed. That (longer exposure) will make it easier for you to get the blur look. Since the trian is moving while the shutter is open, it is blurred.

I HIGHLY recommend the National Geographic field guide series to anyone who wants to learn more about photography. It is a field guide, so it can be quickly read all the way through and is meant to be carried around for quick reference. I own this one and People and Portraits and read them both in less than a week. They both have VERY good information about the mechanics of cameras and compositions. Both books cover pretty much the same thing, so one is enough. You can expand to specific topics, but a lot of the material is repeated. And they are fairly inexpensive.

You can get them at book stores. This is the link to it on Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...books&n=507846
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Old 04-19-2004, 07:51 PM   #21
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It's interesting that you mentioned wooden fences. I did have a shot of this train with a wooden fence on the left side of the frame but there was a recreational trailer on the right and cropping might have been an issue.

Quote:
Originally Posted by oltmannd

P.S. What's with all the photos with board fences in the foreground lately? It's hardly original. Check NS's calendar a few years back - cover photo. What's next? Seeing how much periferal junk we can squeeze into a photo that happens to have a train in it? Where have we seen that style to death?
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Old 04-19-2004, 09:34 PM   #22
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ck,

What camera do you have? Maybe we can check into an online user manual. You may not be able to change the exposure. That could be part of the problem. You can get a nice Canon SLR for about as much as a low end digital camera now. I used the Rebel 2000 for a while and it did everything you could ask. You really need a SLR if you want to be able to have some diversity in your photos.
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Old 04-20-2004, 01:20 AM   #23
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I use the Olympus D-550...It looks like Olympus took the manual off the website. I'll go through the manual again to see if I can find anything.

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ck,

What camera do you have? Maybe we can check into an online user manual. You may not be able to change the exposure. That could be part of the problem. You can get a nice Canon SLR for about as much as a low end digital camera now. I used the Rebel 2000 for a while and it did everything you could ask. You really need a SLR if you want to be able to have some diversity in your photos.
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Old 05-06-2004, 12:10 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ck5644
Are photos only being accepted now if they are taken under clear blue skies? Just curious after having these photos rejected for being too dark even though the sun was out.

http://www.railpictures.net/viewreject.php?id=6426

http://www.railpictures.net/viewreject.php?id=6121

I've begun to wonder the same thing...the slightest hint of shadow on the nose of a locomotive and it goes in the rejection bin, irregardless of how much work in PS I do to balance the level of lighting if there is uneven lighting.

Balanced lighting = good lighting in my book.

I think it would behoove some of the screeners (and I know it isn't all of them) to consider that in this type of photography that comprimises must be made sometimes. In some areas the light will never be "perfect" because of the way a particular track is situated...this is often a problem when shooting industry switchers and museum pieces that don't move very much are or in a difficult to access location. You have to make do with the light you have and then correct what you can afterwards in PS. If I can't balance the lighting from the most evenly lit side (ie., not too harsh, not too dark) with the side that could use a little help, I don't bother submitting it. But for the record, I'm not going to make a shot look "edited" because I've run the levels up so high as to bring out the noise in the digital shot or film grain just because it wasn't shot under cloudless skies in perfect light.
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