Old 03-24-2009, 03:37 AM   #26
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Agreed, though I think we may have very different standards for "interesting." Also, do you really think that cloudy shots of the new GEVOs is that interesting? Maybe if they didn't look like every other GEVO it would be, but without being told they're the ones with the exotic wheel arrangement, it leaves me cold, cloud or shine.
Re standards, certainly true! Re cloudy GEVOs, certainly not, and I am confused as I don't recall anyone mentioning them much less calling them interesting, so why do you bring them up? We certainly agree on those.

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I really think it was the foreground clutter that killed that shot (that and the tricky horizon which I tried four different rotations on before finally finding one I felt confident enough into submit).
Agreed, I was not discussing the screener comments but rather the statement that the available light was well captured, which I presume it was.

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As for the sky, I agree more variation between light and dark could have helped it, and was I working on that photo for my flickr I would have upped the contrast, but Railpictures tends to like low contrast, no matter the lighting situation. What I found interesting about that light was that it was sort of storm lighting without the sunlight, which is not so common, at least where I'm from in the mid-west (maybe that isn't as rare a lighting situation as it seems to my flatlander eyes).
OK, but your intent did not come across to my eyes. And I can't say one way or the other where the connection failed to be made. But to me it looks like a typical overcast day shot, maybe with some extra brightness.
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Old 03-24-2009, 03:39 AM   #27
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That just encourages formula photography which is hardly conducive to good photography. It is just a matter of personal preference to say that sunny is better than cloudy/overcast.
There are many merits to this argument. (Do you really want to open this can of worms?) However, in side-by-side comparisons, it's obvious that some shots simply don't benefit from poor lighting. The Mitch Goldman photo here is one of those shots.

Now, a few words regarding "formula photography." I felt, early on, that railpictures did encourage formula photography, and it limited creativity. It's entirely true that railpictures encourages a certain formula ... but that formula is "sharp, well exposed, well composed images of interesting railroad-related subjects." At the heart of the matter, that's all it comes down to. You can generally find many images on this site that willfully and skillfully break the rejection categories. There's still a formula at work here, but it is geared more towards basic competency. If you want to submit a backlit photo, you might just end up with a Screener's Choice. But that assumes a high degree of competence, and knowing the rules well enough to know when to break them.

The difference between now and then is that the screeners seem to have expanded the envelope of what is acceptable. I heartily applaud this. At 250,000 photos and counting, we all know what a train looks like. Now is the time to start forging towards something more than just a basic "Here's a train ... click" type of photograph.

"Consistency" is a legitimate concern here. I've seen a number of images dinged for "small stuff," and that's the base complaint of a number of recent threads. "Why didn't mine get in? Here's his ... here's mine. Why him? Why not me? When do I get mine?!?" Any system that uses different individuals is going to produce different results. It's a bit like playing Plinko. To be entirely honest, some of these rejected photos make me cringe. I look at them and force myself to admit that the shots would make the cut if they were reedited and fixed, but are they really worth fixing? Are they really special enough to stand tall amongst 250 others? I have to wonder if the screeners might not wish for a "you can do better" rejection.
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Old 03-24-2009, 03:40 AM   #28
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That just encourages formula photography which is hardly conducive to good photography. It is just a matter of personal preference to say that sunny is better than cloudy/overcast.
Remember, no one is being forced to submit pictures to RP. It's YOUR choice. Why people continue to take RP to task for "not accepting" cloudy day shots is beyond me. POST THEM ELSEWHERE if they aren't accepted here. How difficult is that to understand?

It's their site, their rules, their preferences. If you don't agree with their rules, then feel free to post your images elsewhere in the vast wasteland of the world wide web.
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Old 03-24-2009, 03:40 AM   #29
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why you be hatin on my steeze homie?
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Old 03-24-2009, 03:43 AM   #30
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For once I agree with you, J. It seems like most people don't read the whole rejection reason.
And some people don't read the whole thread. As I have stated, it's because I read the whole rejection reason that I was INITIALLY frustrated. There are many cloudy and even totally overcast photos in the database. Had the rejection reason simply said "Poor lighting" or "Poor lighting - loss of detail in shaded areas" I, like many others would not be misreading the rejection reasons.


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It got rejected because it is a poorly lit typical scene. This means that someone can go out on a sunny day and replicate the shot.
But what would be the point - a dull lifeless uninteresting shot. The contrast of the clouds and the blue tone peircing through make the photo more interesting then a similar shot with an all blue sky.

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In my opinion, the shot would be even better if the train was running one track over, so the platform doesn't block any part of the train.
It would be better with a GG1 too.

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And Mitch, I thought you were better than to make comparisons to other shots. That's for newbies to do.
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The comparison, as also stated, was simply that cloudy day shots which rejection reason stated ARE in fact accepted. Even totally overcast photos. I stated that twice. The thread had nothing to do with quality or composition, simply the misleading nature of the rejection reason as it currently reads, or implies.

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Old 03-24-2009, 03:46 AM   #31
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Agreed, though I think we may have very different standards for "interesting." Also, do you really think that cloudy shots of the new GEVOs is that interesting?
Hey, there's nothing wrong with a cloudy day gevo shot...

Image © Jim Thias
PhotoID: 276603
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Unless, of course, the sky is way blown out...

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Old 03-24-2009, 03:47 AM   #32
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why you be hatin on my steeze homie?
If you only knew how loud I lauged when I read your Florida bridge comment.
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Old 03-24-2009, 03:49 AM   #33
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One of my all time favorite rail pics (page 98 TRAINS 100 Greatest) would be rejected for sure on RP.
I've found myself wondering just how many of those shots would get rejected from RP if it weren't for the leniency given here to "vintage" shots. There are an awful lot of "classic railroad pictures" that are, for instance, backlit or feature insufficient nose light on the subject . . .

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Old 03-24-2009, 03:52 AM   #34
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The difference between now and then is that the screeners seem to have expanded the envelope of what is acceptable. I heartily applaud this. At 250,000 photos and counting, we all know what a train looks like. Now is the time to start forging towards something more than just a basic "Here's a train ... click" type of photograph.

".
I agree with most of what you say but not the bit that I've quoted above. Most photos, are dead boring wedgies, albeit it, well lit, well exposed dead boring wedgies. I think it was Ansel Adams that said "There is nothing more distressing than a sharp photo of a fuzzy concept" or words to that effect. If RP now want to start pushing the envelope a bit I would applaud that but I'm not seeing it, if its not wedgies it is the ubiquitous barn or some other such prop. I visit RP because it is one place that does have some killer, drop dead, awesome photos but it seems that you have to trawl through a lot of mediocrity to get there. I think that people who gripe about rejections are basically saying, be consistent, don't keep moving the goalposts.
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Old 03-24-2009, 03:56 AM   #35
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Re standards, certainly true! Re cloudy GEVOs, certainly not, and I am confused as I don't recall anyone mentioning them much less calling them interesting, so why do you bring them up? We certainly agree on those.
I was referring to this shot

Image © Mitch Wahlsten
PhotoID: 276995
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That Mgoldman put in his original post. I remember seeing that when it was just uploaded and scratching my head at it.

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OK, but your intent did not come across to my eyes. And I can't say one way or the other where the connection failed to be made. But to me it looks like a typical overcast day shot, maybe with some extra brightness.
Looking at the shot again, it may be a difference between the brightness in one of our monitors. To me, the sky definitely shows a wall of textured clouds, similar to a storm lighting situation, even though the foreground is lit with cloudy light (but as you say a bit on the bright side, which is because the sun was almost breaking through). But probably in trying to lower the contrast to RP standards I lost the detail that would have made it pop. This is a situation where maybe some burning might have done some good, though the more I look at it, the more I feel I over exposed.
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Old 03-24-2009, 03:58 AM   #36
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I've found myself wondering just how many of those shots would get rejected from RP if it weren't for the leniency given here to "vintage" shots. There are an awful lot of "classic railroad pictures" that are, for instance, backlit or feature insufficient nose light on the subject . . .

Jon
Um, hello. Did you read what I wrote several posts up?

As of today, 11 of the last 30 Screener's Choice photos were backlit or lacking full light on the front of the subject. That's more than one third. Seems obvious to me that the screeners love backit photos, when tastefully done.
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Old 03-24-2009, 04:00 AM   #37
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Hey, there's nothing wrong with a cloudy day gevo shot...

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Unless, of course, the sky is way blown out...

Image © John Roberts
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Photograph © John Roberts


Come on, Jim, you know that first runs/shots of new power are pretty easy to get on here, no matter the conditions. One only needs to spend five minutes on the Western Railroads board on Trainorders to find a handful of railfans pitchin' tents over these units.

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Old 03-24-2009, 04:01 AM   #38
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I agree with most of what you say but not the bit that I've quoted above. Most photos, are dead boring wedgies, albeit it, well lit, well exposed dead boring wedgies. I think it was Ansel Adams that said "There is nothing more distressing than a sharp photo of a fuzzy concept" or words to that effect. If RP now want to start pushing the envelope a bit I would applaud that but I'm not seeing it, if its not wedgies it is the ubiquitous barn or some other such prop. I visit RP because it is one place that does have some killer, drop dead, awesome photos but it seems that you have to trawl through a lot of mediocrity to get there. I think that people who gripe about rejections are basically saying, be consistent, don't keep moving the goalposts.
Nothing you say contradicts John's statement, with which i agree, that RP has expanded the envelope. They have not shifted it, they have kept the preponderance of basic sunny plain wedgies, but they have expanded the envelope. Yes, absolutely you have to trawl. But there is a larger variety of the good stuff.
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Old 03-24-2009, 04:48 AM   #39
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Hey, there's nothing wrong with a cloudy day gevo shot...

Image © Jim Thias
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Photograph © Jim Thias
Nothing wrong with a good cloudy GEVO... unless it's underexposed and at a common angle (which the above isn't).

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Unless, of course, the sky is way blown out...

Image © John Roberts
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Photograph © John Roberts


Well geez, not to rag on the guy who posted that, but seeing that seriously burns me up when my technically well executed sunny shots get rejected because the sun wasn't far enough in front of the engine.

It's a cool scene and compositionally it's good, but the sky is blown, and the color balance and saturation are hideous. The contrast between the washed out sky and the hyper-saturated engines hurts to look at and it seems like there had to be some serious photoshop tomfoolery to get the engines that saturated vs. the rest of the scene.

I am honestly stunned that got accepted.
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Old 03-24-2009, 05:08 AM   #40
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it seems like there had to be some serious photoshop tomfoolery to get the engines that saturated vs. the rest of the scene.
I don't think there's any PS tomfoolery going on there...those are brand-spanking-new engines. Have you seen new BNSF Swoosh paint in person? It's electric. Sorry to use this photo again, but look at the difference between old and new BNSF paint:
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After you shoot new Swoosh, you almost need to de-saturate it's that bright...
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Old 03-24-2009, 06:09 AM   #41
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I don't think there's any PS tomfoolery going on there...those are brand-spanking-new engines. Have you seen new BNSF Swoosh paint in person? It's electric. Sorry to use this photo again, but look at the difference between old and new BNSF paint:
Image © Chris Paulhamus
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Photograph © Chris Paulhamus


After you shoot new Swoosh, you almost need to de-saturate it's that bright...
The devil's in the details. Look at the primary colors in that cloudy shot. None pop the way the orange on the engines does. The leaves on that little tree almost do, but that's would one would expect from cranking up the red and yellow.

On the other hand, the shot you posted does have an eye-popping orange engine. It also has an eye-popping blue sky. That's because the saturation is the same throughout the image, which it just isn't in the cloudy shot.
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Old 03-24-2009, 06:20 AM   #42
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Look at the primary colors in that cloudy shot. None pop the way the orange on the engines does.
Well nothing else in the shot is new either. Like I said, new BNSF Swoosh is overpowering...
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Old 03-24-2009, 11:18 AM   #43
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I've stopped submitting since I realised that by and large RP is a repository for "nice" pictures as distinct from "good" pictures. The open cab door policy is another one, in the real world cab doors get left open, an open cab doesn't ruin a photo
Isn't that the point, And unless it's a one time run or something I don't shoot open doors on full width nose's, But still have fun watch them go by. If all you want is, this is what I saw this today thats what Train Orders.com is for. Not picking a flame war but you seem looking for one or you forgotten what RPNet is for your best you can do. I think we all forget that at times.
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Old 03-25-2009, 05:11 AM   #44
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Isn't that the point, And unless it's a one time run or something I don't shoot open doors on full width nose's, But still have fun watch them go by. If all you want is, this is what I saw this today thats what Train Orders.com is for. Not picking a flame war but you seem looking for one or you forgotten what RPNet is for your best you can do. I think we all forget that at times.
But I don't see how something I have no control over, such as an open cab door, automatically means that the photo is disqualified even if as a photographer it was my best work.
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Old 03-25-2009, 05:19 AM   #45
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But I don't see how something I have no control over, such as an open cab door, automatically means that the photo is disqualified even if as a photographer it was my best work.
Because, for better or for worse, that's what the administrators of this site have decided they want. As has been said time and again in various posts in this forum, it's their site and they can make whatever rules they please . . .

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Old 03-25-2009, 05:19 AM   #46
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But I don't see how something I have no control over, such as an open cab door, automatically means that the photo is disqualified even if as a photographer it was my best work.
There's nothing too hard to understand...it's their site, their rules. If they don't want open door shots, so be it.
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Old 03-25-2009, 05:23 AM   #47
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Um, hello. Did you read what I wrote several posts up?

As of today, 11 of the last 30 Screener's Choice photos were backlit or lacking full light on the front of the subject. That's more than one third. Seems obvious to me that the screeners love backit photos, when tastefully done.
Perhaps I should have expanded a bit more on my thoughts. It's not just backlit, its cropping, composition/balance, cloudy day/common angle . . . Again, I recognize thet the admins have every right to set what standards they see fit, and we have to work within those standards. I'm just making an observation about whether those standards match exactly with, say, TRAINS magazine's concepts of great photos. I'm not arguing whether they should or shouldn't . . . .

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Old 03-25-2009, 05:53 AM   #48
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There's nothing too hard to understand...it's their site, their rules. If they don't want open door shots, so be it.
I fully understand and accept the the screeners can set whatever guidelines they please, after all, it's their site. That doesn't mean we can't have a discussion about it.

I still stand by my assertion that some really average photos get in and yet some great photos, IMHO, don't.
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Old 03-25-2009, 05:58 AM   #49
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I fully understand and accept the the screeners can set whatever guidelines they please, after all, it's their site. That doesn't mean we can't have a discussion about it.
You fully understand and get it? I didn't fully understand and get your point when you wrote:
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But I don't see how something I have no control over, such as an open cab door, automatically means that the photo is disqualified
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I still stand by my assertion that some really average photos get in and yet some great photos, IMHO, don't.
Such is life. And that assertion is nothing new, especially with photography being so subjective in nature...
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Old 03-25-2009, 02:11 PM   #50
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Such is life. And that assertion is nothing new, especially with photography being so subjective in nature...
Some they like and some don't, I like this shot a lot but they didn't, That makes it a bad shot hell no just one they don't want, No biggie. I normally don't shoot streak shots or care for them much myself.
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