Old 07-31-2007, 02:00 PM   #1
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Default Opinion on foreground clutter???

I see the technicality of the rejection on this one, but I personally do not feel that the foreground clutter takes away from the shot as it would in a close up. I chose the natural little bit of brush vs. the truck.

Opinions please???
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Old 07-31-2007, 02:55 PM   #2
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That's a tough one. My best advice would be to go back and hope a car or truck isn't at the crossing. As it is now, a good portion of the trucks of the lead loco are obscured. If it was only the trailing units, I'd see this one getting in. And even if you were weed wack the offending brush, you'd still have that telephone pole on thelead unit.

Beat bet. Try again and hope for no car traffic.


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Old 07-31-2007, 03:44 PM   #3
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Unfortunately, 'Foreground Clutter', like backlighting and beauty, is in the eye of the beholder, or at least the screener! I've had slides which always get an 'aaahhh' or an 'ooohh' at a slide show rejected for foreground clutter where I think the object - whatever it is - adds to the composition and is an essesntial part of it. Also there are pictures on RP where I personally would definitely have rejected them for 'foreground clutter'. Just depends on the taste of the screener.

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Old 07-31-2007, 05:19 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EMTRailfan
I see the technicality of the rejection on this one, but I personally do not feel that the foreground clutter takes away from the shot as it would in a close up. I chose the natural little bit of brush vs. the truck.

Opinions please???
If the bushes and pole weren't there (the vehicle doesn't bother me much) and you could cleanly see the entire leading loco, this shot would be in. I don't think there's much you can do about fixing this particular shot.
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Old 07-31-2007, 05:29 PM   #5
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I think the next time you're there, if you let the train move further to the right (and pray there isn't a white truck parked there), you'll have a much, much better and unobstructed shot. This shot is good, but 10 to 20 feet of train movement will make it an excellent shot...
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Old 07-31-2007, 05:40 PM   #6
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I grabbed a shot from that same location in the AM when the train was bringing in the morning delivery, only the sun is clearly not in my favor. Pretty much the same shot, only with an old steam piston and flywheel and the engines are at the desired location before the brush and pole, and guess what is obstructing...a tanker truck that makes deliveries to the same refineries. I wonder if the road's name being Hooker Rd. has anything to do with the traffic volume? It's just a country back road that doesn't even have lines painted on it.
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Old 07-31-2007, 05:55 PM   #7
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Sounds like you need to make a sign that says 'Stop and Wait Here for Trains to Pass' and place it just outside of your shot. That'll keep 'em out of the way!
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Old 07-31-2007, 06:07 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ween
Sounds like you need to make a sign that says 'Stop and Wait Here for Trains to Pass' and place it just outside of your shot. That'll keep 'em out of the way!
It's called the "Stand-Plead-and-Run" (SPAR for short). You stand in the middle of the road and stop the first car to arrive AFTER the 'tingers' go off. You plead with the driver not to roll up any further (difficult when window is rolled up). You run to the spot you are taking the photo from, hopefully before the train is through the frame!

Amazingly, I have yet to notice or hear from any annoyed drivers after stopping them well away from the crossing.

SPAR results (shameless plug):
Image © Andrew Blaszczyk (2)
PhotoID: 185382
Photograph © Andrew Blaszczyk (2)

Image © Andrew Blaszczyk (2)
PhotoID: 179648
Photograph © Andrew Blaszczyk (2)

Image © Andrew Blaszczyk (2)
PhotoID: 163079
Photograph © Andrew Blaszczyk (2)


I have yet to stop a car and run to a spot not in the road, but wait until December for that one!
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Old 07-31-2007, 06:19 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Blaszczyk (2)
It's called the "Stand-Plead-and-Run" (SPAR for short).
Cool! Once I actually had a driver (mailman, actually) notice what I wanted to do and stopped of his own accord!

The shot was not a success.
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Old 07-31-2007, 06:24 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JRMDC
Cool! Once I actually had a driver (mailman, actually) notice what I wanted to do and stopped of his own accord!

The shot was not a success.
Hah, I hope it catches on, I made up the name.

Some people realize what you are trying to do and try their best to stay out of the way. I've found holding a hand up on the side of the road is 95% a failure.
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Old 07-31-2007, 07:07 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JRMDC
Cool! Once I actually had a driver (mailman, actually) notice what I wanted to do and stopped of his own accord!

The shot was not a success.
I had two sheriff deputies stop behind me on a dirt road so the dust wouldn't ruin my shot. And, no, they didn't question me about what I was doing but were legitimately intrigued. They each got my railfan business card afterwards!
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Old 07-31-2007, 07:11 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ween
I had two sheriff deputies stop behind me on a dirt road so the dust wouldn't ruin my shot. . .
That's funny an unmarked Woodbridge Township SUV stopped behind me once, allowed me to take the shot, and then questioned me and decided to tell me that photographing NJT trains was illegal. Go figure! LOL
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Old 07-31-2007, 08:12 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Blaszczyk (2)
It's called the "Stand-Plead-and-Run" (SPAR for short). You stand in the middle of the road and stop the first car to arrive AFTER the 'tingers' go off. You plead with the driver not to roll up any further (difficult when window is rolled up). You run to the spot you are taking the photo from, hopefully before the train is through the frame!

Amazingly, I have yet to notice or hear from any annoyed drivers after stopping them well away from the crossing.

SPAR results (shameless plug):
Well, here's mine. I know it's not in FRONT of the train, but it still involves a car getting in the picture...

Five minutes before the train arrived, a car pulled up and parked right in front of the big tree. The driver got out and walked down to the river's edge to do some fishing. I 2-wayed my friend who was standing on the other side of the box by the crossing signal, and said, "You've GOT to be f-in' kidding me!!" I was standing up on a huge pile of railroad ties, so my buddy, who was closer, yelled over to the guy to move his car so it wouldn't be in my picture. Luckily he was cool about it because they've since used up that pile of ties and I'll never get this shot angle again (I was at least 15 feet high).

Image © Jim Thias
PhotoID: 195557
Photograph © Jim Thias

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Old 07-31-2007, 09:32 PM   #14
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Jim,


Seems like a lot of work for a grade crossing wedgie-type shot that some find so reprehensible and unworthy.

Meanwhile, I like this photograph a lot, and without your narrative we would never have known that you put considerable effort into getting it!

This example makes one wonder how many other perceived "run of the mill wedgies" in the database are the result of the photographer's planning and ability to think quickly and overcome obstacles on a level at or exceeding the effort you put forth here.

Nice job! Thanks for including it in your post.

And BTW, it takes a lot of guts these days to attempt to stop traffic in order to photograph a train. God knows what kind of psycho might be driving that car you are about to stop?
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Old 07-31-2007, 10:25 PM   #15
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This thread reminds me of how often I've been plain lucky when taking shots with either a grade crossing or a road in front of the train. Consider this one. A four lane road and, somehow, no cars in the wrong place. --

Image ©
PhotoID:
Photograph ©


And here, even though it's a little road between major roads, I was doing the OTS (over the shoulder) thinking I would have to then do the "stare."

[photogid=160777]

This is a shot where I did what Andrew seems to do. I stood in the middle of the road to make sure the line of cars stopped short of the track. "The "stare" wasn't working.

Image ©
PhotoID:
Photograph ©


Of course, sometimes a car or truck gets in the picture..... and it works really, really well!!!!

Image ©
PhotoID:
Photograph ©


Again, same spot as the first shot, and no cars in the way of a very special train.

Image ©
PhotoID:
Photograph ©


I like shots taken at grade crossings that actually includes the road. And looking back over my shots, I've had incredible luck. I only remember having a shot mucked up a few times.


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Old 08-16-2007, 07:31 PM   #16
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Default New shot 8/16/07. Don't like starting new threads for a like topic of my own.

This one was rejected for foreground clutter. I see the technicality, but the pavilion is the CVSR's boarding platform, therefore an actual RR related obstruction. I kind of disagree (obviuosly) since the complete nose and front of the cab are visible. Its not like it is a non-RR related object like brush or vehicles like in a few of my previous inquiries. Plus I liked the comp. with the sign on the old station/frieght house and think it makes up for the side of the engine obstruction.

Opinions plz???
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Old 08-16-2007, 08:52 PM   #17
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My opinion is that it was rejected because the roof comes down the side of the locomotive and blocks the numbering and the lettering on the side. This might have been a case of moving to your left for the shot, which might not have worked because of the sign.
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Old 08-16-2007, 09:02 PM   #18
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There's just too much of the locomotive obstructed for this one to work. Pray -- or just ask -- that they slide the train up just a tad (half car length) next time.


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Old 08-17-2007, 03:56 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Railfan Ohio
My opinion is that it was rejected because the roof comes down the side of the locomotive and blocks the numbering and the lettering on the side. This might have been a case of moving to your left for the shot, which might not have worked because of the sign.
The sign is just way too big and is taking up a lot of space in the frame and is blocking the entire engine except for the nose/front.
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Old 08-17-2007, 01:48 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike B.
The sign is just way too big and is taking up a lot of space in the frame and is blocking the entire engine except for the nose/front.
You're right, the sign is big, but the sign itself does not block the engine. It is the roof of the shelter the sign is on that blocks the engine.
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Old 08-17-2007, 02:46 PM   #21
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Thanks, guys. Scrapped it all together. Ohio is right. The obstruction is actually a pavilion that is used for the boarding platform. I liked the comp. of the shot, and was hoping that...that would over take the obstruction since the front of the cab and forward are in view. I don't know if the crew would move ahead another 1/2 car like Joe suggested would be possible. I was up tight against the old station/freight house as it was. I probably won't be back for a while. Maybe someone else can have better luck with an attempt at this one.
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