Thread: what is art?
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Old 05-05-2018, 07:41 PM   #5
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Join Date: Apr 2014
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Originally Posted by kjd View Post
Thanks, Bob, I was there with my dad and it was fun to hang out with him. We don't do that nearly enough and I don't think we've ever hung out watching trains before.

Thank you Bob and Shortline for the discussion and thoughts. I intentionally cropped it very tight. I was trying to emphasize the the geometric simplicity and line detail of the locomotives compared to the gentle curve because what red blooded male doesn't like big machines and gentle curves. Originally, it was wider but I like it better more closely cropped.

It is still very unclear to me what constitutes a good photo here. Sunny, front 3/4 views and wrecks are golden but anything else seems to be at the whim of the screener. I think that has driven more than one fine photographer away. I made my photo how I wanted it and if they don't want it in their sandbox I'll still enjoy it elsewhere. I made it for myself after all.

When my high school daughter was a sleepless babe, I would stay up late holding her and looking through the database, starting with photo #1. I still occasionally sit down and scroll through a few pages of photos so I have at least glanced at every photo in the database from the beginning until about mid-Feb this year. After awhile I started to notice trends, technically perfect photos usually are lower in views, Indecline, for example. He posts beautiful stuff mostly from the Columbia River Gorge and it is usually perfectly composed and perfectly lit and is sitting at 400 views. They are nice but everything can be seen in the thumbnail. Photos with interesting lighting, atmosphere or perspective other than 5.5 feet off the ground landscape format have higher views.

When I think of the most memorable photos I've seen here, ones that stuck with me, two are by the same photographer that has, unfortunately, since deleted his photos from the database. I am looking forward to his book though. One photo was a GP18 cresting Lookout Pass in Idaho in 1979. It is going from 4% up to 4% down and is just over the hump. It was a cloudy day so the lighting is a bit soft but the portrait format taken from in the gauge of the siding shows the exhaust standing straight up. The ridge in the background is mostly shadow which emphasizes the BN green locomotive.

The other was a 1980s Amtrak train in the mountains in southern Oregon in the summer when there is smokey haze in the air. Again the shot is back-lit portrait format and the sun in the smoke and glinting off the tops of the cars makes the shot. There was a large rocky outcrop in the center of the photo and the train was snaking around it. The back lit smoke in the trees gave an ethereal mood to the shot. His vantage point was relatively high above the train.

I'm glad those got in and am sad the photographer deleted them. I wonder sometimes what else we are missing.

I think I know exactly who you are referring to. Great scenes, but sometimes inferior image quality. A couple even had visible dust spots. RP management conceded giving him some leeway on standards, which annoys the hell out of me no matter how good the scene is. Images that can be made better should be sent back for more work.
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