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Old 02-26-2009, 02:14 AM   #14
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Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Issaquah, WA
Posts: 590

Originally Posted by kml928 View Post

Of course its backlit, its shot into the sunset, and you can still even see a decent amount of the engine from the lights behind me, how can this be rejected when they accept tons of other sunset shots that are backlit on purpose?!?
Sure, the general concept is welcomed, even if sometimes the execution -- where's the train? coughcough -- is up for discussion. In your case, with what you appear to have been going for, there is no interesting subject that's being framed against the brightly-lit sky.

Let's take a look at some of the photos you linked to that in any way resemble your composition; I'm going to ignore the glint and haze shots, they're completely different.

Here, the signal is prominently featured against the sky, and the photog used the rails in front of the train to repeat the headlight elements:
Image © Geoff Brozny
PhotoID: 271831
Photograph © Geoff Brozny

As J pointed out, these next two shots are pure silhouettes; the photogs exposed solely for the sky and let the rest of the image fade (mostly) to black:
Image © John Leopard
PhotoID: 271475
Photograph © John Leopard

Image © John Higginson
PhotoID: 271145
Photograph © John Higginson

Now, take a critical look at your image: It isn't a silhouette because foreground detail is still plainly visible. The arch bridge blocks half of the engine's nose from being silhouetted against the sky, and the angle at which you composed the photo doesn't permit the bridge to stand out against the sky. Is there a place you could have stood so the sunlit clouds were visible through the open arches? That would add some drama to the shot! As an example, which of these two photos of CSX's Sciotoville Bridge do you find more appealing?

If you want to boil things down to the absolute basics: The only thing we photographers do is capture light on film (whether analog or digital makes no difference), so manipulate what's available in nature or from man-made objects to the greatest extent possible to produce a dramatic and dynamic image.
Dave Honan
Issaquah, WA
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