Old 08-19-2009, 09:11 PM   #1
Warton GR4
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Smile New to RP.net - Rejection Help Required

Firstly, hello! A little about myself, I live in the North West of England, near Garstang between Preston and Lancaster for those who may know the area. I'm a photographer in the aviation industry but I've always loved trains, especially steam. You can see some of my aviation photos here:
My Airliners.net Photos
As you can see I'm used the one of the aviation versions of this type of website so I thought I'd try some of my railway photos on here, with little success so far it has to be said! To begin with I uploaded two photos and one got rejected for being too similar to the first, which is fair enough. For those who are interested I'll post a link below:
Accepted Photo
Rejected Alternative
Unfortunately it's been downhill since then so I'd like a few opinions if I may. Firstly regarding this photo. To my mind it was ok but it got knocked back for Soft, I didn't overly agree but stuck an extra sharpen on and it got knocked straight back as still being soft. I've looked at the original un-resized photo and it's a perfectly in focus picture with no camera shake. To my eye the second photo looks un-naturally sharp and to add any more sharpening would definitely be over sharpened. But I'm open to suggestions:
1st Attempt
2nd Attempt
Anyway I gave up with that shot and thought I'd try a couple of colour shots. Now I like, where possible, to get a bit of movement in my photos, like with my aircraft photos. Get a bit of movement in the background and in the wheels to show a bit of power and speed. However this resulted in two more rejections. The first was for blurry. Now top my eye the engine Princess Elizabeth, is sharp with a nice amount of movement in the wheels and background (though if anything I'd like to see more!). Is this sort of thing just not accepted on here or is it bad execution on my part?
Princess Elizabeth
The second rejection of this batch stumped me even more. This one of Scots Guardsman was done for Bad Angle, and reading the reasoning it's because the train is going away from the viewer. I'm not seeing the problem with that, to my eye it still works as an image:
Scots Guardsman

Clearly I have a lot to learn about the differences between aviation and Railway photography, but I'm more than willing to learn. I like to experiment with my photography, trying to find that new angle or new technique to capture a classic subject like a train in a whole new way. Hopefully I can do it in a way that will also get accepted on here so I can share it with you all.

Hopefully I'm not a lost cause who should go back to just shooting aviation Any help, comments, and criticisms, are most welcome.

I look forward to getting to know you all,
Mark Wright

Last edited by Warton GR4; 08-20-2009 at 08:45 AM. Reason: I've hopefully fixed the links
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Old 08-20-2009, 01:53 AM   #2
JRMDC
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First of all, Mark, welcome! Second, you have some really cool stuff on airliners.net, the Red Arrows shot is really nice (of course, look at those views!) and the F15-E with the stuff off the wingtips is interesting.

Second, your links are all mucked up and I had to copy them individually to blank tabs. That might be inhibiting people from looking and commenting. I'm not going to take the time to figure that out right now, but you may want to try again.

Third, the sharpening, I agree, if anything, the second is oversharpened. It may have been a screener mistake. You may simply want to appeal, a second screener will take a look. Tell them you looked closely and didn't see undersharpening.

Fourth, the blurry shots. These are pans. There is, as you say, a "bit of movement." Noe enough for RP tastes, at least to my eye, so next time you need a longer exposure so you can pan to a greater degree. Beyond that, both shots are cramped - they need more space around the train, especially in front of the nose but in general. The second of the pair is what is referred to here as a "going-away" shot - those are generally frowned upon, especially the more ordinary they are.

EDIT: actually, this is an important difference between RP and your avaition stuff - many of your plane shots are cramped, as judged by my view of RP preferences - you simply don't crop around a train as tight here, the way you do in your basic plane shots. By "basic" I mean a simple capture of a plane with little in terms of special light or in terms of scenery - analogous to what we call here a "roster shot" - a plain shot of just an engine. I have noticed that the avaition stuff tends to do a lot of that - much less so here.

Fifth, keep in mind that there is railroad photography, a subjective exercise, and there is photography for RP, a bit less subjective in screening but with a narrower range of acceptable shots. I won't get into the details now, no time, but go through the site and you can get a sense of what works well here and what does not. I will say this, compared to aviation photography, from what I have seen of it (not that much), there is a much wider variety of scenes and compositions here.
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My commentaries on rail pictures are in my blog.

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Last edited by JRMDC; 08-20-2009 at 01:56 AM.
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Old 08-20-2009, 09:07 AM   #3
Warton GR4
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Hi,
Thanks for the advice. I think I've fixed the links now. You make a very good point about the cropping. Airliners.net prefers a close crop and I used to have many rejected for not doing so. I've never liked this and I'm glad the screeners here seem to like a wider shot and I'll crop this way in the future.
I think I will appeal the station shot, if nothing else it'll force me to find out how to do it.
More motion blur on the panning shot, that's what I like to hear. Looking at that shot again it could do with a little more highlight recovery, possibly a touch more sharpening, I still think Blury is a little harsh though.
I guess going away shots are very subjective, can't see a problem with them myself.
Thanks again, my next attempt is queued as we speak.
Cheers,
Mark
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Old 08-20-2009, 12:01 PM   #4
Warton GR4
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Hi,
It's still not going well. I thought this one would be a certainty to get on. It was taken with a very expensive lens, on a very good camera on a rock solid tripod and I've used all the latest techniques to build up the levels of detail in the photo. It prints beautifully, but got done on here for soft:
Sherwood Forester in Preston Station
I've checked the small version I uploaded to here on two different monitors and apart from the areas with steam drifting across (unavoidable when doing a long exposure of a steam engine), it looks perfectly in focus. I could add some sharpening but it really shouldn't need it. Is it worth an appeal of should I just add some sharpening, not that that worked last time.
Cheers,
Mark
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