Old 02-21-2008, 12:06 PM   #1
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Default A Little Advice Please

First off I'm going to preface this by saying that my new found hobby of railroad photography is all of a month and a half old so feel free to let the suggestions fly, I won't lose any sleep over it. That being said, I was hoping you all could give me some suggestions on how this photo could be improved.


Most of the photos I submit get rejected, and I stand back and look at them for a minute and say "yeah, they're right." But with this one I feel like I am at least on the right track. In your expert opinion (my previous photography experience consists of taking family vacation photos so every one here is an expert as far as I'm concerned), what are the specifics that would cause this photo to be rejected. I understand that the NS Dash-9's are a dime a dozen and photos of them are already going to be held to a higher standard so I already have that going against me. But c'mon, this one has a brand new decal on the nose . In all seriousness, would the rejection of this photo be caused by something as simple as the shadows on the grass and ballast or do you think it has a more fatal flaw that messing around on Photoshop won't fix. Is this photo worth working on and resubmitting or should I just throw it in the personal collection and try again? What would most likely have to change about this photo for it to be accepted. Basically, I'm just trying learn something that I can apply the next time I go shooting. One thing I learned in five years of college, is that it's not what you know, it's what your audience thinks you know.

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Old 02-21-2008, 12:20 PM   #2
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That backlit rejection is borderline...but I think the branches on the left are a bit obtrusive. I would go back and try that spot again with just a bit better lighting, and stand a bit more to the right so that the branches don't cover up any parts of the train.

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Old 02-21-2008, 12:24 PM   #3
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Hey, Ryan;

You're having fun with your photography, it seems, and that's the most important thing. Also, I don't know how other folks thing, but there is a difference for me when I see a spartan cab Dash 9 coming at me, like in your shot, and a wide nose Dash 9 coming at me. The spartan cabs are really cool.

You got dinged for poor lightning and I don't see a way around this for this web site. However, the most distracting thing in the shot to me are those twigs off to the side. In some shots, this could be an added element that works. I think the train would have to be further back in the distance though and then you'd probably want to play with the focus, bring the twigs in focus and put the train out of focus.

But as it is now, I don't think it works. I have a feeling I don't need to say this to you, but I will anyway. Don't give up. Don't get mad. Just keep practicing and having fun.

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Old 02-21-2008, 02:54 PM   #4
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Welcome to the hobby!

Regarding this shot, RP just doesn't like dark noses, and there is no light on the parts of the engine that face completely forward, like the area around the front windows (on an engine, is it called a windshield?). Just the way it is; this is only one site and it has its preferences.

In general, it it nice. I also find the branch in the upper left intrusive. In particular, there is no reason for it to touch the train. Other than that it is a reasonable composition; shoot more of those and they will start to get in.

I do wonder why, as sunny as it is, the sky is not blue. Was it mostly cloudy?
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Old 02-21-2008, 04:00 PM   #5
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Its a keeper if it wasn't for the trees branches in the upper left. not bad for a new-be. I can see you will get the hang of it. Look at your shadow, if its not pointing some what towards the train move till it is
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Old 02-21-2008, 07:07 PM   #6
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Your reject's a million times better than what most of the other new folks complain about - you're definitely on your way to getting the hang of it.

The most difficult thing for me to wrap my head around when I started was light. That's what your camera captures, so the better the light, the better your photo. In this case, unfortunately, I think the light kind of sucks. At first glance it looks like that area could be a great place to shoot at that time of day if the train's going the other way.
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