Old 02-14-2007, 03:20 PM   #1
Mike Mautner
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Default Bad Cropping! Help Me!

I submitted 8 images today, 4 accepted, 4 rejected all for bad-cropping. I would really like to get these accepted ,as it does not snow very often in St. Louis.Any help with these three to make them more acceptable.
Thanks! Mike Mautner
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File Type: jpg 5550-1.jpg (288.8 KB, 212 views)
File Type: jpg MAM_0013-18.jpg (358.9 KB, 196 views)
File Type: jpg MAM_0019-11.jpg (383.8 KB, 188 views)
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Old 02-14-2007, 04:11 PM   #2
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Hey Mike!

The first one crop vertically, from about the pole on the left and the same on the other side.

The second one needs some of the top and left chopped out of it.

The third, I guess just crop tighter on all sides and you should be fine.

Good luck!
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Old 02-14-2007, 04:14 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Mautner
I submitted 8 images today, 4 accepted, 4 rejected all for bad-cropping. I would really like to get these accepted ,as it does not snow very often in St. Louis.Any help with these three to make them more acceptable.
Thanks! Mike Mautner
1. In most cases it is better to avoid putting the train directly in the center of the photo. You had one, better photo (IMO) of this train accepted already so I would let this one slide. The real issue is with the pole that is stealing the spotlight from the 5550. It is just serving no purpose and is very distracting.
2. Too much sky. Too much on the left side. Branches sticking into the frame.
3. The only thing I see wrong is too much sky.
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Old 02-14-2007, 05:07 PM   #4
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I probably can't add to what's already been said, but I did toy around with your images:

1) Rule of thirds, stop shooting trains in the dead center of the image. They aren't running off the end of the earth if you capture them a little closer to the edge of your frame. With the whiteout, less than 30% of the image is made of train. This is a complete loss due to the restrictions by thorn bush & the pole (which the train should have passed before you took the shot as-is, IMO). I cropped out the 25% dead space to the left of that pole.



2) Light power, two fatheads...big deal. Again, dead center, with no substance to either the left or right of the main subject. Numberboard test makes the quality look a little sub-par / grainy as well, but that could be the snow.



3) Again, blank space on left & right of the subject. Don't think too "wedgie", but fill the void with something relevant. Not dead space like forest, etc.



*NOTE: This isn't a news photo site, so don't think that snow in St. Louis makes a damn bit of difference.

My best suggestions are:

A) You need to take better original photos, "out-of-the-box", or learn to better photoshop those originals to something resembling what RP.net is looking for. That said, there is no cropping whatsoever you can do to any of these images displayed, as they will be too small for RP guidelines.

B) Start fresh from the original image, drop some of the gunk out, and try again. IMO, there is nothing you can do to #1

C) If these are the originals, you need to adapt better to your camera - ie, framing things up & when to pull the trigger. You need to know what you want the shot to look like. If this is it, chances are it's not RP material.

Just my $.02
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Old 02-14-2007, 05:13 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Blaszczyk (2)
You had one, better photo (IMO) of this train accepted already so I would let this one slide.
I agree with this sentence entirely, there is no need to post an entire 10mph chase worth of images of the same movement here. It's redundant, and nothing changes except the scenery (esp. in whiteout conditions). Moreso, you can bag them at every other block / grade crossing, it gets old.

In the past month, I helped Tim Huemmer edit off some 11 (out of 15) photographs taken of the SAME unit, in the SAME location, on the SAME date, uploaded by the SAME individual. He doesn't seem to grasp the concept of ignorance in bandwidth or space usage. The sad part, most of the images had the front coupler (or even pilot)of the unit cut off!! This shows you how much people value (ahem, take advantage of) unmoderated photo sites.

It's not about quantity, it's about QUALITY (reminds of the Myspace whores that always to add "friends", people they don't know or never met). The amount of photos you have, or the amount of hits they generate, mean absolutely nothing if the photo is crap (disclaimer: not a personal attack, just a general statement).

Last edited by Fotaugrafee, Ink.; 02-14-2007 at 05:16 PM.
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Old 02-14-2007, 08:34 PM   #6
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Quote:
I agree with this sentence entirely, there is no need to post an entire 10mph chase worth of images of the same movement here. It's redundant, and nothing changes except the scenery
Kinda true. This was a 25mph chase yesterday:

Wide angle:
Image © Chris Paulhamus
PhotoID: 175353
Photograph © Chris Paulhamus


Telemash*:
Image © Chris Paulhamus
PhotoID: 175354
Photograph © Chris Paulhamus

*I actually wanted nothing in this shot to show how barren it is along this stretch of track (crazy, maybe, but it's the reality in most places up here)

Broadside:
Image © Chris Paulhamus
PhotoID: 175356
Photograph © Chris Paulhamus


Same train, 3 different views...
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Old 02-14-2007, 09:41 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ween
Kinda true. This was a 25mph chase yesterday:

Wide angle:
Image © Chris Paulhamus
PhotoID: 175353
Photograph © Chris Paulhamus


Telemash*:
Image © Chris Paulhamus
PhotoID: 175354
Photograph © Chris Paulhamus

*I actually wanted nothing in this shot to show how barren it is along this stretch of track (crazy, maybe, but it's the reality in most places up here)

Broadside:
Image © Chris Paulhamus
PhotoID: 175356
Photograph © Chris Paulhamus


Same train, 3 different views...
And very well done at that! I've had days where I can chase the same train all day and end up with up to 7 completely different views (on the right line) and then there are days where I end up with 15 shots and 2 are different. It all depends on the creativity juices on that particular day as well as how well you know the line.
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Old 02-14-2007, 10:13 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Blaszczyk (2)
You had one, better photo (IMO) of this train accepted already so I would let this one slide.
Agree there. Sometimes if I have more than one photo of a train and they are all "borderline", I will submit them all. If one gets accepted, that's what I want, and the others will probably get hit for "similar photo", which won't matter since there already is a similar one in. If the others get rejected for something else, so what (once again).

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Old 02-14-2007, 10:37 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by becker
Agree there. Sometimes if I have more than one photo of a train and they are all "borderline", I will submit them all. If one gets accepted, that's what I want, and the others will probably get hit for "similar photo", which won't matter since there already is a similar one in. If the others get rejected for something else, so what (once again).

~Louis Becker
So...why not submit them one at a time instead of all at once? That way you don't waste the screener's time screening them all and if say both or all of the similar shots get accepted, then you have two or more shots of the same train in the database? Kinda goes against:
Quote:
Originally Posted by RP Submission Guidlines
Please avoid similar angles of the same train from the same location. Generally one shot is enough of a train at a particular location.
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Old 02-14-2007, 10:55 PM   #10
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Quote:
So...why not submit them one at a time instead of all at once? That way you don't waste the screener's time screening them all and if say both or all of the similar shots get accepted, then you have two or more shots of the same train in the database? Kinda goes against:
I'm talking about photos from different locations which is clearly stated in the guidelines you mention...

It's not that worth it to submit all at one location at the same angle - they'd be virtually the same. At least at different locations they'd be a bit different in some way or another (exceptions for simple rural crossing wedges).

~Louis
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Old 02-14-2007, 11:07 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by becker
I'm talking about photos from different locations which is clearly stated in the guidelines you mention...

It's not that worth it to submit all at one location at the same angle - they'd be virtually the same. At least at different locations they'd be a bit different in some way or another (exceptions for simple rural crossing wedges).

~Louis
Point remains, if they're similar, why upload them all at once and make the screener decide rather than you chosing what you feel is the best and uploading that one individually?
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Old 02-14-2007, 11:14 PM   #12
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Point remains, if they're similar, why upload them all at once and make the screener decide rather than you chosing what you feel is the best and uploading that one individually?
If there isn't one that I feel is the best of them (which isn't common)...
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Old 02-15-2007, 12:53 AM   #13
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_ _ _ _ _,
_ _ _ _
_ _
_ _ _ _ _ !


Take each shot as they come... I shoot many many shots of the same thing, then I pick out the best ones. Work with what you have. If I can make the shots different by incorporating something in it, I will. I finally got my first SD70ACe after much waiting (thanks John) and I snapped over 100 photos of the train. I tried different angles, different ojects in the shot... I had pretty good luck. Even though all these photos were taken at the same spot, they are all unique and different enough to be featured here (IMO).

Image ©
PhotoID:
Photograph ©

Image ©
PhotoID:
Photograph ©

Image ©
PhotoID:
Photograph ©

Image ©
PhotoID:
Photograph ©


If shots are composed right and there are enough differences in the shots, I wouldn't mind seeing the same train at the same spot... as long as they are unique.

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Old 02-15-2007, 04:27 AM   #14
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Mind you, this comes from the same guy who asked for advice on his "poorly cropped" photos.

Quote:
Hello, I saw you responded to my thread on Railpictures.Net.I don't know you, but you sure seem to be a know it all.All I was asking for some advice,as I unlike you are perfect.I do not see any of your images on Railpictures.Net .I admit I am not a expert like you,but I have had over 100 pictures published in various railfan magazines.I also have a photo in the 2007 Montana Raillink calandar.So I know photography basics,I just am getting used to a new camera.I don't appreciate being ripped on by some know it all I don't even know.All I was asking for was advice,not to be put down by "Mr Perfect"
Have a great day!
Mike Mautner
My first question is, which publications? Second, what kind of camera were you using that the settings would be any different then how you shot these alleged 100 print published photos?

FWIW, you weren't being "ripped on". If I wanted to rip on you, you'd be a bag of backyard dogs**t strewn all over the highway by now.
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Old 02-15-2007, 04:41 AM   #15
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Chris, you make a good point. I'm not always the best at wording things as I mean them. Displayed by your variety, I can agree. But the same train, same location, same date thing is redundant. It just says, "I don't know which one to pick, I think they're all good (or they all suck, but I'll try my go at which the mods think will pass)".

It's the "set my camera up on a tripod", shoot at 480mm effective length...then zoom out for 200mm focal length...and just for good measure, one more time @ 50mm (if you have a lens with such capability)" mentality that is completely mundane. And quite honestly, it's no wonder such 'grabs' aren't in focus, off-horizon, etc. There is no concentration being put into the shot, it's just "lets see how many frames I can burst in a single standing". Then, these folks upload the shots, most often the only difference which is telecompression, in hopes of getthing them accepted? Why bother?

Is personal judgement in photography THAT bad amongst the railfan community that just one shot can't be chosen? I could understand if you were chasing a movement 30-50 miles, and hit it once every 5 miles, 1 out of 8 or 10 could be asking alot. Whatever happened to using a standard 50mm for stuff? Then again, who am I kidding? I use a 28-135mm (effective 45-210mm) on my digital body.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Christopher Muller
If shots are composed right and there are enough differences in the shots, I wouldn't mind seeing the same train at the same spot... as long as they are unique.

Last edited by Fotaugrafee, Ink.; 02-15-2007 at 04:51 AM.
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Old 02-15-2007, 04:41 AM   #16
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Eric,

I'm assuming you got that response from Mike via PM or e-mail which I'm guessing was meant to be a private correspondence. While there's no public guidance on such that I know about, it would probably be proper etiquette to keep it private and ask him those questions there. Bringing this out to the public accomplishes nothing and casts a negative light in your direction...
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Old 02-15-2007, 04:49 AM   #17
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Chris, if you must know, I don't quite care about "negative lights" & the like. Anyone who is concerned about social stigma, much less my own, isn't worth my time. If he wished to correspond with me via PM, maybe he should have chosen his words better.

His email was addressed to me via the email supplied on these forums, and I'm replying to him ON those same forums, "which publications?" He has already gotten a less than civil reply from me off the board, which mind you, I'm not the least bit ashamed of.

I'd love to see his published work, especially if it's anything like what he's shown us in the past two "bad cropping" threads. I need a good laugh at this late hour. Sorry, but I refuse to be all mushy about the issue like some folks.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ween
I'm assuming you got that response from Mike via PM or e-mail which I'm guessing was meant to be a private correspondence. While there's no public guidance on such that I know about, it would probably be proper etiquette to keep it private and ask him those questions there. Bringing this out to the public accomplishes nothing and casts a negative light in your direction...
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Old 02-15-2007, 04:52 AM   #18
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Fair enough. To each his own...
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Old 02-15-2007, 05:34 PM   #19
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Ask this guy to show the private E-Mail he sent me loaded with cuss words.All I asked for was a little help,I am by no means an expert.That is why I asked for help on these forums.I thought that is what they are meant for,not to be ripped by some know it all.
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Old 02-15-2007, 06:07 PM   #20
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Yeah, I did, that was already discussed in my last reply. Might I remind you that my email was a REPLY to what you sent above, so it wasn't an unwarranted attack towards you. It was simply rebuttal, with my chosen langauge of emphasis. Sorry if they don't use them there words out in 'the Lou'.

Just because I didn't gently lay your head down on a pillow & read you a bedtime story on how to improve your shots, doesn't mean I didn't try Mikey. I cropped the photos to what I believe is an acceptable image (although the crop / size constraints would have excluded tham anyway). If you think that my words were too brash, try doing it on your own with expensive slide film, then "make the grade" the hard way.

I'm not known for being PC, Mike, and I don't plan to be anytime soon. Learn to take some harsh criticism for once, eh? Some of my best teachers / trainers were those who worked me hardest. Guys like you need to grow thicker skin. Either one takes good pictures...or they suck. Rarely is there a middle ground, IMO, since you have control over almost anything except the weather.

At least you were given ways to improve, you just didn't like the way they were presented. However, twice now you've chosen to submit the same crapola.

"The cussing know-it-all"


Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Mautner
Ask this guy to show the private E-Mail he sent me loaded with cuss words.All I asked for was a little help,I am by no means an expert.That is why I asked for help on these forums.I thought that is what they are meant for,not to be ripped by some know it all.

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