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Old 12-17-2019, 01:50 PM   #7
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 2,066
Default Merges and foreground clutter

Here's an example of an obstructive merge that was accepted:

Image © Doug Boudrow
PhotoID: 717904
Photograph © Doug Boudrow

As with Bob's image, the front truck is obstructed by the people in the foreground, and the position of those people is not strictly ROT, although it is close. Honestly, I think this got in because it looks like a "grab" from an event, as opposed to an everyday scene. The people become a major element, probably sharing equal billing with the train. I'm not a fan of the cropping here. I would probably have pointed the camera just a bit more to the left, placing the people in the ROT position and balancing the position of the train in the frame. If there is any dead space, it is on the right. I probably also would have gone a bit wider, because I don't like cutting off the American Flag, and if I'm going to show people below the waist, I try not to cut their feet off.

With Bob's image, it's not clearly an event, but more of an everyday scene. The major element is the train, with people as supporting elements, so the obstruction/merge becomes more of a liability. Also, and I think this is important, the lower right on the image is pretty devoid of subject matter. If the people were in the gauge on that 3rd set of tracks (basically ROT position), I think Bob's image is a lot more pleasing to the eye, even if there's still some obstruction/merge going on. And of course, Bob's image lacks a certain "appeal" that's in the image above.....which is likely the sole reason it got as many hits as it did.

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