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Old 06-03-2014, 06:59 PM   #65
Ron Flanary
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Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Big Stone Gap, VA
Posts: 1,327

Originally Posted by Mgoldman View Post

1) Lose "Poor" in PEQ. Why not as with other rejections, just go with Aesthetic Quality: This rejection means that the photo is of low aesthetic qualities, does not contain enough rail-related content, or is simply not the type of material we wish to publish.
I fully agree, Mitch. I've gotten a PEQ before (not many though), and the "poor" part of the name is never well received. Most of the images you'll see on are not really creative, but more documentary. In fact, most of the site's contributors (and viewers) only want a sunny day shot of their favorite BNSF Gevo, or a plain roster shot of one of the E-units at Spencer. There's nothing wrong with that at all, because it's a personal choice.

But, in those cases where a photographer is attempting to do something a bit more expressive, you get into unstable ground quickly if you judge it in a demeaning manner, and the terminology used for "PEQ" is just that. What, exactly, is "low aesthetic quality"? I saw images at the recent CRPA conference in Lake Forest that were intended to be fine art, but I didn't really like 'em at all. I didn't say as much---because I didn't want to open my mouth and be judged to be a clueless rube. I mention this because what's pure gold to one viewer is pure crap to another.

I never considered it appropriate to demean anyone's attempt at making "art." Of course if you throw up an image to a juried site like, you should expect judgment. However, I do think the harsh and judgmental language in the "PEQ" category could, and should be softened. As it now stands, it's a rude smack-down---and it pisses people off for no good reason.

I would just say something like "Esthetic Rejection": While does not pretend to pass judgment on the creative efforts of any photographer, this shot does not, in our opinion, contain enough rail-related content, or we just don't feel it is appropriate for our site.

As for all the technical standards.....color, contrast, sharpness, etc. (yes, even "level")....those are pretty much straight up, and should be understood by one and all. If a shot I submit is too light, a little soft or something of that nature, I understand and accept it. I have issues with "level" at times, though, because one person's view of "crooked" is different from another's.

Finally....noise and grain is not always bad. In fact, it's an important component of much great photography. It's bad for someone's grade crossing shot of a UP freight, but maybe not so bad for a moody shot of a distant signal at night.
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