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Old 04-21-2014, 04:06 PM   #1
Chase55671
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Default What do YOU want from Railpictures?

Gentlemen,

Throughout the past few days, I've enjoyed reading the ongoing Railpictures vs. Flickr discussion. The thread has generated some very thoughtful insight and some intelligent points of view. I'm glad to see a diverse group sharing their opinions on their advantages to alternative photo sharing outlets.

As I've shared many times before, when I originally came to Railpictures many years ago, I knew very few people within this hobby and I certainly didn't know anything about railroad photography. Through developing friendships in the form of interaction in this very forum and learning the ways of the screening process, I slowly developed some photography skills. I didn't learn to shoot exclusively for Railpictures and their screening standards, but I learned basic photography techniques through rejections given. Was I frustrated? Did I occasionally bitch in the forums? Did the thought cross my mind to leave the website and never return? Yes.

Inspiring your creativity:
Railpictures inspired some of my creativity. I was constantly looking to push the envelope of creativity or detail trough abstract photography or out of the box PEQ-destined efforts. Was that process frustrating? In a sense, yes. When the efforts were acknowledged with an acceptance, it was rewarding and it inspired me to continue with new efforts. Do the screeners appreciate out of the box material and abstract details? Yes! We encourage and enjoy nice railroad photography.

Interaction & Photography Mentoring:
While I rarely interacted with administration on this website during my earliest years, I would correct my rejections, re-submit, and learn from the mistakes. I felt this was a form of interaction, but in a subtle online digital way. It provided a photographer almost instant feedback on his/her photography that didn't cost him/her anything. It helped me to develop photography skills and find myself in an environment that would ultimately influence my college path and career field. Through some of my most frustrating rejections, I still processed it as a learning curve and I was committed to continue learning and improving.

I firmly believe that the interaction through rejections is a great way for young aspiring photographers to develop skills, interact with others, and receive helpful constructive criticism. As observed in the RP vs. Flickr discussion, the lack of flexible daily uploads makes its difficult and discouraging to correct mistakes and receive feedback efficiency. Perhaps this is something that can be discussed through administration...

Competitiveness:
I've always enjoyed the SC, POTW, and PCA awards. It's a unique concept that is exclusive to RP in the railroad photography genre. It sparks some form of competitiveness, but in a fun and enjoyable way. And, it's a cool way to see what images our contributors enjoy the most. We have an extraordinary amount of talent on this website. I'm disappointed to see that some of that talent has quietly walked away... Others have walked away, but not so subtly....

I think that for some of our well known adult photographers who know plenty about railroad photography are most offended and discouraged by the screening process. It's the simple bad color/contrast rejections or soft/oversharpened that can create controversy and ultimately discourage that contributor from submitting. It's disappointing. As I explained earlier, we enjoy nice railroad photography and I personally enjoy the older scans that represent a much cooler era of railroading. Unfortunately, sometimes the images need just very very minor processing corrections (such as color/ sharpness, etc.). Whether than correcting, sometimes that will result in the contributor just walking away...

Let's focus on the title of this thread... What do you want to see from Railpictures and what would make your invested time in this website more worthwhile? Another primary complaint often discussed is the lack of administrative interaction.

The entire staff works full time at jobs that are completely unrelated to the website. I would like to make a conscious effort to interact more with our contributors, answer questions, and provide additional insight when possible.

This site continues to be a great outlet for railroad photography that you cannot receive elsewhere. Community interaction, great search functions, high quality railroad photography, and a very globally diverse railroad photo collection. It's all contributor fed... And I know I speak for the entire staff when I say that we appreciate your support and involvement with the website.

Best,
Chase Gunnoe
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