Old 08-28-2009, 04:21 PM   #1
top_bullfrog
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Hi there,

I'm new to the site after having been prodded here by a few of my friends. I submitted two photos, both having been rejected. I dislike too much processing on my pictures before submitting them, so I need some help on how to correct my pics to get them into the database.

http://www.railpictures.net/viewreje...&key=805178287
http://www.railpictures.net/viewreje...key=1243090674

The first one, the reason given was the picture was soft
The second one, I can understand. I believe the site wants clearly defined locomotives in the pictures.

Any help on how to fix the first pic?

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Old 08-28-2009, 04:28 PM   #2
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The first one, the reason given was the picture was soft
I'm on a junky computer right now, so I can't give you a fair assessment of the softness. But what I CAN tell you is that the subject matter and composition are excellent..although I'd be tempted to take a little off of the sky. Regardless, it's one of the better going away glint shots I've seen in a while. Nice job catching that. Just sharpen it a little more and give it another go. Oh yeah, nice B&W conversion, too.

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The second one, I can understand. I believe the site wants clearly defined locomotives in the pictures.
Not true. What you've posted is a pretty basic time exposure shot. While it's technically correct, the scene is just not interesting enough to include in the database.

By the way, if you're in Sac, can you come pick me up? There's a shot of Amtrak #6 that I want to get in Penryn today and I took my rental car back yesterday morning.
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Old 08-28-2009, 05:10 PM   #3
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I dislike too much processing on my pictures before submitting them, so I need some help on how to correct my pics to get them into the database.

http://www.railpictures.net/viewreje...&key=805178287
Think of your photograph as a really nice car, maybe a brand new Charger or Camaro. Now think of that nice brand new car never being washed, collecting dirt and dust and grime. Now think of telling your friends that you dislike too much soap and water on your cars.

Doesn't make sense, does it?

Your shot needs just a bit of sharpening to be technically very good. The issue then becomes does RP take it as essentially a going away shot. Also, the b&w conversions leans heavy on grey to me. Artistically-wise, it's a great shot. For RP, I can see it going either way.
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Old 08-28-2009, 06:17 PM   #4
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I'm on a junky computer right now, so I can't give you a fair assessment of the softness. But what I CAN tell you is that the subject matter and composition are excellent..although I'd be tempted to take a little off of the sky. Regardless, it's one of the better going away glint shots I've seen in a while. Nice job catching that. Just sharpen it a little more and give it another go. Oh yeah, nice B&W conversion, too.
Thanks for the suggestions, I tried cropping, but I ended up below the minimum size. I re-sharpened slightly, and they accepted. I guess I need a bigger monitor to judge sharpness of submitted pictures. They also rejected this one: http://www.railpictures.net/viewreje...d=725152&key=0 Any ideas?


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By the way, if you're in Sac, can you come pick me up? There's a shot of Amtrak #6 that I want to get in Penryn today and I took my rental car back yesterday morning.
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Think of your photograph as a really nice car, maybe a brand new Charger or Camaro. Now think of that nice brand new car never being washed, collecting dirt and dust and grime. Now think of telling your friends that you dislike too much soap and water on your cars.

Doesn't make sense, does it?
I understand your point, but I don't like the idea of anything but changing contrast/brightness, removing dust and cropping. Pretty much what you could do in a darkroom. To me, that's washing the car. I like to get the pictures right when they come out of the camera instead of relying on the computer to take/make good pics for me. I don't think of sharpening and other edits as washing the car, I think of it as making external mods, changing the rims, etc... I don't dislike editing photos, but I want the work I present to be unaltered. I have plenty of shots that I've shopped to amazing results, but they will never go beyond my computer because it's beyond photography at that point.
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Old 08-28-2009, 06:24 PM   #5
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I understand your point, but I don't like the idea of anything but changing contrast/brightness, removing dust and cropping. Pretty much what you could do in a darkroom. To me, that's washing the car. I like to get the pictures right when they come out of the camera instead of relying on the computer to take/make good pics for me. I don't think of sharpening and other edits as washing the car, I think of it as making external mods, changing the rims, etc... I don't dislike editing photos, but I want the work I present to be unaltered. I have plenty of shots that I've shopped to amazing results, but they will never go beyond my computer because it's beyond photography at that point.
You can't change the technology to suit your viewpoint. DSLR image captures, by outcome if not by design, must be sharpened to look as intended. Even the most expensive Canon DSLR generates images that requires sharpening, as Canon itself says.

If you are not sharpening, you are not waxing the car.

[soapbox]As for your definition of "photography," with all due respect it lies much closer to the preference of middle-america snapshooters with their pop and drop (shoot their print film and leave at the retail lab) than it does to the roots of photography, where the darkroom work was extensive and vital in turning the initial capture onto silver into a viewable print. Post-processing has always been an important part of photography. [/soapbox]
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Old 08-28-2009, 06:30 PM   #6
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[soapbox]As for your definition of "photography," with all due respect it lies much closer to the preference of middle-america snapshooters with their pop and drop (shoot their print film and leave at the retail lab) than it does to the roots of photography, where the darkroom work was extensive and vital in turning the initial capture onto silver into a viewable print. Post-processing has always been an important part of photography. [/soapbox]
I understand the importance of post processing and have done a lot of work in darkrooms developing B&W film, and try to stick to the tools that were available to me in the darkroom. Developing time, changing filters, dodging, burning, as well as chopping your print are all things that can be emulated in Photoshop with brightness/contrast and cropping, but when you exceed those capabilities I think it blurs the line between photography and digital art. Just my opinion on the subject, and I do appreciate good Digital Art, but it's not where I'm trying to come from when I photograph trains. I do post-process my pictures, but I prefer to stay away from my definition of Digital Art.
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Old 08-28-2009, 06:52 PM   #7
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I understand the importance of post processing and have done a lot of work in darkrooms developing B&W film, and try to stick to the tools that were available to me in the darkroom. Developing time, changing filters, dodging, burning, as well as chopping your print are all things that can be emulated in Photoshop with brightness/contrast and cropping, but when you exceed those capabilities I think it blurs the line between photography and digital art. Just my opinion on the subject, and I do appreciate good Digital Art, but it's not where I'm trying to come from when I photograph trains. I do post-process my pictures, but I prefer to stay away from my definition of Digital Art.
We are closer together in viewpoint than it first appeared.

So, in a spirit of full collegiality, let me nit-pick about the rest.

I might respectfully point out that to "stick to the tools available to me in the darkroom" is a wholly arbitrary standard, as well as being at odds with the notion of progress. For one, the use of, say, 800 ISO sensors, whether fillm or digital, has allowed for combinations of light, aperture, and shutter speed, and thus artistic content, wholly unknown to the originators. So I personally don't believe in sticking to a particular restriction that arises solely from history, without a justification. But hey, we all get to choose how we want to enjoy photography! I suspect you know more about photography as a whole than I do, anyway; I do not want to imply that you are making an uninformed choice. Merely arbitrary.

But for RP this discussion does not matter, because RP does not go very far down the road toward "digital art" in terms of what can only be achieved, or much more readily achieved, with the newer technology. It is not a very "artsy" venue in that regard.

Sharpening, however, has nothing to do with any of this. Instead, it is a technical issue - not nearly so an artistic issue, although anything that affects the image has an artistic dimension, I suppose. Rather, sharpening is part of the process of getting to a final image, as indispensable as a properly-timed application of fixer was in the old days. It is not something analogous to a darkroom technique (although there are related issues of contrast) so there is no dimension of avocational "purity" in technique. It is needed as part of the technological chain that goes from light/scene to final image. It is not a dimension of digital art.

(Now, if you choose to crank up the sharpening parameters beyond all reasonable levels, then you do get to a form of digital art!
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Old 08-29-2009, 01:08 AM   #8
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Not sharpening a digital image is frankly pretty lazy. It's also not knowing the equpiment. For good or bad, images tend to need sharpening out of camera, even moreso when you start downsizing. If you don't want to do all that it takes to good a good image from a digital camera, shoot slides.
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Old 08-29-2009, 01:12 AM   #9
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You can't change the technology to suit your viewpoint. DSLR image captures, by outcome if not by design, must be sharpened to look as intended. Even the most expensive Canon DSLR generates images that requires sharpening, as Canon itself says.

If you are not sharpening, you are not waxing the car.

[soapbox]As for your definition of "photography," with all due respect it lies much closer to the preference of middle-america snapshooters with their pop and drop (shoot their print film and leave at the retail lab) than it does to the roots of photography, where the darkroom work was extensive and vital in turning the initial capture onto silver into a viewable print. Post-processing has always been an important part of photography. [/soapbox]
What he said.
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