Old 04-26-2005, 05:31 AM   #1
wespennest
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Default Underexposed? HOW?!

http://www.railpictures.net/viewreject.php?id=118549

This photo was rejected for being underexposed. I'm entirely clueless as to why this was deemed so. The light meter used in this shot was recently calibrated, the lens and camera were recently repaired, the film was fresh out of the store's refrigerator, the monitor I use is regularly calibrated, and any blemishes from the scan were carefully remedied.

I've presented both the original slide and this JPG to several photographer colleagues of mine, and none of them have noted any problems with the exposure. Of note are the front handrails, which are properly saturated. Underexposed images do not have proper saturation. Of further note are the properly lit trucks. I shot this image at 9am in order for the warmer light to accent the pumpkin scheme, and to provide the best light for this vantage point. The only place which could possibly be concieved as a bit darker would be the trailing locomotive-- but simple cursory examination will reveal that the trailing locomotive is in a shadow. Cropping out the trailing locomotive is not an option as it figures into the situation this image reports (CSX is forced to use foreign powered consists because of a lack of locomotives at their yards). Furthermore, the trailing locomotive is certainly not the primary subject of this peice, and I can hardly ask a speeding freight train to repostion itself so that all of its power units are in the sunlight.

I would also like to know the criteria for "proper exposure" or if this is merely an arbitrary classification. I'd also like to point out that one word rejection notices do not help one's progession as a photographer in any way.

I await SOME form of an answer.
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Old 04-26-2005, 07:18 AM   #2
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If you file an appeal, & post your thoughts in the appeal, then you will probably get a more detailed reason of your photo not being accepted. The screeners have to sort through hundreds of photos everyday, and if they took time to detail every single rejection there would be little time for anything else. I found the system works well.
BTW: I think the scan & not the slide(or print) is your problem, if you notice in the sky area above the loco there are all kinds of what appears to be dust specks that take away from the photo. The pic also seems to have a "soft" look, but again these problems could be a result of a poor scan.
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Old 04-26-2005, 09:18 AM   #3
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It appears soft to me too. I am not sure that if you cleaned it up the best you could it would be accepted because it is a Dash 9 on a cloudy day.

Interesting lash-up. Do they run this lash-up often?

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Old 04-26-2005, 12:49 PM   #4
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Along with the other issues that have been presented, there seems to be a yellow tint to the image which is a common problem with scanned images sometimes.
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Old 04-26-2005, 12:56 PM   #5
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Billy:
The day wasn't cloudy at all. It was 9am. The BNSF loco was getting blasted by slightly warm-colored morning sunlight. And no, they don't run this combo at all-- like I said, CSX has no motive power left, so they're lashing EVERYTHING up. The few trains that do seem to consistently have CSX locos on them are the K service trains which are the Tropicana and the trash trains. We've had consists led by red Santa Fe Warbonnets, entire power units of CN, consists made up entirely of HLCX, RLCX and IORY locomotives, you name it. Not to mention that a lot of CSXs locomotives are sounding really sick-- #8785's turbocharger is audible three miles away!

Willie:
In my appeal, I posted essentially what I wrote here (but only a paragraph) and I recieved no response when I specifically asked for one. I know there are little problems like dust specks-- but the screener entirely ignored those and chose underexposure as the reason. When I run it through photoshop, the only way there's any "punch" to the image is when all of the highlights are washed out. I can sharpen it, I can clone out all of the nicks and dings, but that still doesn't address how it could possibly be underexposed.
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Old 04-26-2005, 02:39 PM   #6
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Also, the photo appears to be leaning towards the right. Try a 1 degree CCW rotation.

Then again, it could just be the angle or the locomotive is on a curve.

Last edited by Guilford350; 04-26-2005 at 02:46 PM.
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Old 04-26-2005, 03:36 PM   #7
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I'll bet the real reason is that it's a "nothing special" wedge shot of a Dash 9. The trailing SP unit make it a bit more interesting for a railfan, but that unit is in the shadows. It probably doesn't help that the "pumpkin" is dirty, too.

Now, why the "underexposed" rejection? I have no idea, unless it's the shadow on the trailing unit they don't like.
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Old 04-26-2005, 06:02 PM   #8
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It looks to be over-processed. Not sure if it compression or sharpened until it appears grainy/pixelated.
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Old 04-27-2005, 01:21 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by busyEMT
It looks to be over-processed. Not sure if it compression or sharpened until it appears grainy/pixelated.
It was lightly sharpened once and the green cast from the scanner was automatically removed. However, if you'd like to see something over-processed, here's the radical edit of this picture.

http://www.railpictures.net/viewreject.php?id=118744

Which was rejected AGAIN for being "underexposed." How is this possible? The blacks are black, the highlights are even brighter in this image than the original and I gave it a cooler cast.

Quote:
Originally Posted by oltmannd
I'll bet the real reason is that it's a "nothing special" wedge shot of a Dash 9.
It's notable because it's various foreign power on CSX's mainline. This is not BNSF's railroad. You simply do not see a BNSF locomotive on this line unless it's a rear unit being transported somewhere for repainting or something. As I said before, CSX is having severe power shortages, and this photo underlines that.
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Old 04-27-2005, 01:49 AM   #10
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Maybe you should just forget it and put it in the "personal collection".
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Old 04-27-2005, 01:50 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wespennest
It's notable because it's various foreign power on CSX's mainline. This is not BNSF's railroad. You simply do not see a BNSF locomotive on this line unless it's a rear unit being transported somewhere for repainting or something. As I said before, CSX is having severe power shortages, and this photo underlines that.
Foreign power, yes, but those BNSF GE's are everywhere. Just because it's a BNSF GE on a CSX train doesn't make it special. You still have to properly expose the shot, and it might not hurt to get creative with it. Personally, I think you can do a lot better than this.
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Old 04-27-2005, 02:41 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmherndon
Foreign power, yes, but those BNSF GE's are everywhere. Just because it's a BNSF GE on a CSX train doesn't make it special. You still have to properly expose the shot, and it might not hurt to get creative with it. Personally, I think you can do a lot better than this.
This is far too aggravating. I've yet to hear any comments as to WHY this photo is "underexposed," or what to do to remedy any exposure problems. I've yet to hear any comments about any specific PARTS of the photo that are underexposed. If the photo is boring, cite that as the reason for rejection. If the scan is dirty, cite that-- but when "underexposure" is cited as a reason for rejection and I can't get one single comment about why this SPECIFIC reason was chosen, you're jerking my chain.

Furthermore, there is no other way to get creative with this vantage point and not get killed or arrested. I don't have the luxury of picking and choosing the points I spot at.

Screw it. rrpicturearchives.net is far less arbitrary.
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Old 04-27-2005, 05:36 AM   #13
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wespennest

Nice welcome you got to the forum!

If your picture gets rejected, don't waste your time asking why at this forum as the majority of people here haven't got a clue about photography themselves yet are more than eager to shoot down other peoples work - they will find ten other things wrong with the picture on top of the one it was originally rejected for.

As for the screeners rejection reasons, I wouldn't waste my time reading them, let alone take them seriously. They will often give a bunch of BS instead of simply stating that the picture is not up to their standards or not what they are looking for, which often results in people wasting their time editing photos that the screeners have no intention of ever accepting, no matter what you do to it.

Sorry for the bad news.

Better go, I hear the stampede of rp brown-nosers rushing to defend against these painful truths...
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Old 04-27-2005, 12:28 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wespennest
This is far too aggravating. I've yet to hear any comments as to WHY this photo is "underexposed," or what to do to remedy any exposure problems. I've yet to hear any comments about any specific PARTS of the photo that are underexposed. If the photo is boring, cite that as the reason for rejection. If the scan is dirty, cite that-- but when "underexposure" is cited as a reason for rejection and I can't get one single comment about why this SPECIFIC reason was chosen, you're jerking my chain.

Furthermore, there is no other way to get creative with this vantage point and not get killed or arrested. I don't have the luxury of picking and choosing the points I spot at.

Screw it. rrpicturearchives.net is far less arbitrary.
I'll agree that the reasons don't always make sense to me either. The most aggevating is when you fix the stated problem and get whacked for something else.

If I have what I think is a winner, I'll give it one try here, then off to www.rrpicturesarchives.net it goes. It's not worth my time to play around endlessly tweaking photos.

Here's one that has no hope here - it'll never be sharp enough.
http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/sho...aspx?id=121728

But, unless I want to put out $400 for a film scanner, which I don't, this is as good as it's going to get.
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Old 04-27-2005, 02:08 PM   #15
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Rainman:

While you are entitled to your opinion, it would be nice if you had the character to put a name behind those comments. These "rp brown-nosers" as you call them at least have the guts to put a name behind their opinion rather than remaining nothing more than a keyboard hiding behind a screen name.

wespennest:

Granted the "underexposed" rejection might not have been the most appropriate for this photo, the image still has other defects (along with that) which have been explained to you here on this thread and on the appeal response. I'm not sure what else we can do but I can promise that fussing over it here on the forums will not improve the quality of the image.
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Old 04-27-2005, 09:05 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oltmannd
I'll agree that the reasons don't always make sense to me either. The most aggevating is when you fix the stated problem and get whacked for something else.

If I have what I think is a winner, I'll give it one try here, then off to www.rrpicturesarchives.net it goes. It's not worth my time to play around endlessly tweaking photos.

Here's one that has no hope here - it'll never be sharp enough.
http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/sho...aspx?id=121728

But, unless I want to put out $400 for a film scanner, which I don't, this is as good as it's going to get.
I agree with you on this one... I do the same. I'll try once and then it goes to rrpicturesarchives.net also. Just remember *you* are the artist; if you like what you see and you get that "yeah... that's a good picture" gut feeling, that's what counts. Most of my shots wouldn't get accepted here but I still see them as good pictures. My old Instamatics I treasure more than anything.

I would like to see a screening process where you get the whole shootin' match at once... for example, "underexposed, oversharpened", or "undersharpened, needs leveling" or something like that. Fix everything at once and have it over. In fact I'm curious as to how the screening process works; is it done with software or whatever?

It is a pleasure when my shots do get accepted but I don't/won't take the time to do multiple uploading of the same photo, over and over. I did at the start but it just got too time consuming. Must drive dialup folks crazy.

I've submitted photos that are perfectly exposed, trucks, fuel tank, everything, yet they get kicked back for underexposure. I've seen some here that are so washed out it is awful. I use a Sony flat CRT monitor calibrated with Adobe Gamma FYI.

For those shots that I really wanted to share, I'd have to keep my good looking ones and make the "railpictures copy," lighten that one, (IMO too light) and submit that one to get it accepted. This is an example: http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.php?id=76771 . Trucks, etc. look good but the red MU, sky, and station roof are washed out and not near the color that the original was-slide and scan-when I shot it.

However... when I really wanted to get a pic on here, I would appeal and put a question in asking what I need to fix. And I got feedback from the screener(s). This one: http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.php?id=77091 . We went round and round over cropping the square pic and found something that worked.

I *do* like to tweak and work over photos. In fact I got good with Photoshop and might advertise locally and offer a restoration service. This site has-and continues to-help me work out bad habits and has improved my skills, photographically and software-wise.

Only real trouble here in the Northeast is crapped-out weather 80-90% of the time. I got to actually prefer cloudy day shots 'cause I get tired of fighting the sun. My pics on here are 20 years' worth!


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Last edited by trainmonster; 04-27-2005 at 09:11 PM.
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Old 04-27-2005, 09:36 PM   #17
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Wonderful pictures.

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Old 04-27-2005, 11:15 PM   #18
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wespennest,
Donít let this one rejection get you down. Everyone who submits photos here has learned to deal with what seem like very fickle screeners. While I often, very often, donít agree with the screeners, it is a private site and their rules will prevail. Keeping this in mind when I do submit a photo here reduces the rejection frustration to acceptable levels. I have also learned to take the comments of the RP cheerleaders with a grain of salt.

Your photo in question can likely have the faults noted repaired in your image editing program. If you have questions about fixing the photo, there are some pretty good photogs and image editors here that are willing to share knowledge and answer questions.

There are many, many great photos here and this does draw visitors. The parameters the site owners have set for the images creates a quality database, if perhaps also a comfortable sameness in most of the images. I like sharing photos at RP because they do get a huge number of visits. I have also met several good people via RP and I enjoy the photography info shared in the forum.

As pointed out earlier, the web is a big place and there are other sites at which you can post photos. The two I participate at are not as highly patronized as RP, but both are nice sites.
rrpicturesarchives has been mentioned already. They do not screen each photo, but do require that you submit a photo for evaluation, to be accepted to the site.

http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/

Another site I submit photos to is railroadforums.com. This site has a very interesting and varied photo database. They also have a great model railroad section, which I like since I am a model railroader. The thing I enjoy most at this site is the very active and ďfriendlyĒ forum. Subjects cover both model and prototype railroading and photography.

http://www.railroadforums.com/
My photos at railroadforums.com,
http://www.railroadforums.com/photos...00&ppuser=3869

Submit your good, well lit, sharp photos here at RP. They will get the most visits of any rail photo site and you will get some feedback on your more interesting shots.
If you have good photos that donít fit the RP definition of a good photo, share them at one of the other sites. You will be able to share a wider variety of your work and avoid the headache of debating in this forum.
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Old 04-28-2005, 12:35 AM   #19
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RP cheerleaders?
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Old 04-28-2005, 12:50 PM   #20
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Trainmonster and J Butler-

I agree 100% with your comments.

All the sites mentioned are wonderful resources for modellers. We would have killed for something 1/2 this good 20 years ago!

-Don
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Old 04-28-2005, 07:06 PM   #21
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Man, I leave the country and all heck breaks loose on here!
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Old 04-28-2005, 07:09 PM   #22
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You must be the tie that binds. Glad to see you have internet access, so you can still keep in touch with everyone.

Pat
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