Old 07-31-2008, 03:51 PM   #26
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Maybe I should stay out of this, but I can definitely see the screeners quandary on this one. It's a great photograph...but you'll have a hard time convincing me it's a train photograph, since the train is represented by 3 pixels of light. But what to do? Reject a terrific photo that actually does have a train in it, no matter how minor, or just let it on? In this case they let it on. I've seen a couple head-scratchers recently where clearly the screener was in this quandary, but they have a tough job and a couple of misses that are nice photos overall doesn't bother me too much.

It does raise the question of "What makes a train photo?" I know some photographers, myself included, advocate finding a nice scene and putting a train in it. Where does a picture stop being a train picture and just a landscape picture (or another type)? Should you be able to actually make out the locomotive? Locomotive and some of the train? Should the train have to fill a certain percentage of the photo? What about light streak shots? All interesting questions to consider.
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Old 07-31-2008, 04:00 PM   #27
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I'll start off by saying that I am glad to see that this was accepted. As I have said before these discussions are healthy for all of us as we gauge input from our members and photographers. I would love to see more "off the wall" stuff such as this but it is really rare when we see a shot like this that meets the technical standards we like to maintain.

Having said all of that I realize this type of material isn't everybody's cup of tea. As with all things this boils down to personal tastes. If you don't like it, skip over the thumbnail.
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Old 07-31-2008, 04:13 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Starnes
Having said all of that I realize this type of material isn't everybody's cup of tea. As with all things this boils down to personal tastes. If you don't like it, skip over the thumbnail.
3/4 wedges aren't my cup of tea. They still get accepted. I don't "vent" every time one is accepted. If I did, I wouldn't have time to do so because so many are accepted. And I do skip over the thumbnail.
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Old 07-31-2008, 05:07 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ken45
Maybe I should stay out of this, but I can definitely see the screeners quandary on this one. It's a great photograph...but you'll have a hard time convincing me it's a train photograph, since the train is represented by 3 pixels of light. But what to do? Reject a terrific photo that actually does have a train in it, no matter how minor, or just let it on? In this case they let it on. I've seen a couple head-scratchers recently where clearly the screener was in this quandary, but they have a tough job and a couple of misses that are nice photos overall doesn't bother me too much.
So are you implying that the screeners are somewhat obligated to accept "terrific photos" even if they don't really have a the train as a subject? Does RP have an obligation to publish said terrific photos because they won't get the same coverage elsewhere?

I guess you have to ask yourself, does the photo in question fall under the headline, "The best railroad photos on the 'net!"?

I think there in lies the problem with many people...me included.

Another thing I'd like to address that has come up in this thread is critiquing a photo and expecting to have a shot of equal or better quality. Since when does the critique of something mean you have to produce something of equal or better value in order for your critique to be valid? We've all come out of a movie theather at one time or another and thought, "Man, that was an awful movie." Does that mean we should be expected to produce a better movie? The same goes for music, cooking, sports, women...hell, anything in life. But for some reason, if you criticize a photo on RP, people come out of the woodwork and DEMAND that the critic is either capable of producing an equal or better quality image, or they keep their opinion to themselves. Hmm...

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Old 07-31-2008, 05:12 PM   #30
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Before anyone alleges any favoritism, this tiny train photo:

Image © John Ryan
PhotoID: 244755
Photograph © John Ryan


... took no less than four tries to get accepted. I think if there were any favoritism it wouldn't have been an uphill battle. I get plenty of rejections, perhaps as many as some of the people here who post constantly about their rejections. Things are not as easy as they seem.
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Old 07-31-2008, 05:24 PM   #31
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Well.... Perhaps we just need a new category for this type of shot:

- Bridges/Trestles
- Derailments
- In-Cab Photos
- Night Shots
- Passenger Trains
- Snow Shots
- Special Schemes
- Stations/Terminals
- Steam Locomotive
- Street Running
- Towers
- Tunnel Photos
- Yards
- Find the train!

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Old 07-31-2008, 05:29 PM   #32
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Now I'm just having fun trying to find the train in these photos.
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Old 07-31-2008, 05:35 PM   #33
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Jim, the line "The best railroad photos on the 'net!" is just a punch-line or a motto. If you really look at it, that is just a claim. It may not be correct. I am not saying it is incorrect, I have yet to see a website with better train photos than this one, but I am saying if you really look at it, the saying "The best railroad photos on the 'net!" is just a motto and nothing more. That is why I don't understand why it is thrown around so much.

As for the photo, everyone's opinions will differ. Face it, there IS a train in the photo. Granted, it is a bit hard to spot. Now, the line "When is it a train picture?" is very effective in reference to this photo. The image is very dark and therefore, as aforementioned, the train looks like nothing more than a trio of dead pixels in the middle-bottom of the image. There is a train there. Now, if it is what RP wishes to publish, fine. I will just skip over the thumbnail if I don't want to look at it, as Chris Starnes said.

I personally, like Darryl, enjoy the photo for the unique cloud and fog formations and such, but don't see much in the photo in terms of railroading. And I don't necessarily agree with Chris that this photo meets "technical standards." Usually the screeners would reject a photo like this for being of "Poor Esthetic Quality." But, this topic leads me to my next point of interest....

I do in fact, believe that some 'favoritism' is shown on this website. Not much, however, the screeners will show more enthusiasm towards accepting a photo from a regular contributor that has shown quality photos in the past. They will more-than-likely come down harder on a rookie to RP, with an ideal photo, than they would a senior contributor on RP. Maybe it is just me, but it would seem that is the case sometimes. Maybe a screener sees that a certain person contributed the photo, and instantly wants to accept it? I have no evidence, just an accusation. Furthermore, it might be that a screener liked the photo as a whole, and forgot to take proper screening standards into consideration, so accepted it based on the photo itself. Or maybe he would have felt bad rejecting a photo that he thought was very interesting, even if it lacked a train. Basically, there is no telling, but these are just some of my assumptions.

Just my $0.02
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Old 07-31-2008, 05:36 PM   #34
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This genre of photos is turning into a game of "Can you top this one?" as the train gets smaller and smaller. Any astronauts here who may have a shot of Earth from space? I'm sure a shot like that would have lots of mini-trains to search for.
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Old 07-31-2008, 05:41 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Ryan
Image © John Ryan
PhotoID: 244755
Photograph © John Ryan
He'll be irritated, but I have to say it, that is a variant of Joe Blue!

Seriously, and I'm not on the best monitor, but boy that is strong blue. I'll have to take a closer look tonight. I missed it on the first go around.
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Old 07-31-2008, 07:15 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimThias
So are you implying that the screeners are somewhat obligated to accept "terrific photos" even if they don't really have a the train as a subject? Does RP have an obligation to publish said terrific photos because they won't get the same coverage elsewhere?

I guess you have to ask yourself, does the photo in question fall under the headline, "The best railroad photos on the 'net!"?

I think there in lies the problem with many people...me included.

No, I'm not implying any obligation of the screeners, just putting myself in their shoes. Not sure how you got that from what I wrote. I guess my post would best be summed up by your 3rd question.
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Old 07-31-2008, 07:28 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JRMDC
He'll be irritated, but I have to say it, that is a variant of Joe Blue!

Seriously, and I'm not on the best monitor, but boy that is strong blue. I'll have to take a closer look tonight. I missed it on the first go around.
Almost as blue as one of my photos =0
Now that I look closely, do I see some evidence of masking around the buildings?
is John Ryan imperfect??
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Old 07-31-2008, 07:50 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trainboysd40
Now that I look closely, do I see some evidence of masking around the buildings?
is John Ryan imperfect??
Is it just my failing eyesight, or is there a lot of noise in the sky ?
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Old 07-31-2008, 08:13 PM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wizzo
Is it just my failing eyesight, or is there a lot of noise in the sky ?
Yep and in the trees to. But i don't care its still a nice twilight shot, Thats why its blue
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Old 07-31-2008, 10:50 PM   #40
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I think the main thing that set this off is not that the photo was brought up for discussion, but the way that it was done with calling out the shot and saying that he had had better stuff rejected. Everybody is entitled to their own feelings about any photo, because when all is said and done all that matters is that four our less people like the photo. 1) The photographer has to like it enough to submit it. 2) A screener has to like it enough to accept it 3) The admins have to like it enough to not boot it in secondary review. Anything after that is just cream.

My main question to Ben that nobody has hit on yet is if you didn't want the photo you updated to get in then why did you even submit it? Obviously if you didn't want it to get in one of two things was happening.... you knew it was subpar and you wanted to see if you could slip it in, or you thought it was good enough and you view it as shameful to be rejected so you are just saying you didn't care. If you didn't care why bother wasting your time to upload and the screener's time to look at it?
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Old 08-01-2008, 12:47 AM   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ottergoose



Just had to vent... nothing more to see here... move along.
Snort. Giggle.
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Old 08-01-2008, 12:58 AM   #42
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I applaud RP for accepting the picture. Expand your horizons. Anyone can take a foamer foto. It takes an artist to make one that transcends a train picture.

(it actually blows my freaking mind they took this photo)

Anyone familiar with Scott Lothes? He does a lot of stuff like this, and it is AWESOME.
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Old 08-01-2008, 01:04 AM   #43
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Image © John Ryan
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Photograph © John Ryan


This one'll piss you off too, I reckin.
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Old 08-01-2008, 01:11 AM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chris crook
Anyone familiar with Scott Lothes? He does a lot of stuff like this, and it is AWESOME.
I had a few of his shots on my blog, not the good stuff but interesting stuff, and I intend to do more. He has some great shots. A link to his site is on my blog.
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Old 08-01-2008, 01:11 AM   #45
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Way to be right top of things. That photo was discussed right above your posts. People are expressing their opinions, not against the rules last time I checked.
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Old 08-01-2008, 02:31 AM   #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chris crook
Image © John Ryan
PhotoID: 244755
Photograph © John Ryan


This one'll piss you off too, I reckin.

Hey guys, has anyone noticed this one?
Image © John Ryan
PhotoID: 244755
Photograph © John Ryan
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Old 08-01-2008, 03:23 AM   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ccaranna
I can tell you right now, if somewhere around 97% of us had uploaded that, it would have been rejected and not accepted on appeal. PERIOD.
You're dead wrong, Chuck. I screened this shot and after careful (at least 5 minutes of) consideration accepted it with no need for an appeal. I personally think this is an outstanding effort, and the only reason I was hesitant to accept it was because of the backlash I knew would be headed our way if I did; but that wouldn't be fair to the photographer, so I accepted it.

When I screen photos, I pay no allegiance to anyone. I've rejected more photos from other screeners than I can count, and will continue to do so if I feel it's justified. I screen based on the image, not who took it. I do feel that this is an incredible shot, with enough of a motive (showing the railroad's small overall scale relative to the rest of its surroundings) to merit a place in our database. Comparing it to any other photos that may have been rejected is absolutely apples to oranges.

Rail photography is inherently very subjective. With a shot like this, there are probably going to be a fairly equal number of people on both sides of the fence as to whether it has a place here or not. If it's not your cup of tea, skip over it.

After all, I'd love to reject about 90% of the "3/4 angle of common engine in perfect light idling in the yard" shots that come through the queue for "Could you possibly find anything more boring to shoot a picture of?" ... but I don't, because even though they aren't my cup of tea, lots of other people enjoy them.
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Old 08-01-2008, 05:10 AM   #48
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Chris, did you edit the picture out of my post?
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Old 08-01-2008, 12:28 PM   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chris crook
I applaud RP for accepting the picture. Expand your horizons. Anyone can take a foamer foto. It takes an artist to make one that transcends a train picture.

(it actually blows my freaking mind they took this photo)

Pfffft.

It should have been rejected - it's a cloudy-day shot.






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Old 08-01-2008, 12:28 PM   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trainboysd40

Hey guys, has anyone noticed this one?
Image © John Ryan
PhotoID: 244755
Photograph © John Ryan
Yeah, it's eerily similar to this one:

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Photograph © John Ryan


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