Old 12-06-2010, 09:26 PM   #1
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Default Help my son with this reject, I couldn't...

My son shot this yesterday and when he tried to submit it was hit with bad cropping.
http:www.railpictures.net/viewreject.php?id=882968&key=0
I suggested he change ratio to 5x7, chopping the excess off the left. That would put the cabs of both locos at approximately the intersects of the thirds.
http://www.railpictures.net/viewreje...d=883182&key=0
Again, bad cropping and a bonus of bad contrast. Considering the near white-out conditions do you think adding more contrast would help or just make it look phony? As for the cropping, I'm stumped. I thought maybe if there wasn't so much separation between trains, but then the composition gets all centered and looks like hell. The only other thing I thought was maybe going back to 4x6 cropping the excess from the bottom, just below where the near rail exits the frame. Since he only has 2 uploads a day, I didn't want to waste his time if it just ain't gonna work out.

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Old 12-06-2010, 09:29 PM   #2
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I can't make the links work, what am I doing wrong?

Nevermind, it appears that when you make a mistake in syntax and post it you can't go back and just correct it, you have to retype the whole thing. Think I've got it now.
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Old 12-06-2010, 09:32 PM   #3
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Here are working links for anyone else who cares:
http://www.railpictures.net/viewreje...d=883182&key=0
http://www.railpictures.net/viewreje...d=882968&key=0

At any rate, I think the only way this could work is to take more off the left and a little off the top, the closest train is going away, so it may not get on because of that (expect a "bad angle" at some point). I think you want to make it so that the train in the distance is actually closer to the viewer.
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Old 12-06-2010, 10:08 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by troy12n View Post
the closest train is going away, so it may not get on because of that (expect a "bad angle" at some point).
I don't think that matters as much as the fact that there's a lot of space between the two trains - most "meet" shots on rp.net (from what I recall) feature the passing trains much closer to each other. Does he have a later shot with them closer together to work with?

As a quick ref. I'm thinking more like this:

Image © Michael Harding
PhotoID: 252623
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Old 12-06-2010, 10:14 PM   #5
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I don't think that is a very good example, I don't think it should have gotten on.
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Old 12-06-2010, 10:21 PM   #6
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Michael: Nothing usable. He has a shot of the rear of the passenger passing the locomotive akin to this one (but unfortunately lacking the human element) which I'll suggest he try at some point.
Image © W. D. Shaw
PhotoID: 205044
Photograph © W. D. Shaw

Troy: Gave it a quick try. Could have some promise. He liked the reflection of the headlights in the coach windows and was hesitant to crop that aspect out, but will work with the idea.

Thanks for the input.
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Old 12-06-2010, 10:50 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by troy12n View Post
I don't think that is a very good example, I don't think it should have gotten on.
Why not? The shot illustrates the point he was trying to make.
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Old 12-06-2010, 11:27 PM   #8
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Why not? The shot illustrates the point he was trying to make.
It's also better lit but has foreground clutter and poor cropping in it's own right.
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Old 12-06-2010, 11:29 PM   #9
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It's also better lit but has foreground clutter and poor cropping in it's own right.
Where's the foreground clutter? Both trains are completely unobstructed. And I agree with Ken, his example is perfect for the point Michael was making. And there's really no reason to start picking Michael's shot apart.
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Old 12-06-2010, 11:34 PM   #10
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I meant that switch heater, I find it distracting, and the dead space on the left.

I think they really are different scenes, the OP is at more of an angle to the train too.
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Old 12-06-2010, 11:40 PM   #11
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I meant that switch heater, I find it distracting, and the dead space on the left.

I think they really are different scenes, the OP is at more of an angle to the train too.
I find it to be a very interesting contraption which is definitely part of the railroad scene. It's not like we're looking at some random garbage cluttering the foreground. The switch heater belongs there and doesn't detract from the rest of the scene at all, IMO. And as far as the dead space on the left, that is very minimal, and the vertical of the bridge works nicely to frame the left side, as opposed to cutting the bridge off and having it floating through the image.
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Old 12-07-2010, 12:44 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by troy12n View Post
I meant that switch heater, I find it distracting, and the dead space on the left.

I think they really are different scenes, the OP is at more of an angle to the train too.
You're going to have them switch heaters and they tend to be right where the shots interesting up North, So we work around them.
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Old 12-07-2010, 02:20 AM   #13
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Paging the Rat...
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I personally have had a problem with those trying to tell us to turn railroad photography into an "art form." It's fine for them to do so, I welcome it in fact, but what I do have a problem with is that the practitioners of the more "arty" shots, I have found, tend to look down their nose's at others who are shooting more "mundane" shots.
Railroad photography is what you make of it, but one way is not "better" than another, IMHO. Unless you have a pole right thought the nose of the engine! -SG
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Old 12-07-2010, 02:23 AM   #14
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I played around with that shot some, and maybe try something like this if it at all helps.

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Old 12-07-2010, 02:40 AM   #15
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It might also be good to note the reflection in the windows of the ON train.
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Old 12-07-2010, 03:24 PM   #16
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He likes Chris's crop with the reflections still included better than mine so will try that and see what happens, maybe making note of that in the notes to screeners section as the remarks are already "wordy" enough. Will try to pump up the contrast a bit too, if it doesn't make the red of the CN units go wonky. I just found out he does have another shot of the trains closer together but they may be a bit too close. He'll try that if Chris's crop doesn't work.
As for the switch heaters (those infernal things!) they are a pain in the butt to deal with but at least Michael was able to get enough elevation to shoot over them so they weren't actually obstructing anything. As Scott mentioned we just have to work around them and many a time they get in the way of what could be a great shooting location if they weren't there. Since I've moved up to Muskoka they're not a problem for me anymore as they don't have them out here in the sticks and I only have to deal with them when we go down to the city. Another gripe about them is the noise they put out, makes it difficult to hear scanner conversation and trains approaching if you have to set up in close vicinity.
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Old 12-07-2010, 03:28 PM   #17
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Quote:
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I played around with that shot some, and maybe try something like this if it at all helps.

Chris Z
I like that cropping (at the end of the first coach) better than the original. As with my shot showing most or all of the first car "identifies" the train well but you don't really need more than that to do so and showing more tends to push the actual engines meeting too far into the picture. I can't really judge color/contrast/etc. on my work monitor to comment on that. It's a nice shot whether it ever gets on here or not. Good luck!

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Old 12-07-2010, 06:58 PM   #18
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Quote:
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I played around with that shot some, and maybe try something like this if it at all helps. Chris Z
This was optimized to get the dimensions as near to 1024 x 695 as possible.

Your results may vary.

Name:  Shaw.jpg
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Old 12-07-2010, 07:04 PM   #19
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Looks like the cropping is no longer an issue, now they're saying bad composition/balance.
http://www.railpictures.net/viewreje...d=883462&key=0
Seems they're saying they just don't want it (Jim T. please insert "flogging dead horse" smiley here). Thanks to all who tried to help.

Wayne (on behalf of Tyler)

P.S. Just saw H.G.'s version. Is it possible that putting the trains up near the center horizontal (instead of on the bottom thirds horizontal) would help with the comp/balance?

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Old 12-07-2010, 08:53 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by wds View Post
Looks like the cropping is no longer an issue, now they're saying bad composition/balance.
http://www.railpictures.net/viewreje...d=883462&key=0
Seems they're saying they just don't want it...
Wayne,

The one big difference between the latest rejection and Chris' suggestion is that you kept the top of the tree, and that the composition was regarding the big blob of gray sky. In most cases, I would agree with that choice, but I like Chris' version more since he cut it off. The other dead trees to the left provide a top frame, get rid of a lot of sky and leave you wondering how tall the pine is. Also, Chris was able to keep the dead branches at the bottom, creating a lower frame of interest. I would try again copying Chris' crop exactly.

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Old 12-07-2010, 10:35 PM   #21
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Okay, will do Chris. He's still got his one other upload for today. I'll tell him to do that and give it a try if he's still got the ambition (Yes,I'm intentionally putting you on the spot here if you're still following this Ty). Thanks, and stay tuned...

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Old 12-07-2010, 10:44 PM   #22
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Quote:
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Looks like the cropping is no longer an issue, now they're saying bad composition/balance.
http://www.railpictures.net/viewreje...d=883462&key=0
Seems they're saying they just don't want it (Jim T. please insert "flogging dead horse" smiley here). Thanks to all who tried to help.

Wayne (on behalf of Tyler)

P.S. Just saw H.G.'s version. Is it possible that putting the trains up near the center horizontal (instead of on the bottom thirds horizontal) would help with the comp/balance?
You can put the trains in the top third if you want, just don't focus on that large spruce or whatever it is.

This ain't PT.Com (Pretty Trees dot Com).

Also the way I cropped it gets rid of the wires on top.

You still have a contrast problem so work on getting the red to pop more without looking over saturated.
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Old 12-08-2010, 01:11 AM   #23
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Holloran, you're a funny guy and I always look forward to seeing what you'll come up with in the forums. In that vein, allow me to retort in kind.
This ain't PM.com (pretty mountains.com) but you sure see enough of 'em here!
Okay, that's about as humorous as I get. I won' get into UAE.com (Ugly Amtrak Employees) as that might be construed as personal!
As for the color contrast, in a whiteout a total lack of contrast is inherent so in a near white-out (as was this) anything other than very low contrast would be artificial. Being there when he shot these shots, I'm actually surprised you can see the approaching train in them as it only appeared as headlights and a faint red blob to the naked eye. If it only came across that way in the pics perhaps it would have been better. If any of this is hard for a dude from Cali to understand, well, we have this white stuff that falls from the sky in the winter called snow because in winter it gets cold enough to freeze water at these latitudes most all the time (worry not that winter hasn't technically started yet, Ma Nature sets her own calendar!). To make a long story short, when there's a lot of snow falling and blowing around you can't hardly see squat, and the further away from you the squat is the more falling and blowing white stuff there is between it and your eyes, therefore the less visible it becomes. So if you pump up the volume on the contrast and saturation, well you're manipulating. Damned if you do and apparently damned if you don't because I just heard (while struggling to 2-finger type this epic reply) that he submitted with the trains in the top third as you suggested and got hit with - you already guessed it - bad color. Guess they don't understand the concept of near white-outs either. Anyhow the kid's had about enough rejection for a while so I don't expect him to try anymore, at least with this one. Thanks again for tryin' to help.
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Old 12-08-2010, 02:35 AM   #24
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Lightbulb Funny You from the Great White North Eh?

Hey I know about Canada, I saw that movie Strange Brew when I was in high school and the more recent relevant South Park episodes.

As for snow, yes I know how that works.

When the mood seizes me, I go do this:

Big Bowl - The First 100 Yards Doesn't Look So Bad

We call it skiing.

Depending on where you live, you might call it getting out and about.

And yes, I try and not go out on days like the one in the subject picture because it is hell to drive and just plain cold.

I am a wuse when it comes to being cold.

As with the picture, I was thinking that you (or he) could do selective color changes on the fronts of both engines to sort of bring them out of the background.

That would not be considered "digital manipulation" since you are just adjusting the color that is already there to fit the exposure and contrast requirements of the medium (this Site).

It is not like you are adding anything or making the red engine blue.

Additionally, the camera never sees it exactly the way the person's eye saw it, so you can either work to get the look close to what you saw, or go for a look that makes a good looking image.

I mean the Site excepts HDR images, so cranking up the saturation or dialing it back is not going to cross the line.
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Old 12-08-2010, 03:08 AM   #25
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Hey, that looks just like the pile I plowed up to the end of my laneway last weekend! Difference is mine came out of the sky, not the end of a hose and I look at it as work instead of play (okay I do like playing on my big tractor so maybe it's not all that bad)! Seriously though, he's just learning to use PS, and I'm no wiz either so what you're recommending might be beyond our capabilities. And like I said, I doubt he'll want to pursue this any further. But I do appreciate your time and advice. Now go and play on your snowpile, I hear that a little place called Lucan Ontario has had 5 feet so far this week and it's still comin' down. That's a couple hundred miles south of my place. I ain't been there for a few days, just hoping it didn't get hit quite as hard. Take care,

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