Old 12-18-2007, 01:09 PM   #1
Arne H. B.
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Default Opinions of a cloudy day shot

Hi everyone, I had this shot rejected for being backlit, and I am not contesting that there really is no light on the nose. http://www.railpictures.net/viewreje...key=1031931672 But aside from that, how does it appear with all the clouds and overall haze in the sky? This was one shot that I was actually happy with, and believe it or not the best of the day! I was really hoping for an Eastbound freight, the angle of the light would have been perfect but one never showed, all I got were Amtrak California sets running in push mode. A few minutes later I found ticks crawling up my pantlegs, so my outing was cut short! Any opinions?
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Old 12-18-2007, 01:32 PM   #2
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Super shot! Print it, put it up, be proud.

The hazyness in the clouds looks appropriate for the time of day. But I wasn't there, so it's hard for me to say. You may wish to experiment, for example with some local contrast enhancement (= USM of 20/60/0 instead of the sharpening levels such as 75/0.6/0) to see what happens. As the contrast looks pretty good on the power, I'd say leave it as it, but it can't hurt to work with it a bit.
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Old 12-18-2007, 01:36 PM   #3
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I like it but i see a Vertical and B&W shot in it too. work it and see what happens . As i see it its side lit back light is and would be no light on it all from behind. If you have curves try that? at the shadow side and light it up some? Richard

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Old 12-18-2007, 03:28 PM   #4
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I agree with milwman, the horizontal crop isn't bad, but I think a vertical crop with the train a little further back would have felt much better!
I'm currently trying to unlearn myself from automatic gut reactions against shots with no light on the nose, but I don't like the way the light is obscured by clouds so soon. I always try to showcase as much of the train as possible, and I feel the selective lighting is forcing my gaze to the unit too much. There are some things you just can't control though, eh?
This is an amazing location with the amount of train you can see, I expect to see more from there!
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Old 12-18-2007, 10:17 PM   #5
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It looks a bit on the dark side to me. Also, there's not a lot of vibrancy in the colors. B&W might do the trick.


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Old 12-20-2007, 07:09 AM   #6
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A common reason to rejection photos on the site, look like little dark.

I have a picture with the same reason on rejection, but the photo is not dark so far:

http://www.railpictures.net/viewreje...d=459719&key=0
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Old 12-20-2007, 02:23 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Werkur
A common reason to rejection photos on the site, look like little dark.

I have a picture with the same reason on rejection, but the photo is not dark so far:

http://www.railpictures.net/viewreje...d=459719&key=0
Werner,

Look at the photo that you do have in the DB and compare it to this NS shot. The front of the cab is dark enough that you have to look for the windshield. Same for the plow area. Where are the MU cables? This shot may work if it would have been a farther back scenery type of shot, but for a wedgie, pretty much roster shot, it is just too dark on the front.

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Old 12-20-2007, 02:24 PM   #8
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Werkur, there's a lot of light on the the side, not enough up front. As the rejection says ".......or doesn't feature enough nose light on the subject. The sun was just in the wrong position (shining on the side). If you want to shoot rosters or wedgies, move closer to the tracks where the whole train will be in view and where there is sun graciously hitting the nose of the loco AND the side, compose a great shot and then shoot! Good try tho werkur!


Arne, LOVE the photo!


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Old 12-20-2007, 03:33 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arne H. B.
Any opinions?
Hmm, I think it's a good shot, both in color:



or black & white:



but you'll need some diddling in photoshop to lighten things up.
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Old 12-20-2007, 04:26 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Ryan
but you'll need some diddling in photoshop to lighten things up.
Instead of using Photoshop "diddling" to take a backlit shot and make it look like it's not backlit - why not take the photo at a different time of day - when there's light on the nose ?
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Old 12-20-2007, 04:35 PM   #11
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Personally, I prefer the muted light of the original to the jazzed-up brightened version John proposes. Sometimes it's a quiet, not so bright day with a train - that mood/look at times appeals to me as much as the bright day look. Of course, that may make it not RP-suitable, but I like it.

Certainly go back and shoot in stronger light, but this shot deserves some props also!

I agree with Robert on the general principle of not stretching an image with a computer beyond the conditions in which it was originally captured.
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Old 12-20-2007, 04:37 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rpalmer
Instead of using Photoshop "diddling" to take a backlit shot and make it look like it's not backlit - why not take the photo at a different time of day - when there's light on the nose ?
The Kodachrome school of thought doesn't always apply to railroad photograpy, unless of course you're only thinking RP.net.

That particular photo has a nice feel to it, almost dramatic, maybe not RP.net material because of some rather insignificant backlighting, but it's still nicely done.

Unfortunately the "backlit" rejection has become a one size fits all rejection which is ANYTHING but true. The mist over the cove, the lighting effects on the clouds, it really makes for a nice photo overall. Whether by accident or by design, the backlighting was well incorporated.
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Old 12-20-2007, 04:52 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JRMDC
Personally, I prefer the muted light of the original to the jazzed-up brightened version John proposes. Sometimes it's a quiet, not so bright day with a train - that mood/look at times appeals to me as much as the bright day look. Of course, that may make it not RP-suitable, but I like it.
I think a middle ground would be nice. The original seems too dark, but the brightened version loses the mood.
Remember screeners, there's such a thing as a 'dark' mood that's hard to achieve with full sun-behind-your-shoulder light!
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Old 12-20-2007, 05:00 PM   #14
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Unfortunately thats not always possible. I have plenty of places I'd like to get photos but the sun is never in the right position to make it possible. It's a shame too because you then lose a lot of interesting unshot locations.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rpalmer
Instead of using Photoshop "diddling" to take a backlit shot and make it look like it's not backlit - why not take the photo at a different time of day - when there's light on the nose ?
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Old 12-20-2007, 05:27 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hoydie17
Unfortunately the "backlit" rejection has become a one size fits all rejection which is ANYTHING but true.
The full phrasing is "Poor lighting (Backlit): The image is backlit or doesn't feature enough nose light on the subject." I think at times the explanatory clause is too limited, but the application of the general category, "poor lighting," is usually apt, subject of course to the occasional differing view, as in this case. I tend to think of this rejection reason as "bad light" and go from there.

Quote:
The mist over the cove, the lighting effects on the clouds, it really makes for a nice photo overall. Whether by accident or by design, the backlighting was well incorporated.
Agreed.
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Old 12-20-2007, 05:42 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JRMDC
The full phrasing is "Poor lighting (Backlit): The image is backlit or doesn't feature enough nose light on the subject." I think at times the explanatory clause is too limited, but the application of the general category, "poor lighting," is usually apt, subject of course to the occasional differing view, as in this case. I tend to think of this rejection reason as "bad light" and go from there.
I can see your point, and I would add also that when I think of bad lighting, especially with regards to backlighting; is when the background is completely "blown out" and you cannot easily distinguish the contrasting details of the scenery surrounding your subject, or details of your subject.

What really doesn't make sense to me is that there is no shortage of great guys and gals on here that do wonderful work with steam locomotives, and many of their shots incorporate backlighting. Often these photos are accepted and in many cases take very noteworthy titles such as POTW, Screener's Choice, etc.

However, when someone shoot's a modern day diesel railroad photo, in anything other than direct sunlight, glinting sunlight or long after dark exposure it generally gets tossed away without second thought. The absence of an artistically lit plume of smoke and steam often relegates otherwise great images to the "rejection heap", when in cases such as this one the screener was evidently looking at the train only, and not taking the "big picture" to admire the other interesting pieces of the frame I had identified previously.

Sometimes the train is just a piece of the photo, not the whole photo.
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Old 12-20-2007, 06:01 PM   #17
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I find that if a backlit shot is ever to get in, then B&W is the way to go. I would go for the B&W version, but John's looks a little too "digitally manipulated." I would either try throwing a colored filter on, or maybe just convert to B&W and bump up the gamma and contrast a bit.
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Old 12-20-2007, 06:43 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rpalmer
Instead of using Photoshop "diddling" to take a backlit shot and make it look like it's not backlit - why not take the photo at a different time of day - when there's light on the nose ?
Well, let's see. First, he'd have to call dispatch, ask them to stop the train, back up and wait until the sun was perfect. I doubt dispatch would do that, even if he told them it was a suggestion from a RP screener. If it's not up to RP's standards, fine, reject it. But to tell a photographer not to take a shot becuse the lighting conditions aren't perfect is a little arrogant to me.

Take the shots. If they don't measure up to RP's standards, print them out, or put them on a personal site or do what you want to with them. Lord knows I have enough shots elsewhere to start a collection.

Oh, wait. That's what I did.


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Old 12-20-2007, 06:54 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe the Photog
Well, let's see. First, he'd have to call dispatch, ask them to stop the train, back up and wait until the sun was perfect. I doubt dispatch would do that, even if he told them it was a suggestion from a RP screener. If it's not up to RP's standards, fine, reject it. But to tell a photographer not to take a shot becuse the lighting conditions aren't perfect is a little arrogant to me.
Joe, I think you read too much into what Robert said. I think he just said come back another time when the light is, in his view, better.

And I think his main complaint was the first part of his sentence, which raises the issue of over-processing. But I'm not him, obviously. That's how I read it, and I agree. (Keep in mind that I love the shot as-is and don't care about the RP rejection.)
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Old 12-20-2007, 07:02 PM   #20
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I, too, think the shot is good. My monitor here does not do well with color and contrast, but John's color "fix" might not be the way to go. If I read more into what Robert said, my apologies. I find it hard to argue with a guy who did that great cover of "Bang A Gong (Get It On.)"


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Old 12-20-2007, 07:07 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe the Photog
If I read more into what Robert said, my apologies. I find it hard to argue with a guy who did that great cover of "Bang A Gong (Get It On.)"
You've got the teeth of the hydra upon you!
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Old 12-20-2007, 07:12 PM   #22
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I have a few rost shots, and i think if the picture is not up to RP's standards, can reject, but also should say what photographer did wrong, telling if is the angle of sun for exemple, but never strict to reason to reject.

I spend many times all day long spotting planes, and the rail line is near the aproaching runway airport, so i take train shots. I go to spot even the light is not good, try the best...and don't buy the idea to tell the photographer not take the shot, pretty arrogant. Sometimes the photographer has a rare shot with bad light.
I always take the picture, sometimes use the photoshop to make up the shot, and send to the site. Later...see what happens....If rejected go to my photoblog!

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Old 12-20-2007, 07:15 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JRMDC
You've got the teeth of the hydra upon you!
Not to mention the hub cap diamond star halo!


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Old 12-20-2007, 07:18 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe the Photog
Well, let's see. First, he'd have to call dispatch, ask them to stop the train, back up and wait until the sun was perfect. I doubt dispatch would do that, even if he told them it was a suggestion from a RP screener. If it's not up to RP's standards, fine, reject it. But to tell a photographer not to take a shot becuse the lighting conditions aren't perfect is a little arrogant to me.

Take the shots. If they don't measure up to RP's standards, print them out, or put them on a personal site or do what you want to with them. Lord knows I have enough shots elsewhere to start a collection.

Oh, wait. That's what I did.

Joe

You're missing my point. For example, look at your recent CSX reflection shot (A beautiful photo). I suspect that you purposely went here when the shot was perfectly lit. In your words, the result was a shot that " has generated more comments and e-mails than any shot I've taken that didn't include a car about to get hit by a train"
You didn't take the photo when the sun was above the Railbox car in the NS train, then try to make it look like your current shot through Photoshop tricks.
I have a problem with people who pick a location where trains run all day long, but show up during the worst possible lighting conditions and submit the photo anyway. When the shot is rejected, they feel the answer is to manipulate the shot in Photoshop and re-submit, instead of going back at a different time of day and getting the shot "right".
There are photos in my RP collection that have taken me years (YES - I mean YEARS) of trying to get the right combination of light, weather, power, etc...
I'm not suggesting that you not take photos under poor lighting conditions, but to be more selective about you submit.
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Old 12-20-2007, 07:23 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Werkur
I have a few rost shots, and i think if the picture is not up to RP's standards, can reject, but also should say what photographer did wrong, telling if is the angle of sun for exemple, but never strict to reason to reject.
The categories of reasons exist because RP screens too many shots to have time to write out individualized reasons for rejection. The screener clicks on a category and moves on. Up to us to learn and understand the categories, and come to the forum if things are unclear. You'll get it, we all do eventually.
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