Old 06-16-2008, 05:39 PM   #1
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Default Cropping - My Achilles Heel

Can anyone give advice on this, or should I just leave it? I'm lousy at this cropping business.
http://www.railpictures.net/viewreje...&key=259660215
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Old 06-16-2008, 10:35 PM   #2
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I don't think your skills are lousy at all, this is a stunning photograph!
It's difficult to offer a suggestion on a shot like this, but perhaps crop a bit below the train and some off the right side to keep the aspect ratio.
Better yet, try an appeal first.
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Old 06-16-2008, 10:38 PM   #3
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I keep looking at it and I can't really offer any suggestions that would make the shot better. It's about as good as it can get as it is. In fact, I'd give it a PCA if it was in the database. I'd appeal and if it still gets turned down, it's their loss, not yours.

Outstanding shot, in my poinion.


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Old 06-16-2008, 11:34 PM   #4
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Her are some of my crops. The first, well the first just sacrifices all the scenery, but you get a nice little rolling hill image with a train in the center. The second, You have all the scenery (well, most of it) with the train in the bottom left corner. For the third, this a situation in which a vertical crop does not work. The train is too much in the bottom. Keep it even. This is a terrible balance. So, take a look...
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Old 06-16-2008, 11:34 PM   #5
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I suggest a modest cropping, from the right, just enough to get rid of the branch in the lower right corner, from the bottom, just enough to get rid of that green domed bush just to the right of center (which also gets rid of some junk to the right of that).

In general, branches poking in from the side need presence. Either they are in or they are out. Well, at least for me, if you have just a bit of branch it is a distraction rather than a setter of context. Here, you don't need it; you don't need that bit of close foreground because the shot already has lots of depth. So it's just a distraction.
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Old 06-17-2008, 08:27 AM   #6
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I would try cropping about an inch off the right, say up to the first windmill and an equivalent amount off the bottom. It might also be worth trying a little off the top (but do keep some sky across the whole width of the picture) to bring the dimentions down to nearer a 6 X 4 ratio.

FWIW, I do like the photo; that Northern Rail purple livery is growing on me - I didn't care for it much at first.
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Old 06-17-2008, 02:06 PM   #7
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Graham,

This is a beautiful scene. I think the others have the fix nailed. A little off the bottom and a little off the right. This definitely belongs in the RP data base. Very nice work!
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Old 06-17-2008, 02:45 PM   #8
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I'm really pleased that I've got replies from people who's opinions I respect and who's work I admire.
Thanks everyone.

OK, I've tried the appeal and it's been rejected. Now I'll try the crop as suggested.
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Old 06-17-2008, 08:49 PM   #9
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Well, I did the crop as suggested and it got rejected.

http://www.railpictures.net/viewreje...d=537805&key=0

Any ideas?

Perhaps the screeners just don't like it. It's a pity, because I like the shot and I had hoped to share it.

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Old 06-17-2008, 09:10 PM   #10
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Keep at it! It will get in.

My one suggestion is to crop a good bit of the sky. There is a large bright white area that takes the eye away from the rest of the shot. You could trim just a bit more from the right, but I doubt that is the issue for the screener.
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Old 06-17-2008, 09:27 PM   #11
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Thanks Janusz. I've done what you suggested and submitted it again.

I now await the result with bated breath.
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Old 06-17-2008, 09:28 PM   #12
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Gosh, it would be a shame to lose that sky.

When you appealed the first time, did the Screener give you any more details on what he didn't like about the crop? Sometimes, that's the beauty of an appeal, in that you'll get something more than just a generic rejection.

Maybe one of the Screeners will read this forum and comment. A word or two from someone like AB(2) might just give you an idea for the tweak that gets it in.

I like this shot. It's like walking to the edge of a vast, scenic overlook.....it just begs for you to stare at it for a while and take it all in.
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Old 06-17-2008, 09:35 PM   #13
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Bounced again!

http://www.railpictures.net/viewreje...key=1106478258

I haven't been given any other guidance on the rejections or on the appeal.

I'm afraid that will have to be it now. I think I've already chopped it about too much. It doesn't have the same feel that it had originally.

So unless I hear something really helpful from someone like Andrew, I'm throwing it away.

Shame really.............
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Old 06-17-2008, 09:47 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willig
I'm afraid that will have to be it now. I think I've already chopped it about too much. It doesn't have the same feel that it had originally.

So unless I hear something really helpful from someone like Andrew, I'm throwing it away.

Shame really.............
At least appeal this one. In your appeal, I suggest you write a sentence or two saying what you were going for and why this crop works.
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Old 06-17-2008, 09:58 PM   #15
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I've appealed and said what I wanted (although that should be obvious - I just wanted to show what's on the shot) I also asked for clarification on the cropping issue. I don't expect any help though.

I should just stick to close-ups and forget the scenery idea.
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Old 06-17-2008, 10:05 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willig
I should just stick to close-ups and forget the scenery idea.
Don't let your personal photographic pursuits be determined solely by the judgments of one website. Learn from it when learning can be done; if you simply disagree with them (and I for one like this shot, and I hope a screener chimes in and clarifies what they don't like about it), then walk away. Don't shoot just for RP - shoot for yourself. And besides, RP doesn't dislike scenery; one or two screeners dislike this particular scenic shot, reasons unknown.
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Old 06-17-2008, 10:19 PM   #17
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Don't get me wrong, I don't shoot for RP, I do it for myself. When I said I will throw it away, I don't mean that I will delete it. I will keep it in my collection as a photo that I like.

The reason why I'm disappointed it hasn't made the DB is that when I like a picture, I like to share it with others.
RP screeners clearly do like scenery and there are some brilliant protagonists of the genre on the site.
It's not my normal Modus Operandi when photographing trains. Probably I'm not very good at it, so I'll carry on with my preferential type of shot. I'm not much of a fan of tiny trains in the wide open spaces anyway. However, if I want to be any good at this lark I should try "unfamiliar" shots.
I have learnt an awful lot from this site from rejections and the help from the forums. This one hasn't helped me much though, apart from the sound advice from the forum contributors.

This won't put me off, I'll just stick to what I do best and that's not this type of shot.
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Old 06-17-2008, 10:48 PM   #18
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I admire your resolve to not change the scene to what RP "wants". Like Joe said, it's their loss (and ours!) for not accepting it.
Anyway, great shot and damned if I'd give up on this type of photography. You nailed this one.
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Old 06-18-2008, 01:38 AM   #19
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Here is my twopence. I love the picture but I cropped it tighter all around. There are little bits one can cut out that don't make a big difference to the overall picture. It wasn't easy to draw the lines - there is so many interesting things in the picture.
Here is my offering.
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Old 06-18-2008, 02:11 AM   #20
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I think it is a great picture with beautiful scenery. Come to think about it now Trains Magazine had a photo contest last year and the winning photo was a picture of a stream train between to mountains. The actual picture of the engine was a little smaller then the train in your picture.
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Old 06-18-2008, 03:36 PM   #21
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Well, the final appeal was rejected. This time, having asked for some clarification, I got a note with the rejection in the e-mail. It said, "The train is really lost in the scene here Graham. Sorry!".

As I had thought, the screeners just didn't like it. At least now I know, so I need not waste any more time. (I'm sure I've seen other trains "lost in the landscape", or I am I sounding bitter?) Forget it Graham and move on.

So if anyone out there likes it, you've got just a few days to look at the rejections through the above links - then, that's it.

I will stop trying to take trains in the landscape now.
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Old 06-18-2008, 03:39 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Northern Limits
Here is my twopence. I love the picture but I cropped it tighter all around. There are little bits one can cut out that don't make a big difference to the overall picture. It wasn't easy to draw the lines - there is so many interesting things in the picture.
Here is my offering.
I would say lose more sky and this works very well. I liked the original but it wasn't clean enough for me meaning the trees were cutoff in a way that I was just concentrating on the framing not the image itself.

I'm not trying to single anyone out, but I've noticed that many contributors aren't aware of their cropping or what makes it flow. I may be a little over the top when it comes to getting the right crop because I have to make sure each side has some sort of frame or something that tells the views "okay this side ends here at the hill." If you take a look at my recrop you will see what I mean.
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Old 06-18-2008, 03:41 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willig
Well, the final appeal was rejected. This time, having asked for some clarification, I got a note with the rejection in the e-mail. It said, "The train is really lost in the scene here Graham. Sorry!".

As I had thought, the screeners just didn't like it.
My only thought is that the landscape is fairly well distributed with "stuff," one of which happens to be the train. In some other "small train" shots here, there is, for example, a big mountain with a small train at the bottom, or a big field with a small train at the far side, or what have you. Simpler images with fewer compositional elements, so the train has more presence despite its tiny size within the image. It is easier to spot, and it is more of the main part of the show. In your image it is not.

Now, some of us, we don't mind doing a bit of hunting to find the train, if the image is nice enough. So I continue to like your image; too bad it is not on RP.

Quote:
I will stop trying to take trains in the landscape now.
Now you are being just plain silly.
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Old 06-18-2008, 04:08 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willig
I've appealed and said what I wanted (although that should be obvious - I just wanted to show what's on the shot) I also asked for clarification on the cropping issue. I don't expect any help though.

I should just stick to close-ups and forget the scenery idea.

I also liked your shot. Just cause it didn't get in does not make it a bad shot. On the positive side,at least several of us got to see and comment on it here in the forums.

Keep up the good work.
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Old 06-18-2008, 04:30 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willig
Well, the final appeal was rejected. This time, having asked for some clarification, I got a note with the rejection in the e-mail. It said, "The train is really lost in the scene here Graham. Sorry!"
You got two choices. You can say, "To hell with trying to get it to meet their guidelines, I like it just fine as is and I'm not doing a ting to it." Or you can try to bring the train out more. I might be inclined to do the first suggestion. At the same time, I spent what seemed like two weeks getting one shot in the database that is now creditted for defining a new blue. (It wasn't a compliment though.)

Some rejects have nothing to do with how bad or how great of a shot it is. If the screeners and admins don't like it, it's their say. You've had two folks for the most part who didn't like it. Those of us here in the forums do like it. (Just your bad luck that the two who don't like it are in the screening process.) Keep your chin up. This was a wonderful shot.


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