Old 06-13-2007, 05:42 PM   #1
CG_F45
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Default Requesting some feedback...

I have lately been trying to not only make my photos more technically sound, but more compositionally interesting as well.

I would like for you all to consider this set of photos from a recent trip I made to a museam.

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Tried the lower angle to convey power, not just a roster shot...do you thinnk it worked?

The following two are attempts to take a look at the details on the museum's classic diesels, as well as try some contrasty b&w.

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And this one:

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With some shots already been posted of this very locomotive (the 4017), I thought I would post something else...but do you feel that it really captures what this locomotive is all about?

I guess what I was really trying to do with the 'details' shots was to capture what those machines were without taking a roster shot. Do you feel I did that?

Thanks for taking the time to read and (hopefully) respond.
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Old 06-13-2007, 06:06 PM   #2
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Hey, Chris, thanks for opening yourself up to some feedback. I did take note of all of these shots as they came in, except for the first. It is hard for me to answer a question like "capture what these machines were" as I think my mind is just not wired for that! I, like Bush 41, do not have the "vision thing." So I'll just comment on them as pictures, so it's really just do I like them or not.

The Big Boy shot, I had a strong negative reaction. The picture makes the subject look short, squat, stout. Full frame width at the bottom, narrower at the top. It took away the classic lines of a steam engine, in my eyes. As a substitute for that, one can interpret it as giving particular attention to particular details. That is fine, but the composition just does not work for me. It doesn't have good lines holding it together.

The diesel nose I like. Nice BW work. Verticals and a diagonal, with the headlight as the central element. So a strong composition to me. I myself would at least have tried some perspective correction to get the verticals more parallel; maybe you did that, maybe not.

The diesel middle section shot, I don't care for. Various details, various lines, but no focus. The main lines, vertical door/side of cab, diagonal top of hood, curve of roof, don't lead to a focal point, except maybe for framing the diffuse, bland window full of glare.

Maybe I'm just in a mood to think about "lines" today. Also, I was reading some pages in "Learning to see Creatively" by Bryan Peterson last night, so maybe that shapes my comments today.

Keep at it! You will get better and better. I am planning a visit to the B&O Museum in Baltimore for July, where I hope to be making the same sorts of creative efforts (otherwise, I'll just end up with a heap of museum roster shots ).
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Old 06-13-2007, 06:15 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CG_F45

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Tried the lower angle to convey power, not just a roster shot...do you thinnk it worked?
No, you're too low. Too much of the engine is unseen.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CG_F45
The following two are attempts to take a look at the details on the museum's classic diesels, as well as try some contrasty b&w.

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The lighting is interesting, but the subject is not. Try to find a more complex area of the engine and more than one section of the engine to fit into the shot.

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Originally Posted by CG_F45
And this one:

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With some shots already been posted of this very locomotive (the 4017), I thought I would post something else...but do you feel that it really captures what this locomotive is all about?
I think this photo is alright, but I wonder if something could have been done to not cut off so much of the engine. Even if that's possible, the killer thing is that it was shot in-doors and that is clearly visible. I don't think you've captured what this engine "is all about" but at no fault of your own. The engine was made to pull heavy freight up steep grades, not to sit in a museum. I don't think it's possible to truly capture this engine unless it's doing what is was designed to do.

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Old 06-13-2007, 09:34 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by CG_F45
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Tried the lower angle to convey power, not just a roster shot...do you thinnk it worked?
IMO, shots like this are a nice change for wedgies, but the distortion on this one is very evident. I like the angle but it sort of makes the engine seem "squashed" in certain aspects but enlarged in others. With the rest of the train already trailing into the curve, a more levelled shot probably would turn out good anyway.
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Old 06-13-2007, 09:48 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carl Becker
IMO, shots like this are a nice change for wedgies, but the distortion on this one is very evident.
I think the distortion is the point! Of course it is evident.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike B.
Too much of the engine is unseen.
I take it you are not a fan of head-on shots.
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Old 06-14-2007, 08:16 AM   #6
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Thumbs up

I would like to thank everyone for their constructive comments and helpful insights...I really appreciate them, as I can use them to become a better photog!


Quote:
Originally Posted by JRMDC
I think the distortion is the point! Of course it is evident.
Bingo! My avatar brings out the distortion even more (thank you photoshop) and adds a better sky... Funky, eh?
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Old 06-14-2007, 01:21 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CG_F45
I have lately been trying to not only make my photos more technically sound, but more compositionally interesting as well.

I would like for you all to consider this set of photos from a recent trip I made to a museam.

Image ©
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Photograph ©
This is a pretty risky submission to RP considering the sky. I'm glad to see it get in. I submitted some grey sky/rainy day shots of an orange engine and was told the shots got in pretty much because of the contrast between the power and the sky. So that's a good thing.

I like wide angle shots and I like low angle looking up shots, so this is my cup of tea. I would have taken this shot, but I might have also tried a few variations to see if I could get that nose worked out a little more and show more of the top of the unit. That angle might not have worked though. And, of course, it's real easy for me to MMQ (Monday morning quarterback). Like I said, I really like the shot.

The bottom three shots you listed aren't really my cup of tea, truth be known, so I won't comment other than to say it's always nice to see someone thinking outside the wedgie. I try to do the same, but I look at my RP portfolio and I'm not sure I'm doing very well on the anti-wedgie front.


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Old 06-14-2007, 05:21 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JRMDC
I take it you are not a fan of head-on shots.
No, I like head-on shots, but not when it's so low that part of the front of the engine is blocked. This photo is a perfect example of how I like to shoot from a low angle.
http://railpictures.net/viewphoto.php?id=190089
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Old 06-14-2007, 05:54 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike B.
No, I like head-on shots, but not when it's so low that part of the front of the engine is blocked. This photo is a perfect example of how I like to shoot from a low angle.
http://railpictures.net/viewphoto.php?id=190089
Well, I was more than a bit glib. The point is that obscuring engine detail - such as the way a head-on does not show the sides of an engine - is not a general criterion for a good shot. It depends on what is being done/attempted.

Chris' shot is intentionally distorting the perspective, in an attempt to make the nose look more dynamic and sizeable. He blocks the windshield in doing so. But then, he is not doing a documentary shot, a roster shot; it's not about preserving all the details of the engine. So he goes down to rail level while remaining close to the engine, giving up some things to emphasize others. I believe the loss of the windshield is no great loss.

By comparison, Ron's very nicely done wedgie is a wedgie and doesn't much emphasize the majesty of the train. It's a low angle, but not that low, in impact if not in fact. While he appears to be shooting at rail level (for the far track, which appears elevated compared to the near track), the train is far enough away that the lowering doesn't dramatically change the point of view. So it isn't that much different from a standard, standing-up or fully-extended-tripod shot. It is noticeable, but not in the same category as Chris'. It's equivalent to the modest change in perspective from using a stepstool, as someone (Jim?) was talking about recently.

I'm not objecting to your taste in shots. Rather, it seemed that you were judging Chris' shot according to a criterion that is unrelated to what he was trying to do. I'm probably making too much of this; not for the first time.
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Old 06-14-2007, 06:38 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JRMDC
I'm not objecting to your taste in shots. Rather, it seemed that you were judging Chris' shot according to a criterion that is unrelated to what he was trying to do. I'm probably making too much of this; not for the first time.
Yes, I think you are making too much of this. Chris asked for some feedback so I gave it. I never said that his shot was wrong in anyway, it just doesn't appeal to me and I gave a reason why. I like to be able to see everything in a shot and when a big part of an engine is blocked by itself, it just looks funky to me.
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Old 06-14-2007, 06:41 PM   #11
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Ooops, 2x post...see below.
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Old 06-14-2007, 06:42 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe the Photog
This is a pretty risky submission to RP considering the sky. I'm glad to see it get in. I submitted some grey sky/rainy day shots of an orange engine and was told the shots got in pretty much because of the contrast between the power and the sky. So that's a good thing.
Thank you! I guess it was risky to upload...but when you really like a shot... I thought there was enough light on the F unit and enought detail in the clouds to make it acceptable.

Quote:
I like wide angle shots and I like low angle looking up shots, so this is my cup of tea. I would have taken this shot, but I might have also tried a few variations to see if I could get that nose worked out a little more and show more of the top of the unit. That angle might not have worked though. And, of course, it's real easy for me to MMQ (Monday morning quarterback). Like I said, I really like the shot.
I guess I should have put more consideration into getting the windshield, but then again, I wanted to get the rail in the shot and go as low as possible, and since this sort of shot is one I would ONLY attempt at a museum, and I was at a museum, I figured I would go "all out" low. Deffinetly some good food for thought when I make my next museum visit!

Quote:
The bottom three shots you listed aren't really my cup of tea, truth be known, so I won't comment other than to say it's always nice to see someone thinking outside the wedgie. I try to do the same, but I look at my RP portfolio and I'm not sure I'm doing very well on the anti-wedgie front.
Hey, I like your shots...they look very creative to me!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike B.
No, I like head-on shots, but not when it's so low that part of the front of the engine is blocked. This photo is a perfect example of how I like to shoot from a low angle.
http://railpictures.net/viewphoto.php?id=190089
I too enjoy those sorts of shots, see attached.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JRMDC
Well, I was more than a bit glib.
That was one of my vocab words in high school english this year!

Quote:
Chris' shot is intentionally distorting the perspective, in an attempt to make the nose look more dynamic and sizeable. He blocks the windshield in doing so. But then, he is not doing a documentary shot, a roster shot; it's not about preserving all the details of the engine. So he goes down to rail level while remaining close to the engine, giving up some things to emphasize others. I believe the loss of the windshield is no great loss.
That is a very eloquent way of saying what I was going for with that photo!
I figured that a parked museam piece was a perfect subject to take the sort of photo that I would never of a moving (or even parked) train that was in service on a RR.


Again, thank you all for taking the time to analyze my photos and help me become a better photog!
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Old 06-14-2007, 06:49 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CG_F45
I figured that a parked museam piece was a perfect subject to take the sort of photo that I would never of a moving (or even parked) train that was in service on a RR.
C'mon! Get a remote shutter release, bury the camera in the ballast pointing up, and GET that blur nose shot!
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Old 06-14-2007, 06:54 PM   #14
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But thats dangerous! I would never do that.

Besides, have you seen the center of the tracks? Those locos and freight cars leak like crazy...I don't need a big blob of gear oil on my Nikon!!!
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Old 06-14-2007, 07:26 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CG_F45
But thats dangerous! I would never do that.

Besides, have you seen the center of the tracks? Those locos and freight cars leak like crazy...I don't need a big blob of gear oil on my Nikon!!!
Danger? That is what the remote is for! Just sit and relax 10 yards away from the tracks, have a donut.

Besides, your angle is on the outside of the rails, you could attach the camera to the end of a tie!

I've got a Tom Rogers DVD from the CSX OML sub where he puts the video camera reeeeal close to the tracks and films with a remote, cool stuff.
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Old 06-15-2007, 12:46 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CG_F45
Those locos and freight cars leak like crazy...I don't need a big blob of gear oil on my Nikon!!!
Nikon ???? Oil ???? Hmmmm it could only be an improvement.
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Old 06-15-2007, 06:03 PM   #17
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Cool

Quote:
Originally Posted by Switched out
Nikon ???? Oil ???? Hmmmm it could only be an improvement.

Ouch!

EDIT: Hey, I just noticed, we both have orange-ish cab units as our avatars! ...Although, you have had your's longer...I'm a copycat!
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Old 06-15-2007, 11:04 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JRMDC

I've got a Tom Rogers DVD from the CSX OML sub where he puts the video camera reeeeal close to the tracks and films with a remote, cool stuff.
HOW close? Trespassing close?
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