Old 11-24-2008, 10:15 PM   #1
Michael Link
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Hey guys, Hope ya'll are doing good. I recently bought my new Rebel XSi I am shooting with a stock 18-55 lens with IS. It figures I have only had two days of clear weather here since I bought it 4 or 5 weeks ago. Anyhow, I see you guys have hundreds of pictures on RP, and I only have 2. I mean I haven't been able to do much with my camera because of the weather. I am looking for help with like finding a good spot to railfan like not like a location but on how do I decide what is a good spot angle wise. I have a couple pictures for you guys also, I am curious what I can do to improve my photos. Of course I am only 16 and still have many years to hone my skills, but I would love to start getting good, print quality photos. Here are my rejects from the other day. All of the same train but how can I improve my skills? Thanks Mike

http://www.railpictures.net/viewreje...d=609049&key=0
http://www.railpictures.net/viewreje...&key=994447059
http://www.railpictures.net/viewreje...key=1078248875
http://www.railpictures.net/viewreje...&key=173555972
http://www.railpictures.net/viewreje...&key=597574886
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Old 11-24-2008, 10:26 PM   #2
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Forget all of the other ones for now and focus on the last rejection, the poor lighting/cloudy one. That's how it should be cropped, at least for the location. Although, I do like that angle of the high hood. Very nice indeed. I think the only problem was you were too far away, the train looks rather small compared to the bland scene. Otherwise, nice. Keep it up.


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Old 11-24-2008, 10:32 PM   #3
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Quote:
how do I decide what is a good spot angle wise.
Welcome to the forums, Mike! Equipment-wise, you're pretty set. The XSi is a great camera (not sure about the IS Kit Lens, but I had the Mk II Kit Lens and it did fine until I upgraded). Your best bet to find success on RP is to look through the database and see what type of shots are being accepted. On the homepage, click on the number added in the last week to get an idea of what's currently passing the muster...if you're shots look somewhat similar, you're on your way!
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Old 11-24-2008, 10:36 PM   #4
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I think a crop like this would work well

That way you can see the house and some of the train in the background, though the pole is somewhat annoying.
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Old 11-24-2008, 10:56 PM   #5
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Thanks guys, I think my lighting was bad for the fact of it wasn't hitting the front of the unit. But I think at that angle it would actually make the side look dark. I have been a member to RP for about 3 years the forum about 1, but I look at the photos I just can't find places that are that nice. If you guys want I have about 7 raw shots of this train straight from the camera maybe you guys could tell me if any could be edited to RP standards and how. Also, how close should I actually be to the train? Thanks Mike
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Old 11-24-2008, 10:58 PM   #6
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I second Nikos' comment; that crop works for me.

As far as your camera selection goes; good choice . That's what I use. Look at my stuff on here from 2008 onward, and you see what normal everyday RAW shooting yields. Contact me if you want to go over some workflow that I have learned from many of the other fantastic and helpful forum contibutors here; i'd heed their advice and practice, practice, practice.

And my most valued camera advice: shoot RAW, shoot only RAW, change your default sharpness in your camera from 3 to the max, which is 7, then tweek sharpness from 7 to 10 in DPP. Do the rest of your editing in PE7 or other photo editing software that you use.

Have fun!

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Old 11-25-2008, 02:01 AM   #8
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Congrats on #3!
Image © Michael Link
PhotoID: 261315
Photograph © Michael Link


As far as choosing a location, it all depends on the style of RR photography you are going for. Speaking figuratively, there are some on RP that could make a train travelling through a garbage dump look good. It looks like you have the basics as far as lighting. You just need to work on compostion/cropping. Looking through the DB, and learning from the forums will help you.

Just a bit of advise. Upon looking at your #1&#2 photos, plus the other zooms/crops of the accepted shot today, don't make it a habit of submitting multiple similar photos of the same train/same location. Others have lost their priveledges for doing so.
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Old 11-25-2008, 02:12 AM   #9
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Quote:
Speaking figuratively, there are some on RP that could make a train travelling through a garbage dump look good.
Well, literally speaking, Willie Brown makes the grade:
Image © Willie Brown
PhotoID: 137323
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Old 11-25-2008, 02:16 AM   #10
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Point well taken, Thanks everyone, Mike
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Old 11-25-2008, 04:45 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Link
Also, how close should I actually be to the train? Thanks Mike
As safe as possible first of all. I come from a company, just like everywhere else though, that stresses safety first. Make sure you go home in one piece. Second of all, it depends on what type of effect you want and/or what your lens is capable of. Example, if you want a nice long shot of a train with all the little bumps and waves you can actually stand relatively close to the tracks but pretty far away from the train, take the photo, then step back. It all depends on what you shoot, HOW you shoot, and what lenses you have. Good luck Michael!


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Old 11-26-2008, 03:45 AM   #12
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Could anyone give me suggestions for a lens for my camera with IS and Auto Focus that I could use for normal rail fanning situations. I use a Cannon Rebel XSi. Thanks Mike
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Old 11-26-2008, 11:40 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Link
Could anyone give me suggestions for a lens for my camera with IS and Auto Focus that I could use for normal rail fanning situations. I use a Cannon Rebel XSi. Thanks Mike
Depends on what you want type of shots you like. If you want to stand farther away from the train but have enough reach to make them appear closer, then I'd suggest the Canon 70-200mm f/4L USM (which, BTW, I know of one that's going to be going on sale very soon with free shipping* and insurance)




*standard rate shipping only
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Old 11-28-2008, 12:28 AM   #14
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Does that lens have IS and auto zoom? Thanks Mike
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Old 11-28-2008, 01:12 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Link
Does that lens have IS and auto zoom? Thanks Mike
No IS, and do you mean Auto Focus? I don't think 'Auto Zoom' exists, at least in Canon's line of SLR glass...
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Old 01-23-2009, 11:22 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ween
Well, literally speaking, Willie Brown makes the grade:
Image © Willie Brown
PhotoID: 137323
Photograph © Willie Brown
I have not visited the forums for quite awhile, but did stumble across this thread. Thanks for the kind words. I have not had the photography bug lately, but am starting to feel it again. lol
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