Old 08-26-2014, 04:07 PM   #1
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Default Center of frame?

I'm a bit torn on this one. I know the subject is sort of in the center, but it goes across the entire frame. This isn't even one of my favorite shots, so I'm not terribly displeased that it was rejected, but I'd like to try to learn something from it.

http://www.railpictures.net/viewreje...84&key=3055520
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Old 08-26-2014, 04:32 PM   #2
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The problem is not horizontal, it is vertical. Nothing of interest is in the top half of the frame. Subject waaaay too low.
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Old 08-26-2014, 04:38 PM   #3
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If that's the case, why are they telling me it's too centered?
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Old 08-26-2014, 05:06 PM   #4
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The rejection reason specifically says "in most circumstances." Yours doesn't fall in the "most" category. Focus on the first part, where it says "the subject is awkwardly positioned in the frame."
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Old 08-26-2014, 05:10 PM   #5
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Okay. Is there a difference between my shot and a shot that uses a lot of "negative space?"
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Old 08-26-2014, 05:57 PM   #6
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I would reserve the term "negative space" for discussion of compositions with artistic interest. Your shot is a wedgie with all the action at the bottom. Sorry to be harsh.

Put differently, I see nothing in your shot that would put it in the category of the shots seen at these links. It is subjective, and I don't have any words to describe it. Other than shots with powerful negative space have a relationship of some sort between the positive space and the negative, whereas your shot, in my view, is just plain out of balance.

http://www.photographymad.com/pages/...in-photography

http://www.hongkiat.com/blog/positiv...n-photography/
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Old 08-26-2014, 06:20 PM   #7
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Hunter - I like the shot.

I see where RP would have an issue with it, however. I might not agree as I find myself in similar predicaments trying to include certain aspects of a shot rather then cropping down to a more generic (and perhaps appealing) crop. Catenary poles along the NEC, for instance. In your case, you likely did not want to cut off the cloud formation on the top, nor the pile of lumber to the right. That, however, made your image "top heavy" which is a tough sell on RP. However, I think you can still (even if just for RP) edit the shot without losing the feel. The subject is not centered, nor is it too low - rather - there's just "too much" on the top. Crop the top and some to the right and I think you'll find you still have a shot you can live with which might make the cut on RP.


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Old 08-26-2014, 07:08 PM   #8
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Welp, they didn't like it with the crop. Oh well.
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Old 08-26-2014, 07:40 PM   #9
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Can we see the edited crop version?

I'll hold any commentary till then.

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Old 08-26-2014, 08:54 PM   #10
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I think it needs more at the bottom and less up top.
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Old 08-26-2014, 10:57 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by B7BBQ View Post
I'm a bit torn on this one. I know the subject is sort of in the center, but it goes across the entire frame. This isn't even one of my favorite shots, so I'm not terribly displeased that it was rejected, but I'd like to try to learn something from it.

http://www.railpictures.net/viewreje...84&key=3055520
In the spirit of learning, for what it is worth here are my reactions right or wrong. I'm only one viewer, others' mileage may vary.

The good news is the lighting is very nice, about as good as it gets, except perhaps for the shadow that hits the lower part of the closest unit. One of the problems with good low light is those darn shadows.

The bad news is...as they said...the composition is awkward. Too much sky, a building sticking out of the top, an uninteresting lumber yard for a background, and an uninteresting angle on the rails in the foreground.

You potentially have a decent roster shot of two units, but nothing else going on in the picture to make it interesting. Whether that makes it one of the best railroad photos on the net, I have no idea.
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Old 08-26-2014, 11:18 PM   #12
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BTW, does anyone else feel that building sort of floats up there? And it doesn't look level. I'm not saying the shot is unlevel - as far as I can tell from checking verticals on the middle of the lead engine, it is. But that building sure looks funny. Massive optical illusion, regarding the floating.
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Old 08-26-2014, 11:30 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mgoldman View Post
Can we see the edited crop version?

I'll hold any commentary till then.

/Mitch
Yep:

http://www.railpictures.net/viewreje...31&key=3062827

I know it's not much different - all I did was a little chop from the top. I played with the crop for a few minutes and wasn't really getting anything I liked. As I said, this isn't one of my favorite shots anyway, so I don't really care much about if it gets in. I tried adding some to the bottom, but it's just a bunch of rocks and I wasn't really a fan of it (but that's just my opinion).
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Old 08-26-2014, 11:37 PM   #14
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Also, for reference, here's the full view (uncropped).

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Old 08-27-2014, 01:36 AM   #15
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Upon further review with a real computer and not my phone I would totally give up on this shot.

It is nothing more than a roster shot and that shadow on the truck absolutely kills that. Add in the floating building and the cables you took all that time and effort to get remove and I can't say I understand it.
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Old 08-27-2014, 02:26 AM   #16
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As for the issue addressed by the screener - cropping /balance, like I said, I could live with it. I'd suggest that you have to shoot a lot of images in order to understand what others are shooting, why they shoot what they shoot and why what they shoot is not always perfect. You have to be out in the field to understand this. You wanted the cloud formation in full and you thought the lumber added to the scene - I agree.

Barring that understanding or compassion - you had a shot that was (understandably) awkward. This however, was fixable without loosing the feel of the scene.

I suggested the image was top heavy - you took my advice and chopped the top, but left the right and ended up with a panoramic shot - something RP never lets on except when they do.

Here was my suggested crop - one I think would solve the issue noted by the screener:



The advice you got above - and typical here in the forums seems accurate, but not so much for admission to RP, but instead, as if it were being judged in a big photo competition where only a handful of images per day would be accepted.

I mean - is it not more appealing then these:

Image © Mike Pierry, Jr.
PhotoID: 495297
Photograph © Mike Pierry, Jr.


Image © BNSF ES44DC
PhotoID: 494943
Photograph © BNSF ES44DC


Image © Frank Orona
PhotoID: 494452
Photograph © Frank Orona


Image © Andrew Crosby
PhotoID: 494193
Photograph © Andrew Crosby


It's all diesel, so I wouldn't know, lol. But my guess is your photo would score more favoriting then some of the ones accepted above.

I agree with John and Brent, however, on an issue not brought up by the screener which makes the shot on the cusp of appealing and that is the shadow on the trucks. I made a quick attempt to make that less an issue with the use of the shadows and highlighting tool, along with some color balance to that area specifically bumping up the yellows and reds.

On a personal note - removing the wires is not acceptable for a site like RP, despite how often it likely happens. This site represents for the most part, reality. Or at least reality enhanced (saturation, shadow recovery, vignetting, ect.). Once you add or remove items you cross the line and should state so - and probably find another site to post that particular shot.
One seemingly acceptable edit that seems to be tolerated and accepted would be the elimination of flash bulbs and stands - somewhat common among night photography shooters. After all, they are only removing what they brought to the scene.

/Mitch
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Old 08-27-2014, 03:24 AM   #17
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Tastes differ, Mitch. I personally find that "cloud formation" to be hardly worth mentioning, must less fighting to preserve, and I would easily pick 3 of the 4 examples over the OPs shot. And I find that much of the engine set, especially the trailing engine, merges into the background tonally

But the real question, in this subjective world, is whether the screener had any basis on which to show "understanding" or "compassion" (and the latter - "sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others" - is surely not what you meant) and I don't see it here. It's just not a good enough shot to justify stretching the subjective standards that the screener is presumably thinking of.

BTW, OP, I see a strong greenish tinge, both in the ballast and in the lumber and you may want to take a look at Auto Correct or Color Correct and see how a change looks to you. But I'm not a great judge of color ...
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Old 08-27-2014, 03:24 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mgoldman View Post
removing the wires is not acceptable for a site like RP

/Mitch
Ah...sorry about that. I guess I was kind of treating it like a product shot, but that's a different thing than this site. I'll be more careful what I do in post...
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Old 08-27-2014, 03:32 AM   #19
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If you can reshoot this, take a wider scene. Maybe point your camera more to the left and get more of the tracks? It seems like it's a nice enough location.
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Old 08-27-2014, 03:53 AM   #20
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I've shot scenes numerous times in an attempt to not cut off features in a scene - some features, often noticed after the fact. Others might care less if half a person's body is in a scene, only 9/10ths of a catenary pole is captured, or you got yourself half a red Nissan pickup truck, ect.

Even in your fantastic PC bound image:

Image © Janusz Mrozek
PhotoID: 494352
Photograph © Janusz Mrozek


I might have been tempted to go just a hair wider or compose in such a way as to not cut off the steel table legs and maroon SUV. Still, I see even you made an attempt to keep certain details part of the scene, such as the red chair and white window pane.

I'm just acknowledging that as one who shoots often enough to see these details, that I can appreciate the effort. Some folks are just happy to get the train.

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Old 08-27-2014, 04:09 AM   #21
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10mm + perspective adjustment = all I could include was included (and, IIRC, the SUV was cut-off by a porch post anyway). I even vaguely remember intentionally cutting off the table legs.

WRT the cloud, we don't disagree on the effort or more accurately the intent, we disagree on the value. Had it been more of a defined formation I would look at the whole thing differently. As it is, too amorphous to be worthy of going out of one's way to keep in. Tastes differ.

But getting back to the most important part of the shot, I am still wondering, WHAT IS IT about the floating building??????? How did it get there?
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Old 08-27-2014, 04:13 AM   #22
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Thanks for the help! I know different artists have different styles, but I do notice details like that. I just recently graduated from photo school, so I'm definitely no expert, but I am finding how my style/what I see differs from others.
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Old 08-27-2014, 01:11 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mgoldman View Post
Here was my suggested crop - one I think would solve the issue noted by the screener:

Why did you crop the bottom? This scene needs every bit of the bottom of the frame that is available. Everyone is saying the train is too low in the frame, yet you (and the OP) continue to crop some off the bottom.

This is about the best it's going to look without it appearing to be too low in the frame.

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Old 08-27-2014, 05:40 PM   #24
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Quote:
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Why did you crop the bottom? This scene needs every bit of the bottom of the frame that is available. Everyone is saying the train is too low in the frame, yet you (and the OP) continue to crop some off the bottom.

This is about the best it's going to look without it appearing to be too low in the frame.

I prefer my crop - which does have more on the bottom then originally edited as well as less on the top.

Rule of thirds - you've heard the term, no?

Your subject is in the center, my edit, it's on the bottom third.

/Mitch
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Old 08-28-2014, 02:00 AM   #25
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Nope, yours is still too low. Mine is in the lower third. Look at where the wheels of the loco fall. Yours still feels unbalanced.

And no, I've never heard of such a silly rule. And I don't need stinkin' written rules. My eyes dictate the rules.
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