Old 12-11-2013, 05:11 AM   #1
Amtrakdavis22
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Default Blaming The System

As some of you know, there are quite a few people out there that believe all the contributors to this website suck up to Kilroy, Starnes, Gunnoe, etc. I thought it was funny when I saw this post in a facebook group.

I wanted to tell them my story about how/when I got onto this site. I ended up getting my first shot on here not too long after being banned for uploading like 10 shots of the same images. Luckily, Chris Kilroy was nice enough to grant me uploading privileges back. I was ignorant back then and I'm sure I was not in too great of standing with anyone. So the idea you have to suck up is just wrong.

Its sad that people seem to blame the system rather than working hard to improve their photos. I know getting a shot onto RailPics doesn't automatically make it a good photo (or a rejected shot bad), but there are steps people can take. Railpictures could force them to learn some basics behind lighting, shadows, composition and editing.

Unfortunately, these folks seem to have no desire to get better. Even if they don't want to contribute to Railpictures, they should at least want to get better. A large problem (do to the online nature of photo sharing these days) is some folks with absolutely no knowledge about photography, praise these people. There is no criticism these days. When someone does criticize, folks with no knowledge about photography will just say "you're jealous" or "you're a douche".

My main goal by creating this thread was to ask you guys about your thoughts. Have you seen an upswing in poor photography being praised as amazing? Do you see people not making any attempt to better their photography? Do you see people being persecuted for criticizing? And lastly, what are your thoughts on people who blame the system (aka RP.Net).

Thanks for taking the time to read.
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Old 12-11-2013, 05:57 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Amtrakdavis22 View Post
As some of you know, there are quite a few people out there that believe all the contributors to this website suck up to Kilroy, Starnes, Gunnoe, etc. I thought it was funny when I saw this post in a facebook group.

I wanted to tell them my story about how/when I got onto this site. I ended up getting my first shot on here not too long after being banned for uploading like 10 shots of the same images. Luckily, Chris Kilroy was nice enough to grant me uploading privileges back. I was ignorant back then and I'm sure I was not in too great of standing with anyone. So the idea you have to suck up is just wrong.

Its sad that people seem to blame the system rather than working hard to improve their photos. I know getting a shot onto RailPics doesn't automatically make it a good photo (or a rejected shot bad), but there are steps people can take. Railpictures could force them to learn some basics behind lighting, shadows, composition and editing.

Unfortunately, these folks seem to have no desire to get better. Even if they don't want to contribute to Railpictures, they should at least want to get better. A large problem (do to the online nature of photo sharing these days) is some folks with absolutely no knowledge about photography, praise these people. There is no criticism these days. When someone does criticize, folks with no knowledge about photography will just say "you're jealous" or "you're a douche".

My main goal by creating this thread was to ask you guys about your thoughts. Have you seen an upswing in poor photography being praised as amazing? Do you see people not making any attempt to better their photography? Do you see people being persecuted for criticizing? And lastly, what are your thoughts on people who blame the system (aka RP.Net).

Thanks for taking the time to read.
You can try to prove it to them that you don't kiss ass to get photo's on the website, but the moment you prove that theory wrong you get booted or blocked.

They are the idiots that litter the hobby today.
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Old 12-11-2013, 07:28 AM   #3
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First off I'll agree that I've seen more people without insight into photography- to use your word- "praise" others' work. But these days any dumb blonde girl with a camera thinks she's a photographer, right? And in the age of camera phones and small point-and-shoot cameras that has definitely increased. But out of the bunch of people with cheap tech there rise a few great "photographers."

The rp.net community has a very tight-knit group of photography styles containing more of the documentation, impressive (great scenes), and working (railroad labor) types of the hobby rather than the item's art. It boils down to the subject. For RP it's the train, but for the other less seen aspect, it is the actual image; its colors, texure, warmth, design, and feeling. Photography is art, but art is not always photography- at least in the sense all us RP junkies are used to. Art is color. Art has texture. Art has warmth. Art has a design. Art has feeling. Many people won't get exactly what art is, but many think they do. I'm not proving that one is superior, nor that one is more interesting. I'm simply trying to point out that there are 2 sides, and many from one won't see the other for what it is. So with that said, some of "these folks" don't want to learn because what they do is in fact something else. They know what they do, and they do what they know. What they know is what they want.

There is criticism, there always was and there always will be. But as with everything there are different levels, it's never black and white; it's greyscale. People (and I'm using that word in regards to the topic underlying this thread) criticize because they're angry. They're angry because they may think that the other figure of photography- the one that intertwines with "art"- is taking all their viewers away from them. I don't think it is, i think that more people that see greyscale are seeing technicolor. The people who are calling criticizers "jealous" or "a douche" are not inept with a camera, they are standing up for a friend. They are putting their core values such as friendship ahead of what they know.


I hope you get what I'm saying and what I'm pointing out, but after all it's merely an opinion. It may not be yours but it is mine, and in all fairness everyone's opinion should be taken into account
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Old 12-11-2013, 08:06 AM   #4
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All those groups just look like a bunch of goofy teenagers (at best) with the occasional "special" adult mixed in, a la Dan Valentine. The internet has given people a forum to publicly broadcast what use to just said just between friends. Lord knows I posted lots of dumb stuff allover the internet when I was that age (and still doing so to this day). Don't see why they have to keep getting brought up.

@coaststarlight14; I've never considered myself an artist in regards to taking pictures of trains. In fact, I would go as far as to say I'm only a photographer in the most general sense of the word. To be honest, I always just kinda smile and nod when people in this hobby try to play that angle. Railfanning is railfanning, thats it. Like you mentioned, that phenomena is not limited to our hobby. Technology has made the hobby so accessible, everybody and their brother is a 'photographer' now a days. Not to sound like an old curmudgeon (I'm only in my 20s after all), but as great as technology is, it has really watered down the human experience in alot of way, especially photography. And yes, I know how incredibility hipster that sounds. Look at what it took create great images not just in the darkroom era, but even right up until the end with slide film. It was a time consuming labor of love, with a ton of trial and error. Thats what it means to be a photographer, not getting a digital camera at 14, ripping off 1,000 frames on your first outing, then fudging sliders in photoshop.

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Old 12-11-2013, 01:53 PM   #5
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All those groups just look like a bunch of goofy teenagers (at best) with the occasional "special" adult mixed in, a la Dan Valentine. The internet has given people a forum to publicly broadcast what use to just said just between friends. Lord knows I posted lots of dumb stuff allover the internet when I was that age (and still doing so to this day). Don't see why they have to keep getting brought up.
This.

I bet the detractors make up less than 1% of railfan photographers in this world. The loudest ones are most likely those who were told throughout their childhood that they were "winners" even though they didn't possess the skills of some of the other kids. When they face rejection outside of their safety bubble, they don't know how to handle it. Lashing out at things they can't be a part of because they lack the skills and talent is the only way they know how to deal with it.
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Old 12-12-2013, 12:49 PM   #6
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. When they face rejection outside of their safety bubble, they don't know how to handle it. Lashing out at things they can't be a part of because they lack the skills and talent is the only way they know how to deal with it.
To quote the old man on Pawn Stars
‎”Back in my day if you had a problem you got a bottle of Jack Daniels and dealt with it, these days kids just want wanna talk about feelings”
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Old 12-12-2013, 06:19 PM   #7
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You can try to prove it to them that you don't kiss ass to get photo's on the website, but the moment you prove that theory wrong you get booted or blocked.

They are the idiots that litter the hobby today.
You mean people can get their photos on here for free?

I give Starnes half my lunch money each week, Kilroy got my old GF and Gunnoe, I don't even want to say what I have to do for him, it is just too embarrassing.

But heck, it is all worth it (I think) because I have a hobby now (getting my images past the screening process) and I have something to talk about (bitching about the screening process) and I have a bunch of new friends (the other idiots that subject themselves to the screening process).

For sure, I don't just live the RP life, it is my life!

BTW - Mom said I could have the house when she croaks off, so there is no reason to move out of the basement; and Kilroy just broke up with the former GF, so I see a reconciliation in my future.


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....The loudest ones are most likely those who were told throughout their childhood that they were "winners" even though they didn't possess the skills of some of the other kids.
You may be right, but I just can't imagine anyone ever telling Volemort that he was a winner and perhaps that is the problem (not the only one of course).

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Old 12-12-2013, 08:37 PM   #8
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You mean people can get their photos on here for free?

I give Starnes half my lunch money each week, Kilroy got my old GF and Gunnoe, I don't even want to say what I have to do for him, it is just too embarrassing.

But heck, it is all worth it (I think) because I have a hobby now (getting my images past the screening process) and I have something to talk about (bitching about the screening process) and I have a bunch of new friends (the other idiots that subject themselves to the screening process).

For sure, I don't just live the RP life, it is my life!

BTW - Mom said I could have the house when she croaks off, so there is no reason to move out of the basement; and Kilroy just broke up with the former GF, so I see a reconciliation in my future.




You may be right, but I just can't imagine anyone ever telling Volemort that he was a winner and perhaps that is the problem (not the only one of course).
Funniest post on the forum in a long time!!!
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Old 12-12-2013, 10:25 PM   #9
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You mean people can get their photos on here for free?

I give Starnes half my lunch money each week, Kilroy got my old GF and Gunnoe, I don't even want to say what I have to do for him, it is just too embarrassing.

But heck, it is all worth it (I think) because I have a hobby now (getting my images past the screening process) and I have something to talk about (bitching about the screening process) and I have a bunch of new friends (the other idiots that subject themselves to the screening process).

For sure, I don't just live the RP life, it is my life!

BTW - Mom said I could have the house when she croaks off, so there is no reason to move out of the basement; and Kilroy just broke up with the former GF, so I see a reconciliation in my future.
This is a picture of Holloran Grade in case no one has met him....




Seriously, though: this post.
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Old 12-13-2013, 12:20 AM   #10
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You may be right, but I just can't imagine anyone ever telling Volemort that he was a winner and perhaps that is the problem (not the only one of course).
Well, for the older set, that's where mental sickness takes over.
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Old 12-13-2013, 04:38 AM   #11
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I understand where this thread comes from... I'm ashamed to be considered part of this mix because I upload the occasional photo every month or so... Is it really all that bad to contribute to a free site with something you're halfway decent at doing? I just don't get it much anymore...
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Old 12-13-2013, 05:02 AM   #12
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I shoot pictures I am going to like looking at in 30 years. And tomorrow. FWIW I cant even remember the last time I had a photo rejected here.... Not RPElite... so that must make me Max Winston Link right?!
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I personally have had a problem with those trying to tell us to turn railroad photography into an "art form." It's fine for them to do so, I welcome it in fact, but what I do have a problem with is that the practitioners of the more "arty" shots, I have found, tend to look down their nose's at others who are shooting more "mundane" shots.
Railroad photography is what you make of it, but one way is not "better" than another, IMHO. Unless you have a pole right thought the nose of the engine! -SG
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Old 12-13-2013, 06:46 AM   #13
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You mean people can get their photos on here for free?

I give Starnes half my lunch money each week, Kilroy got my old GF and Gunnoe, I don't even want to say what I have to do for him, it is just too embarrassing.

But heck, it is all worth it (I think) because I have a hobby now (getting my images past the screening process) and I have something to talk about (bitching about the screening process) and I have a bunch of new friends (the other idiots that subject themselves to the screening process).

For sure, I don't just live the RP life, it is my life!

BTW - Mom said I could have the house when she croaks off, so there is no reason to move out of the basement; and Kilroy just broke up with the former GF, so I see a reconciliation in my future.




You may be right, but I just can't imagine anyone ever telling Volemort that he was a winner and perhaps that is the problem (not the only one of course).
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Old 12-15-2013, 04:23 AM   #14
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I understand where this thread comes from... I'm ashamed to be considered part of this mix because I upload the occasional photo every month or so... Is it really all that bad to contribute to a free site with something you're halfway decent at doing? I just don't get it much anymore...
You're profile pic, Oh man.....I'm laughing because I've run into people that look exactly like that.
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Old 12-15-2013, 04:50 AM   #15
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To the OP:

I find many of your statements to resemble some of my earliest goals and opinions that I applied when attempting to get photos accepted into the database. I was likely one of the Chris' most difficult contributors in my earliest days.

I learned how to take photos through Railpictures and I became inspired to experiment more with different photography techniques from the images I saw on this website. I became familiar with composition and color/contrast preferences under various lighting conditions. I adapted to the RP standards and applied them to my every day photography.

I had a general idea of what would land me a PEQ and what would stand a decent change of being acceptable. Today, I still flirt with PEQ.

Railpictures and the screening procedures turned me from an amateur picture taker with absolutely zero abilities, knowledge, or maturity, and helped me find myself involved in an incredibly enjoyable hobby where I've had the privilege to meet so many talented railroad photographers and learn about photography.

At the end of the day, a lot of folks continue to take this website and the entire hobby incredibly too serious. Spending time trackside, sharing your photos with friends, and growing your portfolio through the internet's most prominent railroad photography collection should all be done so enjoyably.

Best Regards,
Chase Gunnoe
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Old 12-15-2013, 05:55 AM   #16
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At the end of the day, a lot of folks continue to take this website and the entire hobby incredibly too serious. Spending time trackside, sharing your photos with friends, and growing your portfolio through the internet's most prominent railroad photography collection should all be done so enjoyable.
This. Again.
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Old 12-15-2013, 09:43 AM   #17
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Thanks Chase,

I completely agree with your statements. The reason I made this thread was to point out the trend I have found in young, immature railfans. They seem to blame RailPics for being to uptight and corrupt while they should really just take the time to learn some basic photography techniques like lighting, composition, editing. From there they can expand and build their portfolio with well thought out photographs.

I know a lot of people might judge me for saying this, but like you, I learned a lot of basic photography techniques through RailPics. I am happy I fought through the failure. Without Railpics, I doubt I would have sold any photographs by now.

Thanks again for your response.
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Old 12-15-2013, 07:01 PM   #18
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Without Railpics, I doubt I would have sold any photographs by now.
This. Just sold another because of RP. How can anyone hate this site when it gives you that kind of opportunity?
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Old 12-15-2013, 08:04 PM   #19
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How can anyone hate this site when it gives you that kind of opportunity?
The haters haven't sold dick, and their mommy and daddy never told them that life is a lot of work and you fail more often than achieve.

Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
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