Old 06-12-2014, 08:45 PM   #1
John West
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Smile More on Flickr

One of the really nice features of Flickr is their ability to show an "album" of a few related images as a montage of relatively large thumbnails. You can see a lot of images on a single page, and see how they relate. I put together a small album of shots at Lava on the C&TS taken from before sunrise to after sunset on several trips. It is really neat how they can all be viewed together with just a bit of scrolling.

https://flic.kr/s/aHsjYaHXdX
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Old 06-13-2014, 12:08 AM   #2
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You do know RP has albums don't you? Lol
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Old 06-13-2014, 12:58 AM   #3
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You do know RP has albums don't you? Lol
True, but the benefit as John is pointing out is the difference between how RP presents the album vs how FLICKR presents the album.

With FLICKR the thumbnails are bigger and easier to digest without all the biographical data. While on RP, albums are displayed no different than the grid results from any other type of search.
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Old 06-13-2014, 01:16 AM   #4
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True, but the benefit as John is pointing out is the difference between how RP presents the album vs how FLICKR presents the album.

With FLICKR the thumbnails are bigger and easier to digest without all the biographical data. While on RP, albums are displayed no different than the grid results from any other type of search.
Ah. Gotcha. But still, its a compilation of pics with a similar theme. Not too different or better than RP.
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Old 06-13-2014, 02:56 AM   #5
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Ah. Gotcha. But still, its a compilation of pics with a similar theme. Not too different or better than RP.
Not too sure what the Gotcha is all about. Folks can do "albums" any number of places. But the way Flickr displays them is far better than RP. While I remain a fan of RP's "curatorial" approach to image selection, the graphics here are a bit like driving a Model T.
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Old 06-13-2014, 03:06 AM   #6
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That was an acknowledgement to the other post.
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Old 06-14-2014, 02:10 AM   #7
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Moreover....is anyone other than me noticing these trends on RP.net: a much higher percentage of foreign (non-US) subjects...and a heavier percentage of pretty much plain vanilla sunny day wedge shots? I'm not at all provincial when it comes to what part of the globe the train was photographed, because a great train shot is great no matter where it was taken. In fact, I enjoy much of the foreign material (particularly the UK steam shots!). And, I've enjoyed the participation from our overseas friends here on the Forum.

I have proposed here many times that RP.net take a fresh look at how it treats "senior" practitioners of this hobby. I'm not seeking favored status myself, as they've been very fair to me, overall. But what about all the truly outstanding rail photographers who wouldn't bother to submit something to RP.net for reasons I don't need to cover again---or worse---some of the great photographers who have unplugged and walked away in frustration? What can be done to bring those photographers---and their talents and inspired images---to RP.net?

I'm actually not digressing from John's subject---because I'm having an ever-lovin' ball with Flickr! I don't care at all about the lower view counts, because I have more people who follow me every day (and vice versa). I can delete shots I don't like---and then re-post them later if I do a better scan. Some of my best shots on RP.net are buried way, way back in the data base some eight to ten years ago---and they're really bad scans to boot! Sure, I can upload an improved version, but why? No one will see them, or care. On Flickr, though, I can bring that killer shot that I just rescanned and cleaned up to the forefront of attention---and delete the old one.

Any organization should have introspective moments and consider ways to improve the service or the product. Those that do--and do it well---survive and thrive. Those that cling stubbornly to the "tried and proven" methods (or don't listen to, or really respect its very customer base---those who generate the images for the site itself) might eventually become less relevant. I, for one, hope that RP.net would reinvent itself and take these points, and others, into consideration.

So.....now back to my growing Flickr account....which is FUN!!!!
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Old 06-14-2014, 02:29 AM   #8
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I have proposed here many times that RP.net take a fresh look at how it treats "senior" practitioners of this hobby. I'm not seeking favored status myself, as they've been very fair to me, overall. But what about all the truly outstanding rail photographers who wouldn't bother to submit something to RP.net for reasons I don't need to cover again---or worse---some of the great photographers who have unplugged and walked away in frustration? What can be done to bring those photographers---and their talents and inspired images---to RP.net?
I am friends with a Montreal-based photographer who is probably roughly your age Ron who has about 100 photos on rp. He is a great photographer who still shoots almost daily and has great archival stuff. Even with current material he gets what he considers to be nitpick rejections and has finally walked way in frustration - he won't even view the site anymore after his last rounds of rejections.
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Old 06-14-2014, 02:42 AM   #9
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I am friends with a Montreal-based photographer who is probably roughly your age Ron who has about 100 photos on rp. He is a great photographer who still shoots almost daily and has great archival stuff. Even with current material he gets what he considers to be nitpick rejections and has finally walked way in frustration - he won't even view the site anymore after his last rounds of rejections.
Sadly, that's what I hear from many other experienced rail photographers who are in the 50 plus age bracket. There has to be another way. These guys naturally get ticked off when they get rejections for inconsequential reasons. They're perfectly able to self-edit and self-select their own images for a site such as RP.net---which has been my point for a long time.

You can go to my Flickr account and quickly scroll through a lot of shots that are on RP.net---but some that aren't here (either rejected, or never uploaded here). I doubt you'll find any single shot that's a complete and total dud that shouldn't be on a site such as RP.net. I'm a big boy...so I didn't have to get anyone's permission to upload any of those shots on Flickr.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/91191585@N07/

This should only be about fun....nothing else. If the fun leaves, what's left?
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Old 06-14-2014, 02:54 PM   #10
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Ron,
Read you post with interest. Had a look at your stuff on Flickr and there’s some magnificent shots there. You have a good eye.
I joined RP only in April this year and uploaded 20 pix. I became so disillusioned with the inconsistency of the screening process that I quit uploading in disgust. Average views were 947 so somebody must have wanted to see them.
I’m 65 years old and have been shooting trains for 51 years. I have more than 100,000 shots taken in 61 countries (including thousands over 40 years in the US) which I was hoping to enjoy the experience of sharing with the folks on RP.
When I think about some of my shots which were rejected for IMHO trivial reasons and then look at the daily stream of rubbish which gets through, I feel that RP is not for me. The mindless daily stream of really plain stuff and shots with poles growing out of the locomotive’s head makes me despair. The site seems to be missing an ethic of excellence.
So now I just skim through the photos each day and look at a few of the good pix but I don’t upload any more.
Like many others it would seem that perhaps Flickr is for me.
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Old 06-14-2014, 04:54 PM   #11
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Greg,
It sounds like you're the poster child for the very issue we've thrown around here. For sure, I'll be certain to follow you on Flickr if you start posting stuff there. Thanks so much.

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Old 06-14-2014, 05:06 PM   #12
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Cool A better "RP"

The solution is really simple. Somebody or some group needs to see the opportunity here and start a new and better website.

The advantage of RP is that it is selective, and the better shots do get a lot of traffic. But clearly it is very flawed. It screams out for somebody to do it better. With a bit of publicity to begin with, my guess is a new and better site would attract a lot of RP's traffic very quickly. Then RP would have to adapt or be left in the dust.

There might even be some better alternatives already out there, but if there are they are not well enough known or accessible to enough folks to make this discussion irrelevent. The sheer volume of good railway photography past and present suggests the internet is the only way to share it widely, you can't publish enough books and magazines to do them all justice, and print is a shrinking medium anyway. But some form of selection or editing is essential to allow the better images to rise to the top.
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Old 06-15-2014, 05:09 AM   #13
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railpicturesforcrotchetyoldmenwithshortattentionsp ans.net
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Old 06-15-2014, 01:29 PM   #14
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railpicturesforcrotchetyoldmenwithshortattentionsp ans.net
Not a bit funny...
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Old 06-15-2014, 03:44 PM   #15
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Not a bit funny...
Come on Ron, just joking with you all, you know I agree with every one of your points
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Old 06-15-2014, 03:59 PM   #16
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Not a bit funny...
Troy's just trying to get himself banned again. He's jealous of HG.

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Old 06-16-2014, 02:06 PM   #17
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The solution is really simple. Somebody or some group needs to see the opportunity here and start a new and better website.
Unless you're going to accept all photos no questions asked, you are going to piss people off. We already know how poorly a site with no screening performs (RRPA).

By no means am I saying this place is anywhere close to perfect, but if there is a better way, I'm quite sure we would have seen it by now. I mean there's been hundreds if not thousands of grumpy photographers that gave RP the finger and walked away. Several have put forth a ton of effort to slander the place, but none have stepped up and created the 'answer'.

You cannot pass judgement upon others without making enemies. That is and will be the main issue with RP, Trains magazine, any photographic contest ever, any new competitor to RP, etc.

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Old 06-16-2014, 03:59 PM   #18
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...but none have stepped up and created the 'answer'...


Loyd L.
I have.

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You cannot pass judgement upon others without making enemies. That is and will be the main issue with RP, Trains magazine, any photographic contest ever, any new competitor to RP, etc.

Loyd L.
True....but people don't tend to get pissed at the magazines, because the odds of your material being published are so very slim. Photo contests? Yea, maybe.

But RP is different. It's fairly easy and immediate...and if you don't get the expected positive result, folks tend to get pissed off. That's just human nature, of course.

I think starting another site is a zero option. It makes more sense to fine tune something that works---at least a fairly high percentage of the time.
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Old 06-16-2014, 04:42 PM   #19
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I have.
Your flickr page doesn't benefit the rest of us


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Old 06-16-2014, 05:15 PM   #20
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[quote=bigbassloyd;179732]Your flickr page doesn't benefit the rest of us


On the contrary, it does!
Every viable alternative helps prevent RP preferences from becoming hobby-wide standards. I think this was a real danger until some contributors with good stuff to share walked away.
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Old 06-16-2014, 05:31 PM   #21
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Your flickr page doesn't benefit the rest of us
If does if you look at it
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Old 06-16-2014, 06:55 PM   #22
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On the contrary, it does!
Every viable alternative helps prevent RP preferences from becoming hobby-wide standards. I think this was a real danger until some contributors with good stuff to share walked away.
Most of the evils RP are now blamed for were suggested as such years before the internet.

Not exactly buying it.




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Old 06-16-2014, 06:58 PM   #23
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If does if you look at it
And there's the problem. There's too many that deserve to be looked at, and since I'm not generally going to invest time digging for it on flickr, I see nothing. I'm fine with that. My life isn't going to change on whether or not I soak up train photography. My fun (as Ron alluded to earlier) is mostly self centered. I like taking photos, I like posting one occasionally, and I'm not that keen on looking at other peoples shots.

A dig through RP twice a day fills my quota of other people's photography for me

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Old 06-16-2014, 07:43 PM   #24
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I think we can all agree that while FLICKR is not a direct competitor to RP.net it is a viable alternative for some photographers to share their work with wide audience. The challenge for a given photographer, "How do you get yourself on people's minds?" You know people coming to RP.net are likely here because they share at least a fledgling interest in trains and railroading. You can't really say that for FLICKR, because it is a photography website in the most general sense.

10 years ago, or whatever it was, RP.net filled a valid need. It was a central point where folks could go to see decent quality photography of railroads and railroad related subjects. It did so on an internet which-for the purposes of train buffs-had very little to offer aside from your garden variety message boards where crap photos had the same presence as masterpieces.

RP.net steps in, and provides a website dedicated to railroad photography and not just railfanning. From the beginning to present day, it is often maligned and attacked. As I like to say, "RP.net is the Yankees of railroad photography, you either love them or hate them." Rare indeed is it to find a person who doesn't have a pretty polarized opinion of this website or the people running it.

Of course, over the years a handful of screeners who all had invidual tastes and perspectives on photography had to somehow come together to agree on "standards" which are at best, highly dubious and even worse, inconsistently applied. There's a whole other thread committed to the discussion of standards and their validity, so I'm not going to beat on that here.

Back to the crux of the problem, now that the railfan community has a decidedly larger presence on the internet and social media has become the vehicle of choice for many people to share their work, RP.net is in a rather odd position. They no longer have the market cornered on helping photographers get "discovered" by their contemporaries, social media has ripped that carpet out from under them quite effectively.

To me, that was the one thing that set RP.net apart from any other railfan-oriented website. It was and remains difficult to find a railfan who does not have at least an casual knowledge of RP.net. I have known several people who have been solicited by industry, marketing, and just regular train lovers to purchase their photos. So one knows that the audience for RP.net is more than just other railfans. Personally, I have never been contacted by anyone through RP wanting to buy a photo, all of my sales have come from my own site (now defunct), word of mouth or when I display my stuff at art shows and galleries.

What does this mean? As far as I'm concerned, RP.net's usefulness is gradually being supplanted by other websites, specifically those who are much more integrated with social media. The one thing I still use it for (aside from the forums) is research prior to going on railfan trips and contacting people who live in the areas I will travel to.

Make no mistake about it, RP.net is ripe for competition. What if someone shows up on the scene tomorrow with a juried railroad photography website that says, "Sorry those guys at RP.net rejected your work, we like it, bring it to us!" What if they loosen their "standards" just enough that some of the people who are upset about RP's frivolous rejections jump ship? What if they do find a more efficient way to tie a new juried rail photography website to social media?

The management here has no incentive to make the site better other than incentive they create for themselves. They still get enough contributors to turn a profit on ad revenue even if a few hundred disgruntled photographers walk away. Some of the older, more storied photographers such as Ron often lament that they do not feel like their experience and work is appreciated. That feeling is likely validated when they get photos rejected for non-substantial flaws, like one or two degrees from being level, or just a little undersharpened.

So, yeah a little bit of healthy competition might do wonders, and as I have said before, photographers should look anxiously for that day, because it will lead to positive things for everyone.
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Old 06-16-2014, 08:48 PM   #25
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The management here has no incentive to make the site better other than incentive they create for themselves. They still get enough contributors to turn a profit on ad revenue even if a few hundred disgruntled photographers walk away. Some of the older, more storied photographers such as Ron often lament that they do not feel like their experience and work is appreciated. That feeling is likely validated when they get photos rejected for non-substantial flaws, like one or two degrees from being level, or just a little undersharpened.

So, yeah a little bit of healthy competition might do wonders, and as I have said before, photographers should look anxiously for that day, because it will lead to positive things for everyone.
Spot on.

And yet another Déjà vu moment on the RP forums.

/Mitch
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