Old 03-13-2015, 07:01 PM   #1
J-M Frybourg
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Default When Railpictures goes crazy

Dear all,

The screeners are going worse and worse. Here are their most recent inventions:

1/ Sun lit pictures are now considered cloudy:
http://www.railpictures.net/viewreje...61&key=8526153
http://www.railpictures.net/viewreje...63&key=9749786

You can clearly see the shadows from the sun light

2/ Night pictures (around the blue hour) are now considered ... too dark!
http://www.railpictures.net/viewreje...76&key=7875375

What's next?

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Old 03-13-2015, 07:15 PM   #2
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I should add that I am banned from appealing, precisely because I have appealed too much against this kind of idiot rejection
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Old 03-13-2015, 07:17 PM   #3
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That's some very soft, diffuse sunlight in those two photos. Could be perceived as cloudy by many. I have no issue myself, but that's not the obvious 'SUNNY DAY!' type sunlight appearance.

I have nothing to offer about the 'night' photo, except it doesn't look like the blue hour.

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Old 03-13-2015, 07:37 PM   #4
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First one looks like what I think of as bright overcast. Second one, I see what you are seeing. I bet a bit of brightening and certainly the second gets in, a bit more and maybe the first gets in.

Night shot - welcome to RP! I would think that, will all your RP experience, you would know that RP prefers such shots to be on the bright side. Doesn't matter if that is correct or realistic. A bit brighter and a bit more contrast will appease the RP gods. Whether you want to do that to your pic is, of course, up to you. It won't be the first time someone has altered the reality to appease the gods, and of course if you go the other was it won't be the first time someone has decided those gods should not be deferred to.

In all three cases, only a small adjustment is warranted.

BTW, Loyd, that looks like the early side of blue hour to me! Admittedly, you have spent much more time shooting blue hour than I have.
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Old 03-13-2015, 08:16 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by bigbassloyd View Post
I have nothing to offer about the 'night' photo, except it doesn't look like the blue hour.

Loyd L.
That's because it is the Bleu Heure!

Dad gum Hillbillies with dem dare Canons and muskets and leather fringe jackets. The only thing French ya'all been exposed to is a fry!

BTW- When did ya get the 600mm lens that you used for the Screeners Choice?. Is it a prime or tele Tamron?
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Old 03-13-2015, 08:29 PM   #6
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The only thing French ya'all been exposed to is a fry!
Which are Belgian in origin ...

Actually, there is a debate as to origin - even the Spanish lay a claim.
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Old 03-13-2015, 08:39 PM   #7
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I have no idea what constitutes common power in Germany, so it is difficult for me to ascertain why the tougher lighting standard was applied to the first two images. I would describe the lighting situation as "filtered sun", meaning you likely have a high overcast of cirrostratus clouds, which killed some of the light you would normally get at that hour, if the sky was completely clear. I hate cirrus clouds!!!

Of the two daylight shots, I agree with J. The second one has the best chance. The lighting in that one is the best.

I actually like your "dusk" shot. If I had shot it, I would be plenty happy with the lighting. It looks like my eye would see it, and (for me personally), that's the goal. I am scratching my head Jean-Marc.

Try as they might to be consistent, the folks who screen for RP are all different people and what's acceptably bright for one person might look a bit dark to another. It could also have to do with screen calibration. I don't know if the screeners calibrate the displays they use to judge the photos. That could make a difference. You might experiment a little bit with submitting your photos at different times of the day and see if there is a particular time of day when you have more success than other times. Perhaps you can find a "shift" with a screener on duty who happens to like what you like.
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Old 03-13-2015, 09:55 PM   #8
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BTW- When did ya get the 600mm lens that you used for the Screeners Choice?. Is it a prime or tele Tamron?
Tamron 150-600. Money well spent.

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Old 03-13-2015, 11:07 PM   #9
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Tamron 150-600. Money well spent.

Loyd L.
I concur. I tried one out at the Tamron Tailgate tour last summer. I ended up with a 150-500 mm Sigma since who knows when Tamron will make it available for Pentax.
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Old 03-13-2015, 11:18 PM   #10
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I'm going to side with the screener on those

It strikes me as odd to say such a thing on a post started by Jean-Marc.

My first thought, at least on the first two pics, is that it should be obvious to all here - viewers and screeners alike, that you were not going for a PC, SC, POTW nor the opportunity to better lay your claim to excellence with those photos. You are in new territory (obvious) and captured subjects that you thought would be fun to share. While most of us think "The BEST railroad photos on the net" means most aesthetically pleasing, the fact that RP accepts Darwin shots, wrecks, news, and might I "note", "other crap" proves otherwise. I like the diversity of subjects you are trying to add to the databaes.

However... they all could be presented in a more appealing way. Artificially, or not.

First two shots - as Kevin made note - you had filtered light. While perfect light might not be necessary for such photos, better light is preferable on a site like RP for "common power".

Suggestions:
A) Go back and shoot those scenes on a nicer day.
B) "Change the light" - you can use the shadows and highlight filter to brighten up the scene and make 'em less flat. Less dark. Brighter - as
if it were sunnier. You could also use a "fill light"adjustment. OR - you
could change the color balance and warm it up - as if it were "sunnier".
Another trick of the trade would be 3rd party filters - "reflector" and "sunlight" which are really nothing more then graduated color balance macros. Extra contrast, sharpening, ect - all imply better light.

As for the last shot - I really like that one. I'm surprised you do not see the issue. When in doubt, "auto-_____" it as a proofer. The first thing I did was check "Levels" and the first thing I noticed was your highlights on the histogram were capped at like "207". Drag the slider from "250" down to where your highlights topped off and voila! Much better results!

Note to admin: A little earned encouragement from the screener would likely go a long ways toward keeping well revered patrons happy. Jean-Marc - I'm happy you have a long fuse, lol!

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Old 03-13-2015, 11:29 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbassloyd View Post
Tamron 150-600. Money well spent.

Loyd L.
I'm very curious as to how a non-prime lens with such a huge range costing just over a grand could be money well spent? Since Steve Schmollinger's exit from RP, I have rarely seen a photo accepted to the database taken at a focal length over 200 mm.

Myself - I just purchased a 300 mm Canon F4 lens and could not be happier. It's so much sharper then my 24-105 L (and my 70-200 f/2.8 VI) lens that I am tempted to use only that lens and just step back a hundred yards or two as needed.

Loyd, if you are shooting with Canon, I'll lend you my 2X extender, lol. We can shoot together with out you needing to leave the state! Act quick, however, as I may just toss it in the trash.

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Old 03-13-2015, 11:36 PM   #12
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First one I like the concrete weights and the pulleys, I'd love to see the whole contraption on those towers.
That could be a good photo.
Looks like they left a crate of extras just in case.
Is that a common system, I know I am sticking my neck out with that question.

Third photo has a nice description, I would say the information for the first two is a little cryptic. I guess this is US centric but when I look at world photos I'd like a little clue

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Old 03-14-2015, 01:31 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mgoldman View Post
I'm very curious as to how a non-prime lens with such a huge range costing just over a grand could be money well spent? Since Steve Schmollinger's exit from RP, I have rarely seen a photo accepted to the database taken at a focal length over 200 mm.

[/Mitch

I have heard from bird photographers the new Tamron is a decent lens, for the money especially. Sigma has just come out with a similar lens for their "sport" series at considerably more $$. Off and on I've owned a Nikon 500mm f4, which is a dandy lens! Don't have one now though. I bought the new-ish Nikon 80-400mm AFS last summer. It's quite good, especially for only ~$2,000. I think whether or not a >200mm lens is useful depends on where you live. In Florida, land of the tree tunnels, maybe not so much. Out on the Northern Plains, where it's actually possible to photo an entire 108 car grain train, 400mm sometimes isn't enough even for trains. Some parts of the country are all about huge open space, and a long lens will give you options.

I think in order to use any lens effectively, you must be able to "see" compositions before you can take them. I think there may be three reasons you don't see many foamer shots using a lens over 200mm:

(1) They are relatively expensive, and most foamers I've come across have nothing longer than a 200mm zoom.

(2) Most foamers like to get as close to the tracks as possible and generally don't "see" distant shots

(3) Lenses >300mm historically haven't been used for RR photography to begin with. Nature, sports, and wildlife photographers have the best they can afford. (Hard core bird photographers will go to the insane zone for the best long lenses!)

All of this adds up to fewer people with a long telephoto, so naturally there are many fewer shots made with them. I don't use mine very often mostly because I like to shoot at night. A 400mm lens will have more "reach" than my flash triggers do, so I've just not found as much a need for the 80-400mm VR. I do routinely carry it with me for day shots. Here's a shot I took before winter set in using the 80-400mm, racked out to 320mm. Even though it has a very competent VR (image stabilization,) I pretty much always use the lens on a tripod (as I do all my other lenses.)

https://www.flickr.com/photos/96826069@N00/15828453590/


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Old 03-14-2015, 03:37 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mgoldman View Post
I'm very curious as to how a non-prime lens with such a huge range costing just over a grand could be money well spent? Since Steve Schmollinger's exit from RP, I have rarely seen a photo accepted to the database taken at a focal length over 200 mm.
I didn't buy it for the choo choos, but I've found that when I narrow my vision, I sometimes end up seeing more. While the Tamron is lacking a bit in several areas (softer past 450mm, vignetting, slow), it's what I needed to have reach with a full frame. I carry 3 lenses, and I'm covered from 14mm to 600mm.

I won't clog up Mr. Frybourg's post with example shots, but you can find them on my facebook, if you haven't seen them already.

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Old 03-14-2015, 05:48 AM   #15
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obviously Lloyd you aren't using a lens cover of any kind wiht that right?
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Old 03-14-2015, 10:22 AM   #16
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Thanks for all your kind and useful comments

This is what RPN accepts, probably because this is not common power: http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.php?id=443215 - However there are 154 pictures of this engine in RPN.
And simultaneously they reject this much better lit picture: http://www.railpictures.net/viewreje...99&key=5832093 when this is now a rare series, with few units remaining in service, certainly what you in the US would consider uncommon power. And only 46 pictures for the entire series in the RPN database. Again, I maintain that there is a pro-US bias here, despite RPN staff saying otherwise.

Now, I am really considering withdrawing from RPN. There is a gowing number of credible alternatives, and when I post my discontent here, I receive invites from RPN competitors to post at their sites.

I feel sorry for RPN because I have sincerely thought that they had the potential to become an international reference. However when it comes to international, they are doing quite a bad job. And even in the US, they succeed in making famous photographers e.g. Schmollinger and Koostra disgusted with them! In reality, RPN is still what it was in its infancy: a bunch of close friends' own thing, with still limited open-mindedness to the outside world and to the views and insights of other photographers.
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Old 03-14-2015, 10:38 AM   #17
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Hello Jean-Marc, European lighting even in summer is a hit and miss thing some days. Taken in Bremen June - July 2014.
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Old 03-14-2015, 12:46 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SFO777 View Post
obviously Lloyd you aren't using a lens cover of any kind wiht that right?
I use the supplied hood with it.

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Old 03-14-2015, 01:53 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Noct Foamer View Post
(1) They are relatively expensive, and most foamers I've come across have nothing longer than a 200mm zoom.
I was really tempted on the 80-400 during the recent Nikon sale, but I already have the 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 VR and honestly, I don't think I have ever used it to shoot trains. It comes out for airshows, civil war re-enactments and drum corps meets. The railroads in my neck of the woods are even tighter tree-tunnels than they are in FL. When I travel out west, I take the 70-200mm f/4 VR, which is relatively light, sharp as a tack, and has 105-300mm (FF equivalent) range on my D7000 body.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Noct Foamer View Post
(2) Most foamers like to get as close to the tracks as possible and generally don't "see" distant shots
Ain't it annoying? They also park their cars as close to the tracks as possible for a quick, drive-like-hell, get-away. I would rather pick a spot that I can hike to, because I'm far less likely to encounter these folks.

Honestly, I have found that the Nikkor 24-120mm f/4 VR is probably the best train lens around. It is wide enough and long enough for 90+% of the shots I'd want to take and is decently sharp. I also have the 24-70mm f/2.8 and while it's a nice lens, it doesn't have the reach, it doesn't have VR, and when I shoot them both side-by-side off a tripod, I can't tell the difference.
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Old 03-14-2015, 03:35 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J-M Frybourg View Post
Thanks for all your kind and useful comments

This is what RPN accepts, probably because this is not common power: http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.php?id=443215 - However there are 154 pictures of this engine in RPN.
And simultaneously they reject this much better lit picture: http://www.railpictures.net/viewreje...99&key=5832093 when this is now a rare series, with few units remaining in service, certainly what you in the US would consider uncommon power. And only 46 pictures for the entire series in the RPN database. Again, I maintain that there is a pro-US bias here, despite RPN staff saying otherwise.

Now, I am really considering withdrawing from RPN. There is a gowing number of credible alternatives, and when I post my discontent here, I receive invites from RPN competitors to post at their sites.

I feel sorry for RPN because I have sincerely thought that they had the potential to become an international reference. However when it comes to international, they are doing quite a bad job. And even in the US, they succeed in making famous photographers e.g. Schmollinger and Koostra disgusted with them! In reality, RPN is still what it was in its infancy: a bunch of close friends' own thing, with still limited open-mindedness to the outside world and to the views and insights of other photographers.
Question? Are you willing to name some of the alternative locations that you are considering posting your photos?
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Old 03-14-2015, 04:28 PM   #21
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Honestly, I have found that the Nikkor 24-120mm f/4 VR is probably the best train lens around. It is wide enough and long enough for 90+% of the shots I'd want to take and is decently sharp. I also have the 24-70mm f/2.8 and while it's a nice lens, it doesn't have the reach, it doesn't have VR, and when I shoot them both side-by-side off a tripod, I can't tell the difference.

Lenses are the most crucial thing about photography. Cameras are about last. The idea is to match the lenses to what you are using it for. I used the Nikon 17-55mm f2.8 a lot for weddings. Along with a Nikon 70-200mm f2.8 VR these were the only lenses I really needed. An f2.8 zoom is exactly what you need for weddings as they are dynamic and generally have low indoor light. The 24-70mm f2.8 is a great lens for weddings on an FX body, but it just isn't wide enough on a DX. A lens like that is really more specialized, where your 24-120 f4 VR is a much better choice for "general purpose." The VR really helps and it has a greater range. Image quality is excellent. The Nikon (and Canon) f4 series are great choices in that they are top quality, more affordable, and lighter/compact to carry. I've been using f1.4 lenses since I shoot at night. While I very rarely shoot at f1.4 (DoF is very limited), they are easier to focus in the dark. My choice of lenses is great for the kind of shooting I like to do best, but I find I am a bit crippled on a daytime chase when the action is fast. I can't zoom, and changing lenses does slow me down. The Nikon 24-120mm f4 or Sigma 24-105mm A f4 would be a much better choice for that. Match the lens to what/how you are shooting.


Kent in SD

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Old 03-14-2015, 05:16 PM   #22
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Quote:
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1. Now, I am really considering withdrawing from RPN. There is a growing number of credible alternatives, and when I post my discontent here, I receive invites from RPN competitors to post at their sites.
.......

2. I feel sorry for RPN because I have sincerely thought that they had the potential to become an international reference. However when it comes to international, they are doing quite a bad job. And even in the US, they succeed in making famous photographers e.g. Schmollinger and Koostra disgusted with them!

1. You seem to be taking a lot of this personally, which I think is a mistake. The two people running RPN I've met are really good people, and I'd spend a day chasing trains with either of them without hesitation. They are just playing to their audience. They add photos that they think their audience wants to see. It is true that generally speaking, my impression of U.S. railfans is they're a bit myopic, but that's hardly the fault of RPN. I've been traveling more and more to foreign countries and really enjoy their trains (although be honest here--UK diesels are bland and UGLY! ) There is an increasing number of U.S. railfans who do enjoy foreign railroads. The trains of India, China, Argentina, and the dampfzug of Baveria and UK are all very high on my list to go see. A couple of years ago I spent three weeks in Scotland seeing their trains (rode the sleeper from Glasgow to London.) I really want to go back, and also spend more time on the London tubes. Incredible! Maybe if more U.S. railfans would travel more, they'd certainly have more interest in trains from different places.

2. There are numerous Flickr sites for world railroads, and some have a pretty good volume. The sites aren't as searchable or organized as RPN, and many have comments in languages I not only don't speak but sometimes I can't even identify! I don't know Schmollinger but have met Kooistra. My impression is that he's not really anti-RPN, but rather just wants more control over his photos. He's more into doing magazine stories than posting on the internet--again my impression.


The Minor, one of only two engines on the railroad
that briefly existed in Reykjavik, Island:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/96826069@N00/16605965637/



Kent in SD
Gud Blessi Island!

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Old 03-14-2015, 09:01 PM   #23
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I think the first two shots are fine, but agree they are what I'd term "cloudy bright." Fine by my standards, and the subjects are of interest to me as an admirer of global freight operations, not just the US.

The "blue hour" shot just doesn't seem to have that certain pop for a photo taken at that time of day. The lighting seems flat, and a bit blown out. I don't think there is enough differentiation between where you want the viewer to go. That is, "Wow, look at the sky!" or "Wow, that's a cool LRV!"

I have been contributing photos here since Chris told me about his new site. I am by no means a prolific contributor (the fact I've been here that long and just recently crested the 100 photos submitted mark will tell you that), and I have seen many a contributor come and go over the course of being here, many of whom are very close friends.

From my experience, if you decide to leave the site to send someone (whether it is the site administrators or the site visitors) a message, it will have little effect. As Kent alludes to, if you are leaving because you have decided your hobby is becoming less and less enjoyable because of RPN, I know several people for which that has been the right decision.

I find your photos enjoyable, and I hope you can find a good balance between a forum through which to share your work, but also enjoy what is supposed to be a hobby. If a hobby is causing you nothing but frustration, it is hard to call it that. That's pretty much why I quit watching sports-- more often than not, I was angry at the end of the game. And life is just fine without that "hobby."
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Old 03-14-2015, 10:42 PM   #24
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Well how about that. A little bump of brightness and it's in.

Image © Jean-Marc Frybourg
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Old 03-14-2015, 11:24 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J-M Frybourg View Post
Thanks for all your kind and useful comments

This is what RPN accepts, probably because this is not common power: http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.php?id=443215 - However there are 154 pictures of this engine in RPN.
And simultaneously they reject this much better lit picture: http://www.railpictures.net/viewreje...99&key=5832093 when this is now a rare series, with few units remaining in service, certainly what you in the US would consider uncommon power. And only 46 pictures for the entire series in the RPN database. Again, I maintain that there is a pro-US bias here, despite RPN staff saying otherwise.

Now, I am really considering withdrawing from RPN. There is a gowing number of credible alternatives, and when I post my discontent here, I receive invites from RPN competitors to post at their sites.

I feel sorry for RPN because I have sincerely thought that they had the potential to become an international reference. However when it comes to international, they are doing quite a bad job. And even in the US, they succeed in making famous photographers e.g. Schmollinger and Koostra disgusted with them! In reality, RPN is still what it was in its infancy: a bunch of close friends' own thing, with still limited open-mindedness to the outside world and to the views and insights of other photographers.
I 100% agree about your your disappointment Jean Marc, I'm in the same case of you, screeners are really closed about creativity but their personal opinions are too invasive and no claim is possible. There is also no possible interactivity with them!
I think that RPN will be locked in the general discontent of (non American) photographers because their photos will rarely published by openness of screeners and especially too often unjustified rejection reason...

In french "Quel gachit !"
Daniel MINACA is offline   Reply With Quote
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