Old 07-04-2008, 04:41 PM   #26
TAMR159
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Originally Posted by willig
However, my point with the latest photo is not about breaking the rules, it's about spoiling things for the rest of us.
That's just it too. If we start uploading photos that get these employees in trouble, or possibly even suspended, do you think they'll be so kind the next time they see railfans? After all, they are supposed to report any and all suspicious activity, trespassers, etc...and believe me, class one railroads consider us to fall under that category. Simply put, it's a two way street - respect them, and they'll respect you (and thus if you get them in trouble, they'll turn around and start getting us railfans in trouble...that's just the way it is).
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Old 07-04-2008, 05:22 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by John Ryan
You answered your own question; it's not your problem. She chose to smoke in an area that was viewable by the public, not to mention her supervisors. That's her decision. No one compelled her to smoke, and no one compelled her to do it in full view of anyone and everyone.



I wouldn't. (But if you do, you'll bump me to most viewed of today. Is that divided loyalty?)
Anything in Public Domain meaning things from Public View is fair game...

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Old 07-04-2008, 05:25 PM   #28
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I quite agree, but the latest shot was taken in/from a restricted place (the signal box).
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Old 07-04-2008, 05:41 PM   #29
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I would also point out that it's important to weigh both the legal and the ethical sides to this thread in general.

Legally - sure, you are 100% in the right to photograph and post shots not only of things you see from public land, but things you see in locations into which you were invited (and not told to dispense with photography).

Ethically - I think it's up to each individual to determine their moral values. For me the question is simply this, if I were on the other side of the camera, getting my picture taken, how would I feel, or what would happen to me if the photograph was posted. If either would be bad, I won't post it.

As to getting a worker in trouble, what I do is e-mail pictures to friends who are rails first and say, I got this image... take a look at it and tell me if this guy would get in trouble if this was out there. That way, I get a fair reading to base my decision on.

(Not preaching, so don't flame... just letting you know how I decide.)
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Old 07-04-2008, 06:55 PM   #30
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I had a similar debate with myself prior to posting this shot:

Image © Chris Kilroy
PhotoID: 241524
Photograph © Chris Kilroy


While the crew of the train this day never specifically asked those of us who were out on the bridge not to take photos or post them on the internet (in fact, photos were encouraged), I'm almost 100% certain that letting about 10 people from a passenger train out onto the Hurricane Gulch Bridge's catwalk isn't something that the higher ups at the ARR would be smiling about, especially in light of the liability risks today.

In the end, while I would really hate to see the crew get in trouble for this, or see the opportunity dimished for other subsequent passengers on the Hurricane Turn, the crew are the ones who let us off, and they're the ones who encouraged everyone to take photos. In my mind, if they were that concerned about the ramifications, they wouldn't have let us out to begin with.
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Old 07-04-2008, 08:36 PM   #31
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Simple explanation Chris! Somebody waved a white flag, and needed help to load their bags?

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Old 07-04-2008, 10:02 PM   #32
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Graham, in answer to your question regarding the signalbox - I certainly would not post anything like this until a very long time had elapsed. Even though I have never been inside this box, I am almost certain that I know where it is, so somebody familiar with the area would have no trouble identifying it. It certainly could cause problems for the signalman concerned if somebody saw this picture and wanted to make an issue of it.

There are actually some signalboxes that have their own websites ( Doncaster , Salisbury and Reading ) are three that spring immediately to mind), which I think are officially tolerated, but these, of course, have actually been put together by some of the staff that work there.
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Old 07-05-2008, 01:21 AM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Freericks
I would also point out that it's important to weigh both the legal and the ethical sides to this thread in general.

Legally - sure, you are 100% in the right to photograph and post shots not only of things you see from public land, but things you see in locations into which you were invited (and not told to dispense with photography).

Ethically - I think it's up to each individual to determine their moral values. For me the question is simply this, if I were on the other side of the camera, getting my picture taken, how would I feel, or what would happen to me if the photograph was posted. If either would be bad, I won't post it.

As to getting a worker in trouble, what I do is e-mail pictures to friends who are rails first and say, I got this image... take a look at it and tell me if this guy would get in trouble if this was out there. That way, I get a fair reading to base my decision on.

(Not preaching, so don't flame... just letting you know how I decide.)
I'm with you word for word. I have a couple cab ride shots that the world will never see. The one that I do have in my RP photos, I paid for to support the local NRHS that was hosting the caboose rides that day. I also have shots from places that I got the "I can't tell you can, but..." that the world will never see.
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Old 07-05-2008, 02:46 AM   #34
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Oh boy, this is a "fun" question here.

Photography ethics aran't something most hobbyists have to deal with, but those when you focus on a subject like railroads, they come do come up.

The pat answer to this question is simple. It's not your fault a railroader ignored they rules, and you happened to capture it. I know that inadvertently capturing rule violations is one of the main sources of tension between railfans and railroaders, but the fact is it's the railroader's responsibility to follow their company's rules, not yours to curtail your activities because they made the decision to break or ignore those rules.

After that, it's up you whether or not to publish something that might reveal a rule violation or otherwise adversely expose a railroader in a photo you took. For example, I would never knowingly expose an infraction by a railroad employee who had somehow done me a good turn, like letting me know when the next train might be coming, allowing me to come into a restrict area, or any other sort of minor favor that I've received from railroaders in the course of my fanning career. I have good photos I've taken under these circumstances that will not be published for these reasons.

The exception to this is if I shot a rules violation that was dangerous to other railroaders or the general public. If a railroader endangers his or her coworkers or others, well, they deserve what ever they have coming to them.

Aside from not wanting to do bad by someone who did good by you, do you want to expose a rules violation by a total stranger? Well, that's basically up to you and your conscious. My instinct is that railroaders know they're in a high visibility profession that has its own photo-happy fan club. If you don't want to be in my shot doing something against the rules, don't be in my shot doing something against the rules.

Whether or not your conscious is clear with that philosophy is up to you.

Also, as someone pointed out, smoking on an engine platform may not even be a rules violation, and DC Union probably has enough cameras that your railpictures shot was probably not the first one of her smoking your bosses would have seen. In your specific case, I would not withdraw the shot.
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Old 07-05-2008, 10:06 AM   #35
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Well, here's the other side of things. We do this as a hobby - just having fun, taking photos of trains. Maybe we're even lucky enough to make a few bucks off a shot here and there, but I doubt hardly any of us depend on this as our primary source of income. Well...railroaders do. They're out there busting their butts day in and day out, trying to put food on the table for their family. How do you think they're going to feel if a railfan posts a shot of them, say, without eye protection on at some point in their trip, and management suspends them from work for 30 days? That's money out of their pocket, less food on their table - for you, it's one less shot on Railpictures.net. Sure, maybe they "should'nt have been" in the wrong...but at the end of the day, what's more important? And, to echo my previous sentiments, you had better believe that this will give them all the reason in the world to hold a personal vendetta of sorts against railfans.

I try to go out of my way to be a responsible railfan. One part of this is not posting rule violations as such, and if I'm ever unclear, I'll send the photo to a railroad employee or two and ask them if it's okay to post or not. If the crew happens to be kind enough to let me in the cab, for instance, that photo will never see the light of day - stabbing someone in the back after extending their generosity to you is pretty cold-hearted if you ask me. Round that out with reporting problems encountered in your ventures (problems with passing trains, kids playing on signals bridges, etc.), running food/drinks to a crew stuck in the siding for a while, and you'll find that you can earn a lot of respect and make some long-lasting friendships pretty quick. The benefits highly outweigh the consequences in my opinion.

And lastly, there haven't been very many times (only a couple times) that I haven't uploaded a photo because of a rule violation it portrayed - out of the 463 photos I have in the database, that's quite a small percentage. I know it's easy to have a "screw you" attitude on this one, but think about it from the other side of things. These guys never gave us any sort of permission to photograph them, but you hardly (if ever) hear any contest from them - the exceptions stemming from the personal vendettas above most of the time. I figure, since they're doing that much, along with not calling us in (and thus breaking their own rules about reporting any and all suspicious activity and our ever so common modest trespassing), I don't think "censorship" of a photo once in a great while is too much to ask. Like I said, it's just a hobby for us - for them, money in their pockets and food on the table.
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Old 07-05-2008, 06:02 PM   #36
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Nick's post brings up a good point, in my opinion; that this whole debate assumes that everyone who shoots pictures of trains is intimately familiar with railroad rules.

I'll be the first to admit that I'm not.

I've never worked for the railroad, I don't know many people who do, and to be perfectly honest, I have no idea when a train crew member does/doesn't have to be wearing eye protection, when it's okay/not okay to be riding the rear, what railroads allow/don't allow dismounting from a moving train, etc. As I've heard it told, 99% of railroad employees can't keep the thousands upon thousands of rules clear, so I would never expect that I could, even if I tried.

I don't tend to shoot photos in areas where men are working (I much prefer long, impressive freight trains in scenic locations), so the odds of me personally ever posting a shot of a rule violation are slim. I do think, however, that expecting every railfan to know every rule so that he can duly avoid taking a photo of an infraction of such rule is expecting a bit much. Not every railfan is as involved in the 'industry' side of things as folks like Nick are.
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Old 07-05-2008, 06:55 PM   #37
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I am going to have to disagree with Chris. Just because a rail allows you access to see something and photo it doesn't mean you have the right to show it as a banner of your success. I may have in the past allowed people to take shots that only rails can get and also make it known that this shot is for you. You DO have an obligation if it is known to not get people in trouble. Anything other than that is your ego. If you knew that could get them fired and it does, I would say that you were in the wrong. If you had no clue, you had no clue.

I do make it a point to let people know to not show dates, faces, etc. That makes it a little harder for the company to add 1 and 1 together.

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Old 07-06-2008, 04:47 AM   #38
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When in doubt, ASK. If a rail provides you with the photo op, ask if it is ok to post or keep it in the private collection (perhaps for later use). In my travels and being a former rail myself, I am extremely conscious of protecting employees from potential issues. Yes, I am well aware of the freedom of photography aspect and the whole "they are responsible for their own actions" part of it. But there is a point that if you are aware that what photo you have taken could have negative repurcussions for those involved, then you should take the high road and not post it. The old axoim of publishing / posting remains true: "When in doubt, throw it out." I have found that because of my discretion, that local railroad employees trust me and have benefited from that trust. It takes years to build trust and to waste it because you have a "killer shot" is foolish. Just file it away and use it at a date when nobody will be subject to professional harm.

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Old 07-06-2008, 02:48 PM   #39
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As for the shot mentioned by willig, that is a case where I would have asked the man in the picture if he minded ifI posted this sot to the web/submitted to a magazine or kept it in my personal collection. The photographer was evidently there at his invitation and should accept there might be limitations.

Of course, in the shot in question, we don't know if the photographer asked or not so this is hypothetical.


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Old 07-06-2008, 02:50 PM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Kilroy
Nick's post brings up a good point, in my opinion; that this whole debate assumes that everyone who shoots pictures of trains is intimately familiar with railroad rules.
I'll be the first to admit that I'm not.

I've never worked for the railroad, I don't know many people who do, and to be perfectly honest, I have no idea when a train crew member does/doesn't have to be wearing eye protection, when it's okay/not okay to be riding the rear, what railroads allow/don't allow dismounting from a moving train, etc. As I've heard it told, 99% of railroad employees can't keep the thousands upon thousands of rules clear, so I would never expect that I could, even if I tried.
My emphasis.

This is what I have been trying to say in various threads like this; Chris K. put it more succint that I ever did.


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Old 07-06-2008, 03:02 PM   #41
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I really don't think that the smoking thing is such a huge deal but like many others I have had cab rides etc and I of course would never post anything that could get someone in trouble for doing a favor for a railfan.

Nor do I post any tresspass photos (and I do not tresspass outside of crossing a rail ROW in rural areas once ina while) unless the RR invited me to be there, like the shots I have in Bowden Yard.

I also try to post shots that show the railroad in a postive light. That is just me. Since the FEC is very nice to Florida fans I try my best to not only post FEC shots that show the road in a postive light I have shared my shots with them at no cost to show my appreciation to that company.

With all that said....as hot as it was that day and since I am not sure we know how the Amtrak smoking policy really reads (perhaps outside where she is) is OK. I really do not think that was a huge deal...

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Old 07-06-2008, 08:42 PM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe the Photog
My emphasis.

This is what I have been trying to say in various threads like this; Chris K. put it more succint that I ever did.


Joe
I'm going to have to disagree with you on that. There are a lot of people in the industry who know the rules books inside and out. The vast majority of crews know the basic rules and being photographed braking those basic rules is what gets people in trouble. Those who don't know the rules either are too old (managers tend to leave the old timers alone) and already have a way of doing things, or that employee won't be around long.
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Old 07-06-2008, 09:06 PM   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike B.
I'm going to have to disagree with you on that.....
That's a surprise. I'm not sure what you're disagreeing with though. The part of Kilroy's post I was mentioning was about railfans knowing or not knowing the rules. Or even needing to know the rules.


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Old 07-06-2008, 09:29 PM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe the Photog
That's a surprise. I'm not sure what you're disagreeing with though. The part of Kilroy's post I was mentioning was about railfans knowing or not knowing the rules. Or even needing to know the rules.


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The part about Kilroy claiming that 99% of railroad employees don't know all the rules. Having experience in the field personally, that is just not the case.
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Old 07-07-2008, 06:00 AM   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike B.
The part about Kilroy claiming that 99% of railroad employees don't know all the rules. Having experience in the field personally, that is just not the case.
Exactly. This isn't your typical day job - it's a very intense, in-depth job where you REALLY work your tail off and can get nailed for the slightest rule violation. Training is big - on Norfolk Southern, for example, they spend 6 months training their engineers. After working their tails off 12 hours each day, they really know their jobs inside and out, more so than most of us know our own jobs (and yes, I can say this with confidence and a strong factual basis).

Out of all the railroaders I know, none are "ill-informed" about their jobs. Many can sit and recite little known, obscure rules all day long, and take pride in knowing (and performing) their job so well. Slip ups do still occur, however - all of us can attest to this in our own jobs. However, very few of us have photographers shooting us or chasing us, with the results a click away from one's boss...
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Old 07-07-2008, 04:32 PM   #46
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One thing to keep in mind though: knowing the book rules and actually applying them are two different things. In the flying world, it's amazing how I can ask a guy about a certain rule and them watch him do something completely different 5 minutes later...
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Old 07-07-2008, 07:10 PM   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimThias
yadayadayada.....WKU, I suppose you could have just cloned the cig out of her hand and there wouldn't be ANY controversy at all.


But then it would violate RP's photo upload guidelines...
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