Old 02-12-2008, 10:35 PM   #1
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Default Wow, I want some serious explanations!

I have a question for all of you.... look at this photo, do you see a train? All I see is stars... and last time I checked this was not Starphotos.net

I have submitted a couple of photos like this and they say you cant see the train, well I cant see the train in this photo!

http://www.railpictures.net/viewphot...=222709&nseq=3

for those of you who would like to see my photos I will post them, at least you can see the track....

Just my 2 cents....

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Old 02-12-2008, 11:45 PM   #2
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I thinkthe train is that fine streak of light. No offense to the photographer, but to me it's a terrible photo. It looks blurry to me and not properly exposed.

I guess it's to the eye of the beholder. If it was mine I probably would have deleted it. I think this relates to the other ongoing thread.
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Old 02-12-2008, 11:53 PM   #3
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I can't tell if it is in focus or not. The trees where the "train" is look to be in focus, so I don't know if it is the motion of the stars that gives it the blurry impression. However, I agree, I am not a fan as I don't feel there is much to look at railroad-wise, but to each his own. When there seems to be a push for more "outside the box" shooting, this is sometimes what you will get. It's a decent shot in general, just not a great railroad shot, IMHO.
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Old 02-13-2008, 12:08 AM   #4
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Well if they want "outside the box" photos then they need to loosen some of the restrictions. I have plenty of great shot that I don't submit because in the past they'd have been rejected. Backlit and going away are two underrated shots. Give me time and I can think of some other.

The right side in general looks out of focus. If this have been a longer exposure to get a more circular pattern I may have liked it more. I gotta go dig through my night shots now that they have a chance!
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Old 02-13-2008, 01:43 AM   #5
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The more I look at it, the more I like it. And it's from Calhoun Falls, a place I used to go to a lot as a kid. The family friends we'd visit had a railroad that run in front of their farm, Southern, I think. But back to this shot, it's really nicely done. I would have had trouble deciding whether to accpet or not if I were a screener, but I'm glad they did. Certainly more railroad-related than the other shot we debated a few weeks ago.

And it's not a No Trespassing sign either!


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Old 02-13-2008, 02:07 AM   #6
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Sorry Joe but nothing about this photo makes it RR related to me. I mean c'mon a tiny tiny streak of light? I mean Vegasrails photo gets deleted for being slightly blurry, then this gets in that does have blur, the whole right side, yet you don't even see a train unlike Vegasrails shot. The picture somewhere else on another website may be appropriate but here? No! If that gets accepted then nothing we submit that is even questionable as long as it has a train should be accepted, plain and simple. This isn't blurrystreakyskiesandtrainlightstreaks.net is it?

Like I said nothing against the photographer, for his own collection great, but here? Noooooooooooooo!

PS: at least your RR sign I know is RR related!
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Old 02-13-2008, 02:08 AM   #7
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I love that shot. The astronomy is fun in it. It is in good focus... you can see the trees and the stars closer to the North Star are in focus. I do have to say, the train is not very prominant in the photo though.
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Old 02-13-2008, 02:22 AM   #8
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I like the picture, but, the only train their in the picture is just a small streak. It isn't a real Rail Picture in my opinion.
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Old 02-13-2008, 02:24 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by socalrailfan
Sorry Joe but nothing about this photo makes it RR related to me. I mean c'mon a tiny tiny streak of light? I mean Vegasrails photo gets deleted for being slightly blurry, then this gets in that does have blur, the whole right side, yet you don't even see a train unlike Vegasrails shot. The picture somewhere else on another website may be appropriate but here? No! If that gets accepted then nothing we submit that is even questionable as long as it has a train should be accepted, plain and simple. This isn't blurrystreakyskiesandtrainlightstreaks.net is it?

Like I said nothing against the photographer, for his own collection great, but here? Noooooooooooooo!

PS: at least your RR sign I know is RR related!

Exactly!

I would like to see if the screener decided to post under this....
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Old 02-13-2008, 03:49 AM   #10
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I like the shot, it's a breath of fresh air from "well lit train rolling through pretty scenery" (which I like looking at, don't get me wrong, but it gets old in a hurry). The stars overhead really help convey the mood of the photo as well as look at the entire scene (the bigger picture) rather than the train. The dynamics of the shot (the train streaking through the scene) make it rail-related in my opinion, and enough to be posted on this site. The blurring of the stars is part of the point of the shot, and is a result of the Earth's rotation (I must say, I am a fan of dynamic shots).

A lesson for all of you who feel the train needs to dominate the shot: take a step back and observe what's around you! All of the great rail photographers will agree with me, look at the bigger picture with your photos (hell, Chris Starnes wrote an article on this subject for Railpictures.net a while back). So, even if the subject matter is a little iffy, major props to the photographer for their work! Keep it up, and keep thinking outside of the box!
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Old 02-13-2008, 03:52 AM   #11
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It certainly might be a questionable photo to publish based on its railroad content but it is undoubtedly a better photograph than most of the uninteresting and unexciting wedgies that are posted day after day. The photo looks properly exposed on my screen and anyone with a small amount of astronomy knowledge understands that stars move. I look at it no different than all the shots that are taken at railroad crossings with the gates going down, however, this image took a bit more thought and better composition than those dull shots that seem to come out of some sort of press.

(Off my soapbox, you may now resume mindless wedgies)
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Old 02-13-2008, 03:52 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Two-Tone-Green
Exactly!

I would like to see if the screener decided to post under this....
Nope, they're not supposed to be accountable to anyone but the Admins, why should they answer to anyone here?

And Brad, it's not the stars that are moving, but the Earth that is rotating, important distinction. . . .
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Old 02-13-2008, 03:56 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hoydie17
Nope, they're not supposed to be accountable to anyone but the Admins, why should they answer to anyone here?

And Brad, it's not the stars that are moving, but the Earth that is rotating, important distinction. . . .
I'm not saying he should, but still c'mon for all I know it could be cars going by, how do we know that... I like the photo and everything but I can see the plane better than the Train.
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Old 02-13-2008, 04:04 AM   #14
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I don't think anyone here is questioning the overall quality of the shot, just if it should be on a RR related site or an Astronomy site of some sort. It does take more imagination to take a shot like this as opposed to the dreaded wedgie, but the railroad aspect of this shot is lacking a bit.
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Old 02-13-2008, 04:07 AM   #15
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Sean: You are correct, I wrote that from a geocentric P.O.V.
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Old 02-13-2008, 04:13 AM   #16
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I think it would have looked far better in color as you might have been able to tell the streak of the train from the streak of the stars. The problem with this shot is that in B&W, the star streaks and the train streak are the same color.
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Old 02-13-2008, 06:32 AM   #17
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I love the shot but as with non-conservative railway photography it's usual, not everyone likes it.
I think the problem is that these shots hardly fit in to RP.net's profile, and which is more serious, its rules. As I'm also into non-conformic photography (as you may see here: http://benbe.extra.hu/gallery/catego...sember_eng.php and here: http://benbe.extra.hu/gallery/catego...report_eng.php , though only a part of my similar shots have been uploaded) but even my newer shots that a are technically OK can't get in because the train is too small, it's backlit or it's simply not the kind of material RP.net would like to publish. And now I see other photos that get in and there don't seem to be any rule or standard about it.
I reckon that non-conformic photos get a lot more views than standard sunny close locomotive shots and that's a vote representing that RP.net readers like this kind of photography so I think the solution would be to set the rules for them (if it's possible which I doubt) or otherwise create some kind of policy about non-conformic railway photography so it could be a bit more predictable which ones will get in and which ones won't.
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Old 02-13-2008, 12:01 PM   #18
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What bothers me about this shot is how obviously unlevel it is, especially after getting a shot rejected recently (won on appeal) for being unlevel when it was perfectly level. Screeners, please catch this obviously unlevel stuff when it's being submitted. It's quite a distraction, IMO.
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Old 02-13-2008, 01:12 PM   #19
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Hey guys, I figured this shot would generate some controversy if it got on. I honestly didn't think it would, but I'm glad some people like it. Those of you that don't like it, that's okay. No skin off my back. I've had a hell of a time getting stuff that I thought was more acceptable than this on. Bottom line, we're at the mercy of the screeners, and some days we win, some days we lose. I just love taking train photos, especially night shots... just look thru my shots.

About the photo:

I shot this from a boat ramp on Lake Russell, hoping the bridge would be closer in. I was certainly wrong! Having never been to this exact spot before, especialy in the dark made it difficult. To judge where things were. Thank God I had 3 trains to experiment with, but this ended up being the best that I could work with.

Focus was on infinity, and the blurriness on the right side is to be expected when you don't focus on the north star. Physics governs the motions of the stars here, and especially at f3.5, you can't expect everything to be in focus.
The goal here was to use the lake and the sky for the sense of depth and infinite volume. The big dipper was the added kick. In night photography you have to have an interesting foreground or background and an interesting subject. My thoughts here were the lake and sky, and the train. Anyways, Never did I expect the train to take up a large part of the composition. Railroad photos come in many compositions, but it's railroad content, bottom line. There's a train in it, and you can see it moving across the frame at night.

Regarding the size of the headlight streaks. I could have closed the f-stop some, but that would make the streaks smaller and less apparent, albeit more sharply defined.

Regarding color, with time exposures, you get some color washing, and since I don't have photoshop, I can't adjust it like some of the big names. Also, I had a sodium vapor light at the boat dock giving wierd colors coming off the reflections in the lake, and also from the cities in the background on the horizon. Basically, I couldn't fix the color with the tools I had (and it just looked strange and unreal), and so I made it b&w.

Regarding levelness.. Jim, the lake is level, and they make a significant climb out of the lake. It appears this way due to the trees on the right at a closer distance than all the others around the lake. All was leveled on the tripod, and when shooting at 18mm, you get some barrel distortion too. That, also I cannot fix with my editing program.

I like to think I am an outside the box photographer for the most part, just ask the folks I shoot with, or look at some of my other stuff.

Again, to all that like the shot, thank you. To all that don't think it belongs, I disagree, but you shouldn't be forced to like my photo. After all, you're entitled to an opinion. And lets face it, we've all been doodled by the screeners with inconsistencies over time. With something as subjective as photography, you're bound to stir up the pot. I just wanted to share some of the background regarding the creation of this photo.

Thanks guys,

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Old 02-13-2008, 02:17 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fullreversal
I like to think I am an outside the box photographer for the most part, just ask the folks I shoot with, or look at some of my other stuff.
Where is that stuff? I see one or two RP shots, such as the roundhouse interior, but I presume you have a bunch of shots elsewhere.
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Old 02-13-2008, 03:45 PM   #21
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Quote:
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Where is that stuff? I see one or two RP shots, such as the roundhouse interior, but I presume you have a bunch of shots elsewhere.
I'd also be interested in seeing this work. I'm very impressed with the shot in question here, so even if they're not railroad related, by all means, share them in here! I'm always looking for out-of-the-box, unique ideas, as are other photographers on here.

Heck, that's part of the reason I submit here - I've been doing my best lately to take a different view on things, something you have to do on a railroad that's flat, straight, and overrun with widecab GEs! Since I derive many ideas from Railpictures.net, I try to repay the site with my own contribution, hopefully to inspire someone else somewhere.

Anyhow, I'm glad to see you're not taking any of this negativity to heart - it's a very well done shot, better than a vast majority of shots I've seen on here, and definitely something to be proud of. As I said above, I'd love to see more of your work, especially if it's comparable with the shot above.
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Old 02-13-2008, 04:23 PM   #22
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Hi guys,

First, I'll put my hand up and say that I accepted the shot in question, and I stand by that decision.

Rail photography, in my opinion, isn't always about the train as much as it is about the environment the train is in. Is a 3/4 grab shot good in certain circumstances? Sure. But under other conditions, I feel that capturing the 'whole scene' is the way to go.

In the shot in question, I felt Darrell did an outstanding job of showing a train as an almost insignificant piece of a much bigger picture. I'm a big fan of shots which compare the relative insignificance of the train to the vastness of its surroundings, and whether we're talking about towering mountains, plains that go on for miles, or the heavens, I think there's a place in our database for these types of shots.

As with most shots of an 'out of the box' nature, not everyone is going to agree on the merits of the photo. Some will like it, some will be indifferent, and some will hate it. I happen to love this one!
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Old 02-13-2008, 05:19 PM   #23
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Well, since yall asked... heres some of what I think is outside the box. By no means am I claiming I'm the most creative photographer ever. I'm definitely an amateur, but I really enjoy what I do.

And also, thanks to all in this thread for being sane and level, as we all know how easily flame wars can get started on internet boards. I like to think that we've got some fine people here at rp.net.

Here is the other one of my shots in color.... I fixed it as best I could, but still wasn't happy with it
http://fullreversal.rrpicturearchive...spx?id=1048350

What railpics turns up as "night shots"
http://www.railpictures.net/showphot...%7C1%7C%7C1%7C

Night Shots (mostly?)
http://fullreversal.rrpicturearchive...aspx?id=844163
http://fullreversal.rrpicturearchive...aspx?id=648451
http://fullreversal.rrpicturearchive...aspx?id=648452
http://fullreversal.rrpicturearchive...aspx?id=648453
http://fullreversal.rrpicturearchive...aspx?id=648462
http://fullreversal.rrpicturearchive...aspx?id=648464
http://fullreversal.rrpicturearchive...aspx?id=538346
http://fullreversal.rrpicturearchive...aspx?id=538344
http://fullreversal.rrpicturearchive...aspx?id=398658
http://fullreversal.rrpicturearchive...aspx?id=398671

Some randoms

http://fullreversal.rrpicturearchive...spx?id=1048347
http://www.railpictures.net/viewphot...183377&nseq=78
http://fullreversal.rrpicturearchive...spx?id=1030935
http://fullreversal.rrpicturearchive...spx?id=1002063
http://fullreversal.rrpicturearchive...aspx?id=944623
http://fullreversal.rrpicturearchive...aspx?id=944627
http://fullreversal.rrpicturearchive...aspx?id=944631


Railroad Bulidings/Infrastructure
http://fullreversal.rrpicturearchive...aspx?id=891157
http://fullreversal.rrpicturearchive...aspx?id=891151
http://fullreversal.rrpicturearchive...aspx?id=891142
http://fullreversal.rrpicturearchive...aspx?id=803966
http://fullreversal.rrpicturearchive...aspx?id=644113

People
http://fullreversal.rrpicturearchive...aspx?id=588693
http://fullreversal.rrpicturearchive...aspx?id=588692
http://fullreversal.rrpicturearchive...aspx?id=475940
http://fullreversal.rrpicturearchive...aspx?id=376522
http://www.railpictures.net/viewphot...180147&nseq=86
http://www.railpictures.net/viewphot...178122&nseq=92
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Old 02-13-2008, 08:01 PM   #24
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One of my favorite night photos.

Image © Wade H. Massie
PhotoID: 196975
Photograph © Wade H. Massie


Another interesting one I am a fan of.
Image © Kevin Morgan (drgw.ws)
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Old 02-13-2008, 09:36 PM   #25
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All I ask for is screener consistency. These like minded threads have shown that at least one screener is more open minded than others might be. I ask three questions;

1. Would the other 3 (4?) screeners also accept this shot?

2. Would the same screener accept this shot when he was a having 'bad day'?

3. Would this shot be accepted in six months when screener's taste change like they normally due?

Questions (and the threads that result because of them) would easily be answered if the screeners all assembled and decided what types of shots are acceptable and what are not. Not only would that improve relationships with those submitting, it would also give the site more legitimacy among the digital railfan community (i.e., less "HOW DO THEY ACCEPT THIS PIECE OF CRAP WHEN MINE GOT REJECTED!!!!!!!!!! threads on third party message boards).

A similar guide already exist for technical aspects (i.e., focus, underexposed, etc), I don't understand why there cannot be one for more general aspects.
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