Old 06-04-2008, 09:23 PM   #1
Cinderpath
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Ferndale, MI (Detroit area)
Posts: 98
Default Photo Contest Winners announced-CRPA 2008

The contest winners for this year's "Center for Railroad Photography and Art" annual photo awards have been announced, and they are very impressive, despite having on 33 photographers submit 150 photos.

http://www.railphoto-art.org/award_2008/

As there are some very talented photographers on Railpictures.net I would like to challenge them to submit to the 2009 contest, there are over $2500 in prizes, in addition to including being a part of an exhibit, and published in a magazine.


http://www.railphoto-art.org/award_2009.html

2009 Awards Program Announcement:

The theme for the Center's 2009 Awards Program is "Light Impressions," which is open to broad interpretation. Light itself should be a fundamental element of submitted photographs, but equally important is the impression the photographer makes with the light. To quote the British photojournalist Donald McCullin, "There is no such thing as bad light, just misunderstood light." Photographers are encouraged to explore and understand all forms of light found along railroads, from golden sunlight to blue twilight, from harsh midday light to soft overcast light, from the celestial light of moon and stars to the artificial light of headlights and signals. The French Impressionist painters emphasized the changing quality of light in their work; railroads operate around the clock, through every kind of weather and in every quality of light.

Prizes totaling more than $2500, along with gallery exhibition and magazine publication, will be awarded to those photographers who make the best impressions. The total number of awards will be based upon the quality of the work received.

* Gold Award (one photographer) - Canon EOS 40D digital camera body ($1300 suggested retail price)
* Silver Awards (two photographers) - $300
* Bronze Awards (multiple) - $100

The Center will exhibit all of the winning photographs at the California State Railroad Museum and publish a selection in a special issue of Railroad Heritage. Additionally, Railfan & Railroad magazine will publish all of the Gold and Silver Award photographs, along with a selection from the Bronze Award. Photographers whose work is published will receive additional compensation from Railfan & Railroad at the magazine's regular rate.

The deadline for submissions is March 10, 2009. Check back later for the entry form, but in the meantime, start shooting! As in the past, photographers may submit up to five photos.

-Respectfully, and good luck-
Michael Ross Valentine, Board Member, Center for Railroad Photography and Art.
Cinderpath is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2008, 09:40 PM   #2
Mgoldman
Senior Member
 
Mgoldman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 3,641
Default

I submitted a few- last minute and on plain copy paper as I was out of photo paper and time, but not ambition. The images on CD were good but despite only 33 photographers I was not in the running, nor was another RP submitter that I'm sure you know '2. Not sure if sending in pics on copy paper had any effect.

The theme was "A sense of place" and it would appear that most of the winning entries - with the exception of Jeff Mast had little to do with a sense of place. I took a quick peek, I'll have to look again when I have the time.

It was interesting that is was mentioned that in one of Jeff's shots, "the photographer chose to leave the skeleton in the shot" - he did not choose to leave it, it WAS what the shot was all about. It seemed the judges were reading into the images things that the photographer may not have been thinking of in some cases.

With time comes wisdom.

For the next 300 or so days, I'll enjoy critiques from a source I identify with - that being Janusz's Railpixcritic blog.

/Mitch


BTW - why offer a camera as a grande prize to a professional photographer who likely already has all the camera he needs? And what if he's shooting with a Nikon. A gift certificate or a lens might be a better option to expand his or her creativity even more.

Last edited by Mgoldman; 06-04-2008 at 09:44 PM.
Mgoldman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2008, 09:48 PM   #3
JRMDC
Senior Member
 
JRMDC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 11,202
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mgoldman
BTW - why offer a camera as a grande prize to a professional photographer who likely already has all the camera he needs? And what if he's shooting with a Nikon. A gift certificate or a lens might be a better option to expand his or her creativity even more.
Cm'on Mitch, ever hear of event sponsorship!

At least it isn't that puny thing they gave Keith Burgess last year or the year before.

Anyway, I think it is reasonable that you give an object as a prize, those things are usually donated by some sort of a sponsor. The winner can then sell it and get what they want. I don't think anyone actually expected Keith to take that Canon P/S (I think it was, maybe a G7?) and head trackside. Although, of course, if you are starting out, something like a G7 is a very nice camera, and there is nothing wrong with staying with it even if you are full speed in the hobby.

I'll need a lot more than just hope of a prize to match the levels of Olaf's winning shots, however! Some sort of divine infusion of talent, I think. Should it come, well, I for one will certainly be able to make use of a 40D!
__________________
My RP pix are here.
My Flickr pix are here.

My commentaries on rail pictures are in my blog.

RP Photo Albums:
Cabooses
Engine Details
Farm and Train
Plumes!
Railroad Details
Signal Details
Switchstand Shots

Last edited by JRMDC; 06-04-2008 at 09:50 PM.
JRMDC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2008, 10:01 PM   #4
Andrew Blaszczyk (2)
Senior Member
 
Andrew Blaszczyk (2)'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Marlboro, NJ
Posts: 1,956
Send a message via AIM to Andrew Blaszczyk (2) Send a message via Yahoo to Andrew Blaszczyk (2)
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mgoldman
The theme was "A sense of place" and it would appear that most of the winning entries . . . had little to do with a sense of place.
Wow, I may just be a sore loser but I fully agree that a majority of the photos hardly say let alone scream sense of place. I wonder if not including captions was the deal breaker as the judges may have needed to here the photographers arguments rather than have them speak through their work. I doubt I'll be sending anything in to the 2009 contest after seeing how the contest is judged, slowly yet poorly IMO.

I should add that I don't mean my photos, which were not taken with the theme 'sense of place' in mind, should have won, but that the winners should have been photos that actually told the story not the words under them.
__________________
-Andrew Blaszczyk a.k.a. AB(2)
Proud fan of the Sabres, Islanders, Rockies, and Lions.

"My camera is an artistic medium, not a tool of terrorism."

www.ab2photography.com Coming soon!
My photos on RailPictures:
http://www.railpictures.net/showphotos.php?userid=960
Andrew Blaszczyk (2) is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2008, 11:05 PM   #5
Cinderpath
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Ferndale, MI (Detroit area)
Posts: 98
Default

Mitch: Not sure if sending in pics on copy paper had any effect.

-I am not sure, as I am not involved with the judging or judging process about your photos, however- I know that this was mentioned specifically in the rules, that photos had to be on photographic paper, and not on copy or plain paper.

Mitch: The theme was "A sense of place" and it would appear that most of the winning entries - with the exception of Jeff Mast had little to do with a sense of place. I took a quick peek, I'll have to look again when I have the time.

- I strongly disagree with you here, these photos did indeed display a very strong sense of place, which was quite apparent, especially the winner. These truly are amazing photos, especially the action night shot next to the station.

http://www.railphoto-art.org/award_2008/gold3.html


His quote pretty much sums it up: "the locomotive alone is only a piece of steel. Trains, architecture, nature, passengers, and neighbors are intrinsically tied to the railroad and are essential parts of my photographs. These elements together truly show a sense of place."

Here are some others:

http://www.railphoto-art.org/award_2008/bronze07.html

http://www.railphoto-art.org/award_2008/bronze01.html

http://www.railphoto-art.org/award_2008/bronze02.html

http://www.railphoto-art.org/award_2008/bronze03.html

http://www.railphoto-art.org/award_2008/bronze08.html

http://www.railphoto-art.org/award_2008/bronze11.html

http://www.railphoto-art.org/award_2008/bronze12.html

http://www.railphoto-art.org/award_2008/bronze21.html

http://www.railphoto-art.org/award_2008/bronze30.html

http://www.railphoto-art.org/award_2008/bronze32.html

-In any event, next years theme is pretty apparent concerning lighting.

Mitch: BTW - why offer a camera as a grande prize to a professional photographer who likely already has all the camera he needs? And what if he's shooting with a Nikon. A gift certificate or a lens might be a better option to expand his or her creativity even more.


-Not all of the winners are professionals, very few in fact are. Canon also helps sponsor the event. It would be great if Nikon also helped sponsor, but they see little value in railroad photography in the past, which I feel is unfortunate.
Cinderpath is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2008, 11:49 PM   #6
Mgoldman
Senior Member
 
Mgoldman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 3,641
Default

As I mentioned previously, I had taken only a quick peek and further review would be necessary. I did not realize, for instance, that the Bronze thumbs only showed a portion of the actual photo. Never-the-less, it seems to me that a majority of images still do not convey a sense of place. Ironically, they seem in majority to fit next years theme - light impressions. They seem in majority to be moody and dark and play on interesting lighting. Some seem cut off, while others seem abstract - interesting but short on a sense of place.

Regarding the judges comments - and hoping not to be putting a foot in my own mouth, the comments remind me of similar when at an art museum and someone is trying to describe another artist's work. It's as if he or she is telling us that "the book is completely different then the movie you saw" or "I see the artist's work as follows..." Often I have heard people on RP say, I didn't even notice the rainbow, the moon, the dog, ect until I got home yet the judges state as if it were fact everything in the photo was purposely premeditated and not just a bit of luck or happenstance.

My submissions were on glossy paper, at least 3 of the four. And my printer jammed on the last image cutting it off. No time to correct so I hoped the CD images would suffice - maybe not, or maybe my images were too generic and short of mood.

Here is one - a definate Sense of place without definitively being obvious. As much as I enjoyed and appreciate the Gold Award selections, the first two I have no sense of place - other then first place.


Image © Mitch Goldman
PhotoID: 150607
Photograph © Mitch Goldman


As for the grand prize, as it was mentioned - most would be likely to sell their grand prize - a better prize would be a gift certificate offerered by the sponsor. IMHO.

/Mitch

Last edited by Mgoldman; 06-04-2008 at 11:55 PM.
Mgoldman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-2008, 02:21 AM   #7
JimThias
Senior Member
 
JimThias's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
Posts: 9,800
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cinderpath
[color=Blue]
Mitch: The theme was "A sense of place" and it would appear that most of the winning entries - with the exception of Jeff Mast had little to do with a sense of place. I took a quick peek, I'll have to look again when I have the time.

- I strongly disagree with you here, these photos did indeed display a very strong sense of place, which was quite apparent, especially the winner. These truly are amazing photos, especially the action night shot next to the station.
I could take this white fudge chunky Chips Ahoy cookie I'm eating right now, place it in my bathtub, take a picture of it and title it, "Sense of Place," and achieve the same goal as the train photos I saw in that contest. "Sense of place" is a matter of perception by the viewer, and pretty much ANY photo could be construed/implied as "sense of place" if you use your imagination. If I hadn't read the theme of the contest before browsing through the entries, I would not have been able to tell you what the theme was, other than railroad related. To me, it looks like a bunch of random photos (many which are very good) with some being more "train-themed" than others. But I guess that's what happens when you present a theme to the masses. Everyone is going to have their own perception and imagination to what that theme means to them. The fact that I knew it was themed "sense of place" helped me use my imagination to "see" what the photographer was seeing on some more than others.

So I can agree with Mitch as much as I can agree with Cinderpath.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cinderpath
His quote pretty much sums it up: "the locomotive alone is only a piece of steel. Trains, architecture, nature, passengers, and neighbors are intrinsically tied to the railroad and are essential parts of my photographs. These elements together truly show a sense of place."
What train photo doesn't invoke that thought?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mgoldman

Regarding the judges comments - and hoping not to be putting a foot in my own mouth, the comments remind me of similar when at an art museum and someone is trying to describe another artist's work. It's as if he or she is telling us that "the book is completely different then the movie you saw" or "I see the artist's work as follows..." Often I have heard people on RP say, I didn't even notice the rainbow, the moon, the dog, ect until I got home yet the judges state as if it were fact everything in the photo was purposely premeditated and not just a bit of luck or happenstance.
SO true, Mitch! That's the beauty of photography...sometimes things just happen and we're lucky enough to freeze that moment in time. Other times, we can plan ahead and see the image in our head and pretty much know how it's going to come out. However, does that mean the premeditated image is going to be better? Certainly that is not always the case. Here are two examples.

Premeditated:

Image © Jim Thias
PhotoID: 219536
Photograph © Jim Thias



Spontaneous (aka, "right place at the right time"):

Image © Jim Thias
PhotoID: 204220
Photograph © Jim Thias


In the first shot, I knew I what I was going for and set out to get that shot. I had plenty of time to set up my tripod, do test shots and then wait for the train. The second shot, as you can see in my comment under the photo, it was merely a lucky grab shot. But you just know the judges would break it down to make it sound like I took all things into consideration when I photographed that train.

Last edited by JimThias; 06-05-2008 at 02:34 AM.
JimThias is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-2008, 03:06 AM   #8
TAMR159
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 367
Default

Honestly, they all work for me - all are good shots, and all display key elements signifying a unique location. I don't believe in the the "railfan rule" that there has to be a mile marker, some lettering, a specific station, or something of that nature in order to signify location.

In my personal opinion, all of these shots are very well done and help set the MOOD of the place they were taken, making it feel as though you were there (why must all photos "tell a story"?). I personally prefer this ideology - put the viewer in your shoes, show them exactly how the seen felt through your photo (something I've been slacking on lately).

The first place shot has a station right in the shot, and the various interior station shots are unique and make you feel as though you're there - I love it. The unique towers, bridges, industries, etc. in the other shots all give a strong sense of place. And yes, many are more abstract than your traditional photography, which I think is quite appropriate for the organization they are representative of, and I personally give them a lot more respect - they usually have a mood about them, rather than the more traditional railroad photos portraying a scene, usually with some historical significance. This style is perfectly fine, but I don't give these shots as much credit as I do ones like what have been seen in this competition. To each his own.
TAMR159 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-2008, 04:27 AM   #9
Mgoldman
Senior Member
 
Mgoldman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 3,641
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by TAMR159
Honestly, they all work for me - all are good shots... .
Indeed, they are. No one stated otherwise.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TAMR159
In my personal opinion, all of these shots are very well done and help set the MOOD of the place they were taken...
The contest was "Sense of PLACE", not sense of MOOD.
Had it been sense of MOOD, I'd be applauding the descisions, and as stated, had it been 2009's "Light" theme, I would also compliment the organization.

The pictures for the most part are excellent and merit attention here on RP for veiwers to expand their own horizon. However, I sense no sense of place in the majority of the photos.

/Mitch
Mgoldman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-2008, 02:58 PM   #10
Cinderpath
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Ferndale, MI (Detroit area)
Posts: 98
Default

Mitch: Ironically, they seem in majority to fit next years theme - light impressions. They seem in majority to be moody and dark and play on interesting lighting. Some seem cut off, while others seem abstract - interesting but short on a sense of place.


-I guess your taking the rules to literal Mitch, the theme is extremely broad (as not to inhibit creativity) and could be interpreted different ways. Regardless of any "Theme" in any contest, the key to any good photograph is lighting, this never changes. EVER. An interesting location alone without good lighting is just that, an interesting place, but not necessarily an interesting photograph. I don't think anybody will disagree with this.

Mitch: The contest was "Sense of PLACE", not sense of MOOD.
Had it been sense of MOOD, I'd be applauding the discussions, and as stated, had it been 2009's "Light" theme, I would also compliment the organization.


Again- I think you are looking too literal at interpretation, adding the element of "Mood" very much can add interest to a "Sense of Place"; see above. In many cases the photographers used lighting to create a mood, to aid in defining a location; a technique as old as photography itself. Nowhere was it written in rules that dramatic lighting or mood are not allowed.

If your interested in this subject, get a copy of the book "A sense of Place", by the great photographer (who is a railfan) David Plowden, and written over 20 books. Plowden is considered one of the great American Photographers of all time.

Some of the photos on his website here, very much exhibit a "Sense of Place", even though this is not a "Theme", but adding this element to the photos, very much adds to their impact:

http://www.davidplowden.com/archive/...age_name=rural

Again, lighting, and mood absolutely play a crucial roll in this, as it should. Who would want to look at images without mood or plain lighting?

In any event the reason why I posted this was to provoke thought, creativity, and challenge viewers on RP.net to submit, as there are some very talented photographers here. The discussion about interpretation about rules or prizes, is secondary, when compared with creating great images. If the only metric is "Winning", and how one places and the only thing that matters, then I would strongly consider mission and goals of the CRPA first. There are no "Losers" in the contest, quite the contrary. The Awards Program created a great body of work, encouraged creativity, and expanding on ideas and personal growth in railroad photography.

Last edited by Cinderpath; 06-05-2008 at 03:22 PM.
Cinderpath is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-06-2008, 01:49 AM   #11
hoydie17
We Own The Night...
 
hoydie17's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Centreville, VA
Posts: 799
Send a message via AIM to hoydie17 Send a message via Yahoo to hoydie17
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cinderpath
In any event the reason why I posted this was to provoke thought, creativity, and challenge viewers on RP.net to submit, as there are some very talented photographers here.
Then perhaps your organization should be better about returning phone calls and e-mails when they receive them.

I've tried periodically over the last year or so to contact your center via the phone numbers on the webpage, and the info e-mail addresses, and never even get the courtesy of a "we're not interested" reply.
__________________
See my work on FLICKR: Night Stalker Photo Works on FLICKR

Or if you want to see my work here at RP.net? Click here.

"It's just a damn train son!"
hoydie17 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-06-2008, 12:28 PM   #12
Cinderpath
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Ferndale, MI (Detroit area)
Posts: 98
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by hoydie17
Then perhaps your organization should be better about returning phone calls and e-mails when they receive them.

I've tried periodically over the last year or so to contact your center via the phone numbers on the webpage, and the info e-mail addresses, and never even get the courtesy of a "we're not interested" reply.

-Check you personal Messages-
-Michael
Cinderpath is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 03:27 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.1
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.