Old 02-16-2008, 07:41 PM   #1
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Default Rejection advice needed.....

Alright, tried my first abandoned railroad photograph, tried to make it artsy by removing the color, and it gets the boot for having "Poor Esthetic Qualities." I actually expected that. From what I hear, abandonment shots are in the eye of the screener.
http://www.railpictures.net/viewreje...key=1091092382

I disagree with this being overexposed. It was around noon on a sunny, cold, winter, snowy day. Of course it is going to be a little bright. As for having "bad contrast", I may need some help. What should I do?
http://www.railpictures.net/viewreje...&key=635815218

This is not backlit. I understand that they may want more lighting on the nose, but detail is clearly evident on the right side of the nose. It is a dirty machine. The shadows of the steps on the nose are also viewable. I appealed this one for that exact reasoning.
http://www.railpictures.net/viewreje...&key=592450611

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Old 02-16-2008, 08:02 PM   #2
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Removing color is not in and of itself "artsy." Removal of color that brings out some interesting tonality can be "artsy." Changing a shot to BW does not increase the odds of acceptance.

Didn't someone post a few weeks ago something, a statement from one of the Chris', maybe, that abandonment shots would henceforth be held to a higher standard than they were before?

In the first shot, yes, you can see all the elements but it has, to my opinionated eye!, a distinctly snap-shot feel. Perhaps you can retake it, and get the railbed out of the middle of the shot, and accentuate the milepost. Right now the right side of the shot is contributing nothing.
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Old 02-16-2008, 08:08 PM   #3
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Second shot, I agree with the screener. Overexposed, just look at the sides of the autoracks. And it has too much contrast, scale that back. Also, why so tiny? I'm surprised it made it past the image size check. EDIT: the size is fine on another computer. There is just something about that one computer.

Note that fixing the contrast may help with the overexposure, as reducing contrast will reduce the level of exposure in the very whitest parts; it narrows the histogram
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Last edited by JRMDC; 02-16-2008 at 09:46 PM.
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Old 02-16-2008, 08:11 PM   #4
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Third one: well, look at the area around the cab windows - dark. So it's only the part of the nose that is angled toward one side that is lit, so the sun is not perpendicular to the train but just a smidge behind that.

It's a decent shot, but RP just doesn't go for that angle of light on many occasions. Just the way it is.

Next time, you may want to find a way to keep the crossing signal from blocking the water tank, and to keep the background pole from coming out the side of the cab.
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Old 02-16-2008, 08:48 PM   #5
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Quote:
It was around noon on a sunny, cold, winter, snowy day. Of course it is going to be a little bright.
I'm a little confused by this statement...aren't you the one controlling the exposure at the moment the shot is taken and then again in post-procesing?
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Old 02-16-2008, 09:26 PM   #6
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2 & 3 are both over sharpened and over processed. Looks like you jacked the contrast through the roof.
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Old 02-16-2008, 09:49 PM   #7
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The contrast is way, way, way too high on #2 and #3. Pull it down and try pulling the highlight down too.
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Old 02-16-2008, 10:53 PM   #8
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The abandonment shot seems to be more or less centered on the mimosa tree growing through the rails. It dominates the scene and detracts from the interest factor. That spot has some great potential though. Other posters have mentioned some ideas so I won't expound on that too much. Don't get stuck in the box that every picture has to be taken from standing height. Sometimes even the most mundane things take on a whole new light when they are viewed from a different angle or proximity.

I'd say the other two could qualify for lighting rejections because of the split light on the nose. It's a 50/50 shot on those sometimes and acceptance will depend on lots of factors. I'd also say watch the shaddows creeping in on the second one. Shaddows are like visits from your mother in law. They are nice but only in little bits and controlled. Bringing the contrast back some may make the last 2 shots seem a whole lot more real.
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Old 02-16-2008, 11:03 PM   #9
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Most of the best abandoned rail shots here seem to have more going for them than someone walking up to the track, standing there and snapping a picture. Get at eye level with the rail, or put the rail in the foreground. Anyone with a camera could have taken the rejected shot here. But a railistic (yes, I just made up a word by combining realistic and rail) photographer should want to show the viewer something more interesting.

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Old 02-17-2008, 02:19 AM   #10
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Well, that abandonment photograph was from 2006, when I was still at my earlier stages of photography. Don't get me wrong, I DO take plenty of ground level shots, I just was not as experienced back then. Since this photo was laying around, I thought it might actually do some wonders. The location is very much re-doable as it is about 10 miles from my house. No fears! Abandonment shots really started interesting me, and I may start taking up the abandonment photography gig!

For photo number two, I thought maybe the continuous string of autoracks may have got the photo accepted. I can easily reduce the amount of contrast. I'll tell ya what I think the problem is though. A friend of mine - Tim Sullivan, told me that in photoshop, to make a photo look crisper, put in the numbers 30, 60 and 1 on Unsharp Mask. I did that to photos two and three. I don't like the effect very much myself as it sometimes adds an unwanted halo on the photo. This is due to the oversharpening it brings on. My friend learned this from Pop-Photography. He is an excellent photographer, but just took pop photography's advice here.....

Photo 3, I like how the autoracks wrap around the curve. That pole sticking out of the cab is quite annoying. Didn't really notice it until after submission.
I do have a shot including the water tower, not being blocked by the crossing protection, of a UP engine from the same day, but it came out somewhat soft for some reason, so it deserves no submission. I can manage to do Conneaut again too. I usually hit that location every time on my way to Tim Sullivan's house.
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Old 02-17-2008, 03:14 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alstom
A friend of mine - Tim Sullivan, told me that in photoshop, to make a photo look crisper, put in the numbers 30, 60 and 1 on Unsharp Mask. I did that to photos two and three. I don't like the effect very much myself as it sometimes adds an unwanted halo on the photo. This is due to the oversharpening it brings on. My friend learned this from Pop-Photography. He is an excellent photographer, but just took pop photography's advice here.....
Your friend is not right, but he is not wrong either. The technique he is referring to is often called "local contrast enhancement." It is very good to get a shot taken on a hazy day crisp. I personally find the effect too strong also, so I often do it in a separate layer and set opacity (or whatever the setting is called) to 50%. At any rate, I would never use that technique on a standard, well lit, clear day shot. I can see where, in this case, it would be inappropriate.

BTW, the values I have been using and often see stated are 20/60/0; sometime I'll have to try 30/60/1 and see how much difference it makes.
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