Old 12-16-2019, 02:51 PM   #1
RobJor
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Default Foreground clutter

I thought of several reasons for rejection but not this one, felt a little humorous. I was happy to get the "clutter" in my photo but then one persons serendipity is anothers clutter.

https://www.railpictures.net/viewrej...59&key=2575391

Bob
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Old 12-16-2019, 03:45 PM   #2
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I think that the artsy types would classify this as what's known as a "merge".....when two major elements in a scene appear to "touch." As I've learned, this is something to be avoided, because it's not pleasing to the eyes. In this case, the merge is particularly undesirable because the foreground element is blocking the leading truck of the train. If either the train had been further back, or the pedestrians had been back far enough so that the nose and front truck of the train were visible, it would have still been a merge and still undesirable, but I think somewhat more pleasing to the eye and may have passed muster. Do you have other frames in which that is the case?

Ten years ago, I would not have recognized this issue and probably kept a frame like this in my collection, even if it was not acceptable to the screeners. Today, with 45 MP images coming out of my D850, and more than 4 terabytes cluttering up my hard drives, a frame like this would probably get deleted before I did any back-ups. I used to save EVERYTHING I shot. Now, I scrutinize the take from every shoot, and I probably delete 25% - 50%.....merges, clutter, soft, rods-centered, smoke-outs, closed eyes, bad compositions. A lot ends up on the cutting room floor these days.
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Old 12-16-2019, 11:12 PM   #3
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My first reaction, Bob, was "you have got to be kidding me." But I suppose Kevin is right, particularly since they're blocking the lead truck.

However, I hope you obtained the young lady's contact info, so you can recruit her as a witness when you appeal. Once she finds out she's been deemed "unsightly clutter", not only will she be too happy to testify, the screener will certainly cave rather than be subjected to her wrath, and it won't even go to trial.

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Old 12-17-2019, 11:52 AM   #4
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If they were positioned somewhere other than where they are I could get on board with you Bob.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinM View Post

Ten years ago, I would not have recognized this issue and probably kept a frame like this in my collection, even if it was not acceptable to the screeners. Today, with 45 MP images coming out of my D850, and more than 4 terabytes cluttering up my hard drives, a frame like this would probably get deleted before I did any back-ups. I used to save EVERYTHING I shot. Now, I scrutinize the take from every shoot, and I probably delete 25% - 50%.....merges, clutter, soft, rods-centered, smoke-outs, closed eyes, bad compositions. A lot ends up on the cutting room floor these days.
I delete the really terrible ones in the field, but I like to hold onto most of what I shoot for various reasons. With the current situation as they are on the local railroads for me, my image vault is what keeps me interested nowadays.

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Old 12-17-2019, 12:41 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by bigbassloyd View Post

I delete the really terrible ones in the field, but I like to hold onto most of what I shoot for various reasons. With the current situation as they are on the local railroads for me, my image vault is what keeps me interested nowadays.
I do the same thing, at the end of the day, hard drives for storage are a lot cheaper than the time it would take me to review and delete photos.
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Old 12-17-2019, 01:14 PM   #6
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I do the same thing, at the end of the day, hard drives for storage are a lot cheaper than the time it would take me to review and delete photos.
Geez, I sure wish I could bring myself to look at it this way. It's just that now, when I look at folders of images that I shot a dozen years ago, I find a TON of junk and I ask myself: "Why are you keeping this crap?" Fortunately, the keeper rate is an order of magnitude better now, but I still do a lot of bursting in certain situations, resulting in a lot of files, most of which are very similar. I shot an event last weekend, hoping to get perhaps 100 images. I shot 500 frames. Many were people shots and the majority are not keepers. 500 images at 24 MP or 45 MP adds up after a while. Lately, the shoots keep coming fast and furious.

But man, I am with you on the time required to review and make decisions on even just 500 frames. It's a big time-sink, and perhaps it isn't worth it.

Maybe I'm just fixated on not leaving whoever inherits my pictures with a disorganized mess......assuming they don't just pitch it all into a dumpster.
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Old 12-17-2019, 01:50 PM   #7
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Default Merges and foreground clutter

Here's an example of an obstructive merge that was accepted:

Image © Doug Boudrow
PhotoID: 717904
Photograph © Doug Boudrow


As with Bob's image, the front truck is obstructed by the people in the foreground, and the position of those people is not strictly ROT, although it is close. Honestly, I think this got in because it looks like a "grab" from an event, as opposed to an everyday scene. The people become a major element, probably sharing equal billing with the train. I'm not a fan of the cropping here. I would probably have pointed the camera just a bit more to the left, placing the people in the ROT position and balancing the position of the train in the frame. If there is any dead space, it is on the right. I probably also would have gone a bit wider, because I don't like cutting off the American Flag, and if I'm going to show people below the waist, I try not to cut their feet off.

With Bob's image, it's not clearly an event, but more of an everyday scene. The major element is the train, with people as supporting elements, so the obstruction/merge becomes more of a liability. Also, and I think this is important, the lower right on the image is pretty devoid of subject matter. If the people were in the gauge on that 3rd set of tracks (basically ROT position), I think Bob's image is a lot more pleasing to the eye, even if there's still some obstruction/merge going on. And of course, Bob's image lacks a certain "appeal" that's in the image above.....which is likely the sole reason it got as many hits as it did.
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Old 12-17-2019, 03:15 PM   #8
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I don't know the circumstances of Kevin's example but for mine, I had neither any control of scene nor much time to get in position as the scene just presented itself so this is my only shot. I certainly recognized problem but thought the scene had enough appeal.

Reading comments and looking at it seemed a problem was the empty right side with subjects off to the one side. Of course leaving the full scene is showing both cars is a railfan choice.

So I did this crop which leaves the basic elements. The trucks themselves are a problem as the scene is actually darker, 40 minutes after "sunset" on a very dreary day. Pulling much detail out of the truck area would not look so good so I look at the people blocking the trucks not completely negative.

Bob Jordan

Deleting photos, I agree with all three comments. If nothing is done as years go by it can get out of hand. It depends on the subject. Also it can be tedious and a little fear is to be too aggressive, once it is gone it is gone.
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Old 12-17-2019, 08:42 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinM View Post
Here's an example of an obstructive merge that was accepted:

Image © Doug Boudrow
PhotoID: 717904
Photograph © Doug Boudrow


As with Bob's image, the front truck is obstructed by the people in the foreground, and the position of those people is not strictly ROT, although it is close. Honestly, I think this got in because it looks like a "grab" from an event, as opposed to an everyday scene. The people become a major element, probably sharing equal billing with the train. I'm not a fan of the cropping here. I would probably have pointed the camera just a bit more to the left, placing the people in the ROT position and balancing the position of the train in the frame. If there is any dead space, it is on the right. I probably also would have gone a bit wider, because I don't like cutting off the American Flag, and if I'm going to show people below the waist, I try not to cut their feet off.

With Bob's image, it's not clearly an event, but more of an everyday scene. The major element is the train, with people as supporting elements, so the obstruction/merge becomes more of a liability. Also, and I think this is important, the lower right on the image is pretty devoid of subject matter. If the people were in the gauge on that 3rd set of tracks (basically ROT position), I think Bob's image is a lot more pleasing to the eye, even if there's still some obstruction/merge going on. And of course, Bob's image lacks a certain "appeal" that's in the image above.....which is likely the sole reason it got as many hits as it did.
Is it a problem that the woman's legs are cut off or that the flags on the train are cut off at the top?
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Old 12-17-2019, 09:05 PM   #10
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Is it a problem that the woman's legs are cut off or that the flags on the train are cut off at the top?
Going just a little looser on the crop (or wider on the shot) would have included both. I can see cutting people off at the waist, but at the ankles? When I first saw the shot, that was the second thing I noticed.
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Old 12-20-2019, 01:39 PM   #11
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Quote:
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Going just a little looser on the crop (or wider on the shot) would have included both. I can see cutting people off at the waist, but at the ankles?
I would have definitely went wider because it would have made for a much better composition. I guess he wanted to go tight on her.... phone


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Old 12-22-2019, 02:31 AM   #12
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I would have definitely went wider because it would have made for a much better composition. I guess he wanted to go tight on her.... phone


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Yep, her "phone" has had over 5,900 "hits".
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Old 12-24-2019, 10:24 AM   #13
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Back to OP, worked out OK, only an hour away so Sue and I went back. Much nicer evening, mild and clear evening and train got to station a little earlier.
After we had a nice dinner in East Troy, nice old town with pretty square.

Bob

Image © Robert Jordan
PhotoID: 720422
Photograph © Robert Jordan


and played around with the other train later, attached
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Old 12-24-2019, 01:45 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobJor View Post
Back to OP, worked out OK, only an hour away so Sue and I went back. Much nicer evening, mild and clear evening and train got to station a little earlier.
After we had a nice dinner in East Troy, nice old town with pretty square.

Bob

Image © Robert Jordan
PhotoID: 720422
Photograph © Robert Jordan


and played around with the other train later, attached
That is a really nice blue in the sky.
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Old 12-24-2019, 02:09 PM   #15
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It was a nice winter "blue evening", the sky was even a darker deeper blue but I had to brighten it up to.....

Bob
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Old 12-29-2019, 04:59 PM   #16
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Speaking of foreground clutter.....

https://www.railpictures.net/photo/720964/
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Old 12-29-2019, 05:45 PM   #17
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Speaking of foreground clutter.....

https://www.railpictures.net/photo/720964/
While I'm not sure that a photo with a bunch of foamers in the foreground is worthy of an award, those foamers are not obstructing the view of the subject, which is the criteria for foreground clutter.
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Old 12-29-2019, 07:42 PM   #18
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While I'm not sure that a photo with a bunch of foamers in the foreground is worthy of an award, those foamers are not obstructing the view of the subject, which is the criteria for foreground clutter.
Those foamers and their vehicles vanished in the version I saved!
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Old 12-30-2019, 01:22 PM   #19
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I prefer the angle from where the foamers are anyhow. Would have killed for snow when I was out there though. Looks amazing.

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Old 12-30-2019, 02:30 PM   #20
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I prefer the angle from where the foamers are anyhow. Would have killed for snow when I was out there though. Looks amazing.

Loyd L.
Think the guy on top of the foreground outcrop might have had a good spot?

I find the red, black car and PARTIAL blue car directly in front of the lead unit pretty distracting, think the lead unit back a little and cropped higher to the left leaving only the autos further back might have worked better. Someone told me once that our eyes first go to the brightest (and red) objects first. The cars may not touch or obstruct but compete. Including The long stretch of the dirt cut in the foreground is not that attractive but that may just be my preference.

Bob

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Old 12-30-2019, 03:56 PM   #21
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Think the guy on top of the foreground outcrop might have had a good spot?
As I've stood in both of those spots, I feel that most of the photogs in his photo got a better shot than he did. I scouted the high ground and determined quickly that foreground clutter (vehicle, people) ruins it.

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Old 12-30-2019, 07:31 PM   #22
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Speaking of foreground clutter.....

https://www.railpictures.net/photo/720964/
I don't see a problem with this one.
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Old 12-30-2019, 08:31 PM   #23
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and to make message long enough


Image © Craig Walker
PhotoID: 721153
Photograph © Craig Walker


Image © Matthew Griffin
PhotoID: 720914
Photograph © Matthew Griffin

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Old 12-30-2019, 08:36 PM   #24
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and to make message long enough


Image © Craig Walker
PhotoID: 721153
Photograph © Craig Walker


Image © Matthew Griffin
PhotoID: 720914
Photograph © Matthew Griffin
Personally I find that brush in the bottom of Craig's version much more distracting than the cars/photographers in the one from higher up, though I don't think either of them would have qualified for the foreground clutter rejection.
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Old 01-03-2020, 01:10 AM   #25
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Where is the line drawn between an obstruction and "just part of the scene?" I give to you these examples:
559383
721489
721490
The steam is partially or almost completely blocking the locomotive as a result of poor timing, fouling otherwise decent shots. I know a lot of people are guilty of this during blow downs, specifically with the 113 trips in my neck of the woods. Just wondering what y'all think of it.
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