Old 04-28-2017, 02:51 AM   #1
Joseph Cermak
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Default Snow Shots vs. Cloudy

How does one get snow storm shots accepted and get past a cloudy rejection? I can't seem to think how one would shoot a train in a snow storm when it is not cloudy so I'm rather confused. Is this an issue with the conditions, how I shot the train, or how the image is processed? Any help appreciated.

http://www.railpictures.net/viewreje...24&key=8759170
http://www.railpictures.net/viewreje...25&key=4300477
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Old 04-28-2017, 03:55 AM   #2
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You would really benefit from tightening up your levels overall. I bet a look at the histogram on both would reveal a long flat line on the dark end, and a shorter flat line on the bright end. Both shots are just dynamically meh right now.

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Old 04-28-2017, 04:01 AM   #3
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I went ahead and opened the first one in PS and sure enough, alotta empty space on both ends. Attached is the original and adjusted screen shots. I'd also consider a different crop on it, and some highlight work to slightly lower the levels of the snow. I'd also consider a LCE (local contrast enhancement) too, as those can be quite beneficial for snow scenes.




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Old 04-28-2017, 02:15 PM   #4
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Two run of the mill shots that happen to contain some falling snow. 8-10 years ago they may have easily accepted those, but not now. Needs more interest.
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Old 04-28-2017, 02:37 PM   #5
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Painesville is misspelled. I'd think one of them could have made it with better processing/cropping as noted, but I have had shots like that rejected, really just not much to it in terms of a RR scene. Snow can be hard, too much or too little.

Need to find a location with some interest???

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Old 04-28-2017, 02:40 PM   #6
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I find one of the keys to getting snowy shots on is having them be bright enough; both of yours look a bit on the dark side.

Here are a few snowy shots I got on from this past winter.

Image © Michael Berry
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Old 04-28-2017, 03:09 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by JimThias View Post
Two run of the mill shots that happen to contain some falling snow. 8-10 years ago they may have easily accepted those, but not now. Needs more interest.
This, plus the second one, there are a few areas that are completely blown out, no detail.

I would move on
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Old 04-29-2017, 03:11 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Joseph Cermak View Post
How does one get snow storm shots accepted and get past a cloudy rejection? I can't seem to think how one would shoot a train in a snow storm when it is not cloudy so I'm rather confused. Is this an issue with the conditions, how I shot the train, or how the image is processed? Any help appreciated.

http://www.railpictures.net/viewreje...24&key=8759170
http://www.railpictures.net/viewreje...25&key=4300477
Go ahead and keep shooting those snow storm shots, and stop worrying about whether they get accepted by RP or not. I would agree on punching up the shot in post as LLoyd suggested. The first one is nicely done in terms of composition, just needs a little extra punch.
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Old 05-01-2017, 12:57 AM   #9
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Train is centered both vertically and horizontally in the first shot. Jim is dead n in his opinion, too
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Old 05-01-2017, 06:15 PM   #10
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Train is centered both vertically and horizontally in the first shot. Jim is dead n in his opinion, too
What is the problem with being centered if it is intentional? I have seen lots of centered shots and they seem to work very well for head-on subjects.
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Old 05-01-2017, 06:16 PM   #11
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I went ahead and opened the first one in PS and sure enough, alotta empty space on both ends. Attached is the original and adjusted screen shots. I'd also consider a different crop on it, and some highlight work to slightly lower the levels of the snow. I'd also consider a LCE (local contrast enhancement) too, as those can be quite beneficial for snow scenes.


Loyd L.
I agree that looks a lot better. However, I use lightroom and don't have photoshop so I'm unsure what you mean by "levels" or what I should adjust in lightroom. If anyone has any advice on how to make these changes in lightroom that would be appreciated.
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Old 05-01-2017, 08:04 PM   #12
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What is the problem with being centered if it is intentional? I have seen lots of centered shots and they seem to work very well for head-on subjects.
Your shot is not just a head-on, it is a train coming around a curve. That makes it different; left is not the same as right. There is an implied motion of the subject.

The general "problem" or preference is for an off-center subject. I would say due to an increase in the perceived dynamism of the shot. See "rule of thirds". For a head-on subject centered is often appropriate, especially the tighter the crop.
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Old 05-01-2017, 08:05 PM   #13
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I agree that looks a lot better. However, I use lightroom and don't have photoshop so I'm unsure what you mean by "levels" or what I should adjust in lightroom. If anyone has any advice on how to make these changes in lightroom that would be appreciated.
Hi Joseph,

Do you use the histogram in Lightroom? If so, the issues that Loyd pointed out should show up there. You can make "levels" adjustments in Lightroom using the Whites (White Point), Blacks (Black Point), and Exposure (good for mid-tones).

You can also make adjustments to various tones (highlight, light, dark, shadows) using the Tone Curve.
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Old 05-01-2017, 08:19 PM   #14
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Your shot is not just a head-on, it is a train coming around a curve. That makes it different; left is not the same as right. There is an implied motion of the subject.

The general "problem" or preference is for an off-center subject. I would say due to an increase in the perceived dynamism of the shot. See "rule of thirds". For a head-on subject centered is often appropriate, especially the tighter the crop.
How would you compose it then? It seems to me that the best way is to center it so that the rail curves inside the frame, leading from the bottom left corner towards the right. Adding more to the right would just add dead space I would think.
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Old 05-01-2017, 08:20 PM   #15
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Hi Joseph,

Do you use the histogram in Lightroom? If so, the issues that Loyd pointed out should show up there. You can make "levels" adjustments in Lightroom using the Whites (White Point), Blacks (Black Point), and Exposure (good for mid-tones).

You can also make adjustments to various tones (highlight, light, dark, shadows) using the Tone Curve.
Yes, that's what I generally use when making edits, but I didn't change much on this shot. I'm not sure the best way to process snow shots so that they are bright enough without having "blown-out" snow areas.
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Old 05-01-2017, 08:49 PM   #16
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Yes, that's what I generally use when making edits, but I didn't change much on this shot. I'm not sure the best way to process snow shots so that they are bright enough without having "blown-out" snow areas.
Hi Joseph,

The key thing is getting the Exposure correct. Once that's done, you can set your white and black points, and shadows/highlights so nothing is blown out. The shots that I see in this thread that look dark are underexposed, possibly because the photographers involved may have been misled by the camera's metering system. When shooting in the snow, if you follow the camera's metering system, you will likely underexpose. Fortunately, if you are shooting raw, you can adjust Exposure in post to fix that....as long as the shot is not badly underexposed.
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Old 05-01-2017, 09:36 PM   #17
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What is the problem with being centered if it is intentional? I have seen lots of centered shots and they seem to work very well for head-on subjects.
"Centered" really irritates some people. The screeners don't seem overly obsessed with it, as I counted about 9 pretty much centered in the current daily offerings.
I'm fine with it if the composition is pleasing.
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Old 05-02-2017, 01:24 AM   #18
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How would you compose it then? It seems to me that the best way is to center it so that the rail curves inside the frame, leading from the bottom left corner towards the right. Adding more to the right would just add dead space I would think.
The train is present in the center and on the left. Its motion is going left. The right side is excessive. You can't keep the entirety of the curves.
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Old 05-02-2017, 03:08 AM   #19
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You can't always just crop yourself into a good composition, a curve can be hard to preview the scene but where you stood somewhat locks you in. Sure some will disagree but could have been better to post immediately so there is some current value rather than just a common photo a month or so later, certainly true in the "old" days. Looking today there are no snow shots.

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Old 05-02-2017, 08:20 PM   #20
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Enjoying this educational thread. I have 3 snow shots (yes thats all I have since it dont snow much where I live and I dont travel that much) that I have tried on RP and all got cloudy day. On my first pic/rejection for a snow shot, I was like SERIOUSLY??. But I have continued to study and (still) learning that alot elements come into play in snow shots and well photography in general.
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Old 05-03-2017, 12:56 PM   #21
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How would you compose it then? It seems to me that the best way is to center it so that the rail curves inside the frame, leading from the bottom left corner towards the right.
A few steps backward and to the left slightly would have moved the train to the right while also preserving the rails in the composition.
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