Old 02-02-2015, 04:26 PM   #1
J-M Frybourg
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Default About darkness

http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.php?id=517199

I like this kind of dark pictures, borderline with underexposed.

When editing, the automated tone or exposure adjustments make them much lighter. But keeping the dark keeps the true atmosphere, keeps final result closer to reality.

Now why is it that when I upload pictures this dark, they are rejected (underexposed / too dark) but when they are from Chase G. or Hunter R., they are accepted?
Many examples here: http://www.railpictures.net/album/2251/

Or if I put it in a more RPN-politically correct way, what makes a dark picture "not dark" and accepted?

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Old 02-02-2015, 10:08 PM   #2
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Old 02-03-2015, 12:55 PM   #3
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I wish it were different, but this is pretty much all the explanation that is needed. But having said that, let me also say that Chase is a great photographer. From a purely photographic standpoint, I very much like many of his recent "dark and gloomy" submissions. They capture a great scene and mood rarely seen on RP. Because, lets face it, railroading is a 365 day a year business. Trains don't just run on bright, sunny days.

BUT...

If you look at those same photos in question purely from a RP standards point of view, they should all have been rejected as Underexposed. It pretty much all boils down to the inconsistencies that Mitch brought up. If you are going to reject even a single image for being Underexposed, then you should reject ALL submissions that appear to be Underexposed. Period. If there's going to be standards, then stick to them!

Just my thoughts, I could be wrong. And after all, its not my website, so my thoughts don't matter anyway...
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Old 02-03-2015, 09:58 PM   #4
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BUT...

If you look at those same photos in question purely from a RP standards point of view, they should all have been rejected as Underexposed. It pretty much all boils down to the inconsistencies that Mitch brought up. If you are going to reject even a single image for being Underexposed, then you should reject ALL submissions that appear to be Underexposed. Period. If there's going to be standards, then stick to them!
A clarification - Chase's shots, and others, are underexposed with intent. Typically, some vignetting is added and I'm sure some other "trade mark" secret editing is done to give such images an interesting mood:

http://www.railpictures.net/album/2292/

If anyone knows of some good photos to add, let me know - there is a certain style that these photographers are shooting for. I'm not looking for poorly exposed images, nor images underexposed that simply miss the mark.


Now, as for inconsistencies... it is perfectly acceptable, welcome, in fact, that some "rules" are allowed to be broken here on RP. The inconsistencies that aggravate are when patrons have similar images rejected. Some folks are allowed foreground obstructions, dark trucks, dark images with intent, overcast common power shots, tilts and creative perspectives while others at times are not. Granted, those who take exception to those rules do not always merit that exception. BUT - why not allow a previously accepted image that is similar to set a precedent for acceptance of another, bound by some time limit?

Y'know... or just loosen up in the appeals department. If the decision was errant, the image will be buried in 24 hours and you keep good patrons. Just gotta figure out the criteria of what makes a "good" patron.

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Old 02-04-2015, 07:33 PM   #5
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Most of those are common shots of common trains taken on cloudy days. Of course, I have NO issue with that, but don't try to pass them off for anything more than what they really are.
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Old 02-04-2015, 11:02 PM   #6
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Most of those are common shots of common trains taken on cloudy days. Of course, I have NO issue with that, but don't try to pass them off for anything more than what they really are.
I may have to ween that album down a bit as I get better examples of the style.

But there are quite a few that are much more then common shots on cloudy days. Photos taken on cloudy overcast days are often very dull. The examples, which were all the rage for a spell on RP, included editing for underexposure, vignetting and what would appear, a reduction of contrast.

Or, maybe it was a third party "gloom" filter, lol.... who knows, but it did have it's own recognizable style.

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Old 02-05-2015, 01:06 AM   #7
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Typically, some vignetting is added and I'm sure some other "trade mark" secret editing is done...
Photogs actually add vignetting???

I've always thought of vignetting as an undesirable defect.

I do like maybe 20% of the shots in the album, which is consistent with many other web photo selections. (Anything over 20%, and I consider a gallery to be a treasure trove!)
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Old 02-05-2015, 02:36 AM   #8
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Photogs actually add vignetting???

I've always thought of vignetting as an undesirable defect.
Yes, I've noticed it is a popular effect especially among some of the younger guys. Doesn't really do much for me but I'm not really pushing any envelopes or redefining the hobby.

EDIT: for those that are, maybe look into this site? Sorry if it's been discussed, I just drop in these forums on occasion:

http://railsunlimited.com/

Last edited by Flowing; 02-05-2015 at 03:11 AM. Reason: I like editing
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Old 02-02-2015, 10:45 PM   #9
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Because America. No need to dig any deeper. American website.. American screeners.. American bias.

Doesn't make it right or wrong, but that's why. Personally speaking, my shot from Thurmond probably made it because of the depressed mood, which rang a cord with whoever screened it (because all but one of the current screeners have been to Thurmond and are familiar with the story and area).

Again, American Bias.

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Old 02-03-2015, 03:43 AM   #10
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Because America. No need to dig any deeper. American website.. American screeners.. American bias.

Doesn't make it right or wrong, but that's why. Personally speaking, my shot from Thurmond probably made it because of the depressed mood, which rang a cord with whoever screened it (because all but one of the current screeners have been to Thurmond and are familiar with the story and area).

Again, American Bias.

Loyd L.
While that may be true, there is and has long been a "good ole boys" network among the site management. It's been discussed here numerous times, and even Kilroy himself has publicly acknowledged that there are certain people who get consideration over others when all other things are equal.

If two people uploaded similar photos, and one of those people were friends with a screener, whilst the other was not, you can bet the odds are about 50 to 1, that the screener's buddy will get their photo accepted, while the other will get plugged with a "similar to other photo" or some other mundane "rejection". It's very much human nature, I don't fault anyone for it, because of that very reason.

Lastly, RP.net is merely a database of stock railroad photography, sure, there's about 5% (even that may be a stretch) of the contents that one could argue is artistic or creative. But by and large, RP.net is a repository of unimaginative, uninspiring roster shots and 45 degree wedgies taken from assorted heights.

"The Best Railroad Photography on the 'net" is a marketing slogan and not anchored in truth. By using that slogan, they have effected one of the great psychological feats of marketing: If you say something enough times, people will believe it, and perpetuate it for you. The proverbial self-licking ice cream cone.

Generally, I've noticed once people begin to accept the above as reality, the importance of having one's work hosted here falls off sharply. That happened for me a few years ago, I don't mind throwing a bone to RP.net once in a while and uploading a photo, but I prefer to expend my efforts where I will make money, not someone else.
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Old 02-03-2015, 04:16 AM   #11
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If you were to put together a pie chart, I would save room for the topic of inconsistencies. Photos that are not acceptable one day, week, month, or even during a previous year often meet criteria for acceptability another time. And then, again, they don't.

This would be substantially corrected if one was allowed to present a link to a similar image as precedence for inclusion of their own, limited, of course to a time frame so that the site is not obligated to standards it has long (attempted) to evolve from.

Another rather easy, and seemingly obvious fix, would be to allow a little more lenience and tolerance in regards to, not the first screening, perhaps, but the appeal when it comes to long term, well revered patrons such as, but not limited to Jean-Marc. Admin knows the bunch, though for the sake of transparency and fairness, that bracket could be laid out for all to see and work towards that level of merit.

A little less apathy towards patrons would truly benefit the site in retention.

Don't get me wrong - I've had much success with admin and the screening process on several accounts, yet there have been times I've seemingly had the tables abruptly turned on me as well. It's just a train pic? It's just a train pic site, too!

--------

Sean, though RP's content may not be 100% "the Best on the 'Net", it certainly is one of the best railroad photography sites on the 'Net. You do not have to view every picture, you can easily search by name, favorites, and comments to weed out the lower quality images. I'd say you could search "most popular", but you'd still have to weed out most linked.

The best thing about RP, one I'm sure you'll acknowledge, is its ease of use and access. Who has time to visit everyone here on RP via each and everyone's own web page? I miss being spoon fed images from many great photographers who have long since departed RP, or like yourself, pop in and remind the rest of us that they still exist. It's a shame RP does not seem to be moving in a direction where it could be the de facto place to be. I imagine if the process was more considerate of it's best patrons, that would not be the case. Each success story would likely spur another.

/Mitch

Last edited by Mgoldman; 02-03-2015 at 04:20 AM. Reason: Edited for "it's /its" - lol.
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Old 02-03-2015, 04:58 AM   #12
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Sean, though RP's content may not be 100% "the Best on the 'Net", it certainly is one of the best railroad photography sites on the 'Net. You do not have to view every picture, you can easily search by name, favorites, and comments to weed out the lower quality images. I'd say you could search "most popular", but you'd still have to weed out most linked.

The best thing about RP, one I'm sure you'll acknowledge, is its ease of use and access. Who has time to visit everyone here on RP via each and everyone's own web page? I miss being spoon fed images from many great photographers who have long since departed RP, or like yourself, pop in and remind the rest of us that they still exist. It's a shame RP does not seem to be moving in a direction where it could be the de facto place to be. I imagine if the process was more considerate of it's best patrons, that would not be the case. Each success story would likely spur another.

/Mitch
I think you'll find Flickr is growing in popularity with railfans as you have the ability to control the content you see from the photographers you like, and, if the photog has taken the time to tag his/her photos, the search function is pretty good as well.

My photo views/favorites on Flickr rival my views/favorites on RP all without having to go through the hassle of the screening/appeals process. In addition, something you'd like, Mitch, people tend to leave more comments over on Flickr than they do here (again, all without a screening process) which gives you more feedback than you'd get here with the having your photo screened or by the number of favorites you receive here.

It's been a slow build with Flickr in terms of popularity and ease of use, but I think a tipping point has come...
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Old 02-03-2015, 05:28 AM   #13
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I see a lot of good things at FLICKR, but when I do a search for say... "Acela", I still get photos of kids looking at the Washington Monument with their parents because some idiot added "Acela" as a keyword simply because they took it to get to the Monument.

Now... will anyone know I'm on FLICKR if I don't post links to FB, lol.

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Old 02-03-2015, 10:48 PM   #14
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I just looked at top shots and photos of the week. Not too many dark moody shots.
Sex Sells. Dark mood shots, good in limited numbers which is why they are the exception rather than the rule????? Don't want the cat out of the bag and start getting hundreds of dark photos. How do you chose?
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Old 02-03-2015, 11:29 PM   #15
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Dark mood shots, good in limited numbers which is why they are the exception rather than the rule????? Don't want the cat out of the bag and start getting hundreds of dark photos. How do you chose?
Choose those that are appealing and done well. Seems simple enough.

Getting back to the point of Jean-Marc's thread topic - I believe his intent was simply to suggest to admin to choose consistently. If it's good, it shouldn't matter whose name is under the photo. And my point, if a composition or style is done well, accepted in the past by others, even perhaps yourself, there should be no reason not to accept it again. A good photo is a good photo.

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Old 02-04-2015, 12:52 PM   #16
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Getting back to the point of Jean-Marc's thread topic - I believe his intent was simply to suggest to admin to choose consistently. If it's good, it shouldn't matter whose name is under the photo.
Exactly Mitch! That has been one of my pet-peeves with RP for quite a while. And likewise, if it's "less than good" (shall we say), it STILL shouldn't matter whose name is under the photo. (Another pet-peeve of sub-par photos being accepted simply because of who submitted them).

Quote:
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And my point, if a composition or style is done well, accepted in the past by others, even perhaps yourself, there should be no reason not to accept it again. A good photo is a good photo.
I may have taken the long, scenic route to get there, but that is the point I was trying to make. Thanks Mitch for clarifying it. Lol
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Old 02-05-2015, 03:50 AM   #17
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I add some vignetting for portrait work, but I do my best to remove the lens induced vignetting in everything else.

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