Old 11-25-2011, 12:32 AM   #1
JimThias
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Default Processing question: Which one of these is accurate?

Quite a difference for two shots taken at the same time:

Image © Patrick Phelan
PhotoID: 382065
Photograph © Patrick Phelan

Image © Mitch Goldman
PhotoID: 372062
Photograph © Mitch Goldman



And just for fun, here's a 3rd from another angle:

Image © Pete Lerro - www.Lerroproductions.com
PhotoID: 364248
Photograph © Pete Lerro - www.Lerroproductions.com


All pretty awesome!
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Old 11-25-2011, 12:34 AM   #2
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The 2nd one looks like it's the best, or more accurate to me, but I am no professional.
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Old 11-25-2011, 12:44 AM   #3
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I'm amazed Mitch's didn't get a SC or PCA. Just a beautiful overall shot. I'd love to have that hanging on my wall
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Old 11-25-2011, 12:44 AM   #4
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IMO #2 and I prefer it that way.
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Old 11-25-2011, 12:47 AM   #5
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Number 2 by a long shot.

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Old 11-25-2011, 12:49 AM   #6
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Ooh, I do not like the Patrick style of processing. Note to self: shadows tool, be careful! I knew that already ...

No insult, Patrick, it is a matter of taste!
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Old 11-25-2011, 12:55 AM   #7
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Can I ask why the did not shoot this on the other side with the horses going the other way?
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Old 11-25-2011, 01:10 AM   #8
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Deuce.....
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Old 11-25-2011, 01:18 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimThias View Post
I'm amazed Mitch's didn't get a SC or PCA. Just a beautiful overall shot. I'd love to have that hanging on my wall
I agree....Mitch's shot was the best by a long shot. The others have that digital "fake" look that's starting to get all too familiar. Just take a picture, folks, but don't Photoshop the thing the death.
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Old 11-25-2011, 01:30 AM   #10
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Definitely #2 The first seems over processed for my taste. On a side note, I had a submission rejected because it was "too similar to a previous upload"....It was no where near as similar to these nearly identical images....haha
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Old 11-25-2011, 02:11 AM   #11
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How does the most shopped one get a Screener's Choice? I guess whichever screener chose it must like fake looking images.

I'll add to the pile: #2 is far and away the best.
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Old 11-25-2011, 02:15 AM   #12
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The lack of light on the rider's faces bugs me. Can't imagine why they didn't turn the riders around and shoot from the other side, as someone already mentioned.
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Old 11-25-2011, 03:18 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Pick View Post
The lack of light on the rider's faces bugs me. Can't imagine why they didn't turn the riders around and shoot from the other side, as someone already mentioned.
"No Light on the Nose"
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Old 11-25-2011, 03:21 AM   #14
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Looks like different white balance settings were used, also.

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Old 11-25-2011, 03:36 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Flanary View Post
"No Light on the Nose"
Exactly!!.....
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Old 11-25-2011, 03:44 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CSX1702 View Post
Can I ask why the did not shoot this on the other side with the horses going the other way?
Mitch will have to chime in on that one, but until he does, I'm just going to say that for me the backlighting works great for this scene. This is one of those times that being backlit probably produced a much more dramatic image.
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Old 11-25-2011, 03:44 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WMHeilman View Post
How does the most shopped one get a Screener's Choice? I guess whichever screener chose it must like fake looking images.

I'll add to the pile: #2 is far and away the best.
I gotta agree, the first one is way over the top.
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Old 11-25-2011, 07:24 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimThias View Post
Mitch will have to chime in on that one, but until he does, I'm just going to say that for me the backlighting works great for this scene. This is one of those times that being backlit probably produced a much more dramatic image.
Mitch already has chimed in per his comment on Patrick's photo:

Posted by Mitch Goldman on November 24, 2011

"Ah, the secret combination code which finally unlocks the SC. Looks like the third time's a charm. Nice take on this scene, Patrick. Thanks for sharing!
"

As for the backlighting, I wondered when I saw the first of these posted why a bit of fill or key lighting wasn't applied to the horses & riders to begin with. If they had had the time to set it up it should have worked great from my past experiences. Of course with fill or key lighting, it all boils down to personal taste.

Overall, the point is well made that on another day and with a different screener you predictably will get far different conclusions/opinions.

Similarly, if the Screener's Choice and POTW were based on a vote like the PCA to begin with, you'd see far different selections up front leading to significantly different view counts as well.

Last edited by classiclights; 11-25-2011 at 07:33 AM.
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Old 11-25-2011, 11:44 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimThias View Post
Mitch will have to chime in on that one, but until he does, I'm just going to say that for me the backlighting works great for this scene. This is one of those times that being backlit probably produced a much more dramatic image.
Yes, exactly!
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Old 11-25-2011, 12:05 PM   #20
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All are good, Its more of an art shot (Train not main Subject but part of it) and RP needs more of them. SC normally go's to a art shot over a 3/4's, More then one way to show a train!
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Old 11-25-2011, 06:12 PM   #21
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Mitch's shot looks to be the most accurate scene by far as others have said. The most recent version looks like it was snapped just as a near-by reactor hit meltdown.

And I believe the back-lit approach works very well for the scene also.
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Old 11-25-2011, 06:29 PM   #22
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My first response to seeing Patrick's photo on RP was: "really?" Not because he uploaded it, but because, of the two similar shots had been uploaded previously, his was the one that finally caught the attention of a screener. Apparently, Patrick's somewhat over processed extra warm image is a far superior example, by way of an SC, of what this site strives for. And how a shot like Pete's original ever slipped through as just another generic image during screening is beyond me. My own was even rejected as same as similar initially, despite choosing a unique angle and different lighting. I'm glad Patrick uploaded it, however, as I've often said, you can't have the best photos on the 'net if you only accept the first photo.

Now, of course, in reality, this is just the fault of the SC. The SC is not a "merit" badge nor recognition of an image far removed from the standard fare of the day. It is, in fact, simply one person's favorite which happens to earn front page status. The consequence of this to an outsider of RP's regular viewing audience is the likely belief, by way of the extra front page views, favoriting and comments, that this could in fact be viewed as the best of the best on RP.

Now, off my rant about the SC, one which I did not start but was only too happy to expand upon...

Which is more accurate of the three... All 3, believe it or not, come very close to the real deal. I really like Pete's - not only did he create the shot, but he utilized an angle which emphasized the majesty of the 3 horses. It is perhaps the strongest of the 3 compositions. Pete chose to either expose or process for a darker silhouette type shot. As for my own version - it is perhaps the most accurate being nearly identical to the RAW file. Backlighting is good and the resulting dynamic image which can be attained was what I chose to emphasize. My adjustments revolved around boosting the contrast, bringing out some detail in the nose of the steam engine and some extra saturation which helped warm the scene up. Patrick's is a bit too warm for me. I sent Patrick an e-mail suggesting a very slight processing edit. Just choosing "auto color" to remove some yellows and reds and then a slight boost in contrast (contrast or by way of levels) really brings his shot to life, or reality. Such a small adjustment would do wonders while still allowing for his preference for a warmer image emphasizing the final minutes of a Western sun set. 'Course, what do I know, the screener and a whole host of favoritors could prove me wrong.

As for the setting - the horses (which freeked out everytime the train was in motion) were positioned by Pete for a back lit scene. Shooting from the other side of the track, face lit, would've been resulted in a more generic over the shoulder lit scene. Keep in mind, also, the window of opportunity for such a shot is very short.

/Mitch
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Old 11-25-2011, 07:14 PM   #23
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What is meant by the term "accurate", in this particular instance?

The whole scene is a staged photo-shoot.

Mr. Goldman's may be more "true" and documentary as far as the lighting and color-balance at the time the scene was shot, but (no offense to Mitch) so what?

I think the "documentary" style works less well for these type of shoots than the usual "train pic".

I personally like the first one, because the processing (and maybe it is juuust a little overdone) takes it out of the realm of "Oh, another Lerro photo charter" into Art. The horses, the sky, and that golden glow say "The West".
The other two, maybe not so much.

Since we're in the realm of Criticism™, I would've cloned out that code line on the left of the image. It just stabs into the left-most rider's side and isn't attached to a pole or anything. It's a little distracting.
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Old 11-25-2011, 07:21 PM   #24
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Quote:
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What is meant by the term "accurate", in this particular instance?
You must have overlooked the entire thread title.

Edit: Hey Mitch, have you made any prints of your shot? If so, let me know.
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Old 11-25-2011, 08:40 PM   #25
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Interesting answer, Mitch, thanks for putting in the time to write it.
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