Old 03-11-2015, 01:39 PM   #1
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Default It's more about views and not quality....

I know many have expressed our views in how the site has changed for the worse in terms of how the quality of pictures has slipped in lieu of various reasons, one being to create views no matter how many rejection reasons are overlooked to allow the photograph to make the site. It's getting more apparent that the powers to be are "turning a blind eye" to submissions to get views and it's too bad that standards are getting sloppy making RailPictures look like more the sites it set out to be far superior too! Take the top 2 shots of the day and because they are wreck photos, all the poor aspects from quality, foreground clutter, and so on are bypassed knowing it will get views, sad. It sends a bad message to all patrons that deal with minor glitches in their submissions and then see major issues with accepted ones. It is without surprise that some have left the site due to this and it also is a breeding ground for many of the combative issues towards the screeners with yet more inconsistent guidelines to follow. If the shot has issues (these have multiple) then it shouldn't make the cut no matter what the sensation value maybe, sub par stuff accepted just opens up a can of worms to many trying to make sense of what is ideal and not.

Image © VirginiaRailfanner
PhotoID: 522514
Photograph © VirginiaRailfanner


Those are some pretty big wheels on the engine .

Image © VirginiaRailfanner
PhotoID: 522510
Photograph © VirginiaRailfanner


The site still has great photos to view but the percentage of "filler" shots is growing and maybe that works for the administration and the model of the site but it certainly is noticed by many of us that have been around for a decent amount as a drag on the luster of their initial goal of "The Best railroad photos on the net.".

I use a quote from another long time contributor in John Ireland that he added in a recent post..." The admins here have clearly decided they have no interest of keeping this site relevant. The site will continue to decline in patronage until it can no longer ride off its past popularity. I nothing to convince me otherwise. Too bad too, because for a while there it was almost a really great site, but the interest just wasn't there from the powers at be.

I use to check this site several times a day, seven days a week. Now a check a couple times during the work day to kill time and rarely on the weekends. The quality is dropping, the production is outdated and stale and the lack of interest is really off putting."

There are some real good aspects of the site but the number of tremors below the surface are growing, IMO.

My 2 cents, Rich

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Old 03-11-2015, 02:56 PM   #2
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A lot of views without many favorites usually indicates a WTF shot. WTF shots are generally bad.

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Old 03-11-2015, 03:12 PM   #3
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I personally don't think the quality is dropping. I think it is an endless more of the same, which gets perceived as a decline in quality. I am not as devoted to seeing all or most RP shots as some but I have seen plenty over the years and, frankly, even the good stuff is a bit boring now. Even the Danneman stuff loses its lustre the more one sees it, same with the Jean-Marc Chile stuff.

What I am not seeing is very much in the way of fresh ideas.

The wreck shots, like the poor, will always be with us. I haven't noticed either an uptick in their number nor a downtick in their quality, although I must admit I rarely click on them.
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Old 03-11-2015, 03:42 PM   #4
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I can't believe they didn't reject those two photos due to "a oversized" in the captions.
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Old 03-11-2015, 04:34 PM   #5
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Janusz, I would normally agree with you, but take this shot, which will be on the front page til around midnight tonight. Horrendous quality, lighting, color, and post processing.

Image © Dom Blevins (sjrailfan35)
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EDIT: Oh and not to mention cropping and composition.
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everytime i see non-train photos of yours i think, "so much talent. wasted on trains."

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Old 03-11-2015, 05:12 PM   #6
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Good example, Peter, but I am not convinced that sort of thing appears more often than it used to.

At any rate, when I think of things about RP I would like to see change, wreck shots, much less the quality thereof, is not near the top of the list. Perhaps I simply have tuned them out.
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Old 03-11-2015, 05:56 PM   #7
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For those who don't typically chase wreckers, ambulances and fire trucks, it certainly would be a little discouraging to post a beauty-shot that you've worked long and hard to get, only to find that dark hopper wreck grabbing the front-page space and enjoying all of the exposure. It is one thing to accept a wreck shot that is well-lit and well-composed, or that tells a story well. It is quite another to just accept a wreck shot simply because it is a wreck shot.
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Old 03-11-2015, 06:17 PM   #8
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I personally want to see the wreck shots but I can see how it would be frustrating if you were a photographer like Kevin and your great shot didn't make the top and didn't get any views. (Although I'm sure Kevin has plenty of subscribers).

One suggestion would be to make a "news-worthy" section of the site for pictures like that. But that would be one more thing that the screeners would have to deal with and have people saying, "Hey my derailment picture is awesome and not just news-worthy!"

I don't know, just a thought.
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Old 03-11-2015, 06:31 PM   #9
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Rules bring conformity, conformity brings boredom. Some areas it maybe necessary. Personally I think people gravitate to wreck photos because they look for something different. The fact they break some rules probably lend to their popularity. I guess in some cases you can go to wreck scene and get a perfectly composed, exposed, perfect this and that IF you are an official photographer.

I am not sure if you think that the site is losing appeal because of boredom you can say we need to enforce the rules more. Here is a surprise, you have the 12 Cardinal rules, maybe there are more and then the most popular photos are the ones where the rules do not apply so the answer is to......

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Old 03-11-2015, 07:20 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by CSX1702 View Post
I personally want to see the wreck shots but I can see how it would be frustrating if you were a photographer like Kevin and your great shot didn't make the top and didn't get any views. (Although I'm sure Kevin has plenty of subscribers).

One suggestion would be to make a "news-worthy" section of the site for pictures like that. But that would be one more thing that the screeners would have to deal with and have people saying, "Hey my derailment picture is awesome and not just news-worthy!"

I don't know, just a thought.
A "news-worthy" section is an interesting concept. Heck, the major magazines have done it or years.
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Old 03-11-2015, 07:21 PM   #11
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J, I went back and looked at photos uploaded 2008-2010 (PhotoIDs 217255 through 350000) and sorted by most popular. In the top 500 shots, I saw nothing as bad as the one on the front page now. Here are some of the worst shots.

Image © rosterphotographer
PhotoID: 228812
Photograph © rosterphotographer

Image © phil cotterill
PhotoID: 293430
Photograph © phil cotterill

Image © Kyle Norek
PhotoID: 296307
Photograph © Kyle Norek

Image © Rob Olewinski/cmraseye
PhotoID: 252567
Photograph © Rob Olewinski/cmraseye


The photo on the front page right now is so bad, it would look considerably better if taken on an iPhone.

So, IMO, the wreck photos from NC last night are about the same or worse than what you would have seen 5 years ago. But this hopper photo is very close to the worst I've seen accepted in a LONG time, like 2005 quality.
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Old 03-11-2015, 08:02 PM   #12
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For those who don't typically chase wreckers, ambulances and fire trucks, it certainly would be a little discouraging to post a beauty-shot that you've worked long and hard to get, only to find that dark hopper wreck grabbing the front-page space and enjoying all of the exposure. It is one thing to accept a wreck shot that is well-lit and well-composed, or that tells a story well. It is quite another to just accept a wreck shot simply because it is a wreck shot.
Kevin, that pretty much sums it up as in my eyes the picture of Amtrack 185 has so many issues such as foreground clutter (take the flatbed or the front of the pickups with the glaring lights or the metal stake or the pickup between the flatbed and the train) making it just a grab shot that shouldn't have made the data base in the setting it was taken.

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Old 03-11-2015, 08:19 PM   #13
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Rules bring conformity, conformity brings boredom. Some areas it maybe necessary. Personally I think people gravitate to wreck photos because they look for something different. The fact they break some rules probably lend to their popularity. I guess in some cases you can go to wreck scene and get a perfectly composed, exposed, perfect this and that IF you are an official photographer.

I am not sure if you think that the site is losing appeal because of boredom you can say we need to enforce the rules more. Here is a surprise, you have the 12 Cardinal rules, maybe there are more and then the most popular photos are the ones where the rules do not apply so the answer is to......

Bob
Rob, I see you joined in 2014 and honestly don't know if you even have submitted photos to the site but either way I think many more seasoned patrons see my view and that conformity you speak of has been discussed in many threads to date. We have enough variety in the screening process now as it changes from moment to moment and just when you think you've figured it out, guess what.... . If you couldn't get a good shot then keep it for your own use and realize it wasn't good enough to make the The best railroad photos on the net site. There are a few people that will always have the chance to get special shots with their affiliation to the RR gives them access and that is fine but just because you not in that group shouldn't be a free pass for mediocre shots!!

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Old 03-11-2015, 09:14 PM   #14
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Rob, I see you joined in 2014 and honestly don't know if you even have submitted photos to the site but either way I think many more seasoned patrons see my view and that conformity you speak of has been discussed in many threads to date. We have enough variety in the screening process now as it changes from moment to moment and just when you think you've figured it out, guess what.... . If you couldn't get a good shot then keep it for your own use and realize it wasn't good enough to make the The best railroad photos on the net site. There are a few people that will always have the chance to get special shots with their affiliation to the RR gives them access and that is fine but just because you not in that group shouldn't be a free pass for mediocre shots!!

Rich
So many shots in one post.
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Old 03-11-2015, 10:39 PM   #15
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So many shots in one post.
Kind of covered all the bases. LOL

My reply would be: Members vote with their views.
Doesn't always mean they are "good" photos or that anything should be allowed because they get views but certainly there should be consideration to what people want to see. It would seem to me when something is "BIG" in the news bending a little to get them in is not off base.

As far as people liking them because they are different, I think that is obvious.


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Old 03-11-2015, 10:46 PM   #16
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But this hopper photo is very close to the worst I've seen accepted in a LONG time, like 2005 quality.
Agreed. The image quality is absolute garbage (cell phone pic?) and it's unlevel as well.

Good to see you posting again after taking nearly 2 years off, Peter.
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Old 03-12-2015, 12:52 AM   #17
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It's no secret that the site owners care first and foremost about page views... nothing to see here
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Old 03-12-2015, 02:05 AM   #18
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I personally don't think the quality is dropping. I think it is an endless more of the same............

Bingo. Somebody doing something truly different such as Lew Abdeldinger might not get even a single shot accepted. OTOH, one could argue that there seems to be at least a thousand people out there shooting trains, and this has been going on at least since the 1930s. How many ways ARE there to not end up producing "more of the same?"


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Old 03-12-2015, 02:15 AM   #19
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Kind of covered all the bases. LOL

As far as people liking them because they are different, I think that is obvious.

Too many forums that had a great start have begun to end up like Flickr. I think some of you are getting at this, too. It's becoming not about how good a shot is, but how many "faves" or views you get. Last fall I gave a couple of genuinely constructive observations (both very mild and very obvious) to a kid on Flickr with the purpose of helping him along. Others have given me some great pointers over the years that have saved me tons of time. Anyway, the kid went absolutely beserk! I'm talking Wackoville here. And then he begins with the personal attacks. (He's still stalking me after well over half a year now.) Anyway, his defense was, "I get a lot more faves than you do!" Well yeah. I'm not playing the "fave game." "Faves" on Flickr (and maybe here?) are mostly only becoming a measurement of how often YOU "fave" others, nothing more. When I was in Jr. High, we called that a "circle jerk."


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Old 03-12-2015, 03:41 AM   #20
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Kent, I witnessed recently someone bitching at a photographer on flickr, accusing him of never commenting on anyone else's photos.
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Old 03-12-2015, 03:42 AM   #21
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Bingo. Somebody doing something truly different such as Lew Abdeldinger might not get even a single shot accepted. OTOH, one could argue that there seems to be at least a thousand people out there shooting trains, and this has been going on at least since the 1930s. How many ways ARE there to not end up producing "more of the same?"


Kent in SD
The only way to not produce more of the same, is to produce more of the same where no one else does. At least that's how I'm justifying multi-hour drives to chase little known railroads in lesser known areas.

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Old 03-12-2015, 04:49 AM   #22
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The only way to not produce more of the same, is to produce more of the same where no one else does. At least that's how I'm justifying multi-hour drives to chase little known railroads in lesser known areas.

I've been intensely photo'ing the Rapid City, Pierre, & Eastern (RCPE) since last September from their eastern end in Minnesota to a point about a quarter of the way from their terminus in Wyoming. It's a 600 mile trip I've been doing most weekends (as far as Wall, SD.) It's just me and the coyotes, cows, and muleys out there after sunset. Still, it's hard to come up with something new I haven't done before somewhere in the past nine years. I mean, after about my first hundred of them, I started looking for something else besides grain elevators.

Next month it will be warm enough for me to just sleep in my van when the trains stop for crews, and I'll do that western end of the line into Wyoming. No one has ever shot any of these night operations before. It's a struggle to come up with new ideas every time I go out. My intention is to put about a year into intensely photo'ing the RCPE men and machines in different seasons and times of the day. It's the kind of methodical, in depth project I've always wanted to do but never made time for. I completely agree with you about the lesser known railroads in that they are less "sterile" and often have more interesting equipment and scenery. The employees are often easier to get to pose for me too. Everyone who comes out my way seems to head to the BNSF/UP PRB lines, but no one looks for the Ellis & Eastern, Minnesota Prairie Line, or Minnesota Southern. One of my favorites, the Nee-Nee (Nebraska Northeastern), that was running grungy SD-40 tunnel motors (!) was bought out by BNSF last year. It's just not the same now. The tunnel motors, and the part time train men/part time farmers that ran them, are both now gone.


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Old 03-12-2015, 05:10 AM   #23
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Janusz, I would normally agree with you, but take this shot, which will be on the front page til around midnight tonight. Horrendous quality, lighting, color, and post processing.

Image © Dom Blevins (sjrailfan35)
PhotoID: 522579
Photograph © Dom Blevins (sjrailfan35)


EDIT: Oh and not to mention cropping and composition.
I saw this shot and remembered one gawker-bait type with a somewhat interesting story that I've been sitting on because I couldn't get the image quality into acceptable range. I figured if they're accepting something like this I might as well give it a go, but no dice! .

http://www.railpictures.net/viewreject.php?id=1366892&key=3499782
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Old 03-12-2015, 08:00 AM   #24
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Kent, I witnessed recently someone bitching at a photographer on flickr, accusing him of never commenting on anyone else's photos.
Something like, "Nice shot. Curious, do you comment on other people's photos?"?
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Old 03-12-2015, 04:39 PM   #25
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Something like, "Nice shot. Curious, do you comment on other people's photos?"?
I knew that post would get your attention.
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