Old 03-16-2008, 07:06 PM   #1
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Default Let me burn your retinas

These are not RP worthy, but Squaw Creek Southern sure brightened up the landscape on a dreary Saturday. The train stopped for me twice so I could get some shots. All were shot in a downpour.
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Old 03-16-2008, 08:25 PM   #2
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Well, I gues you don't need to wait till fall to get some interesting colour in your shots. I would hate to see how bright that is in daylight..
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Old 03-16-2008, 11:26 PM   #3
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Wow! that is rather different, I bet it would stand a chance of burning your retinas in bright sunlight. I do hope the railroad keep the loco clean though, nothing worse than having a nice bright livery and letting it get covered in dirt.
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Old 03-17-2008, 12:51 AM   #4
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I'm not sure my monitor will take that one in daylight - you'll burn it out!

Can hardly wait to see more of that one. WOW!
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Old 03-17-2008, 01:33 AM   #5
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Put on your shades before clicking on the attachment
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Old 03-17-2008, 03:48 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Save The Wave
These are not RP worthy, but Squaw Creek Southern sure brightened up the landscape on a dreary Saturday. The train stopped for me twice so I could get some shots. All were shot in a downpour.
I think there is a lot of potential for a shot where the rain is really evident, like if you found a big puddle and got down low so the shot would show the raindrops hitting the surface. And then maybe the train in the background is smaller than usual, but the color keeps its presence clear without being overwhelming.

Just thinking out loud, maybe nothing worthy to it... The delete button seems to have run off.
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Old 03-17-2008, 10:03 AM   #7
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In the last shot by the Newburgh Spur sign, you can really see the rain in the black of the fuel tank. If it were an actual train, I'd probably work to get a shot in. As light power, I don't really think the photos would stand much of a chance. I had a roster style shot that I made two attempts to get in and problems were found with both attempts. No biggie, it will run again in better weather eventually.
Respondek bought the AW&W SD9's from NS, those are the ones I am really anxious to see in the lime green!
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Old 03-17-2008, 11:54 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Save The Wave
These are not RP worthy, but Squaw Creek Southern sure brightened up the landscape on a dreary Saturday. The train stopped for me twice so I could get some shots. All were shot in a downpour.
I quite like to third shot with the colourful loco against a grey background. I wouldn't mind seeing that one in the datatbase, althouhg I suspect that the loco would have to be larger to be really interesting.

I'm still at the bottom of a steep learning curve (and constantly falling back down) so I'd appreciate just what you consider to be wrong with the third shot.
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Old 03-17-2008, 03:24 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Hughes
I'm still at the bottom of a steep learning curve (and constantly falling back down) so I'd appreciate just what you consider to be wrong with the third shot.
Well, its all subjective, but here goes. And this is written as-if the shot were trying to be a seriously good shot rather than just being a grab shot on an ugly day. So no offense to the shooter.

The engine is in the direct center. In general that is considered less visually compelling than an off-center placement (rule of thirds) and here definitely so to my eye. The right side, what does it offer? Not much. Some extremely distant details and a line - the road - that takes the eye from nowhere to nowhere.

See the attached for a different cropping. The right side is gone, the empty sky is gone, the subject off center. I think the alternative has more "movement" - a larger part of the image has a sense of direction, the rail line and the power lines. And by removing the track behind the train, it has a stronger sense of moving forward, of being about to fill the space in front of it.

But more broadly, what is the shot about? What is the "story"? Right now, hmm, maybe an abandoned locomotive, well in the distance because, for some reason of national security, one can't get any closer? The engine is the subject, but it is so small, and so purposeless, that one doesn't know why the shot was taken.

Finally, photography is about light, or the lack thereof, in the first instance. I like to expand the category to include mood or visual feel. There is no interesting light here, nor any interesting non-light such as fog or mist or snow falling. Sure, there is rain, but it isn't apparent. There is no life in the colors except for a small rectangle in the middle of the shot.

The shot has the feel of selective color, of intentionally making one part in color while leaving most of it BW (something not allowed on RP, but a common technique for artistic creativity). But selective color, in my eye, highlights the subject or a part of it in order to bring it out of the background and focus the eye on the patterns. It still requires composition. You can't take just any old snapshot, make it all BW except for one arbitrarily chosen piece, and make it compelling. It's still a snapshot.

I've rambled a bit, stuff like this is hard to write. A good exercise, however, which is why I do it at length sometimes. And I haven't written much about other aspects of composition, form, shape, texture, pattern (going off the list in Learning To See Creatively by Bryan Peterson).

Actually, cropped, it's not so bad, there are lots of less interesting shots in the database. The tall power lines contrast with the diminutive train of one engine, no cars, so it's a contrast of scale.
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Old 03-17-2008, 07:17 PM   #10
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Thanks for the detailed response, it's really helping me to get more idea what is required.

I like your cropped picture but can see the reasons behind your comments on why it doesn't make the standards. I can now see why the 'creative' grey background (is this natural or has it been worked on?) is not suitable.

My utrained mind makes me think that if the loco was moe in profile - so that you can see more of the length of it - this would relieve the greyness and bring the photo to life.

Seems I've still got a lot to learn about this potography lark
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Old 03-17-2008, 07:23 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Hughes
My utrained mind makes me think that if the loco was moe in profile - so that you can see more of the length of it - this would relieve the greyness and bring the photo to life.
There is nothing wrong with that thought. A follow-up question is, what would make seeing more loco work, and do any of the other three shots do better in that regard?

Just keep thinking. That is the most important part, to me. Keep looking at your own images and those of others and figure out why some things "work" and others don't, and remember that things don't work the same way for every person.
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Old 03-17-2008, 11:18 PM   #12
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I took this shot with the intent to b&w the background, which is why there is so much real estate around it. I'll agree I screwed up the cropping on the posted copy. The printed version looks a lot better.
I don't think a broadside would have the same effect. The reason it works for me is that small amount of color in a sea of gray.
For the record, this is the first time I've altered one of my shots this way. For some reason, I just thought it would work. Feed back from my co-workers has been very positive.
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