Old 11-15-2011, 02:25 AM   #26
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Exclamation Very Impressive!



I give it three thumbs up!

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Old 11-15-2011, 02:29 AM   #27
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While we are talking about horrible shots of mine, anyone think this is worth persuing? I think the foreground clutter reject is bogus. I have other frames where the locomotive is obstructed "differently", you know what I mean. I thought this one showed the most, including the number, window, the entire nose. And before someone says blown out sky, it's a function of the fog more than anything.

http://www.railpictures.net/viewreje...d=986596&key=0
I like it, just the way it is. The softness fits with the fog, and I don't see the "obstructing objects" as a problem. I know that's not much of a help but I do like the feel of it. I think it's just one of those situations in which the shot doesn't toe the RP line.
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Old 11-15-2011, 02:33 AM   #28
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I think the foreground clutter is that large, half-dead plant in the center of the frame, not the bridge.
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Old 11-15-2011, 02:35 AM   #29
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I think the foreground clutter is that large, half-dead plant in the center of the frame, not the bridge.
That's not a half dead plant, and I don't think that is it at all. I dont know what kind of plant it is, but those leaves were purple.
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Old 11-15-2011, 02:39 AM   #30
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Half dead or not, it seems that would be the common denominator if you have tried other shots with the locomotives at different places on the bridge. I'm not saying it's a valid reason for rejection, but my money is on that's what the screener is talking about instead of the bridge itself.
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Old 11-15-2011, 02:41 AM   #31
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I meant to post a longer reply about the main point of this thread, though, that I think the system here on rp is functional for just about everyone who wants to use the site. If you want pictures of a certain kind of train, certain railroad, certain location, etc. you can find it easily. If you want pictures that are popular by number of views, you can find them. If you want to see the ones most commented on or most favorited, you can find those, too. And you can voice your opinion on the best of the week through the PCA voting. Simple enough for me.
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Old 11-15-2011, 02:43 AM   #32
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OK....I'll make some points here.

Yes, by all means, RP needs to revamp its rating system. There are basically two types of train photos: those that are representational in nature, and those that are expressive ("artsy"). Of course there are variations between these two, but these are the two basic types.

I would say 90 percent of the contributing photographers and those who view the images are only interested in representational photography, i.e. nice, sunny conventional photos of engines, cars, buildings, etc. That's not a criticism---it's just reality. These folks are not seeking (or taking) train photos as "art." They like trains, and photography is merely an offshoot from that basic avocation. And most of us are not trained photographers or creative geniuses, so we're really kidding ourselves with all this back and forth judgmental stuff. Let's face it: most of the people who post opinions are no better (or worse) than the owners and screeners of this site. There's a dearth of "expert" opinion on both sides of the ball---but there's an ample supply of plain old layman opinion.

The RP photo guidelines are almost exclusively designed to address representational images. The exception are purely technical issues, such as exposure, focus, scratches and specs, bad color, etc.---which are standards that apply to all. However---"PEQ," "unlevel," "blurry." "no light on the nose," or whatever, should never be applied to creative images.

Creative images are, by their nature, expressive statements that might push, or even violate the accepted conventions of photography. That doesn't mean they all succeed at being "good photography," but they shouldn't be judged in the same way a sunny day three quarter crossing wedgie is judged.

I honestly think there should be a different way----and perhaps a different category---for those who are seeking to take their photography down a different path. It could well be these will be in the minority, because most folks do not have a taste for the unconventional.

If you step back from the constant stream of words that scroll through these forums, much of the angst is the result of applying standards that have little or no relevance to true art forms in photography.

I do not pretend to be an expert in photography of any kind, and I hold no academic credentials in being an art critic----but this is something I've been pondering for quite a while.

As they used to say on my local television station back in the days when they did a nightly editorial, "...we don't ask that you agree with us....only that you think about it."

By the way---since I'm obviously seeking flak, attached is a panned image of SR 154 from Thursday. No way I would upload this to RP, since it wouldn't be accepted. It's a cool shot, though----and of 60 or 70 images I took that day, this is my favorite. I love the blur---and I love the pure sensation of movement. I would be willing to bet some art critic somewhere would like this as well. There's a good chance I could upload this to some of my magazine contacts and it would be published.

But---on Rail Pictures, it wouldn't make the cut. If some screener accepted it, there would be weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth (and perhaps rending of garments). There would be a much smaller crowd who would list this as a "favorited" image, and maybe post nice comments. Still others would launch Facebook sites hell bent on seeing me and my kind banished from the face of the earth.

And again, there are many who would see this and think it was mega-cool. There's got to be way to segregate those who seek only representational photography from those who like some of the "artsy" stuff. We need a bigger (and more progressive) tent...

...again....think about it.
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Old 11-15-2011, 02:45 AM   #33
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Troy, I think you should have gotten the bridge pier out from behind the plant. I also think the shot just doesn't give off a great impression, due to the too-bright sky upper left, so it is easy to pick on. Worth trying again, for sure.
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Old 11-15-2011, 02:46 AM   #34
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Here's one from the same location, he likely took it next to the plant.
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Old 11-15-2011, 02:51 AM   #35
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Troy, I think you should have gotten the bridge pier out from behind the plant.
I certainly didn't think that the plant blocking the bridge pier detracted from the scene when I took the picture, didn't think about it at all. Interesting perspective several of you seem to think it does. Maybe next time...

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Old 11-15-2011, 03:00 AM   #36
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Talking Wow......

Gosh Ron, your way too smart and well versed for this forum.

You should be on ObsCar to be fully appreciated.

BTW, I like it too.
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Old 11-15-2011, 03:05 AM   #37
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The RP photo guidelines are almost exclusively designed to address representational images. The exception are purely technical issues, such as exposure, focus, scratches and specs, bad color, etc.---which are standards that apply to all. However---"PEQ," "unlevel," "blurry." "no light on the nose," or whatever, should never be applied to creative images.
I won't address most of what Ron wrote, much of which I might agree with. The above, however, not so much.

The basic issue is that Ron believes technical criteria should not apply to creative shots, or should apply less so to such shots, than I do. Unlevel, let's start there, that has been discussed elsewhere. There is a difference between sloppy unlevel and creative unlevel. The former should be subject to a standard. (The latter almost never arises as an RP issue, so why discuss it until those shots start getting uploaded and rejected?) Blurry and other forms of PIQ, yes, they apply. Why? Because they are not creative dimensions of an image, they are merely sloppy. No one does a slight blur out of creativity, no one pixelates out of creativity, no one under or oversharpens out of creativity. As far as I know!

Other dimensions, yes, let them through. I would say some should be subject to screening, to make sure they are there for "good" reasons. Nose light, not a problem - and certainly not half nose light. PEQ, well, that is a tough one. The opposite of screening for PEQ is not screening for PEQ, and that subjects the site to any and all opinions of what is a successful shot. I hesitate mightily before opening all the gates on PEQ, albeit I can see a loosening.

To me the really interesting territory is not so much PEQ but bad composition / balance. The problem is this - there are lots of shots that, how shall I say it, are not at their best, not because of creativity but because their creators are not very good at looking at an image and seeing a more pleasing or more appropriate balance in the shot. RP does a fairly good job - for free! - of offering guidance in this dimension, albeit in the form of a stern REJECT to less than desirable alternatives. At the same time, this process may result in creative but non-standard compositions from being accepted.

How to find the balance? Aside from looking at the photog's name and assessing their intentions - and I suspect that happens, although not nearly as often as critics claim - I don't know a solution. One possibility is that people make more frequent and more extensive use of the remarks to the screener. I use that fairly often, though I have no way of knowing how effective it has been. I at least know that they get a chance to see it my way, and agree or disagree.

Anyway, I feel like I am near a closure but have run out of gas, so am not able to close, but that is plenty. Good night.

J
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Old 11-15-2011, 03:05 AM   #38
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I like the plant where it is. I mean why not get rid of the tree on the left then? I think their problem is the cross-braces in front of the nose, they've mentioned that before. Chris' shot has the nose just clear of them. Here's one (ya, ya I know) that I didn't think would get on, but did.
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btw Troy, I think you shoulda started a new thread for this. this one's gettin a bit jumbled

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Old 11-15-2011, 03:07 AM   #39
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Gosh Ron, your way too smart and well versed for this forum.

You should be on ObsCar to be fully appreciated.

BTW, I like it too.

Yikes... mentioning Snobscar on a thread being monitored by the keystone state misanthrope won't end well... it won't end well, I tell you.

Might as well bring up Train Orders!!!!
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Old 11-15-2011, 03:09 AM   #40
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Ok, so they want the edge of the nose to be unobstructed, but it's ok to obstruct other parts of the cab? I dunno, I don't think I have any shots of these truss type bridges on.
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Old 11-15-2011, 03:10 AM   #41
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When you get a rejection, can you tell which screener reviewed it? I didn't see it anywhere on mine.

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Old 11-15-2011, 03:26 AM   #42
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Ok, so they want the edge of the nose to be unobstructed, but it's ok to obstruct other parts of the cab? ...
Ya, I think so. I remember a thread years ago when (2) was a screener and he was answering someone that had the same sort of problem with bridge cross-braces. He penciled in the loco with the nose in the clear even tho the cab wasn't, and said next time try for this or words to that effect.
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Old 11-15-2011, 03:32 AM   #43
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Ya, I think so. I remember a thread years ago when (2) was a screener and he was answering someone that had the same sort of problem with bridge cross-braces. He penciled in the loco with the nose in the clear even tho the cab wasn't, and said next time try for this or words to that effect.
I have several frames, I will look through and see if I have one that fits that criteria.
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Old 11-15-2011, 04:09 AM   #44
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When you get a rejection, can you tell which screener reviewed it? I didn't see it anywhere on mine.
No; it's supposed to be a blind process to avoid accusations of favoritism (or the antithesis thereof).
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Old 11-15-2011, 04:36 AM   #45
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Yikes... mentioning Snobscar on a thread being monitored by the keystone state misanthrope won't end well... it won't end well, I tell you.

Might as well bring up Train Orders!!!!
You made the DV Elite Club last week too, with your SanJac bill board special.

When I first saw it, I could not figure out why you didn't wait until the leader was past the bill board, and then I realized where it was, and that the train was tied down - duh.
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Old 11-15-2011, 04:54 AM   #46
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I make it with most of my shots. He has a man crush on me.
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Old 11-15-2011, 12:24 PM   #47
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Depends what you want from the site. Right now, only views count towards your chance for the front page. The 500px system will allow lower viewed photos more of a chance to make front page.
RP is a very fluid site. Why is being on the front page so important in the Top24? And I suspect many, if not most of the PCAs never see that Top24 spot. The way to really have your shot viewed is to have people take the time to look through the list of recently submitted shots. If they aren't doing that, a shot or two more on the front page isn't going to fix the problem. While I don't always do that, I'm just as likely to click on a shot in that list as I would be on when it's on the front page if I find the thumbnail appealing. And I don't always view the shots on the front page, especially if the thumbnails don't jump out at me.



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I certainly didn't think that the plant blocking the bridge pier detracted from the scene when I took the picture, didn't think about it at all. Interesting perspective several of you seem to think it does. Maybe next time...
It's just a jump to the left....
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Old 11-15-2011, 12:36 PM   #48
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RP is a very fluid site. Why is being on the front page so important in the Top24? And I suspect many, if not most of the PCAs never see that Top24 spot.
I never understand why some shots get more views than others. I have lambasted Larry's Truck and Electric shots and derailments which seem to trump anything that day.
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Old 11-15-2011, 12:40 PM   #49
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I won't address most of what Ron wrote, much of which I might agree with. The above, however, not so much.
J
I was far too verbose in my diatribe on eliminating much of the existing guidelines (except those that are obviously technical). Don't trip up on my comments about "unlevel," as we've already been through that.

This morning, I noticed this excellent shot:

Image © familymansystem
PhotoID: 381102
Photograph © familymansystem


There's no light on the nose. The train is obstructed. Clearly it's a "cloudy day" shot, and the train on the left is "going away." I'm being semi-facetious here, but if you go down the list of "standards," this outstanding image would require an "exception" on at least half of the sacred "rules" of RP.net.

Why was it accepted? Because a screener prudently recognized it was an exceptional shot in a more creative mode and said "yes." There's no objective way to make this kind of shot "fit" within the existing criteria, so like all "art," it has to be entirely up to the subjective judgment of a screener (or screeners)----and the "public." All of that checked out, because it has over 1,000 viewings as of this morning, and a growing list of posted comments of an adoring public effusing praise.

Here's the point: if you have to sidestep the normal representational image "rules" to accommodate the occasional "creative" image, you either have to (1) change the rules to address these situations, or (2) follow the rules to the letter of the law and reject such shots.

Accommodating expressive, unusual, edgy, evocative, moody or even abstract images at RP will always be controversial until a better "system" is developed to deal with such images. It might suggest a juried system with submitted images evaluated by a small panel of "experts."

I don't know, guys----I'm probably beating a dead horse here. Photographing choo-choo trains is just a hobby for me, not a reason I go on living each day. Rather than have the fun totally sucked out of the process, I think I'll make some oatmeal and see what's on morning t.v.

By the way---here's another shot of Southern 154 from Thursday. I didn't upload this one because it would immediately be accepted. It meets all the normal criteria. But----it's really a very lame and ordinary shot that does nothing to add to the body of my work, or anyone's work. It's just a standard wedge of a steam locomotive. Maybe it's because I'm getting older, but these kinds of shots just don't "do it" for me anymore...
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Old 11-15-2011, 12:45 PM   #50
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I never understand why some shots get more views than others. I have lambasted Larry's Truck and Electric shots and derailments which seem to trump anything that day.
I usually click on the LTE shots because they are often artfully colorful. I don't have any emotional attachment to the subject matter like many railfans do and I have no idea what locomotives I'm looking at or what their historical significance is. Those shots are just generally visually appealing to me.

As far as the derailment shots, I click on those just as I would rubberneck as I drive by an accident on the highway. If you've ever been stuck in a traffic jam due to an accident on the OTHER side of the highway, then you should easily be able to understand why so many people click on derailment shots.
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