Old 05-08-2014, 05:22 AM   #1
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Reason(s) for Rejection:
- Composition/Balance: The composition of this photo is poor relating to the overall balance of the image.

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Old 05-08-2014, 05:54 AM   #2
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Don't forget overexposed, too. That said, I'll give it to you that the first one is much better than the gem that came right after it.



I don't know what to make of you; namely, whether you're just having a laugh, or you honestly do think shots like this really are good.
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Old 05-08-2014, 10:55 AM   #3
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Old 05-08-2014, 01:01 PM   #4
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YEAH! I'm curious.

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Old 05-08-2014, 01:17 PM   #5
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El, I'm not sure where you are going with this, or with other threads you have started. First of all, how about submitting a shot that is in good shape? The first shot, it is oversharpened and not level. I happen to like the composition but it certainly isn't "selling itself" in its current condition. Also, I might add a bit of space to the left. At any rate, I wouldn't accept it in its current form.

Chris, the second shot is on you. The shot is all about distortion. If you don't care for that, fine, but that doesn't make it a bad shot, that makes it a shot that is about an visual effect that you don't care for. Your reaction to it further confirms my view that RP is rather narrow minded when it comes to photography. [EDIT: partial retraction and addition explanation in a later post, see below.]

Let me explain a bit. I have no problem with RP rejecting the second shot. It is perfectly fine for RP to say "this is something we don't want to publish." A matter of taste. Fine. But the phrasing of your response says more, it says not only that you don't want it, but that you think no one should want it and you don't understand why anyone would like it. That, to me, suggests (or in this case confirms or adds to the pile of evidence) that your attitude toward what are your preferences, and not generalized standards, is narrow. That is a problem I have with this site.

I can quibble some or a lot with the second shot. It might work better had the foreground elements on the left, sign and milepost, been sharper and less distorted (or much more distorted, making the shot more abstract). I can see someone not wanting it - I would put it on my site if I had one but others would not. I am fine with that. It isn't a gem, by no means. But it is a competent and interesting photograph.

As has been said many, many times before, it is your site, do with it as you wish. But, as I said in the thread Chase started not so long ago,
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RP wants it a certain way, and I am arguing they should loosen up and stop being such arbiters of what is correct rail photography.
The images in this thread are not the images I would put forth in making my argument, but the argument is unchanged.
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Old 05-08-2014, 02:04 PM   #6
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Sorry J, I can't follow you on this. All photographic judgements are subjective. As far as I'm concerned, there is only two objective criteria for photography; level, and focus. The rest is always debatable. So no matter what, it's going to be a personal call. No sense in calling Chris out on the second photo for being narrow minded, when every judgement anyone makes about a photo is going to be narrow minded.

I bet Chris will have alot of followers in his line of thinking though.



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Old 05-08-2014, 02:40 PM   #7
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I can imagine [i]Trains Magazine[i] accepting the second shot IF the lead unit was not lost in the shadowed side of the train. A couple seconds later, the engineer's side would have been outlined against the sky, rather than the shadows.
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Old 05-08-2014, 04:10 PM   #8
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Sorry J, I can't follow you on this. All photographic judgements are subjective. As far as I'm concerned, there is only two objective criteria for photography; level, and focus. The rest is always debatable. So no matter what, it's going to be a personal call. No sense in calling Chris out on the second photo for being narrow minded, when every judgement anyone makes about a photo is going to be narrow minded.

I bet Chris will have alot of followers in his line of thinking though.



Loyd L.
Loyd, fair enough. I will withdraw that point. And attempt to state a related point. It is very much a personal call. And the website is welcome to apply whatever personal criteria the screeners or owners choose. But I still think there is an attitude issue here that goes to the problems some see in the site. I do see a bit, maybe a good bit, of "my way or the highway" here.

Maybe that only applies to shot that are not at but trying to get to the high end. I will very loosely characterize the shots that come to RP as falling in 4 buckets
- crap, to be rejected
- run of the mill shots that most of us take
- shots that aspire to more
- shots that are already "more"

I think that RP does a great boon to all of us in taking on the first category, and in cleaning up the second category. It is a labor of love, I suspect. It is the strength of the site, along with the classification system that turns a pile of images into an image database. I understand that this leads to a lot of bile from people unhappy their shots are being deemed inadequate.

I thin that RP is too inflexible in how it treats the third category. I think that is motivated, in some part, by a surety by the RP screeners that their criteria should apply, in the way they apply them. Now, stated that way, it is clear that is a speculation. I don't know what is in a screener's head. But I suspect it to be true to an important extent, and when I see something like what Chris wrote in this thread, that suspicion is strengthened.

And, as a result, I think that people who make shots of the third and fourth categories are leaving the site or participating less in it. A detriment to us all.
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Old 05-08-2014, 04:26 PM   #9
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But I still think there is an attitude issue here that goes to the problems some see in the site. I do see a bit, maybe a good bit, of "my way or the highway" here.
While I tend to agree, and feel like I have been victimized by that attitude a number of times, at the same time I am inclined to cut RP staff some slack. As best as I can understand it, screening is a mass production operation. The number of submissions make it that way. So there is going to be an element of arbitrariness in making quick decisions, and then perhaps some defensiveness when those decisions are questioned. It seems to be the nature of the beast.

Rather than question RP's attitude, I wonder if there is a better way, perhaps a two step process, that is designed specifically to foster a more thoughtful screening process. Frankly, I'd like to see MORE rejections.

My only real criticism is I think RP owes it to the folks who make the effort to submit to provide a better and perhaps more thoughtful explanation of what they want, and how it will be evaluated (worts and all).
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Old 05-08-2014, 04:32 PM   #10
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I can imagine [i]Trains Magazine[i] accepting the second shot IF the lead unit was not lost in the shadowed side of the train. A couple seconds later, the engineer's side would have been outlined against the sky, rather than the shadows.
The train was stopped in a siding/at a set of crossovers, per the dimmed headlight and position relative to the signals. I don't believe that every telemash of a stopped train in the middle of the desert on a hot day is automatically "artistic." From my point of view, accepting just one of them is also going to open the pandora's box where everyone else starts submitting their stopped-train-in-the-middle-of-the-desert-covered-in-heat-distortion shots, at which point our options are either to accept all of them, or hear all about how it's not fair that "his shot was accepted and mine, which is exactly the same, was rejected."

Remember, according to Mitch in Ted's lighting thread, only the identical lighting (or in this case, heat distortion) matters - the other merits of the shot are not to be considered.

The replies to this thread, Ted's ACR thread, the Flickr thread, etc. are all emblematic of the main issue we face, of course, which is that everyone has their own idea of what makes a good shot and what doesn't.

Literally, within the course of a few replies, you'll find someone who loves and someone who hates any given shot. In that same vein, you can often find one person who thinks we are way too harsh, and another who thinks we don't reject nearly enough.

Bluntly, we are never going to make everyone happy. I also truly believe that any attempt to start wildly altering the same basic standards that have been in place at RP for years and years is going to upset a lot more contributors than it pleases.

Photography is subjective with, as Loyd mentioned, very few constants. Nothing is cut and dried, as illustrated so clearly in the ACR thread where one shot just "worked" and another didn't under very similar lighting conditions. Despite a lighting "rule" being broken in order to accept the dark-side telephoto shot, I think the end result was that the shot that should have been accepted was, and the shot that shouldn't have been wasn't. The majority (though, as always, not all) of the replies in the thread support that.

As I've said a thousand times before, neither we, nor the screening process, are perfect. I do think that we get it right, or at least what most people would think is right, a good amount of the time. When we don't, the appeals process is still there to make sure an image gets a second look from a different screener. We accept a lot more appeals than I think most people realize; in fact, I would challenge a few of the loudest people who've chimed in on this particular issue to really think back to the last time one of theirs wasn't accepted.

I'm aware, of course, that there's room for improvement. I understand the frustration that has been expressed, specifically, about having a shot rejected for a "fixable" reason only to have it rejected for a "killer" reason later. I'm working on completely revamping the way rejected shots are resubmitted, so that the screener will see what I would call a "screening history" of the previous submission(s) of the photo. This could also include an option where the photographer could check a box to request that the photo only be screened by the same screener who rejected it previously, which seems to be important to some contributors, but could understandably take longer.

We will also be modifying the rejection reasons to be much more specific in the very near future -- changing, for example, the generic "Color" rejection to have a few subsets such as Color: Hue, Color: Not Enough, and Color: Candyland. More professional nomenclature TBD.

Lastly, on a bit of a personal note, I'd just like to say that the assertions on the part of a few people that we are "don't care," have lost interest in the site, or whatever couldn't be further from the truth. The screening team consists of five people, myself and Chris Starnes included, and two of those screeners wouldn't mind that I state publicly that they screen 1% of the photos (if that) in any given month. That leaves three of us, all who have full-time jobs and real world commitments just like everyone else, running the show.

In spite of that, I would challenge anyone to try to remember the last time it took more than several hours to have a photo screened, or that the queue was higher than 100 photos (to put that into a bit of perspective, the queue at our sister site JP.net bounces between 8000 and 15000 continually, with 35+ screeners).

Personally, I am on pace to screen about 40-45k images this year, as well as countless e-mails, comments (yes, those really do still need to be screened), appeals, etc. I also just completed a massive server upgrade project that took nearly 2 months, averaging 6-8 hours per day, which has not only made the surfing experience on RP noticeably faster, but ensures that we have plenty of room to grow/expand in the future.

Lastly, and this is as much as I can say at this point, look out for a new RP-themed sister site coming soon.
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Old 05-08-2014, 04:55 PM   #11
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Well that's cool. Thanks for paying attention Chris.
And I don't think any of you can really complain now after reading his comment.

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.....look out for a new RP-themed sister site coming soon.
Rail-vines.net?
Rail-memes.net?
foamingforheritage.net?

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Old 05-08-2014, 05:30 PM   #12
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And I don't think any of you can really complain now after reading Chris' comment.
Thanks for pre-empting my desire to express my thoughts, Derek!

I will just say two things. And let me be clear that, since photography is subjective, these are my views, so I claim no more solid foundation.

1) Because photography is subjective, for any one person there is a range of what is acceptable. Not just shifting the range, which is how I read your comments, but expanding the range. I think that range is defined too narrowly at RP. I think the site would be better if that range were wider, specifically with respect to the third of the four tiers I listed previously. I think this would be true both in terms of having more good shots and in terms of having more good photographers stay active in the site.

2) If you want to be perceived as caring, you have to show it. More frequent appearances in the forums would help - I don't know why other screeners or admin didn't participate in Chase's thread, for example. It is good to know that the thread was read. It would have helped had you made your presence at the time. I think that, if you read either of Mitch's threads designed to be open threads for people to drop ideas into, then you should post in there, perhaps saying nothing more than "thanks for the ideas, guys!". You need to manage the relationship between RP and RP participants.
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Old 05-08-2014, 06:20 PM   #13
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Thanks for pre-empting my desire to express my thoughts, Derek!

I will just say two things. And let me be clear that, since photography is subjective, these are my views, so I claim no more solid foundation.

1) Because photography is subjective, for any one person there is a range of what is acceptable. Not just shifting the range, which is how I read your comments, but expanding the range. I think that range is defined too narrowly at RP. I think the site would be better if that range were wider, specifically with respect to the third of the four tiers I listed previously. I think this would be true both in terms of having more good shots and in terms of having more good photographers stay active in the site.

2) If you want to be perceived as caring, you have to show it. More frequent appearances in the forums would help - I don't know why other screeners or admin didn't participate in Chase's thread, for example. It is good to know that the thread was read. It would have helped had you made your presence at the time. I think that, if you read either of Mitch's threads designed to be open threads for people to drop ideas into, then you should post in there, perhaps saying nothing more than "thanks for the ideas, guys!". You need to manage the relationship between RP and RP participants.
And the two things are very connected. Because photography is so subjective, it is all the more important that we hear the screeners thoughts from time to time.

With regard to number one, I would suggest that the problem is not that the range is defined too narrowly, but that it is not well defined. And the screening standards might well change as you move within whatever the range might be; it is a lot easier to have objective standards for a wedgie than for something more artful.
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Old 05-08-2014, 08:02 PM   #14
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Don't forget overexposed, too.
Thank you.

I didn't include that because as you know it is a "fixable" rejection and I originally shot this much darker, but lightened it up to submit it based on my past experience with screened images.


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That said, I'll give it to you that the first one is much better than the gem that came right after it.
Your abhorrence of my image is noted.


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I don't know what to make of you; namely, whether you're just having a laugh, or you honestly do think shots like this really are good.
So far the RP screening process has been a big dark mystery, that many have speculated about based on what they see on the Site - which is consistently inconsistent.

But it seems recently, the door to the castle has cracked open a bit and there was some communication.




I am curious as to what ya'all think when screening these images.

I am curious as to why somethings are accepted and others are not.

I am also curious as to why the Site takes certain types of images for a period and then 180's and PEQ's a subsequent submissions.

I am also fascinated that the Site seems to have certain automatic rejections, such as open nose door, heat waves and shots that look like they were taken between the rails - and yet, such automatic rejections are not listed anywhere.


I can't speak for others, but I take these pictures and share them for kicks, and to make people think.

Sure some people like them and some don't, but even the ones who dislike them had to think about the image, and therefore I am successful.

I just think it is unfortunate that 3/4ths of all the pictures accepted on any given day all look alike.

There are so many different people in the world, shooting in so many different places, and yet the pictures end up looking very uniform and similar.

Sure there are exceptions, but looking at the pile on any given day - they just look alike.


Additionally:

Why does someone like Steve Crise have so few images here?

Why did Dan Schwanz and the others bail?


And personally:

I'm not interested in looking at 3/4 wedgies, I want to see the other stuff that it just seems there isn't enough of on RP.

I like your Site, and I don't mind the screening process, but it would help to know what ya'all want if you have such well defined tastes.

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Sadly though, I discovered the my upload limit has been cut to two.

Why did you do that?

Is that how the world works?

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Old 05-08-2014, 08:06 PM   #15
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Lastly, on a bit of a personal note, I'd just like to say that the assertions on the part of a few people that we are "don't care," have lost interest in the site, or whatever couldn't be further from the truth. The screening team consists of five people, myself and Chris Starnes included, and two of those screeners wouldn't mind that I state publicly that they screen 1% of the photos (if that) in any given month. That leaves three of us, all who have full-time jobs and real world commitments just like everyone else, running the show.

In spite of that, I would challenge anyone to try to remember the last time it took more than several hours to have a photo screened, or that the queue was higher than 100 photos (to put that into a bit of perspective, the queue at our sister site JP.net bounces between 8000 and 15000 continually, with 35+ screeners).

Personally, I am on pace to screen about 40-45k images this year, as well as countless e-mails, comments (yes, those really do still need to be screened), appeals, etc. I also just completed a massive server upgrade project that took nearly 2 months, averaging 6-8 hours per day, which has not only made the surfing experience on RP noticeably faster, but ensures that we have plenty of room to grow/expand in the future.

Lastly, and this is as much as I can say at this point, look out for a new RP-themed sister site coming soon.
I guess I'm drawing a big shrug here. You have 5 screeners to manage things, 2 of which are comfortable with you suggesting that they look at 1% of images. Okay, fair enough.

There's quite a few gifted photographers that have given images to RP.net over the years. Maybe it's time to start expanding the "staff" a little bit to ease the workload on what you've got? I'm sure there are more than a few people that would be willing to shoulder some of the burden to screen images if it's that laborious.

Realizing that JP.net is representative of a much larger hobbyist community, 35+ screeners is pretty impressive. Perhaps RP.net should be looking at having more like 10 screeners instead of what equates to three and a half.

Your site, but I'm not sure you'll get much empathy from anyone that frequents these forums. Many of us have full time jobs too, some of us are even in school chasing down advanced degrees while working and still finding time to indulge in our hobbies. Not very many of us have managed to turn one of our main hobbies into a revenue stream as you have either.
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Old 05-08-2014, 08:27 PM   #16
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While I tend to agree, and feel like I have been victimized by that attitude a number of times, at the same time I am inclined to cut RP staff some slack. As best as I can understand it, screening is a mass production operation. The number of submissions make it that way. So there is going to be an element of arbitrariness in making quick decisions, and then perhaps some defensiveness when those decisions are questioned. It seems to be the nature of the beast.

Rather than question RP's attitude, I wonder if there is a better way, perhaps a two step process, that is designed specifically to foster a more thoughtful screening process. Frankly, I'd like to see MORE rejections.

My only real criticism is I think RP owes it to the folks who make the effort to submit to provide a better and perhaps more thoughtful explanation of what they want, and how it will be evaluated (worts and all).
My sentiments exactly. I was going to underline key phrases, but John's response nails it in nearly every respect other then detailing the inconsistency in screening between screeners and more so, based on past and present ideas of what is acceptable (and I'm talking recent past).

In regards to "El Roco's" pic - I would state it is simply (sorry) yet another bad example used in an effort to correct a legitimate frustration.


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Remember, according to Mitch in Ted's lighting thread, only the identical lighting (or in this case, heat distortion) matters - the other merits of the shot are not to be considered.
You misread my point which I tried to make obvious - while I believe there may be some merit towards accepting an image of an ICE liveried train in Arizona, especially considering the fact that the nose is lit and the truck detail visible, my issue - and that of many frustrated patrons is in the choice of rejection used since the lighting is not the underlying issue. A more accurate rejection such as poor crop or PEQ would've avoiding the implied hypocrisy. [/quote]

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...you can often find one person who thinks we are way too harsh, and another who thinks we don't reject nearly enough.
Count me as one of the people who think "both". You can reject more YET still be less harsh in response. And maybe more tolerant with appeals to balance it back so long as it is not a technical issue.


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Lastly, on a bit of a personal note, I'd just like to say that the assertions on the part of a few people that we are "don't care," have lost interest in the site, or whatever couldn't be further from the truth.
The site was at it's best when the staff and yourself were interacting. in your visible absence, Chase's interaction still made a world of difference while it lasted and upon his return. There was a sense of community that is what I've always stated made RP special.

With so much prolific debate on this topic, I welcome both admin and patrons alike to visit the "Site Related" forum threads "Todo" and "Suggestions". Admin can consider the merit of nearly all topics brought up in a simple to read format and patrons can supplement the list with ideas of their own. Let's just keep it short, sweet, and on topic.

/Mtich
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Old 05-08-2014, 09:16 PM   #17
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I guess I'm drawing a big shrug here. You have 5 screeners to manage things, 2 of which are comfortable with you suggesting that they look at 1% of images. Okay, fair enough.

There's quite a few gifted photographers that have given images to RP.net over the years. Maybe it's time to start expanding the "staff" a little bit to ease the workload on what you've got? I'm sure there are more than a few people that would be willing to shoulder some of the burden to screen images if it's that laborious.

Realizing that JP.net is representative of a much larger hobbyist community, 35+ screeners is pretty impressive. Perhaps RP.net should be looking at having more like 10 screeners instead of what equates to three and a half.

Your site, but I'm not sure you'll get much empathy from anyone that frequents these forums. Many of us have full time jobs too, some of us are even in school chasing down advanced degrees while working and still finding time to indulge in our hobbies. Not very many of us have managed to turn one of our main hobbies into a revenue stream as you have either.
I wasn't looking for empathy. I enjoy the site, and the work I do on it, even 12 years later. I was simply stating that, on any given day, I/we have a lot of tasks that take priority over participating in forum threads that are, more often than not, frequented by the same few folks.
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Old 05-08-2014, 09:37 PM   #18
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1) Because photography is subjective, for any one person there is a range of what is acceptable. Not just shifting the range, which is how I read your comments, but expanding the range. I think that range is defined too narrowly at RP. I think the site would be better if that range were wider, specifically with respect to the third of the four tiers I listed previously. I think this would be true both in terms of having more good shots and in terms of having more good photographers stay active in the site.
How would you suggest that we "expand" the range? What are we rejecting now that you feel should be included?

I think it goes without saying, and is fairly obvious when looking through any day's accepted images, that we strive to give much more leeway when screening unusual, creative, and older images. Nobody wants a constant stream of sunlit wedgies less than us.

To your last point (and I will probably catch hell for being so honest), it is an established pattern that the "older, gooder" photographers are, far and away, the quickest to take their ball to the house while implicitly stating that their work is beyond reproach as soon as something doesn't go their way.

A certain PNW photographer with a non-gender-specific name who left us several months ago comes to mind. This person, over the years, had a 99.6% acceptance ratio, which would probably have been about 90% had we not overlooked some minor softness/contrast issues that plagued his images at times (as Mr. Flanary so often suggests, we really do try to give the benefit of the doubt where established, "high value contributors" are concerned). He uploaded a really neat shot of some BN F units which was about 3 degrees unlevel. It was rejected. He demanded his shots and account be removed immediately.

Mr. Schwanz, who was referenced further up, had an ongoing issue with softness on most of his otherwise beautiful submissions. He didn't want to hear it from us, or correct the issue, so he's taking a break.

Given those two examples where we've lost a couple of "high value contributors," I pose the question to you guys: what could/should we have done differently? Should we just say F It and accept heavily flawed shots from HVCs to keep them happy? How do we prevent someone with great material, a huge ego, and a 99.5% acceptance ratio from flipping out and storming off over one very justified rejection?

I ask these questions totally seriously because, at least over the past 12 years, I haven't found any good answers.

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2) If you want to be perceived as caring, you have to show it. More frequent appearances in the forums would help - I don't know why other screeners or admin didn't participate in Chase's thread, for example. It is good to know that the thread was read. It would have helped had you made your presence at the time. I think that, if you read either of Mitch's threads designed to be open threads for people to drop ideas into, then you should post in there, perhaps saying nothing more than "thanks for the ideas, guys!". You need to manage the relationship between RP and RP participants.
My lack of participation in Chase's thread was due to the server move, which was occupying most of my time then. Now that the move is finally finished, I am trying to become more active in the forums once again, and I have tried to address many of the points raised in that thread in my responses here.
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Old 05-08-2014, 09:50 PM   #19
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Take this as constructive criticism, not piling on... believe it or not, it is well intended

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The replies to this thread, Ted's ACR thread, the Flickr thread, etc. are all emblematic of the main issue we face, of course, which is that everyone has their own idea of what makes a good shot and what doesn't.
That's true. And why more input from the site staff is essential to this place staying relevant. And viable as a business. In my opinion.

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Literally, within the course of a few replies, you'll find someone who loves and someone who hates any given shot. In that same vein, you can often find one person who thinks we are way too harsh, and another who thinks we don't reject nearly enough. Bluntly, we are never going to make everyone happy.
That goes with the territory, I think we all know that. Some of us have more fun with that than others. Some just dont get it though. You can fix stupid.

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I also truly believe that any attempt to start wildly altering the same basic standards that have been in place at RP for years and years is going to upset a lot more contributors than it pleases... Photography is subjective with, as Loyd mentioned, very few constants. Nothing is cut and dried, as illustrated so clearly in the ACR thread where one shot just "worked" and another didn't under very similar lighting conditions. Despite a lighting "rule" being broken in order to accept the dark-side telephoto shot, I think the end result was that the shot that should have been accepted was, and the shot that shouldn't have been wasn't. The majority (though, as always, not all) of the replies in the thread support that.
I don't think anyone is asking for you to wildly alter standards. But at the same time, I think some explanation as to why the existing standards are seemingly not applied consistently is needed. The complete absence of the site staff at times feeds the frustration. You cant say that on one hand "photography is subjective" and "we have standards in place", and then not have them applied the same. This just don't work. Or, let me say, to some degree it's not working.

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As I've said a thousand times before, neither we, nor the screening process, are perfect. I do think that we get it right, or at least what most people would think is right, a good amount of the time. When we don't, the appeals process is still there to make sure an image gets a second look from a different screener.
Speaking for myself, I don't want perfection, I just want consistency. I challenge you to take a good hard look at the "best rail photos in the galaxy" thread or whatever it's called, and ask yourself why / how some of those were accepted. There might be a couple questionable ones, judgement calls if you may, but there's also a lot of scheiße too...

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I'm aware, of course, that there's room for improvement. I understand the frustration that has been expressed, specifically, about having a shot rejected for a "fixable" reason only to have it rejected for a "killer" reason later. I'm working on completely revamping the way rejected shots are resubmitted, so that the screener will see what I would call a "screening history" of the previous submission(s) of the photo. This could also include an option where the photographer could check a box to request that the photo only be screened by the same screener who rejected it previously, which seems to be important to some contributors, but could understandably take longer...We will also be modifying the rejection reasons to be much more specific in the very near future -- changing, for example, the generic "Color" rejection to have a few subsets such as Color: Hue, Color: Not Enough, and Color: Candyland. More professional nomenclature TBD.
That is great. A good move. Long overdue!

Quote:
Lastly, on a bit of a personal note, I'd just like to say that the assertions on the part of a few people that we are "don't care," have lost interest in the site, or whatever couldn't be further from the truth. The screening team consists of five people, myself and Chris Starnes included, and two of those screeners wouldn't mind that I state publicly that they screen 1% of the photos (if that) in any given month. That leaves three of us, all who have full-time jobs and real world commitments just like everyone else, running the show.
I think you are underestimating what a few minutes showing up on the forums would do for positive PR.

Yes, we all have jobs, yes, we all have lives / families, but at the end of the day, this is also a job for you, a second job. When was the last time you posted on the forum? Months? Can you honestly say you couldn't take 15 minutes once a week to jump on here and answer a couple forum threads? The fact that the site admins/staff/owners are not around very often gives the impression or at least the appearance that maybe they don't care, have better things to do, etc.

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In spite of that, I would challenge anyone to try to remember the last time it took more than several hours to have a photo screened, or that the queue was higher than 100 photos (to put that into a bit of perspective, the queue at our sister site JP.net bounces between 8000 and 15000 continually, with 35+ screeners). Personally, I am on pace to screen about 40-45k images this year, as well as countless e-mails, comments (yes, those really do still need to be screened), appeals, etc.
That's all probably true. I dont have any issues with the speed of which photos are screened. Just mainly on the (in)consistency and sometimes lack of thoroughness (IE: getting a photo rejected for one thing, then for another)

Quote:
I also just completed a massive server upgrade project that took nearly 2 months, averaging 6-8 hours per day, which has not only made the surfing experience on RP noticeably faster, but ensures that we have plenty of room to grow/expand in the future.
I have noticed the site seems to be running better. And after I get my full popup blockers at red alert, it works fine. Except I still cant vote for a PCA all the time.

Quote:
Lastly, and this is as much as I can say at this point, look out for a new RP-themed sister site coming soon.
Look forward to this

Last edited by troy12n; 05-08-2014 at 10:23 PM.
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Old 05-08-2014, 10:38 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Chris Kilroy View Post
Given those two examples where we've lost a couple of "high value contributors," I pose the question to you guys: what could/should we have done differently? Should we just say F It and accept heavily flawed shots from HVCs to keep them happy? How do we prevent someone with great material, a huge ego, and a 99.5% acceptance ratio from flipping out and storming off over one very justified rejection?

I ask these questions totally seriously because, at least over the past 12 years, I haven't found any good answers.
I've made suggestions that I'll assume have gone unnoticed...

How do you keep "HVC" (well received AND long term patrons) from flipping out and leaving? Show some (better) respect. Or at least, treat them like customers instead of vagrants. "This is a great shot and one we'd like to have in the database - would you consider fixing the following technical concern:" 3 degrees off horizon is crazy, but a rejection for .3 is even more insane - especially when no one can figure out which way.

Anyone who huffs and puffs over rejections of a legitimate technical issue might not have the temperament for RP. Then again, it took me about 8 tries to level one image... by less then one half a degree. It's been my experience, however, that in talking with people (and often encouraging them to post on RP), that most leave for rejections that are not technical, but rather those based on a screener's own personal preferences and issues of a discretionary nature. Some (more?) additional leeway would go a long way in dealing positively with such circumstances . Favoritism sounds like a bad thing but unlike the next issue of Railfan magazine, there's always going to be more room for additional images on RP. As long as you are not excluding anyone, and the issue is not of a technical nature, where's the harm? Comparisons? Perhaps - so maybe it would be in the best interests of the site to establish a tier where a patron can be visibly identified as having met a specific "level" with more privileges (tolerance). Blue font name, or an icon. It doesn't have to be PC's - it can be as simple as how many years with RP... or how many total views... average views per image would seem perfect, though I'd hate to see folks remove less appealing images that are intrinsic to one of RP's best features as a database which can (and is) used by many as a database for preservationists, current events and modelers.

Long ago while I was in sales, I was told never introduce a negative or, put a positive outlook on everything. This site has a history of being seen as the site that says "your images suck" and when good photographers get past that, the implication becomes - "your perspective on this image sucks - to us". Fix that, lighten up (please), add more specific rejections and better consistency between screeners and within a span of time based on what's been recently accepted and perhaps your question will be answered.

Good to see your participation in the threads, too - as stated, it goes a long way.

/Mitch
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Old 05-08-2014, 11:35 PM   #21
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Lightbulb Action Like This Really Chills the Discussion.

So much for having a discussion or pushing the boundaries of creativity.

Seems rather petulant actually.

Click image for larger version

Name:	Upload.JPG
Views:	203
Size:	61.1 KB
ID:	8585

So does this mean my next submission automatically goes in the trash?

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Old 05-08-2014, 11:35 PM   #22
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I'm aware, of course, that there's room for improvement. I understand the frustration that has been expressed, specifically, about having a shot rejected for a "fixable" reason only to have it rejected for a "killer" reason later. I'm working on completely revamping the way rejected shots are resubmitted, so that the screener will see what I would call a "screening history" of the previous submission(s) of the photo. This could also include an option where the photographer could check a box to request that the photo only be screened by the same screener who rejected it previously, which seems to be important to some contributors, but could understandably take longer.

We will also be modifying the rejection reasons to be much more specific in the very near future -- changing, for example, the generic "Color" rejection to have a few subsets such as Color: Hue, Color: Not Enough, and Color: Candyland. More professional nomenclature TBD.

This is great news and can't happen soon enough. I just got burned with a killer rejection after two fixable rejections and was very frustrated. Of course this has happened to me probably over a dozen times and I've been uploading here for less than a year.
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Old 05-08-2014, 11:36 PM   #23
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Something else:

There is this "site issues" forum. Should I have the desire to investigate, I think I will find no less than 30 threads in there which were never responded to.

http://forums.railpictures.net/forumdisplay.php?f=11

Maybe some of them were responded to in a PM?

Again, perception is reality, if one browses the entire first 30 threads and sees no responses from the site admins, one would assume the forum is being ignored.

Mitch himself has several unresponded to threads in there
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Old 05-08-2014, 11:39 PM   #24
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So much for having a discussion or pushing the boundaries of creativity.

Attachment 8585

So does this mean my next submission automatically goes in the trash?
There used to be a bug that you could submit 1 more slot than you actually had, they apparently fixed that bug some time back.

When they limited me to 1 upload per day for being naughty, I utilized that bug for a while to get a whopping 2. Until they fixed that.
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Old 05-09-2014, 12:56 AM   #25
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A certain PNW photographer with a non-gender-specific name who left us several months ago comes to mind. This person, over the years, had a 99.6% acceptance ratio, which would probably have been about 90% had we not overlooked some minor softness/contrast issues that plagued his images at times (as Mr. Flanary so often suggests, we really do try to give the benefit of the doubt where established, "high value contributors" are concerned). He uploaded a really neat shot of some BN F units which was about 3 degrees unlevel. It was rejected. He demanded his shots and account be removed immediately.
I sure noticed this guy's free (nearly) pass even before I uploaded anything to RP. Killer subjects, but with weird color, heavy grain and even dust spots (I often wondered what film gave such results). Not to mention the large, in-your-face watermarks. Oddly, his uploads elsewhere have no watermarks at all. If someone can't click on "auto adjust" or even dust a slide before scanning, what is there to say other than "Don't let the door hit you ..."?
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