Old 05-09-2014, 01:20 AM   #26
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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. 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.
Oh, I definitely have thought back regarding appeals! After 2 early successes, a string of rejected appeals, even on rare, unrepeatable stuff. That, plus warnings in the forums about appealing "too often" is why I don't appeal anymore.
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Old 05-09-2014, 02:22 AM   #27
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So much for having a discussion or pushing the boundaries of creativity.

Seems rather petulant actually.

Attachment 8585

So does this mean my next submission automatically goes in the trash?
Always does this, you haven't figured out that you are supposed to get 2 submissions a day but you really get 3?
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Old 05-09-2014, 02:33 AM   #28
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So much for having a discussion or pushing the boundaries of creativity.

Seems rather petulant actually.

Attachment 8585

So does this mean my next submission automatically goes in the trash?
Awe, man, that sucks.

Click image for larger version

Name:	photosubmit.jpg
Views:	83
Size:	87.5 KB
ID:	8586

And I'll never understand why, even in the year 2014, the graphic quality (or font quality) of a PC looks like crap.
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Old 05-09-2014, 02:56 AM   #29
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Chris, honestly how can you be surprised that you piss off older contributors? I have seen you on a number of occasions rip into someone on the forums here, making fun of their shots or what not, generally putting them down. I fully understand that some people need a swift kick upside the head, but as the owners of this site it is wholly unprofessional to do things like that. Why attempt to shame Roco like that? Do I like all of his shots that may or may not push the envelope? No, but I sure as hell can respect him for trying. I think the main reason people get turned off is a lack of respect. No answers to any questions, snide remarks, etc. I don't care that you work full time, and before you think im some callous jerk, I work full time as well so I understand that time is tight. But how can you complain about screeners workload... you admitted two of them basically don't screen much. Why are they still screeners? Being busy is understandable but why not get people who can do it? You could make it a rotating schedule with variable screeners following the obvious guidelines... Idk im rambling now I suppose but the bottom line is its a respect issue.
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I personally have had a problem with those trying to tell us to turn railroad photography into an "art form." It's fine for them to do so, I welcome it in fact, but what I do have a problem with is that the practitioners of the more "arty" shots, I have found, tend to look down their nose's at others who are shooting more "mundane" shots.
Railroad photography is what you make of it, but one way is not "better" than another, IMHO. Unless you have a pole right thought the nose of the engine! -SG
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Old 05-09-2014, 03:26 AM   #30
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I am with Kilroy , I honestly don't know what to think of HG.

His stuff that doesn't get on because it is "artistic and pushing the boundaries" is for the most part just not good at all and in no way boundary pushing. Nothing wrong at all with the stuff he does get on in fact it's quite good.
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Old 05-09-2014, 03:46 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by coborn35 View Post
Chris, honestly how can you be surprised that you piss off older contributors? I have seen you on a number of occasions rip into someone on the forums here, making fun of their shots or what not, generally putting them down. I fully understand that some people need a swift kick upside the head, but as the owners of this site it is wholly unprofessional to do things like that. Why attempt to shame Roco like that? Do I like all of his shots that may or may not push the envelope? No, but I sure as hell can respect him for trying. I think the main reason people get turned off is a lack of respect. No answers to any questions, snide remarks, etc.
Wait... I thought the forums were a better place when I was more active?

Respect is a two-way street, in my opinion. I would love to see an example of a time when someone addressed me/us in a respectful manner and I replied in a snide, belittling, or sarcastic way. On the other hand, if someone comes in guns a' blazin', I am not one to mince words. It's in my nature to tell it like it is, and it's been that way since day one here at RP (which is probably why I've never been the main "PR guy!" )

FWIW, I received several private messages and e-mails today thanking me for finally addressing El Roco. Apparently I'm not the only one who had grown tired of his continual, incessant ramblings.

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I don't care that you work full time, and before you think im some callous jerk, I work full time as well so I understand that time is tight. But how can you complain about screeners workload... you admitted two of them basically don't screen much. Why are they still screeners? Being busy is understandable but why not get people who can do it? You could make it a rotating schedule with variable screeners following the obvious guidelines... Idk im rambling now I suppose but the bottom line is its a respect issue.
I wasn't asking you to care or, as I said to Sean earlier, for sympathy. I wasn't complaining either. I'm sorry if you took it that way. Somehow, after 12 years of screening and over half a million photos viewed, I still enjoy it. I was simply stating that the day-to-day operation of the site, along with other real-life responsibilities, often doesn't leave time to address forum posts. I've also recognized that our presence here is more essential than maybe I'd realized, and I made a commitment to try to be around in a posting capacity more often (I read every post).

To answer your main question, though, there are a couple reasons that I'm hesitant to grow/change the screening team:

1. Everyone on the team with the exception of Chase has been doing the job for at least 5 years, and they are all friends of mine with whom I'm in regular contact.

2. I mentioned before that I still do enjoy screening, but another issue with growing the team to allow me more time to focus on other tasks is that I believe I would become more disconnected from the process as a whole, and I don't want that. I am, perhaps, more involved in the screening aspect of the site now than I've ever been (certainly more than I was in the site's infancy), and I feel that it's important to kind of have my finger on the pulse of things, if you will.

3. Consistency, consistency, consistency. Lack of it is the number one complaint we hear, by far, and that is with a group of 3 very like-minded people, all of whom know each other personally and discuss screening on a regular basis, performing 99% of the task. I feel that the current team has the queue/screening times under control enough that we don't need to upset what level of consistency we do manage to achieve just to bring more bodies onboard. As for rotating screeners - it's hard enough with 3 people screening 99% of the time. Can you imagine what would happen to consistency if a rotating crew of say 12-15 different people were involved?

(Preface: this isn't a complaint either... I wouldn't trade my involvement in RP for anything)

I really do wish, as I've mentioned before, that there were a way to allow you guys to sit in our shoes, even just for a day. I think a lot of things would really surprise you. I think you'd be surprised how much you really have to bite your tongue. I think you'd be surprised at how seriously a lot of people take this hobby, and what kind of inappropriate vitriol people can and will spew when they're pissed off. I think it would shock you how often photographers from within the various "cliques" throughout the hobby try to go at each other via the photo comments/email functions (this, and constant spam, are the only two reasons we still have to moderate these).

Most of all, though, I think you'd be surprised by how rewarding it can be when a shot comes through that makes you say "damn, that's incredible!" and you realize that, in spite of its flaws and the constant room for improvement, you're involved with what is still the most visited rail-interest site on the whole internet.
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Old 05-09-2014, 04:03 AM   #32
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Oh don't worry I understand it really well! Can you imagine if Troy and I were screeners? Blunt doesn't even begin to cover it!
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I personally have had a problem with those trying to tell us to turn railroad photography into an "art form." It's fine for them to do so, I welcome it in fact, but what I do have a problem with is that the practitioners of the more "arty" shots, I have found, tend to look down their nose's at others who are shooting more "mundane" shots.
Railroad photography is what you make of it, but one way is not "better" than another, IMHO. Unless you have a pole right thought the nose of the engine! -SG
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Old 05-09-2014, 04:15 AM   #33
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I would love to see an example of a time when someone addressed me/us in a respectful manner and I replied in a snide, belittling, or sarcastic way..
Sir, look no further than your first post in this thread.

You may not like what I have to say, but I have not been disrespectful whatsoever.

Further, I'm not the problem here and if you want me to shut up, all you would need to do is ask.

Sadly I must say, the legitimacy of this Site as a leader in the genera of rail photography took a real hit today.

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Old 05-09-2014, 04:53 AM   #34
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Sadly I must say, the legitimacy of this Site as a leader in the genera of rail photography took a real hit today.
I'm sorry you feel that way. I (and apparently quite a few others) disagree.
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Old 05-09-2014, 05:36 AM   #35
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Chris, take a look at "The Best Rail Photos on the Internet" thread and honestly tell us that the vast majority of those images should have been accepted. When we talk about consistency this is the type of stuff that drives us nuts.
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Old 05-09-2014, 05:50 AM   #36
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Chris, take a look at "The Best Rail Photos on the Internet" thread and honestly tell us that the vast majority of those images should have been accepted. When we talk about consistency this is the type of stuff that drives us nuts.
I've followed that thread since day one and, while there are definitely some head scratchers (all which were discussed subsequently amongst the team), overall I think a lot of them are unfairly singled out. At the end of the day, if we're going to err, I'd rather do so in favor of the contributor than the other way around.

Funnily enough, both of the "HVC"s I mentioned up thread who called it quits over "BS rejections" were also mentioned numerous times in that thread -- proving yet again that we really just can't do anything right.
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Old 05-09-2014, 06:21 AM   #37
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Chris, I am a bit swamped so won't immediately get to your request for my views on how to "expand the range" - I want to do that right.

Right now I want to chime in and say that we had no idea you were reading the LOOOONG "Best" thread and even discussing it with your team. No idea! This goes to you being responsive to your contributors/viewers.

I think most of us are pretty reasonable, once it comes down to it. One often sees someone saying around here "it's their site, they can do what they want." We know it's your place. Starting now, it appears we also know that you are actually out there listening - not necessarily agreeing, but listening. Wow, talking about this amongst the screeners! We had NO IDEA.

There is a big difference between listening and disagreeing and not listening. If you hear us out, as individuals, not necessarily collectively because obviously we don't agree and don't speak with one voice, and also consider that while a number of us are the "same few folks" we much just be representative of a larger crowd, then you might find that we too can respectfully say well, we said our piece, the Chris pair disagrees, they've got their reasons. And then no one says you don't care.
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Old 05-09-2014, 06:32 AM   #38
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I've followed that thread since day one and, while there are definitely some head scratchers (all which were discussed subsequently amongst the team), overall I think a lot of them are unfairly singled out.
Fair 'nuf and I agree that the thread starting going far beyond it's intended focus and am glad it died. Quite glad the real head scratchers were discussed and it restores my faith in the system in some regard.
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Old 05-09-2014, 08:05 AM   #39
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Fair 'nuf and I agree that the thread starting going far beyond it's intended focus and am glad it died. Quite glad the real head scratchers were discussed and it restores my faith in the system in some regard.
Since its been awhile, what exactly was your intent? To show photos that were of subpar quality? To show photos you didn't think belonged on the site?

And I'm not being "me" here. I'm legitimately curious as to what your original intent was on the most popular thread ever. Lol
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Old 05-09-2014, 10:04 AM   #40
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Just a "wtf why is this here?" It went to a thread of subject matter when it's original intent was glaring, no questions asked stuff stuff like image quality, saturation, blatant unlevelness, etc.

Then others didn't like pictures of doors or boats or onto a typical "View counts aren't fair" Mitch rant. It jumped the shark in that regard and went to hell. That was never my intent.
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Old 05-09-2014, 11:08 AM   #41
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I have an idea, create a field called "screened by", so we know who accepted the photo, and if we think it deserves in the "WTF" thread, we can further see who screened it

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Old 05-09-2014, 06:11 PM   #42
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Cool Listening versus ignoring

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There is a big difference between listening and disagreeing and not listening.
One of the things I have learned from being married for 40 years is that it is far far better to disagree with my wife than to ignore her.

Some posts back Mitch mentioned treating the contributors like customers. This is especially true given the fact that some contributors actually pay to become Elite members. The contributors are what make this place good or bad.

I suspect some occasional brief even cryptic posts just to show you are listening would help calm the waters. It's pretty clear the screeners usually don't have time for long drawn out "conversations". And some "artists" are in love with their work and don't accept criticism well, for better or worse they will go away. And some folks are born to whine no matter what you do. The persistent whiners are really annoying and I would exile them.

My personal panacea is to limit everyone to a couple images per week....and force the contributors to do some more critical self screening.
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Old 05-09-2014, 09:39 PM   #43
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My personal panacea is to limit everyone to a couple images per week....and force the contributors to do some more critical self screening.
I think you're close to being correct, John, but I might be a bit more liberal---maybe one a day. But then, a number of folks use RP.net as a way to promote their photography for monetary gain---so the more, the merrier.

I should report one of the magazines contacted me a couple of weeks ago for a high resolution scan of a shot their art editor found on RP.net. Of course, I took care of that request in short order. I have no idea what they have in mind for the shot...but I'll be happy to cash the check if it's published.
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Old 05-10-2014, 12:58 AM   #44
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I should report one of the magazines contacted me a couple of weeks ago for a high resolution scan of a shot their art editor found on RP.net. Of course, I took care of that request in short order. I have no idea what they have in mind for the shot...but I'll be happy to cash the check if it's published.
One of my images found on RP by Amtrak was used in the past 6 months for one of their mailers, so I have no room to complain.

Last edited by JimThias; 05-10-2014 at 12:05 PM. Reason: Oops, forgot the word "no"
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Old 05-10-2014, 01:45 AM   #45
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I think....or at least I thought....it was pretty well-known that magazine editors and calendar designers quite regularly browse RP looking for material. Most of my sales have been generated directly or indirectly by this site. I even had an Associate Editor of Trains cold-call me during dinner one night looking for an image. No idea how she got my number. I damn near hung up on her before I realized she wasn't calling to solicit money for some cause.

Good luck getting the same exposure with a Flickr site.
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Old 05-10-2014, 03:52 AM   #46
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As with other aspects of photography, there are rarely 'absolutes' when it comes to how images get noticed by photo editors.

I pretty routinely license images with contacts that were initiated via Flickr.

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Old 05-10-2014, 04:19 AM   #47
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But then, a number of folks use RP.net as a way to promote their photography for monetary gain---so the more, the merrier.
The best railroad photo proof sheet on the internet.
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Old 05-10-2014, 03:43 PM   #48
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I think....or at least I thought....it was pretty well-known that magazine editors and calendar designers quite regularly browse RP looking for material. Most of my sales have been generated directly or indirectly by this site. I even had an Associate Editor of Trains cold-call me during dinner one night looking for an image. No idea how she got my number. I damn near hung up on her before I realized she wasn't calling to solicit money for some cause.

Good luck getting the same exposure with a Flickr site.
I've had more photo requests via Flickr than here. Once I put up a photo and an hour later had a request by a magazine editor to use it.

The smugness of the administration really turns me off. I really don't care about rejections or view counts or whatever..I do this hobby for fun.

What does irritate me is how poor the relationship is between the users and the . "I don't have time." Nonsense. A couple comments once a week maybe? Keep in mind they're making money off YOUR work.
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Old 05-10-2014, 04:33 PM   #49
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I gotta say, and this not aimed at anyone person: some of you seem to be taking this hobby way too seriously. So they rejected your picture? If its fixable, take 5 minutes and fix it. If its not and you believe it deserves to get in, appeal. If it still doesn't get in, it's probably not as great as you think it is. If the picture is a magnificent work of art, they're going to let if in. They're not idiots.

Okay, rant over. Lol
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Old 05-10-2014, 05:46 PM   #50
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I gotta say, and this not aimed at anyone person: some of you seem to be taking this hobby way too seriously. So they rejected your picture? If its fixable, take 5 minutes and fix it. If its not and you believe it deserves to get in, appeal. If it still doesn't get in, it's probably not as great as you think it is. If the picture is a magnificent work of art, they're going to let if in. They're not idiots.

Okay, rant over. Lol
I disagree with you, here, Derek.

Maybe it's RP that takes the hobby too seriously? No other site I know of comes close to meeting the potential that RP offers. The frustration, consequently, is in walking away from such a great site for trivial issues. It's like walking away from a Ferrari with a scratch down the length of the body and trading it in for a Camaro because admin has no interest in ever fixing the scratch.

I agree, if it's technical in nature, fix it. Next appeal it. However, if it doesn't then get in, I disagree with your presumption that it probably is not "good enough" to get in. Especially when the most oft cited rejection is on a subjective issue such as crop or "aesthetic quality". I know a few folks here who've received rave reviews on their rejected work when posted elsewhere, and even some cases of rejected work here published in print.

It is their site, however, and if admin wants it's patrons to seek new primary sites to share their work, their vision, that's their option. It can be "Our favorite railroad photos on the net" and hope the best of the best sporadically pop in for a visit to their site. Or... it really can be "The best railroad photos (and photographers) on the net".

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