Old 08-24-2010, 12:13 AM   #1
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Default not fluffing my view count....

http://www.railpictures.net/viewphot...=335564&nseq=0

But what do you guys feel about using non-railfans or people not employed/working around the railroad in your shots? This is my first try at this, with the help of my best friend. I actually planned a lot of other angles that required flat/overcast lighting (ie:cloudy day/common sort of weather) but it was just one of those "mix between sun and clouds" sort of day. Plus, Ross (my best friend) was late. AND I found I need a wider angle lens, something a little farther than 18mm on my crap kit lens.

I just don't know if it detaches from the scene or not and if it's worth it, any suggestions on working people in your shots? Any pointers for next time, I know it's hard to give advice off of one shot. I know Travis has done a few with people in it, and works them in quite well. Thanks for the input in advance!

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Old 08-24-2010, 12:31 AM   #2
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I like the idea, and you're certainly not alone... many rail photographers have done this for a long time. The image that you're showing, however, felt a little too staged for me. I can't honestly say that my opinion isn't being influenced by knowing the shot is staged, but it just has that look. I would suggest (personally) having your model doing something that gives the scene more verisimilitude. Leaning on a lamppost in an unattractive part of town reading what looks like it might be a Trains magazine while ignoring a train passing by doesn't seem likely to really happen. If he was waiting for a bus (and there was a bus sign above his head), I'd buy it... or if he was looking at a map, trying to figure out where he was... or if he was looking at you, trying to figure out what you're doing (maybe that's too staged too... not sure)... or if he was watching the train... all of those are things that I think wouldn't take me out of the moment. That being said, I really think it's a good idea and I applaud you for trying. I look forward to seeing more.
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Old 08-24-2010, 12:43 AM   #3
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EXACTLY Charles, staged. I've never worked with people and photography, so I don't know how you make it look, ahem.."unstaged". I'm entirely happy with the shot, really enthused but like you said it lacks something. But I really don't know any better, keep the comments/advice coming, it's gonna help me later on!

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Old 08-24-2010, 01:08 AM   #4
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I suppose the pose looks too tense and contrived - Rather than asking your friend (I almost wrote 'the model') to pose a specific way, find out how he'd be standing (even sitting) were he reading the mag outside of a photo. I do like which one you chose...the last thing is that since he appears to be the subject, either focus on him and blur the train out, or get both of them in focus - Don't shoot wide open focused on the train. It's part of the background, not the subject of this human interest pic.
That being said, I suppose that last 'flaw' is the reason it's on this site in the first place!
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Old 08-24-2010, 01:10 AM   #5
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It looks a lot less staged than the "cleaning the headlight" or bridezilla on a steam engine. I like it.
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Old 08-24-2010, 01:20 AM   #6
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I sneak up and shoot them.
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Old 08-24-2010, 01:24 AM   #7
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I just found out I lied.

http://www.railpictures.net/viewphot...=295106&nseq=6

I have tried this before, I COMPLETELY forgot.

So when is it OK to make the train the main focus? And then vice versa, when is it ok to have more human interest and a "second thought" train shot? I'm guessing whatever the scene dictates? The advice is really helping me out guys, thanks again!

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Old 08-24-2010, 01:25 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by travsirocz View Post
I sneak up and shoot them.



Oh, travis. Hahahaha

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Old 08-24-2010, 01:40 AM   #9
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Image © Ben Sutton
PhotoID: 335564
Photograph © Ben Sutton


use: [photoid=?????]
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Old 08-24-2010, 01:46 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by PLEzero View Post
Image © Ben Sutton
PhotoID: 335564
Photograph © Ben Sutton


use: [photoid=?????]
I didn't want to be the first to type something, but it was kinda funny that Ben stated he didn't want to fluff the count, yet forced us to click it by linking the address..

Ben, it's a decent shot in my book.

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Old 08-24-2010, 02:08 AM   #11
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Lol! It's been a long day guys.....long long day.

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Old 08-24-2010, 02:20 AM   #12
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Lol! It's been a long day guys.....long long day.

Ben
Get that job with NS and those days will be even longer!

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Old 08-24-2010, 02:27 AM   #13
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No kidding Chase. I have no comment on here about my current company, though. You know how I feel about the color brown.

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Old 08-24-2010, 03:38 AM   #14
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You're earlier try is exactly what I was talking about, Ben...

I totally believe that is a person sitting there watching trains.

Here's a non-RP worth version that I have of the same thing (although mine is of a real railfan, whom I have no idea who he was... he was really sitting there and had no interest in me - not even at nodding back when I nodded hello at him).

http://freericks.rrpicturearchives.n...spx?id=1966512

I'm not showing this to say it's a good shot. It has a number of issues. I'm showing it because the guy looks natural and I think that should help.

What was really interesting to me was that this gentleman brought a chair (to a station with lots of seating).
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Old 08-24-2010, 03:41 AM   #15
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No kidding Chase. I have no comment on here about my current company, though. You know how I feel about the color brown.

Ben


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Old 08-24-2010, 04:10 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by asis80 View Post
I just found out I lied.

http://www.railpictures.net/viewphot...=295106&nseq=6

I have tried this before, I COMPLETELY forgot.

So when is it OK to make the train the main focus? And then vice versa, when is it ok to have more human interest and a "second thought" train shot? I'm guessing whatever the scene dictates? The advice is really helping me out guys, thanks again!

Ben
I'd say that you're on the mark, that there's no really clear-defined boundary. In this case the focus could be shared, but I do get the feeling that your friend is more than a blurry prop.
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Old 08-24-2010, 04:49 AM   #17
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Use a girl next time.
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Old 08-24-2010, 05:10 AM   #18
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deleted on purpose

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Old 08-24-2010, 06:11 AM   #19
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Ha ha ha, too staged for me. Why is a guy reading a railroad magazine up against a light pole and totally ignoring the real train to his right? If it was a true representation of DaBurgh, he would have been reading about the Steelers or slitting his wrists over how bad the Pirates suck...
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Old 08-24-2010, 06:56 AM   #20
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My wife doesn't know it yet, but she's about to read an issue of Private Varnish from Cayce Riverwalk this Fall. Specifically the center spread.

Cool idea, Ben.
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Old 08-24-2010, 01:38 PM   #21
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Quote:
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I'm entirely happy with the shot, really enthused but like you said it lacks something.
Entirely? The cut off (with the "model's" head) street sign and the ass end of the loco being cut off doesn't bug you? I'd be somewhat happy with this pic, but not entirely based on those two small issues. Just an observation as those two things were the first to jump out at me.

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Use a girl next time.
I thought it WAS a girl.
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Old 08-24-2010, 04:50 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by asis80 View Post
I just found out I lied.

http://www.railpictures.net/viewphot...=295106&nseq=6

I have tried this before, I COMPLETELY forgot.

So when is it OK to make the train the main focus? And then vice versa, when is it ok to have more human interest and a "second thought" train shot? I'm guessing whatever the scene dictates? The advice is really helping me out guys, thanks again!

Ben
Well, I would suppose it depends on what sort of story you are trying to tell.

Image © Ben Sutton
PhotoID: 295106
Photograph © Ben Sutton


This one fits together as a harmonious whole. The person is in shadow, and is obviously a supporting element. His gaze is directed at the train; so is ours. The train is well-lit, framed by the trees, and is therefore the main subject. This is a very soothing, peaceful photo to view.

Image © Ben Sutton
PhotoID: 335564
Photograph © Ben Sutton


In this one, there is tension between the person, the train, the magazine, the bright yellow fire hydrant, and the leading lines of the street with the many angular overpasses receding into the distance. We look at the train and the person, but the person's attention is not on the train or us, but the magazine, which itself is about trains. This isn't a "relaxing" composition, because the viewer is left wondering what is the "story". It is "strange". I like it anyway because of that tension and "strangeness".

Image © ExNavyDoc
PhotoID: 301360
Photograph © ExNavyDoc


Here, I was trying to show the train as part of the scenery. The kids and coaches are here to play football, not watch trains. The train noise nearly drowns out converation, but the team ignores the intrusion. The focus is on the people; the train passes through, and the game goes on.

Image © Andre Beverly
PhotoID: 333043
Photograph © Andre Beverly


Not mine, but I love this shot. The girl stands mere feet away from the onrushing transit train, but is completely oblivious. We can imagine the noise and rush of air as the train enters the station, but she might as well be a statue. The viewer wants to look at the massive object in motion, but instead we are drawn to her handheld device. Who is she texting? What message is so important that she shuts out all her surroundings, including us?

What are you trying to say with your photos? Everything else should follow from that.
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Old 08-24-2010, 07:21 PM   #23
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Nice comments, Mike, I should put a copy of this onto my blog as a guest contribution!
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Old 08-24-2010, 07:23 PM   #24
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If yo are having someone pose, I like to just tell them to pretend Im not there, and do something natural. That way it isn't fully posed, you still have to time everything right for the perfect shot.
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Old 08-24-2010, 07:27 PM   #25
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Ben's shot is growing on me. Sure it is posed but there are lots of photographs that are and I am not interested so much in realism and the more I look at it the more I get used to it and it seems less artificial. The shot is interesting, is well composed, and has nice color. I am not so negative on the cut off engine, although it would have been interesting to see what the shot looked like with more width. My only issue with the shot is the Railpace - it isn't obviously a train magazine but upon close inspection it is and it is a detail that doesn't really fit for me.

Overall, though, a very nice successful effort, I would be more than pleased to be able to call it one of my own. Well done!
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