Old 03-22-2007, 01:14 AM   #1
amtrakboy
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Default "Bad Cropping" again!!! Please help!!!

O.K., guys,

I have here another reject, rejected for "bad cropping." I can understand the oversharpening, but seem not to have an "eye," or a "feel, for proper cropping. Please explain what I am doing wrong, so I can totally eliminate "bad cropping" rejects. All comments/help/suggestions very much appreciated!!!

http://www.railpictures.net/viewreject.php?id=351621
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Old 03-22-2007, 01:21 AM   #2
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Looks pretty good, but you definately need to get some of the sky out of there. Just crop out some of that and you should be good.

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Old 03-22-2007, 01:28 AM   #3
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The picture you see here is the uncropped original. How should I crop this, in terms of how much sky to remove, etc?
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Old 03-22-2007, 01:40 AM   #4
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Heres two options that might work.

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Old 03-22-2007, 01:49 AM   #5
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3:2 ratio, with less track:
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Old 03-22-2007, 01:52 AM   #6
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Definetly leave the track signal in the shot.


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Old 03-22-2007, 02:05 AM   #7
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I have recropped the picture to show it, leaving less track, AND leaving the signal in the shot, as per your advice, and backed off the oversharpening....let's see what happens!!!
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Old 03-22-2007, 02:12 AM   #8
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How 'bout doing it with the train closer to the signal? The two are too spread out to work together in this photo. Of course, this is my personal opinion, I just don't see any crop helping this pic make it.
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Old 03-22-2007, 02:12 AM   #9
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Definitely leave the signals in, they are the difference between a ho hum picture of a common Amtrak loco, and an interesting picture. I think Jim's crop is the way to go but I would rotate it a bit clockwise to line up the verticals. That will leave the signal mast a bit cattywampus, but that is a function of lens distortion and in my view better than having the telephone poles crooked. In the newer versions of Photoshop there is is distortion correction tool that might let you also get the signal mast lined up with everything else.

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Old 03-22-2007, 02:13 AM   #10
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Hmm, my bad, I didn't look at the rejected shot first! I would say getting the rest of the train is a bigger concern than the sky since there is nothing with that.
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Old 03-22-2007, 02:53 AM   #11
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That is a good point, but the pic looks empty cropping the signal out. If William has a version with the train closer, I would suggest one that blocks out the first telephone pole but leaves in the second.


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Old 03-22-2007, 03:03 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John West
I think Jim's crop is the way to go but I would rotate it a bit clockwise to line up the verticals. That will leave the signal mast a bit cattywampus, but that is a function of lens distortion and in my view better than having the telephone poles crooked.
John, I see what you mean...but if you look at the house in the background, the corner edge is perfectly vertical, as is the vertical line on the nose of the loco.

It's hard to tell if the poles in this scene are naturally crooked, or if it's because of wide angle distortion.

I took a shot with my 100-400 lens yesterday at around 130mm, and after I got done levelling it (using vertical lines of some buildings), it still looks unlevel due to the large collection of slanted poles. Sometimes you can't avoid it, but if his slanted poles are due to w/a distortion, then it should definitely be correctable with photoshop.

Here's the shot so you can see what I'm talking about:



That thumbnail drives me batty when I see it! When I view the large image, I can clearly see the building lines and some poles in the background are perfectly vertical. But those leaning poles can REALLY throw off a picture.
(picture was for future reference purposes only, not meant to be a "real" photograph of anything. haha)

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Old 03-22-2007, 03:08 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimThias
(picture was for future reference purposes only, not meant to be a "real" photograph of anything. haha)
I take such pictures regularly. Not that looking at them has made me a great photographer yet, but it does help in planning future shots.
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Old 03-22-2007, 03:17 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimThias
That thumbnail drives me batty when I see it! When I view the large image, I can clearly see the building lines and some poles in the background are perfectly vertical. But those leaning poles can REALLY throw off a picture.
(picture was for future reference purposes only, not meant to be a "real" photograph of anything. haha)
After looking at it closely I would go by the rails to make the shot level or the lines of the loco when a train is there.

BTW, a little more work with the contrast and color and this is an excellent non-train railroad photo. Heck, I enjoyed this version! Sometimes a train on the tracks distracts from the "beauty" of the scene and background. If I had time I'd be fancy and pull out an example from North Carolina but I need to pack!
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Old 03-22-2007, 04:15 AM   #15
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Quote:
How 'bout doing it with the train closer to the signal?
I agree; the main problem stems from a poor original composition. The subject (train) is to the left of center and there's a ton of dead space to the right. Two things:

1) Aim the camera further to the left to put the signal closer to the right edge of the frame.

2) Let the train get closer to the signal.

The closer the initial composition is to 'on,' the better off you'll be in the end. Plus, you won't have to crop off so much of a shot which could potentially lead to lesser image quality down the line by too much cropping.
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Old 03-22-2007, 05:56 PM   #16
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The photo was again rejected for "bad cropping," even after including the train, and the signal.
http://www.railpictures.net/viewreject.php?id=352043
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Old 03-22-2007, 06:05 PM   #17
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Time to put that one in your personal collection and keep shooting. My suggestion would be to try to find a bit more scenic location.

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Old 03-22-2007, 06:23 PM   #18
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There still seems to be too much dead space in the bottom left corner. For this particular shot, I might have been closer to the fence behind you to get a little broader view of the engine. Additionally, squatting down in the grass and looking up a little may have helped get the signal out of the trees and other distractions. The other thing to think about when doing shots like this is the fact that this is just a wedgie of an Amtrak train. The subject is pretty mundane and you have to do a little extra good job on something like this to get it accepted.
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Old 03-22-2007, 08:05 PM   #19
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Guys,
I really appreciate all your help!!! I am very much still in the "learning stages" insofar as my photography goes. Being a retired "man of science," having worked in diagnostic laboratories all of my working life, I do not consider myself to have artistic talent as such, but do know that one can always learn something new!!! Thanks again, and many best regards!!!
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Old 03-22-2007, 10:21 PM   #20
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This? I cropped it.
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Old 03-28-2007, 02:05 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Blaszczyk (2)
After looking at it closely I would go by the rails to make the shot level or the lines of the loco when a train is there.

BTW, a little more work with the contrast and color and this is an excellent non-train railroad photo. Heck, I enjoyed this version! Sometimes a train on the tracks distracts from the "beauty" of the scene and background. If I had time I'd be fancy and pull out an example from North Carolina but I need to pack!
Thanks, Andrew. I didn't even bother with much processing because it was simply to show a view that's never been photographed in my town before (a few railfan friends of mine have about every inch of track in this town photographed...except this section. haha). I wanted to see how it looked as a photo before I make the effort to go back to that spot to actually get a train approaching with the proper lighting. Perhaps I should have waited for the sunset to actually make this train-less scene worth it.
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Old 03-28-2007, 02:47 AM   #22
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I've run into this situation with a few of my uploads as well. I've noticed that photos have a better chance of getting in if the whole train is shown in the photo as opposed to just the locomotive and a few cars. Was the subject train here short enough for you to take a photo of the full set instead of the locomotive and the first four cars?
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Old 03-28-2007, 05:27 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BNSF4682
This? I cropped it.
Umm, no. It's almost a roster shot with a bad angle. Plus you only have half of the gate for the crossing and the tight crop amplifies the telephone lines.
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