Old 04-08-2007, 08:45 AM   #1
WetRailsWA
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Default Too Dark?

Appears to be my photographic curse - "Too Dark:"

http://www.railpictures.net/viewreject.php?id=358721

Any comments or suggestions? Thanks.
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Old 04-08-2007, 08:55 AM   #2
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Second one, same reason...darn that!

http://www.railpictures.net/viewreject.php?id=358723

Is this fixable? Suggestions?
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Old 04-08-2007, 09:27 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WetRailsWA
Second one, same reason...darn that!

http://www.railpictures.net/viewreject.php?id=358723

Is this fixable? Suggestions?
Yes. Do you use photoshop? Try tweaking the brightness by using the levels feature. I don't have time right now, or else I'd demonstrate with one of your pictures. I'm sure someone else will probably beat me to it. The second train is excellent. Too bad you didn't have a blue sky for that one. But it IS salvageable, IMO.
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Old 04-08-2007, 01:02 PM   #4
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I don't use photoshop, but heres one after some minor work in irfanview with contrast, and brightness, and some sharpening.

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File Type: jpg 04072007_029a.jpg edited.jpg (372.6 KB, 201 views)
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Old 04-08-2007, 02:23 PM   #5
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Here's a quick "fix." This is a really good looking train. I'd hope they'd make an acception in this case with conditions not being "perfect."
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Old 04-08-2007, 05:36 PM   #6
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Actually, I don't think the shot is too dark, it's just the overcast sky that makes it look that way. The histogram bears this out. What could help is using shadow/highlights, which will leave the mid tones alone. If you brighten the shot, it makes the loco color go too light. I used 15% shadow and 10% highlight, both set at 25% tonal width. It brings out the truck detail, darkens the sky just a bit, but leaves the rest alone. I hope this is one of those cloudy day shots that does get in.

On your first shot, the same comments apply, but you've cropped it a bit tight to the front of the engine for my taste. Since it's a more common engine, you may not get this one past the screeners, even if you do work on it.

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Old 04-08-2007, 07:07 PM   #7
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The killers for the SoW shot are the glare of the headlight and the cutting off of the train in the background. That's how I see it.
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Old 04-08-2007, 07:47 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Blaszczyk (2)
The killers for the SoW shot are the glare of the headlight and the cutting off of the train in the background. That's how I see it.
^^^That's what I was going to say, but (2) beat me to it...
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Old 04-08-2007, 11:06 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Blaszczyk (2)
and the cutting off of the train in the background
This may not be the image with which to open the debate, but I've never understood the importance of not cutting something off when it is way, way in the background, like here. Obviously, with lots of images, things necessarily get cut off, or the scenery cuts them off. Why do people (everyone, not just Andrew or Ween) pick up on this as so detracting?
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Old 04-09-2007, 12:02 AM   #10
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Thanks for all the comments and suggestions. Nice to know that some of things I've dabbled in (brightness, contrast etc.) are used by others. On the Spirit of Washington, I also tried a little more red tone on one try but it just didn't look right to me...knocked the other colors out of whack. Jim Thias was right, that the shot would have been nicer on a sunny day.

I used your suggestions to edit and resubmit both photos. In the end, neither one made the cut a second time around - and the reasons were becoming more specific like "Bad Cropping" (which a231Pacific also commented on), "common power on cloudy day," and "poor lighting." So I'm not going to waste the screeners' time anymore with these and will try again on another - hopefully sunny - day in the future. In the meantime I've sent the pictures to RRPictureArchives instead:

BNSF 2258
Spirit of Washington

Thanks again, everyone.
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Old 04-09-2007, 01:16 AM   #11
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Don't give up on the SoW! That's a really nice looking train. I'd like to see some travelling shots of it, too.
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Old 04-09-2007, 02:37 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JRMDC
This may not be the image with which to open the debate, but I've never understood the importance of not cutting something off when it is way, way in the background, like here. Obviously, with lots of images, things necessarily get cut off, or the scenery cuts them off. Why do people (everyone, not just Andrew or Ween) pick up on this as so detracting?
I won't speak for (2), but for myself with this particular image, the train is cut off six cars back. I can't imagine it being that long of a train that it wouldn't have been able to fit in the frame. So in a roundabout way, it's dinged for poor composition in my book.

People tend to bow at the altar of the rule of thirds, which is fine and rules are made to be broken. Well, there may not be a steadfast rule out there concerning this topic, but for me, call it the rule of getting the whole train in the shot (if able). Obviously if it's on a bend or behind some trees, then that's different. But on a straight stretch of track the image is (usually) thrown out of balance when the train is cut out of the frame, especially in the manner this shot is. There are certainly exceptions, but not in this photo's case.

I don't mind the trailing train being cut off two or three cars back if the purpose of the shot is to showcase the power, but this one is cut off too far back for that argument to work.

But, like anything else, that's just my opinion and personal 'rule.'
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Old 04-09-2007, 03:30 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ween
I won't speak for (2), but for myself with this particular image, the train is cut off six cars back. I can't imagine it being that long of a train that it wouldn't have been able to fit in the frame.

I don't mind the trailing train being cut off two or three cars back if the purpose of the shot is to showcase the power, but this one is cut off too far back for that argument to work.
You might having something there...showing the whole train gives a sense of completeness (if that's a word), and I'm sure some preference is given towards completeness. If you like whole trains, maybe this shot is one that you would like:

http://www.railpixonline.com/dinner_train_11152005.htm
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Old 04-09-2007, 03:35 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimThias
Don't give up on the SoW! That's a really nice looking train. I'd like to see some travelling shots of it, too.
Glad you like the train. I'm going to miss it running through my town, when they end operations there in July `07. I want to document it as much as possible beforehand. Here are all the SoW photos I took that day:

http://s125.photobucket.com/albums/p42/KDC64/SoW/

These examples are untouched, and exactly how they downloaded from the camera. They uploaded to Photobucket in backwards order, so if you want to view them in chrono order start with the last one - "Spirit of Washington Dinner Train 01." It follows the train starting in Renton and with the last photo taken near its destination in Woodinville.

Let me know what you think. Thanks!
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Old 04-09-2007, 05:41 AM   #15
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The "SoW" is one smart train, however I find the glaring headlight very distracting. As you say it is running until July, I would let the shot go and try again, hopefully with better weather. I would also recommend trying to find a place where you could stand further away and show more of the train and it's surroundings.
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Old 04-10-2007, 05:25 PM   #16
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Default Exposure Compensation

On cloudy days I try to take the picture slightly underexposed so that you tend to get some details from the clouds rather than just a white blob. Then you can use the brightness feature in photoshop to correct the underexposure and you can see more details in the clouds rather than just some white space. However if you have a really stable/smooth cloud layer this won't help at all.
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