Old 07-09-2006, 06:01 PM   #1
htgguy
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Default Help me Understand Bad Angle Rejects

First of all, I am new here. I have been taking pictures for a few years when time allows.

I took the time to read the submission guidelines, where it said to avoid the standard 3/4 wedge shot. I have also viewed probably hundreds of photos on the site and seen that the 3/4 wedge has been accepted many many times. So I started off kind of confused. I also read where creativity is encouraged, and going away shots need to be composed in a creative or artistic manner to be considered.

I went 0/3 yesterday on my submissions and would appreciate any comments on how to improve future efforts. Here they are for your review and comment:

First One

Second One

Last One

The first two got whacked for "Bad Angle". What I need to learn is what is a good angle. Given the same situation in the future how would I change up the shot to make it more likely to be accepted?

The last one got the "Bad Motive" rejection.

It seems to me from browsing around on the site that the most common view is more frontal than the first two I sent. Should I not submit anything with the same view as the first two anymore? I like the third photo, but I understand it is purely personal taste.

Thanks for any advice.

Jim
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Old 07-09-2006, 06:14 PM   #2
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Jim,

I think you would want to show more of the train on the first two photos. By this I mean get a slightly different angle on it so that you can see more of the rail cars behind the power.

On the third one, generally speaking it's pretty hard to get a photo accepted into that database that does not have any power (locomotives) on it.

That's just my take on it, others may have other ideas/comments to share as well.

On a side note I see you are taking pictures in the central Minnesota region. I invite you to check out Northern Minnesota Rail (NMR) .
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Old 07-09-2006, 06:39 PM   #3
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As far as the last one, sorry, but there's just nothing interesting about the tail end of a train disappearing around some trees. If you're going to take a shot of the back end of a train, there needs to be something compelling about the scene.
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Old 07-09-2006, 06:49 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by htgguy
I took the time to read the submission guidelines, where it said to avoid the standard 3/4 wedge shot. I have also viewed probably hundreds of photos on the site and seen that the 3/4 wedge has been accepted many many times. So I started off kind of confused.
Yes, contradictory statements can be rather confusing.

About the bad angle shots, it probably has more to do with the background (poles, wires, etc.). Those things do become distracting when there's a pole sticking up from the roof of a locomotive. You could always photoshop those out, but that's blatant digital manipulation. If these shots were taken at Joliet Union Station, then there would probably be no trouble getting them in. If I were you, though, I'd just let these slide and upload a more creative/scenic shot.

Quote:
The last one got the "Bad Motive" rejection.
There's nothing that really stands out about it. What are you trying to show? Technically, it's not a bad shot. There's just nothing really special about it.
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Old 07-09-2006, 07:26 PM   #5
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My take on the "bad angle" reject is, like John said, getting more of the train's cars in the shot would have likely increased your chances of getting the first two shots accepted.

Rather than centering the picture in on the second car, whether it's a locomotive or not, my style when taking photos on a flat, straight piece of track like the kind you're going to find around the central portion of the Staples Sub is to have, say, the 4th or 5th car be in the middle of the photo, a la

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This is just my opinion, but rather than looking only at the locomotives of a train, I'd prefer being able to see the long string of cars following the locomotives as well as some of the landscape surrounding the tracks that the train is operating in.

Also, as a side note, make sure that your photos are as close to a resolution of 800x600 or 1024x768 as possible. Had they not been rejected for "bad angle," it's possible that your first two photos could have been rejected for not being closer to 800x600 or 1024x768.
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Old 07-09-2006, 08:09 PM   #6
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I think there may be other possible reasons for the bad angle rejection. You can't see the S in Santa Fe on the first shot nor can you really see the B in BNSF in the second. Either a bit more broadside to showcase the engines, or as previously suggested, show more of the train. Also, you have cropped very close to the front of the engines in both shots. Give them some space, often called "breathing room." Your on the right track though, so give it another go with some new shots.

On the last shot, there was nothing technically wrong with it, just nothing really grabs you. If it had been a caboose, or a passenger car, or an unusual load, it probably would have made it in.
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Old 07-09-2006, 10:06 PM   #7
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Thanks for the suggestions, I will try to take them into consideration when I am out shooting again. Some of them make sense to me, some I still don't understand, but I appreciate the time each of you took to offer them.

Mitch, when you say close to 800/600 or 1024/768, how close do you mean? In my opinion a lot of the pix look better cropped to a more "widescreen" aspect ratio. How important is staying with the standard?

a231, your explanation about the bad angle makes a lot of sense now, thanks.

Jim
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Old 07-09-2006, 10:08 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmherndom
If these shots were taken at Joliet Union Station, then there would probably be no trouble getting them in.
Caleb,

FYI, four of my last 100 shots have been taken at Joliet Union Station, so it's time that you grow up, and stop whining.
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Old 07-09-2006, 10:14 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NicTrain35
Caleb,

FYI, four of my last 100 shots have been taken at Joliet Union Station, so it's time that you grow up, and stop whining.
Let's keep personal quibbles out the public forums, eh? Use the PM function, e-mails, or blogs to voice your concerns toward other members...
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Old 07-09-2006, 10:15 PM   #10
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Chris,

I agree with you, but I didn't start it.
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Old 07-09-2006, 10:15 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NicTrain35
Chris,

I agree with you, but I didn't start it.
Doesn't matter. Take the high road and let it go...
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Old 07-09-2006, 10:18 PM   #12
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Speaking of Joilet....what a boring race today!
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Old 07-09-2006, 10:19 PM   #13
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Alright.

As far as I'm concerned, it's over, but I take pride in my photographs, and I wont let somebody sit back and rip them. That's the point I was trying to make. I wasn't trying to start a fight in any way.
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Old 07-09-2006, 10:28 PM   #14
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Bad angle is a catch-all sometimes (from what I can gather). I have gotten rejections for "bad angle" when standing on bridges looking down, nearly standing in front of stopped trains, and standing anywhere from 10 to 90 degrees from the mainline. But, you are better off at 10 or 90 degrees, most angles inbetween, and you run the risk of bad angle.

I am not sure the screeners have a absolute definition of bad angle; rather, it is based on personal discretion.

If it is possible, get some elevation. Raise yourself over the line of grass, to prevent it obscurring the view of the tracks. And, for the sake of bad angle, safely move closer to the tracks to get more of the train.

I don't think the poles and powerlines are a factor in your photos.

There was a thread regarding aspect ratio
http://www.railpictures.net/forums/s...ead.php?t=1872
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Old 07-10-2006, 12:24 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by htgguy
Mitch, when you say close to 800/600 or 1024/768, how close do you mean? In my opinion a lot of the pix look better cropped to a more "widescreen" aspect ratio. How important is staying with the standard?
Although only a screener could answer this question with certainty, my experience has shown that, generally, it's more important not to deviate very far, if at all, from the 800 or 1024 pixel horizontal measurment rather than the 600 or 768 pixel vertical measurment. I guess a good number for the vertical measurment is to try to stay within 100 pixels of either 600 (if your photo is 800 pixels horizontal) or 768 (if your photo is 1024 pixels horizontal). Nearly all of the photos that I've shared on here since I got my Digital Rebel XT have been 1024x683 (before the addition of the copyright bar on the bottom), and that's been a perfectly fine size.

As for importance, picture size would probably be at the lower end of my list. It's mostly one of those things that I think about after I have gone through everything else that I want to go through to make sure my photo looks the best that it can. I would say that it's more important to make sure the photo you wish to submit here is well exposed and sharp; picture size should be of secondary importance. Plus, it should be very easy to correct size if that is the only problem with an otherwise perfect photo.
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Old 07-10-2006, 03:00 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NicTrain35
Alright.

As far as I'm concerned, it's over, but I take pride in my photographs, and I wont let somebody sit back and rip them. That's the point I was trying to make. I wasn't trying to start a fight in any way.
Just let it go then. If you make another post in regards to this arguement you show that you can't do just that.
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Old 07-10-2006, 06:35 PM   #17
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I've only had one shot rejected for size reasons, and that was a mistake on my part. I post either 35mm slide scans or digital shots, all of which are close to a 3:2 ratio. Using the crop tool in photo shop, I simply set width to 6 inches and height to 4 inches for a horizontal shot and play around until the shot looks the way I want it. I then resize the horizontal to 1024. The vertical is then 683 but that has appparently been acceptable.

Sometimes, I do want a somewhat squarer shot for compostion reasons and then I set the crop tool to 6 inches wide by 4.5 inches tall, which is the 1024:768 prefered ratio, but I would have to say that 90% of my shots are 1024 X 683.

Why Chris wants this ratio has never been fully explained, but I assume there is a technical, as well as an aesthetic reason. I've found that I can work within this range quite easily, as it fits my equipment. If I were shooting large format, I might feel differently.
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