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View Poll Results: What percentage of photos from a trip/outing do you upload to RP?
0% 1 3.03%
1-10% 20 60.61%
11-20% 6 18.18%
21-30% 3 9.09%
31-40% 0 0%
41-50% 1 3.03%
51-60% 1 3.03%
61-70% 0 0%
71-80% 0 0%
81-100% 1 3.03%
Voters: 33. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 08-10-2007, 04:48 PM   #1
Andrew Blaszczyk (2)
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Default What percentage of your photos do you upoad to RP (per trip)?

After seeing and hearing about so many RP contributors recent trips I started wondering how many of the photos they took we (RP viewers) actually see. This is a poll for everyone including those who do not put their stuff on RP. Now, you may answer literally divide the number of photos you upload (not that are accepted but the number of photos you attempted to get on) or you may answer in terms of how many quality photos you took and liked or just the train photos you took because I'm sure everyone takes 'miscellaneous' photos. Thanks for participating as usual!
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Old 08-10-2007, 05:02 PM   #2
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Well, I'll pass on the poll because I am not sure how to measure what I do (and, since part of my work is all about measurement, I take the question seriously!). I take quite a number of shots in many instances, especially with fixed subjects but also with passing trains, as I try angles, exposures, depths of fields, etc. There are also the pre-shots - the shots I take before the train arrives so I can check the histogram and the composition and make adjustments - most of those get deleted, although I keep a few as idea shots for the next time I visit the location. I then sort it all out at home.

So, on my recent Hancock visit of July 28, I shot somewhere between 200 and 300 shots, uploaded five. Don't know how many of those might be considered pre-shots and then would presumably not apply to the denominator. Also, most of my railfanning is trackside along the line but not at a yard, so the fixed subjects stuff is a lot lower portion of the whole. Also, how do we count the many days, such as overcast, where there are no RP worthy shots?

Tough question, not easily summarized into a statistic.
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Old 08-10-2007, 05:05 PM   #3
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It really depends on the trip. Sometimes I'm just on fire, and maybe 20-30% of my shots I feel are RP worthy, whether they end up being ultimately accepted or not. Other times, I can barely get a wedgie right, or the light stinks, or whatever. I don't think I shoot quite as many photos as the typical railfan, even with digital. In a one day trip, I usually shoot 20-40 pictures. Amongst those are some good, planned shots, but I will also take shots that aren't as good that simply appeal to me. A successful day may result in 5-7 shots I feel have a great chance to make the database and that I would submit. Last weekend was an anomaly of sorts, as I had 7 good shots in just 7 hours of railfanning. This weekend I'm fanning the Seligman Sub, and I'm kind of wondering how many good shots I'll get.

It's interesting to see the results of some railfans trips, and some of them manage to get mind-boggling amounts of great shots in only a couple days. One photographer I'm watching with interest right now is Jean-Marc Frybourg. I don't know how long he spent railfanning the MRL and the Columbia River gorge, but he's had more shots accepted off that trip alone than I have period! I guess some photographers just have it and others of us don't!
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Old 08-10-2007, 05:14 PM   #4
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I just had a question pop into my mind that I would like to pose to those perusing this thread. Since you got heavy into rail photography, do you feel it (rail photography) has enhanced or detracted from your rail experience?

This may seem like a silly question, but I read a byline in Trains a LONG time ago where the author suggested we take a step back and actually watch a few trains without taking pictures. As I consider it, I can honestly say that overall, photography has detracted from my overall experience by a slight amount. I guess it's just because only viewing trains through a viewfinder cheapens the overall experience for me, not allowing me to drink in the sounds, smells and other things which I block out in pursuit of that great photograph. How many of us, at the end of a perfect day with the sun setting, a train thundering upgrade towards us in what would be a beautiful picture, could lower the camera and just drink in the experience of a train thundering by? After all, isn't that why we're ultimately there, because we love trains? I definitely want to step back a bit and do this more, and see if I can put a little of the awe back into railfanning which drew me there in the first place.
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Old 08-10-2007, 05:15 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JRMDC
Well, I'll pass on the poll because I am not sure how to measure what I do . . .
My idea was to allow people to take it how they want. If I used the number of photos I shot on a trip/outing, the percentage I would come out with would be somewhere around .0002% so I used how many legitimate train shots I would have excluding cut-off plows, continuous shooting, etc. As I said, take the question how you feel it relates. It may be easier for folks who shoot RAW to get an accurate number.
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Old 08-10-2007, 05:33 PM   #6
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Interesting topic, Andrew.

Out of 100 "usable" shots, I would say I upload between 2 and 5 from most railfan outings. Simply put, I only like to display what I feel is the top tier of my best work publicly.. quality over quantity.
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Old 08-10-2007, 05:36 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ken45
Since you got heavy into rail photography, do you feel it (rail photography) has enhanced or detracted from your rail experience?
Slightly detracted from the rail experience, for the reasons you have given; slightly enhanced the overall experience, because of the second dimension of pleasure, the photography.

Perhaps even neutral or positive on the rail experience, because of the increased desire to see various locations, in order to get different images. If I was primarily interested in the trains, I might visit only a handful of locations (one on subdivision A, one on B, etc.). But now I take an interest in going to a variety of locations, no matter how mundane. Well, not "no matter," but diversity is good, even if some of the locations are blah!
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Old 08-10-2007, 05:45 PM   #8
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I would have to say somewhere in the 1-10% range because I often shoot a series of shots as the train goes by so I don't miss the shot I am going to really like in the end, because I might not have seen it before. For example my family went west to volunteer on the Cumbres and Toltec. Over the week we were there I took 500+ pictures at multiple locations. Of those 500 I only selected 30 to upload to RP. Part of it was I was just trying to get to know my new camera and I learned much from the trip.
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Old 08-10-2007, 08:21 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ken45
How many of us, at the end of a perfect day with the sun setting, a train thundering upgrade towards us in what would be a beautiful picture, could lower the camera and just drink in the experience of a train thundering by? After all, isn't that why we're ultimately there, because we love trains? I definitely want to step back a bit and do this more, and see if I can put a little of the awe back into railfanning which drew me there in the first place.
Hey, that's what cloudy days and trains going in the opposite direction of the sun are for!

There are PLENTY of times when I'm out taking photos that I DON'T raise the camera and take a picture because of poor lighting or whatever. Those are times I sit back and enjoy the power of the passing train.
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Old 08-10-2007, 08:31 PM   #10
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About 1 to 10 percent for me. I take plenty of locomotive and rolling stock roster shots in addition to action shots of the train, plus there's all of the shots on cloudy days that I take mostly for myself.

On a recent trip to Pittsburgh, I took around 400 photos. Among these, 50 were baseball game photos, and another 35 or so were various non-RR shots of the city. In addition, there were about 60 junk shots from Amtrak, plus around 100 roster shots and freight car photos. That left me with around 150 regular train photos. I sent in five of them, and three were accepted.

Obviously, the percentage of photos I send in is higher on normal railfan trips, but it still usually is around 10%. I don't submit a lot of photos here, but I've had about a 50% acceptance rate since summer started, probably because I've been very selective with my submissions lately.
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Old 08-10-2007, 09:32 PM   #11
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It varies way too much with me. If I have a good day, I could upload up to 50% of my train shots. However, if I haven't been to a good location, or just had a bad day creatively, I may upload one or none.

However, if I've worked particularly hard to get a shot, i.e. walking 2.5 miles through a snowstorm, I will definitely upload at least one shot, regardless of how good artistically the shot is.

The most I've ever gotten in is 7 from one trip, and that was the all day ordeal of chasing the triple header for several hours, plus some additional trains we saw along the way. I snapped close to 200 photos that day.
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Old 08-10-2007, 10:05 PM   #12
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I have 29,195 train pictures of which 557 are on RP.net. That works out to roughly 2%.
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Old 08-10-2007, 11:53 PM   #13
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WEll, Ive been very very selective this summer too. Im with Austin, I dont go out in just sunny weather (but, I must say, since I first came to Railpics, Ive been much more selective ) because something good comes at any time, It doesnt wait for weather. I also take a ton of coupled roster shots, and rolling stock shots, like Austin. Now, most are for rrpicturesarchives, because roster shots are always useful, even if they arent perfect. Plus, it shows that the engine is still out rolling around.

A usual day at Northtown and surrounding areas gets me anywhere from 30-60 shots. Out of those, there are many days I dont feel like Ive taken anything but the run of the mill stuff that isnt viewed like mad here. So, If I dont have anything interesting, whether it is power,weather,lighting, or trackside scenery, I choose to not submit anything. Why, because I like to show people my best stuff (and a lot of that is power that people want to see) and make my name look good, instead of popping 20 shots of the same ole' thing. Im glad with my shots here, and Its a place I like to put my best work, or neat I suppose.

Now, the photography=subtraction topic. I kind of agree, because I notice all the little details that I usually notice, only once I look at the shot. If I wasnt concentrating on framing the shot, I would be able to tell you any odd thing about the consist or w/e. Ive found myself totally oblivious to the trailing units until after I take the camera down. Examples are ranging from KCS SD70ACes, to an unpatched BN SD60M. I would like to just look, but most of the time I would rather take a shot (something I will be able to look at over and over, and show people) because that shot has things in it that wont be there in years to come, even days in some instances.

Just my 2 cents (maybe its a bit big for 2 cents )

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Old 08-12-2007, 04:11 PM   #14
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[quote=ken45]I just had a question pop into my mind that I would like to pose to those perusing this thread. Since you got heavy into rail photography, do you feel it (rail photography) has enhanced or detracted from your rail experience?

Interesting question.

I wouldn't continue with rail photography if wasn't enhancing my rail experience. If anything, photography has made me much more aware of the world around me. Things ordinary people miss are noticed by an alert photographer.
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Old 08-12-2007, 06:09 PM   #15
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Out of all the shots I take, I would say ~11-20% are ones that I intend to submit. The others are ones I take for other reasons, whether they're on a cloudy day and I just want to shoot for fun or I want to come home and let my son see something different. Shooting trains shouldn't always be about shooting for RP specifically.
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Old 08-13-2007, 04:12 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by becker
Shooting trains shouldn't always be about shooting for RP specifically.
I agree, shooting for RP is a very dumb thing to do in my mind. You should be shooting for your own enjoyment first of all, and not to fill up your online reputation (worthless) by putting thousands of photos on here. Personally, I enjoy try to achieve that "perfect" photo, and when I get close, it's quite enjoyable. If I can look at a photo and pick out something that I would have done differently if I had the chance, I'm not happy with that photo. I don't understand how someone can be satisfied with getting flawed photos, but in a way they're lucky.

Photography has drastically changed how I enjoy railfanning. I am probably more concerned about the photo, than the train itself. That's not to say that I shoot every train. I believe that good power is a huge factor is how good a photo is. A really good engine can make an OK shot become good. Rarely do I see something that makes me think "Whoa...that was awesome." The only time I go out to see trains is when the conditions are good for photos, any other time just isn't worth it and I'd rather spend my doing something else. Sometimes I go see the TC&W (2 blocks away) when they come through in crappy conditions. I do that to get a chance to see a train while not looking through a viewfinder. Photography may have hindered the "railfan experience" but it has opened new doors because there is more things to take photos of than trains!

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Old 08-13-2007, 04:53 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wirailfan
I wouldn't continue with rail photography if wasn't enhancing my rail experience. If anything, photography has made me much more aware of the world around me. Things ordinary people miss are noticed by an alert photographer.
Well said. I saw a good example today just before heading home from Strasburg, PA. The last train had pulled into the station and the loco (#90) ran around the train to head to the enginehouse for the night, but she had stopped for a drink at the water tank. As I was shooting for the heck of it, I noticed a young boy start crossing the tracks slowly behind the rest of his famiy. Instead of following to the car, he noticed #90 coming up the track (it was actualyl stopped), so he stopped to watch or wait rather. A few minutes went by and the spout still down to the tender the boy started waving his arms to hurry the engine along. His mother (or some female guardian) came back to try to take him to the car but he would have none of that until he saw #90 roll by. Now the point of the story, despite the lack of light, engine being backwards, and an uninteresting scene, the photo had been given a whole new meaning in a split second which turned out to be a few minutes but still; awareness to whats happening has certainly become part of my railfanning experience.
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Old 08-13-2007, 11:36 AM   #18
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hmmm... I'm somewhat torn myself now. Originally, before reading the responses, I said 40-50%. But that 40-50% is from the 'best of the lot.'

For example, on a recent trip to WV, in all I took about 150-200 shots, of which I considered about 30 to be 'top tier,' of which I uploaded 15. So does that mean I up loaded 50% or 10%?
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Old 08-13-2007, 04:10 PM   #19
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I would have to say 1 - 10% of my photos go up on RP of what I actually shoot. When I go out to photograph, on whatever subject I do, I take many test shots and am constantly trying new techniques. On a good trip, I'll shoot well over 50 photos, many of which will end up in my personal collection. Some photos are just for so called "reconnaissance" and let me keep track of good photo angles of locations and the location's surroundings.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike B.
The only time I go out to see trains is when the conditions are good for photos, any other time just isn't worth it and I'd rather spend my doing something else.

This is just me, but I would have to disagree rather strongly with this comment. Trains will run no matter what kind of weather is present. Shooting only in sunny, clear weather gets rather boring after awhile and one looses the opportunity for many interesting photos that occur in all weather types. There are things that individuals will only see in rain, snow, severe weather and weather occurances of that sort, that can't be seen in sunny weather. Sure, sunny weather will produce excellent photos 100% of the time and is the easiest to capture (if done correctly), but shooting in poor weather is challenging and pushes the photographer to use all of his skills necessary to get an excellent photo. Not worth it you say? Just take a look around at the database. It has changed my mind from when I first started.
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Old 08-13-2007, 07:01 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quiksmith10
This is just me, but I would have to disagree rather strongly with this comment. Trains will run no matter what kind of weather is present. Shooting only in sunny, clear weather gets rather boring after awhile and one looses the opportunity for many interesting photos that occur in all weather types. There are things that individuals will only see in rain, snow, severe weather and weather occurances of that sort, that can't be seen in sunny weather. Sure, sunny weather will produce excellent photos 100% of the time and is the easiest to capture (if done correctly), but shooting in poor weather is challenging and pushes the photographer to use all of his skills necessary to get an excellent photo. Not worth it you say? Just take a look around at the database. It has changed my mind from when I first started.
Yes, I know trains run regardless of the weather. I never said that sunny weather is the only good weather to shoot in, because it isn't. Some of my favorite photos were taken when it wasn't sunny. If it's not looking too good for photos and no good trains are coming, I'll spend my time doing something else. It's not that I don't want to see these trains, but it's good to do something other than railfanning, the line has to be drawn somewhere. If I know of a really good train coming and it's not sunny, I'll probably go see it and try my best to work with the weather I have. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. I much prefer to shoot in sunny weather, but I do go out when it's not, it just takes a lot for me to do that. I'm not going to go out in cloudy weather and shoot a Dash 9. If it's gray overcast outside, it will take a once in a lifetime train to get me out there. There are more options in weather than sunny and overcast.

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Old 08-19-2007, 04:06 PM   #21
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WELL let's see;

Percentage submitted after a day or week of shooting, 75%

Percentage approved and put on the website, 0%

So, not really sure how to answer this question.

Thanks for listening.
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Old 08-21-2007, 03:38 PM   #22
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Interesting question as I have just come back from two weeks away with the best part of 500 photos - haven't even had time to download them all to the computer yet!

Many of them are of the same scene / subject so some will undoubtedly get deleted in the sorting process. There are a few which stand out from memory and I would be hopeful of getting at least 10 onto RP. A few more would probably have been considered but for the weather and factors like "high sun".

During the holiday we went on two tours with lots of photo oppotunities. The first was dogged by indifferent weather and I am not anticipating many RP-worthy results from that outing. Given good weather, I would expect at least two or three (from around 100 pix) to make it on here.

The second trip was specifically a photo charter and blessed with brilliant sunshine for the most part, the difficulty here would be choosing the "best" (or my favourites) for RP.

At the end of the day though, all the photos were taken because I wanted to - any that get onto RP are just a nice bonus. Regarding the debate on whether photography enhances the "railfan experience" or not - my view is that if I can (and want to!) take a photo of it, I will, unless the light or angle is really dire or there is something in the way.
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