Old 06-17-2014, 01:43 AM   #26
Ron Flanary
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When I said "I have" with respect to Loyd's comment, in no way did I mean my Flickr account. Let's get that off the table: I only started with Flickr to expand my sharing of images (not replace my uploading to RP.net)--particularly in a manner that would allow me to self-select my own shots without asking anyone to pass judgement. And----it's been fun.

You either change and adapt with the times, or you risk becoming irrelevant (remember MySpace?). I enjoy Facebook now, but even that's getting to be rather old school. There's always a better mousetrap out there.

What I was saying (but not saying) was I have some ideas on how RP.net could change its practices to become a little more user friendly, particularly to good to very good photographers. Right now, the same shoe is supposed to fit someone with 50 years of experience in this field, but also the guy who just took his first digital train shot at a grade crossing yesterday. Is that appropriate and fair? Perhaps...but it's not realistic or logical.

Is the site primarily to showcase YOUR work to others....or see the work of other photographers? For me, it's both. Yes, I do enjoy seeing the camera work of other people. It can be inspiring (and, it can also be incredibly boring).

I haven't taken the time to refine my thoughts or bang them out into text---and I probably won't. It's not my site, and I don't sense any interest from the owners in making changes. Consequently, I'll post a few shots every now and then---and hold my tongue if I get rejected (...it might be worth noting here that I vented on my Facebook page about a rejection I got not very long ago...and my wife saw it. She gave me a mild lecture about being childish---like, "wa, wa, wa....they rejected my train picture!!" And of course, she was right. I should be older and wiser than I acted.).

But---I'm also adding some shots to my Flickr account. Why? Because it's fun. That's the only reason I do this.

(NOTE: Actually, I've been contacted by a number of folks who have requested my images based on what they've found on RP.net. Most recently: Trains Magazine asked for a shot of mine taken at Kelso, CA. It'll be the cover of the August issue ($$). Had it not been for RP.net, they would have never guessed that I had the shot they needed. Otherwise, it would have just languished in a forgotten slide box for years to come....long after I would be dead and gone.).
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Old 06-17-2014, 03:27 AM   #27
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Well said Ron.
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Old 06-17-2014, 04:55 AM   #28
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I have nothing to add to this thread other than...I LIKE TRAINS!

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Old 06-17-2014, 05:16 AM   #29
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I have nothing to add to this thread other than...I LIKE TRAINS!

Trolleys are better!

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Old 06-17-2014, 05:45 AM   #30
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Right now, the same shoe is supposed to fit someone with 50 years of experience in this field, but also the guy who just took his first digital train shot at a grade crossing yesterday. Is that appropriate and fair?
If anything, if we're going to have different standards and criteria for different "generations" of photographer, shouldn't we hold the guys who've been doing this for four decades to a higher standard, while giving a bit more leeway to those who are just learning?
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Old 06-17-2014, 07:47 AM   #31
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If anything, if we're going to have different standards and criteria for different "generations" of photographer, shouldn't we hold the guys who've been doing this for four decades to a higher standard, while giving a bit more leeway to those who are just learning?
What Ron is saying, I believe, is that those photographers just learning do not typically take as good a photo as those shooting for four decades. Better to have something good that's .05 degrees unlevel then something mediocre that's perfectly level. Or, more specifically, something out of the ordinary from someone established then something ordinary from someone new.

Here's a simple set of suggestions I'll bring back from the RPArchives:

1) Earned passes after an initial reject based on "achievement". Or earned "levels" of benefits.

This could be one rejected appeal override for every year you've been a member with carry over. Or, for every 100 images... 500 images, whatever, accepted images. A specific average view per photo, though you would need to adjust for shots that get views based on other merits - girls, wrecks and links (or, not - if you simply want wreckless "free" views). Also, I could see people cutting back or removing some excellent photos that typically do not get high views (stations, displays, B&W's) - so that could be tricky.

2) Just lighten up! Hold fast on technical rejections (though maybe not to the degree often seen (unlevel by undetectable amounts)) but be more tolerant of the images that are discretionary in nature. Just because one or two photographers (likely of the same age bracket) do not find a composition appealing does not mean an audience of tens of thousands will not thing otherwise.

3) Maintain consistency - if one duplicate photo can get accepted, why not all? Best, not first, right? If a random photo with overcast skies is acceptable once, why not all the time? If a panoramic shot is OK once, why not always? If 1 degree unlevel is OK once, why not all the time - answer -see #2. If one note can get in, why not all notes. One animal, why not another.

4) Show some respect - use the comments from screener more often - especially after someone puts in the time to write a book for the caption, or when someone TRIES to present a possible unseen perspective on the virtues of an unusual composition or subject.

5) See Admin Suggestions /Admin "Todo" list.

Now - one trick will be getting the folks who left to come back (just might happen all by itself based on word of mouth). The updated rejections were step, but that seemed more about retention and attracting new patrons.

Second trick - how do you get great photographers to stick with the process.

Great photographers as in those on RP but with only a couple of images or new photographers well renowned for their work elsewhere. I think you might want to fast track a benefits package (such as above) to them - or maybe a more tolerant screening system will suffice. I'd just hate to see RP tell Jim Wrinn to get lost and tell Scott Lothes he can get a free appeal after uploading 30 more images. Here's where I can finally find merit in the statement - it's your site, you can do what you want. Better to accept a few more then to concede an inordinate number to FLICKR /500 PX.

Last trick - dare I say, show a little humility and invite some folks back. I'm with Ron on his perspective on RP; better to fix something good then to await something new from scratch. The nuts and bolts are here, they just all need some tightening. In the meantime, looks like I'll be adding website bookmarks to see the work from a good majority of my favorite photographers. And continue to use a site like FLCKR where a search for "New Hope Steam" will likely yield only a trivial percent of New Hope and Ivyland Railroad images along with a plethora of unrelated images of flowers, benches and hotdogs that some idiots tagged with either the word "New" and/or "Hope".

/Mitch

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Old 06-17-2014, 11:40 AM   #32
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... FLCKR where a search for "New Hope Steam" will likely yield only a trivial percent of New Hope and Ivyland Railroad images along with a plethora of unrelated images of flowers, benches and hotdogs that some idiots tagged with either the word "New" and/or "Hope".

/Mitch
Oh, I don't know... search on Flickr for "New Hope and Ivyland Railroad and get 124 relevant hits and only 1 irrelevant.

As for rejections, it's not the "unlevels" that have tempted me to leave half a dozen times.

It's the "noise/grain" that's virtually invisible without magnification.
It's the arbitrary "light on the nose".
It's the "front-coupled" on locos that are doing what they do every day- shoving cuts of cars.

BTW, all the above were on rarities or fallen flags that certainly would have gotten 1000 or more views.
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Old 06-17-2014, 12:16 PM   #33
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What Ron is saying, I believe, is that those photographers …….benches and hotdogs that some idiots tagged with either the word "New" and/or "Hope".

/Mitch

Very well said as well.
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Old 06-17-2014, 12:17 PM   #34
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Trolleys are better!

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Get it right Loyd, it's TRACTION
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Old 06-17-2014, 12:54 PM   #35
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Get it right Loyd, it's TRACTION
Search "traction" get:
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Old 06-17-2014, 01:43 PM   #36
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Health care workers don't like the word traction

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Old 06-17-2014, 02:17 PM   #37
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If anything, if we're going to have different standards and criteria for different "generations" of photographer, shouldn't we hold the guys who've been doing this for four decades to a higher standard, while giving a bit more leeway to those who are just learning?
Of course not. Would that mean the older guys would have to upload images that are more level, sharper, better composed, with better color, better contrast, etc.? That would be absurd. Besides, the new guy could easily bag the shot of the century during his first week of train photography.

A rookie, called up from the minors because of an emergency, and with the bench depleted, could find himself at the plate with the bases loaded and his team down 3-0 with two outs in the bottom of the ninth in the seventh game of the World Series---and with one swing of the bat, hit one into the upper deck for a grand slam. His at-bat counts the same as the veteran future hall of famer and six time all-star who took a called third strike just before him.

Take a moment and read Mitch's comments---because that's very close to what I've been thinking.

Veteran photographers have paid their dues and learned the craft. That doesn't mean they're better, or that they can't learn new things. I see images on RP every day (well...I used to...the really good shots have dried up lately) taken by photographers 30 to 40 years younger than me that absolutely blow me away.

However---veteran photographers (those who can consistently deliver a "quality" image) expect some degree of respect. Seniority and achievement should count for something. Clearly, they don't get it at RP. And because of that, they never show up at all...or they walk. We're all deprived of seeing their great material, and the site is the weaker for it.

You don't get the experience of speaking to a peer whose work you've admired for years. "You should post a few of your shots to Rail Pictures." Many of the responses are not appropriate to be documented here, but suffice to say I get a lot of "no thanks..." It doesn't take long for word to get around---or for some of these same veterans who have wrestled with RP to either blow up and get mad as hell....or simply stop posting shots altogether. As we've noted here several times, people do vote with their feet (or their mouse or cursor).

It's the law of diminishing returns at work here. It's the same as if the gene pool gets contaminated by too much inbreeding. After a while, all the photos follow the same formula---and they all tend to look the same. I know that's not RP's intentions---but that's what it becomes, and is becoming.

Finally....it's not about me. I probably get 90 percent of my shots accepted, so I have no reason to bitch. I think they're okay shots...and I've learned more about getting a good scan and Photoshop work over the years (even old dogs learn new tricks). I still get a few rejections, of course---some of them for good reason, and of course some of them I would contest as b.s. As of this morning, I have 3,144 images on RP. It's not as if I have another 3,000 or more great shots just waiting to be scanned (although I do have a few...).

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Old 06-17-2014, 02:42 PM   #38
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I've been reading this with interest as I have a historic UP slide collection that I'm willing to post somewhere. I think my first choice would be RP. However, I'm not sure on how I should set this up. A separate account as collection of? Would that limit my uploads to two a day? This would take forever to get the collection on.

Second choice would be flickr, where I can get a bunch on very quickly. No hassles.

Here are some examples of pics in the collection.







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Old 06-17-2014, 03:34 PM   #39
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Well, Chris....this is absolutely killer UP material!! I would suggest you post it to RP under a "Collection of Chris Zygmunt" account (I have one for shots of mine that I have not taken, but that are historic scenes from my collection by other photographers). And...I would also suggest Flickr as well. I'm doing both these days.

I LOVE these shots! Smokin' F-units at Dale Junction....not one, but two turbines back to back....and a fantastic lash up of power at Echo Canyon---GE U50s spliced by the dirtiest SD24B I've ever seen---and SP run-through power. This is great vintage material at its best.
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Old 06-17-2014, 08:05 PM   #40
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...spliced by the dirtiest SD24B I've ever seen
It boggles my mind that people can ID a locomotive like this.

You can barely see it. How do you know what model it is???
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Old 06-17-2014, 09:01 PM   #41
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If anything, if we're going to have different standards and criteria for different "generations" of photographer, shouldn't we hold the guys who've been doing this for four decades to a higher standard, while giving a bit more leeway to those who are just learning?
In simple terms, no.

The way it stands now, RP has a specific set of guidelines and standards that it holds to - however, due to the inconsistency of human nature and the screeners being human the rubric is at best dynamic and at worst porous.

Because of this, I think it is fair to say that the threshold for getting a photo on can be at different levels at different times. (Not a complaint - the nature of being human.)

So there may be some mutual advantage to the screening team and the submitters if based on this knowledge folks who have been publishing in Trains and books for decades (or even some of the younger ones who have proven themselves standouts) automatically get a lower threshold, while others who are not proven (such as myself frankly) still must jump over the higher threshold.

Look at it this way - if you did not like a dish served to you by Nobu Matsushisa, you would still know that it's probably going to taste wonderful to others because you can trust the man who created it. On the other hand, if you didn't like something served you at Denny's you would be more dismissive of it period and think no one else would like it either.

Besides, the big name guys, even in failure, are showing us interesting stuff. Would you rather watch Pujols bat or me bat? Would you feel ripped off if Pujols struck out? I don't think so. You would still have seen an expert do his best and swing with majesty. On the other hand, if you saw me struck out, you'd have seen an idiot trying his best.

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Old 06-17-2014, 09:05 PM   #42
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It boggles my mind that people can ID a locomotive like this.

You can barely see it. How do you know what model it is???
Takes all of two seconds... the only B unit SDs with the first generation style body were SD24Bs, so what else could it be?
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Old 06-17-2014, 10:35 PM   #43
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Takes all of two seconds... the only B unit SDs with the first generation style body were SD24Bs, so what else could it be?
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Old 06-17-2014, 11:05 PM   #44
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I've been reading this with interest as I have a historic UP slide collection that I'm willing to post somewhere. I think my first choice would be RP. However, I'm not sure on how I should set this up. A separate account as collection of? Would that limit my uploads to two a day? This would take forever to get the collection on.

Second choice would be flickr, where I can get a bunch on very quickly. No hassles.

Here are some examples of pics in the collection.







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Drool........
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Old 06-18-2014, 01:33 AM   #45
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It boggles my mind that people can ID a locomotive like this.

You can barely see it. How do you know what model it is???
You can also see that the SP units are two SD45's spliced by a SD45T-2 tunnel motor. That lash up would place the time frame around 1974 or so. This is what railfanning was about.

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Old 06-18-2014, 02:34 AM   #46
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I am with Tice.


Or is it Mice?
Or Rice?
Or Slice?
Or Lice…?
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Old 06-18-2014, 03:11 AM   #47
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I am with Tice.


Or is it Mice?
Or Rice?
Or Slice?
Or Lice…?
The cheese stands alone...
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Old 06-18-2014, 03:12 AM   #48
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It boggles my mind that people can ID a locomotive like this.

You can barely see it. How do you know what model it is???
I've been doing this crap for a long, long time...so I've amassed a great deal of expertise--probably more accidentally than on purpose. I knew UP had SD24Bs, and this one didn't have a cab. Easy...
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Old 06-18-2014, 03:14 AM   #49
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You can also see that the SP units are two SD45's spliced by a SD45T-2 tunnel motor.
I can rivet count with the best of them, but damned if I can see the second or third SP unit, maybe you guys have bigger monitors or better eyes than me. It's all a blur to me after that first SD45
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Old 06-18-2014, 03:16 AM   #50
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... Would you rather watch Pujols bat or me bat? ...
If you---by some miracle--put on an Angels uniform and walked up to the plate in a major league game, I would buy a ticket (from a scalper, no less) and be there to see it---no matter where it was. It would be worth it.

I wouldn't do that for Pujols. Just sayin'.
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