Old 10-21-2010, 01:01 AM   #1
IHapsias
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http://www.railpictures.net/viewreje...&key=317828983
http://www.railpictures.net/viewreje...d=867295&key=0

This puts me to about 35 straight rejections. Advice is desperately needed.

I am told more than half the battle is my 'camera'. Yes, I am that sad that I counted.

Fire away boys n' girls, and don't let up.
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Old 10-21-2010, 01:13 AM   #2
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First: it's near square. RP doesn't like square. This composition doesn't look good square, in my opinion. If you are 1024 pixels wide you should be 683-819 pixels tall, for RP probably closer to the lower end in many instances, and you are around 900. This one, crop the top. But the light, I can't tell, but it looks light overcast, does not look sunny at all, not well lit. Just not a day to take a standard wedgie and hope for RP acceptance. Try something else on a day like that or just accept in advance that it isn't going to be an RP day.

Second: going away shot! RP does not like those, generally speaking. (BTW, unrelated to the rejection, but detail matters. You have cut off half of the crossbucks in the background, you need a shot taken a few seconds later. Detail matters.)

Generally speaking, with all those rejects, I suspect that you are not doing enough thinking about what you are doing and what works. What have you learned from your 35 rejects? Seriously, write it down in this thread, let's start from there. If you don't remember, you didn't learn anything, too bad.
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Old 10-21-2010, 01:17 AM   #3
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First: it's near square. RP doesn't like square. This composition doesn't look good square, in my opinion. If you are 1024 pixels wide you should be 683-819 pixels tall, for RP probably closer to the lower end in many instances, and you are around 900. This one, crop the top. But the light, I can't tell, but it looks light overcast, does not look sunny at all, not well lit. Just not a day to take a standard wedgie and hope for RP acceptance. Try something else on a day like that or just accept in advance that it isn't going to be an RP day.

Second: going away shot! RP does not like those, generally speaking. (BTW, unrelated to the rejection, but detail matters. You have cut off half of the crossbucks in the background, you need a shot taken a few seconds later. Detail matters.)

Generally speaking, with all those rejects, I suspect that you are not doing enough thinking about what you are doing and what works. What have you learned from your 35 rejects? Seriously, write it down in this thread, let's start from there. If you don't remember, you didn't learn anything, too bad.
Maybe I need to start fresh, yank all from the site, and try it all over again? Appreciate your help Sir.

Last edited by IHapsias; 10-21-2010 at 01:19 AM.
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Old 10-21-2010, 01:19 AM   #4
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35 straight rejections? And you still have 10 upload slots? wtf...........
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Old 10-21-2010, 01:21 AM   #5
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35 straight rejections? And you still have 10 upload slots? wtf...........
I don't have a RPElite membership.... Its only 3 a day now for non RPElite members. Its embarrassing, I know, and I deserve it for submitting such mediocre photos that I should have known were not going to make it.
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Old 10-21-2010, 01:21 AM   #6
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Maybe I need to start fresh, yank all from the site, and try it all over again? Appreciate your help Sir.
No need to yank shots, why "try it all over again"? It is very hard to pick up tone from simple posts, but this seems a bit drama queen-ish. Just keep working at it but with more focus.

Or maybe you are joking, hard to tell on the web.

Seriously, describe the 35 to us.
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Old 10-21-2010, 01:26 AM   #7
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No need to yank shots, why "try it all over again"? It is very hard to pick up tone from simple posts, but this seems a bit drama queen-ish. Just keep working at it but with more focus.

Or maybe you are joking, hard to tell on the web.

Seriously, describe the 35 to us.
I have 11 in the rejection queue right now.
http://www.railpictures.net/viewreje...&key=317828983
http://www.railpictures.net/viewreje...d=867295&key=0
http://www.railpictures.net/viewreje...3&key=78979935
http://www.railpictures.net/viewreje...&key=373165777
http://www.railpictures.net/viewreje...4&key=79277177
http://www.railpictures.net/viewreje...&key=673686614
http://www.railpictures.net/viewreje...d=866130&key=0
http://www.railpictures.net/viewreje...d=866125&key=0
http://www.railpictures.net/viewreje...d=865653&key=0
http://www.railpictures.net/viewreje...key=1296237168
http://www.railpictures.net/viewreje...key=1229388964


There were a lot more the last one, I had 5 different rejection reasons on the photo. Before that were just different photos that were 1 time tries and didn't make the cut.
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Old 10-21-2010, 01:36 AM   #8
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IIRC correctly, every one of those has been discussed here. So you are getting the feedback. Some general comments:

- get the technical details right. No reason for unlevel, no reason for wrong dimensions (near square). Get the stuff under your easy control right.

- forget about the BW. Get the basics right first, consider that a later addition to your skills. And for gods sake forget about processing tricks like selective shadows. Just stick to the basics. At this point the special stuff is throwing you off rather than helping, I suspect.

- stick with standard compositions when you can, things that work consistently. Nothing where everything is far away, where the nose is centered, etc. Stick to the basics for now.

misc:

Santa Fe - nice shot, were you standing immediately next to Tom Mugnano when you took it? See 338461. Try again in a month or two, maybe.
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Old 10-21-2010, 01:41 AM   #9
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Ian: I have a few suggestions for what they are worth:

1) On the first shot it was a cloudy day. Go back on a sunny day and take the exact same shot with another train.

2) Second shot, the train is going away. RP does not accept a lot of those.

Several of your rejections are for "Size (Dimensions)". Use photo editing software to correctly size your photograph. Do it for every picture you submit.

Several of your rejections are for either composition, balance or cropping. Do NOT put the nose of the train in the center of the picture. Rule of thirds. Nose of the train to the left or right.

A couple were for being unlevel. Use your photo editing software to level the shots. If you do not have photo editing software, buy it. Christmas is coming up if you want to stick a relative with the cost of the purchase.

It is not your camera. Your camera is great. Most of your shots are easily fixable if you re-shoot them.

..oh yeah...and do everything JRMDC said.
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Old 10-21-2010, 01:52 AM   #10
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This takes all the creativity away but...

Have you tried looking through the database at old photos for locations you are planning on going to in the near future? If you know in advance that you're free this weekend and want to head over to McKeesport then look up photos from other photographers in McKeesport taken around this time of year and try your best to replicate what they have done. This might make it easier to understand what works and what does not.

I think you may simply need better planning skills. Anytime I know I am going to be at a certain place I usually already have an idea of what I am going for before I even get there.
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Old 10-21-2010, 01:53 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by JRMDC View Post
IIRC correctly, every one of those has been discussed here. So you are getting the feedback. Some general comments:

- get the technical details right. No reason for unlevel, no reason for wrong dimensions (near square). Get the stuff under your easy control right.

- forget about the BW. Get the basics right first, consider that a later addition to your skills. And for gods sake forget about processing tricks like selective shadows. Just stick to the basics. At this point the special stuff is throwing you off rather than helping, I suspect.

- stick with standard compositions when you can, things that work consistently. Nothing where everything is far away, where the nose is centered, etc. Stick to the basics for now.

misc:

Santa Fe - nice shot, were you standing immediately next to Tom Mugnano when you took it? See 338461. Try again in a month or two, maybe.
Yes sir. I have another photo from a slightly different angle I WAS going to try, but after realizing my mistakes, its staying off the queue till another 2 or 3 months.
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Old 10-21-2010, 01:56 AM   #12
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Ian: I have a few suggestions for what they are worth:

1) On the first shot it was a cloudy day. Go back on a sunny day and take the exact same shot with another train.

2) Second shot, the train is going away. RP does not accept a lot of those.

Several of your rejections are for "Size (Dimensions)". Use photo editing software to correctly size your photograph. Do it for every picture you submit.

Several of your rejections are for either composition, balance or cropping. Do NOT put the nose of the train in the center of the picture. Rule of thirds. Nose of the train to the left or right.

A couple were for being unlevel. Use your photo editing software to level the shots. If you do not have photo editing software, buy it. Christmas is coming up if you want to stick a relative with the cost of the purchase.

It is not your camera. Your camera is great. Most of your shots are easily fixable if you re-shoot them.

..oh yeah...and do everything JRMDC said.
I have Picasa3 and IRFanview, both are free download softwares.. Maybe I needed this. This weekend if weather permits I'm going to make sure I do a lot of mimicking.
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Old 10-21-2010, 01:57 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by PLEzero View Post
This takes all the creativity away but...

Have you tried looking through the database at old photos for locations you are planning on going to in the near future? If you know in advance that you're free this weekend and want to head over to McKeesport then look up photos from other photographers in McKeesport taken around this time of year and try your best to replicate what they have done. This might make it easier to understand what works and what does not.

I think you may simply need better planning skills. Anytime I know I am going to be at a certain place I usually already have an idea of what I am going for before I even get there.
I will take your advice to the fullest. This weekend I will make sure to try so.
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Old 10-21-2010, 01:58 AM   #14
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Everyone, I want to thank you for giving me this wake-up call on how to have fun on the site and submit photos to get into the database. I will make copies of this forum later tomorrow and save these to my computer. Thanks again everyone, and sorry for my drama.
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Old 10-21-2010, 01:58 AM   #15
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The Santa Fe is the only good one out of the batch really, well that and the CSX SD40-2 but the composition on that one is a problem.
Do some screener fishing with the Santa Fe SD75M's, Its a nice shot and has enough difference from Tom's.
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Old 10-21-2010, 02:07 AM   #16
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The most important part is that you are here asking for help. To me, thats a good sign.
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I personally have had a problem with those trying to tell us to turn railroad photography into an "art form." It's fine for them to do so, I welcome it in fact, but what I do have a problem with is that the practitioners of the more "arty" shots, I have found, tend to look down their nose's at others who are shooting more "mundane" shots.
Railroad photography is what you make of it, but one way is not "better" than another, IMHO. Unless you have a pole right thought the nose of the engine! -SG
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Old 10-21-2010, 02:31 AM   #17
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I'm still waiting for my first accepted photo. Rejections do pile up and become frustrating but if you listen to advice and have an open mind then it isn't too bad. I like all my rejected photos, even if they don't make it on RP I still enjoy sharing them. Railroad photography isn't about getting a shot on a site, it's about documenting what you enjoy.
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Old 10-21-2010, 07:38 PM   #18
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Lightbulb They gave me only 1 per day.

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I don't have a RPElite membership.... Its only 3 a day now for non RPElite members. Its embarrassing, I know, and I deserve it for submitting such mediocre photos that I should have known were not going to make it.
After they got mad at me I only had 1 a day until I lobbied and got more per day.

Your first shot has bad contrast (seems washed out) and the side of the train (the cars) are in the shade - very bad.

The second one has a car on the front of the engine.

If you are going to shoot DPU's do it like this:

Image © EL ROCO Photography
PhotoID: 334621
Photograph © EL ROCO Photography


Also, take into account that they don't normally go for low angle shots which is why I was surprised this one got in.

Image © EL ROCO Photography
PhotoID: 341492
Photograph © EL ROCO Photography


this one, no:

Distributed Power II - A Pair of General Electric ES44DC's

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Old 10-21-2010, 11:40 PM   #19
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After they got mad at me I only had 1 a day until I lobbied and got more per day.

Your first shot has bad contrast (seems washed out) and the side of the train (the cars) are in the shade - very bad.

The second one has a car on the front of the engine.

If you are going to shoot DPU's do it like this:

Image © EL ROCO Photography
PhotoID: 334621
Photograph © EL ROCO Photography


Also, take into account that they don't normally go for low angle shots which is why I was surprised this one got in.

Image © EL ROCO Photography
PhotoID: 341492
Photograph © EL ROCO Photography


this one, no:

Distributed Power II - A Pair of General Electric ES44DC's
DPU's are not used on Sandpatch, its manned crews. But anyways, I see it all now. I was too stuck up to notice what I was doing wrong. I am glad I did what I did on this exact forum, because it showed the flaws I should have noticed a while ago.
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Old 10-22-2010, 12:10 AM   #20
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Brad's advice was terrific, and it's something that I sometimes remember to do. It's amazing how you may not see the best angle or framing until you see it in someone else's shot. I can't tell you how many times I've been along with another railfan and after the train has passed I've looked at the framing of their shots and I'm ashamed at what I did instead.

That being said, there's even more value in getting creative and doing your own framing... just, because I have a sense you're struggling at the moment, for the time being, be a copy cat (but be the best copy cat that there is).
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Old 10-22-2010, 12:11 AM   #21
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this one, no:

Distributed Power II - A Pair of General Electric ES44DC's
I'm guessing that was rejected for "PO77 - The Paint on a BNSF 7700 Series Locomotive is often faded, resulting in a poor looking photography."
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Old 10-22-2010, 12:24 AM   #22
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The things I've learned on this forum:

1.) If the sun isn't out, it better be bad weather or something rare.

2.) If the sun is out, your shadow better be pointing at it or it'll probably be backlit.

3.) Going away shots need to be going towards something pretty awesome.

4.) Don't be a square, when it comes to cropping

5.) Keep the train out of the center.

If you have photoshop elements (and I'm sure a lot of programs have this) when you go to crop, it puts a cross at the center of the photograph. The cross shouldn't' be on the train. I was editing a picture today and I noticed the train was always on the cross no matter how I cropped it. I selected a diff picture to edit.

Another thing I've just started doing is selecting something that will serve as the center of the picture and then letting the train move into the picture.

Also

http://suncalc.net

and

http://stephentrainor.com/tools

Are invaluable tools for calculating which way the light will be coming from at a given time and location.
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Old 10-22-2010, 12:31 AM   #23
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Lightbulb It was part of something else.

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I'm guessing that was rejected for "PO77 - The Paint on a BNSF 7700 Series Locomotive is often faded, resulting in a poor looking photography."
BNSF 7700 is part of the Barstow / LA power pool and I see it often - like last night leading a stack up the hill through Fullerton.

I don't think I submitted this one because it was too obvious.

It is on my Flickr page and is part of a set of three.

Distributed Power I - Remnants of a V8 Engine Distributor with Vacuum Advance

Distributed Power II - A Pair of General Electric ES44DC's

Distributed Power III - High Tension Wires

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Old 10-22-2010, 12:57 AM   #24
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BNSF 7700 is part of the Barstow / LA power pool and I see it often - like last night leading a stack up the hill through Fullerton.

I don't think I submitted this one because it was too obvious.
Nice series... yeah, the 7700s are probably the worst looking locomotives on the BNSF. I've been told that being in the captive pool they are often subjected to very harsh chemical soaps to clean off the graffiti and this has caused the fading, but others have told me other stories on why they look that way (harsh water in Bartsow, cheap paint, etc.).
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Old 10-22-2010, 01:42 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by Greg P View Post
The things I've learned on this forum:

1.) If the sun isn't out, it better be bad weather or something rare.

2.) If the sun is out, your shadow better be pointing at it or it'll probably be backlit.

3.) Going away shots need to be going towards something pretty awesome.

4.) Don't be a square, when it comes to cropping

5.) Keep the train out of the center.

If you have photoshop elements (and I'm sure a lot of programs have this) when you go to crop, it puts a cross at the center of the photograph. The cross shouldn't' be on the train. I was editing a picture today and I noticed the train was always on the cross no matter how I cropped it. I selected a diff picture to edit.

Another thing I've just started doing is selecting something that will serve as the center of the picture and then letting the train move into the picture.

Also

http://suncalc.net

and

http://stephentrainor.com/tools

Are invaluable tools for calculating which way the light will be coming from at a given time and location.
Not exactly. This really just pertains to shooting wedgies. Some of the best pictures on RP break these "rules" but as long as you are shooting wedgies, what you said is spot on.
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