I got rejected from Model Railroader

Discussion in 'Photos & Videos' started by csxengineer, Jun 20, 2008.

  1. nkp174

    nkp174 Active Member

    A couple years ago I tried to submit this photo to Kalmbach, but it was rejected (the cited reason was that it didn't fit any of their current needs). Oh well...it's still my favorite railroad photograph not shot by William H. Jackson or O. Winston Link.

    Incorporate CNJ999's suggestions and try again...I certain that getting published would be really exciting...I think my dad's kept every copy of Trains and Railfan in which his pictures have appeared.

    Attached Files:

  2. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    That's a really nice shot, I can't believe the clarity of this at the resolution you posted it at.:thumb:
  3. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

    Another thing to keep in mind is that there are many amateur train photographers. Go to any railfan excusrsion and you will see dozens of railfans lining up in a photo line to get the same staged photo. The more ambitious will pay top dollar for a limited-seat excursion arranged by a more well-known photographer, and that way their photos will be more unique.

    My point is, I bet the magazines get overwhelmed by submissions, especially with the prevalence of digital cameras. I can look at the photos on this forum and say "great job!" and really mean it. I can't think of too much criticism or advice on what to do better. Yet, if I was the editor of a magazine, and had to choose the best 6 out of 600 entries, the task becomes daunting. That means a lot of good photos have to get rejected.

  4. nkp174

    nkp174 Active Member

    Definitely! A big deal now, which didn't exist 10 years ago, is to not only charter a train, but to also arrange actors in period dress and period autos/props. Typically they are arranged for 50 or so photographs whom shell out hundreds of $$$.

    I'm really happy my Jenbach photo worked...it was almost dark enough to force my camera down from 5 mega pixels to 1 mega pixel /800 speed (which happened 2min later and let to every picture being blurry). I'm certain that it being a European setting greatly hurt its chances...as I can't recall seeing many European trains in Kalmbach's magazines.

    Thanks for the compliment ezdays.
  5. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

    An aside - these railfan excursursions are what pays for the restoration and maintenance of historic equipment. The D&RGW 315 is a good example. I wish I could ride one of their excursions out of chama or durango, but can't seem to find the time and money in my budget right now (4 buck gas does not help!). Truth here is that excusrion riders *love* photo lines and staged photos. My favorite thing to do is taking photos of all the people taking photos. But without the photo runbys, the riders feel short-changed, and may not ride again in the future. Of course, the end result is hundreds of photos taken at the same spot at the same time on the same day of the same subject at slightly different angles flooding the photo contests and magazine entries. When pictures were taken on film, I think there was a greater disparity between the really good ones and the bad ones. With digital photos, an average person with an average camera can take a great photo, and if it isn't perfect, the imperfections can be easily adjusted with photoshop.

    My advice? Keep taking the photos, and posting them here, whether the magazines publish them or not. Just becausse the magazine does not publish them does not mean they arent good.

  6. CNJ999

    CNJ999 Member

    While I'll certainly agree that there are probably no lack of submissions to the magazines (modelling or prototype), I would point out that there is a very wide gulf between those who are simply picture-takers and those who are worthy of the title "photographer".

    If one really wishes to get published, they need a reasonably good understanding of how to work composition, lighting, conveying a feeling or mood and story telling. To be very honest, 98% of the model images posted on-line would never make the grade as publishable because of shortcoming in these areas. I believe that MR is the only modelling magazine currently with a reader's photo gallery section. They have very high standards and know just what looks good and can help sell the magazine. That's why they are so difficult to get published in.

  7. nolatron

    nolatron Member

    There's a particular railpictures.net submitter that does a lot of these. Look great, but I still prefer the good ole "right place, right time" unique pictures over the staged ones.
  8. lester perry

    lester perry Active Member

    I would suggest using telephoto if that is available. That will give you more depth of field(larger area in focus). also if you can't control aperture try changing the shutter speed if you can. Faster shutter speed would force camera to open the aperture. also less light will force aperture to open. This may also slow the shutter speed which could force you to use a tripod which I would suggest using any way with self timer or cable release. Hope this helps
  9. railohio

    railohio Active Member

    Using a telephoto lens will reduce your depth-of-field at a given aperture, not increase it relative to a wider lens.
  10. acsoosub

    acsoosub Member

    csxengineer: no offense, but the photos could use some improvement. (Not trying to dump on you, just point out where they can use some improvement/practice.)

    First photo is massively out of focus in the foreground, and unlevel.

    Second photo also out of focus in foreground, and lighting isn't great (side of engine facing the camera is a bit dark). Your river scene looks nice though.

    Last photo again, out of focus foreground and background and really obvious snap switch in the foreground. (Better if you could take it at an angle that doesn't really show that switch.

    Best thing to do really is to put the camera on a tripod and play with the aperture and take a long exposure to get the depth of field you need.

    I'm not an expert photographer yet either, just starting to play around with model photography on the club layout. Here's a couple photos I took on the club layout. You can see depth of field is improved by using an digital SLR on a tripod, but the lighting still sucks in the second photo especially. Good enough for the club website though.

    Attached Files:

  11. jbaakko

    jbaakko Active Member

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