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I Need Some Help  
User currently offlineMDL_777 From United States of America, joined Aug 2001, 267 posts, RR: 0
Posted (14 years 4 months 3 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 2353 times:

I've been trying to upload pictures to this site since about August without much success. That's okay, since I'm pretty new to this, and I know that it's very hard to get pictures accepted. At first, I couldn't get anything past the screeners, because some of the stuff I initially tried to upload was pretty bad. I started picking up tips from this forum, and I started to get a little bit better with each roll of film, and I started to get things past the first screening, which to me at the time was seen as a minor victory in itself. Those pictures were not accepted, but I felt that I was making progress. I had 16 photos waiting in the queue that had passed the first screening, and they had been sitting there for some time. I was a realist, and knew that I wouldn't get them all accepted, but I was also hoping that maybe, just maybe, one or two would get accepted. Well, I finally got the E-mail from Johan on Monday: all 16 were rejected.  Sad

I would really like some feedback on theses photos. There are a lot of really talented photographers that read this forum, and I could use some of your expertise. Below are the links to rejected photos:


That's thirteen. There were three that I can clearly see why they were rejected, so I didn't bother posting the links here. All pictures were taken with a point & shoot pocket camera, which I know is not optimal equipment, but it's all I have right now. All of the pictures with the exception of the three full-body shots of the DC-3 were shot with Fuji 100 film. The other three were taken with Kodak Gold 200. Most were pulled from a photo CD, and some were scanned. All were edited using Adobe Photoshop Elements.

I'm not going to say that these are the best pictures in the world, but I think that they're pretty good given the equipment that I'm using. There are several of them that I personally really like, such as the Voodoo picture, the Marine helicopter, and the A4 pictures. Some of these I thought really had a legitimate shot of making it here. That's why I decided to ask for help, and get some feedback so I can guage my progress as a photographer. I've asked for feedback before one one or two shots in the past, but now here is a representative sample.

Are they good?
Are they bad?
Are they good, but not up to A.net standards?
Are they somewhere in between?
Do any of them have a chance to be accepted with a little work?
Do I have potential?

I ask because after having 16 shots kicked back, I really don't know.  Confused I know that I will eventually have to get an SLR. I'm working on that. My dad actually gave me one of his old ones when I was visiting for the holidays, but something happened with the shutter, and they had to take it to the shop. If they can fix it, my dad will ship it to me. If not, I'm going to see about getting a good used one because I can't afford a brand new one right now. I have a roll of film I took at March Air Force Base with the SLR before it broke. I'm going to see what I can do with those images. But I've hit a wall right now with uploading pictures to Airliners.net. I could really use some help. I also want to say that I have enjoyed reading some of the discussion threads on this forum, and that I've been able to pick up some things that have been really helpful. I also enjoy the work that many of you contribute to this site.

7 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlinePlanedoctor From United States of America, joined Mar 2001, 286 posts, RR: 1
Reply 1, posted (14 years 4 months 3 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 2325 times:

Well, to get the ball rolling (although other posts may beat me to it!), I think you are doing exceptionally well for the equipment you have. As far as the quality of the scans and the exposure, etc. most of your pictures look good. I especially like the first few- I think the reason those are better is that the picture has just one main subject. When you get groups of planes together, I think they distract from one another unless they are in the air side-by-side or have some other unusual feature. I don't know Johan's personal taste for static shots of retired planes, and though I see them from time to time, I think the general preference is for planes on the tarmac or in the air. If you can't make it to an airport with active traffic, I think you have the skills and the talent to get some uploaded. I understand your frustration, though. Keep trying! As your skills improve and you gradually acquire better equipment, you'll be grateful for the experience you are gaining using the lower end stuff. I started with point and shoots, and I am just getting the hang of SLR's, but I think I gained lots of valuable experience with the features my camera didn't have!
Hope that helps somewhat!


User currently offlinePlanedoctor From United States of America, joined Mar 2001, 286 posts, RR: 1
Reply 2, posted (14 years 4 months 3 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 2313 times:

In my post I found a confusing line. I meant that if you can't make it to an active airport, with your talent and some practice you ought to be able to get some uploads with your current camera and scanning skills of the aircraft at the same location. To be honest, I don't see anything terribly wrong with the first two. Maybe rework them and try again!


User currently offlinePlanedoctor From United States of America, joined Mar 2001, 286 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (14 years 4 months 3 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 2312 times:

Sorry! third time!

If there is anything I see wrong with the first pictures, is that they are a little over-sharpened. Try rescanning and use a little less sharpening!


User currently offlineSukhoi From Sweden, joined May 2006, 384 posts, RR: 5
Reply 4, posted (14 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 2302 times:

Just goes to prove you dont need to spend thousands to get nice shots! AS Ken has said the images do seem to suffer from being over sharpened.

1. Nice shot but over sharpened, notice the jaggies on the titles and stripes
2. As above
3. Again looks a little over sharpened.
4. Not too sure on this one as its nice and sharp???
5. The Huey is out of focus/blurred
6. Over sharpened
7. As Above
8. The nose is too sharp with the body being soft
9. Over sharpened
10 As above
11 As above
12 As above
13 Not an Airliners type image!

The images are actually really good considering the equipment used, a great way to start this hobby. Im not sure what graphics package your using but if your just using the "Sharpen" tool try using the "Unsharp mask" instead this gives better results.

Dont get down hearted and keep them coming.



User currently offlineCkw From UK - England, joined Aug 2010, 813 posts, RR: 12
Reply 5, posted (14 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 2292 times:

I'll echo whats been said above - excellent results for a point 'n shoot, and quite frankly, I've seen much worse accepted - I'm a bit surprised these were rejected as I think Johan is a little more relaxed on military subjects - I guess 'cause they're often unique. Perhaps someone has covered this venue before?

In terms of critique - in general I'd agree with Paul, though it is not to say the pics are bad, but simply these are areas that could be improved upon.

My additional comments are that aesthetically some of the pics I think could be improved - for instance, getting a lower angle might give those head-on shots a little drama - you need to try and find angles that lift the subject from the background.

Another thing I hate (so perhaps Johan does too) are those little placards in front of the plane. These can be very difficult to avoid, but it is worth trying to get an angle which removes them from the picture.

Finally, the first two shots have very dark shadows. This could be brightened in Photoshop using the "curves" tool (NOT auto-curves as this tends to increase the contrast). If you're not familiar with curves, this is well worth spending some time on as it gives you a very powerful way of modifiying the tone and colour of the picture while keeping the black & white points correct.

Anyway well done, and a lesson to any beginners out there about to spend mega-bucks on a fancy new SLR!



Colin K. Work, Pixstel
User currently offlineMDL_777 From United States of America, joined Aug 2001, 267 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (14 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 2274 times:

I'd like to say thanks for the feedback and the encouragement. It's good to know that I'm on the right track. I think with regard to most of the photos being "oversharpened," when I edited the pictures, I was probably so concerned with the pictures being turned down for being blurry that I over-compensated. I actually have used the Unsharp Mask, rather than just Sharpen, but I'm probably over-doing it. I may take some of these, rework them, and see what I come up with.

Colin, I know what you mean about the little placards. Sometimes it's hard to avoid them. The neat thing about this particular musem where I took the pictures is that it's right next to one of the runways at CLT, so that you are very close to the airliners when they line up for takeoff. There's a chain-link fence, and from there it's probably about 50-60 yards to the runway. I tried some shots from that location, but they didn't turn out that well because the sun wasn't in the right position and so the lighting was off. I definitely plan to try again, though.

Anyway, thanks again for the advice. I've really tried to look at this whole process as a learning process, and I think I'm making progress with it.

User currently offlineCkw From UK - England, joined Aug 2010, 813 posts, RR: 12
Reply 7, posted (14 years 4 months 2 weeks 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 2264 times:

Top marks for considering the lighting! It's nice to see someone starting up actually giving some consideration to the basics of good photography.



Colin K. Work, Pixstel
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