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What's next for Trackside with Trains? Share your thoughts

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Posted by Euclid on Monday, September 5, 2016 4:32 PM

zugmann
 
Euclid
I think that just submitting good photos is enough. I know a lot of people insist on a theme. I just have not heard a good reason why. Nor do I see any plausible explanation for requiring a theme other than railroading.

 

I haven't heard a good reason not to have a theme either.

 

I am referring to a theme other than the default theme of railroading. 

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Posted by zugmann on Monday, September 5, 2016 4:41 PM

Euclid
I am referring to a theme other than the default theme of railroading.

So what does it matter if a theme is "crossbucks" vs. "railroading"?  they're both themes.

  

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Posted by Euclid on Monday, September 5, 2016 5:14 PM

zugmann
 
Euclid
I am referring to a theme other than the default theme of railroading.

 

So what does it matter if a theme is "crossbucks" vs. "railroading"?  they're both themes.

 

It matters because the subject of crossbucks is so specific compared to the broader subject of railroading.  I see the Trains contest theme as limiting the scope of the subject.  Being that the contest is in the context of railroading, I do not see the default theme of railroading as limiting at all.  I prefer no limiting so that is why it matters if a crossbuck theme is imposed.

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Posted by zugmann on Monday, September 5, 2016 5:20 PM

Then why limit it to railroads?  Plenty of excellent non-railroad photos could be used here to provide guidance that could be then used for railroad photos.  Either have themes or not.  "Railroading" is a cop out.  You don't want a theme except for the theme you want.

 

Have you ever entered one of these trackside contests yet?

  

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Posted by tree68 on Monday, September 5, 2016 6:26 PM

This discussion has been down this road before.  With the same player making the same argument - and so far I can't think of anyone else supporting the "no themes" concept.

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Posted by Murphy Siding on Monday, September 5, 2016 6:29 PM

Euclid

 .....I see the Trains contest theme as limiting the scope of the subject.......

 

 

 Yes.  That's the point.  If there were no theme, we'd be looking at thousands of real pretty 3/4 wedge shots of shiny new locomotives.

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Posted by Norm48327 on Monday, September 5, 2016 6:31 PM

Euclid
so that is why it matters if a crossbuck theme is imposed.

Because I hold the copyright to the crossbuck image that is my avatar. Wink

Norm


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Posted by Murphy Siding on Monday, September 5, 2016 6:31 PM

Theme?  How 'bout

*railroad shot with no locomotive in the photo

*inactive rail line

*long gone...

*a certain engine> GEEP / Alco / Switcher / Yard goat

Have we had one of foreign power- locomotives obviously not on home road?

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Posted by Euclid on Monday, September 5, 2016 6:41 PM

Murphy Siding
 
Euclid

 .....I see the Trains contest theme as limiting the scope of the subject.......

 

 

 

 

 Yes.  That's the point.  If there were no theme, we'd be looking at thousands of real pretty 3/4 wedge shots of shiny new locomotives.

That is an interesting point.  Would that really happen?  Would the contest be flooded with contestants if there were no theme?  I cannot imaging why the requirement for a theme would dampen participation down to maybe a dozen entries, whereas waiving the theme would result in thousands of entries.  I don't see the theme as being that much of a hurdle. 

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Posted by zugmann on Monday, September 5, 2016 6:47 PM

I doubt there would be lots of entires no matter what.

 

 

  

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Posted by Euclid on Monday, September 5, 2016 7:03 PM

zugmann
Have you ever entered one of these trackside contests yet?

No I have not participated in the photo contest or any others for that matter.  I have no desire to do so.  However, I have at times, desired to produce great photographs, and illustrations.  At the start of this thread, Brain said this: “So I want to hear your ideas on how to make Trackside with Trains relevant again.”

Actually, I did not know that it had become irrelevant.  But since he asked, I brought up something that I have brought up before here in a couple other threads.  That is the theme.  Here and before, I get the same response, that being that the theme is essential. 

These are some of the reasons given for why the theme is essential:

  1. Everybody wants it.

  2. It adds a small challenge.

  3. It prevents opening the contest to the point of absurdity.

  4. It forces photographers out of their comfort zone.

  5. It reveals how well the subject matches the theme.

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Posted by Euclid on Monday, September 5, 2016 7:09 PM

tree68
 
Euclid
Choosing the best photograph without a theme forces the choice to focus only on the quality of the photograph, which is the ultimate point. 

 

Alas, this opens things up to the point of absurdity.  A contributor can send image after image of 3/4 shots of steam locomotives - always a popular choice - while another goes to the trouble to take a great shot that is deserving of a win, but still isn't as popular as a 3/4 shot of steam in the snow.

If the 3/4 shot of steam in the snow was popular enough to win the contest, how do you conclude that another shot was deserving of the win?

It is the contest that defines the winner.  Isn't that what a contest is for? 

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Posted by zugmann on Monday, September 5, 2016 7:12 PM

Euclid
It is the contest that defines the winner. Isn't that what a contest is for?

I think most photo contests are stupid.

  

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Posted by tree68 on Monday, September 5, 2016 7:29 PM

Euclid
If the 3/4 shot of steam in the snow was popular enough to win the contest, how do you conclude that another shot was deserving of the win? It is the contest that defines the winner.  Isn't that what a contest is for? 

Maybe yes, maybe no.  The purpose of an election is theoretically to select the best candidate for the job.  But if a voter votes for a candidate solely because they are a [name your party], doesn't that subvert the process?

There have been comments on the contests in the past to the effect of "I'm a sucker for steam in the snow," and in some cases that "steam in the snow" shot has won a contest here when it only marginally met the theme and there were others that hit the theme dead on.  

I'm sure you're familiar with Chris's fantastic photographs, which he often shares with us.  Wouldn't be a disappointment to have one of his fantastic images lose to a generic "steam in the snow" shot?

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Posted by Euclid on Monday, September 5, 2016 7:52 PM

tree68
 
Euclid
If the 3/4 shot of steam in the snow was popular enough to win the contest, how do you conclude that another shot was deserving of the win? It is the contest that defines the winner.  Isn't that what a contest is for? 

 

Maybe yes, maybe no.  The purpose of an election is theoretically to select the best candidate for the job.  But if a voter votes for a candidate solely because they are a [name your party], doesn't that subvert the process?

There have been comments on the contests in the past to the effect of "I'm a sucker for steam in the snow," and in some cases that "steam in the snow" shot has won a contest here when it only marginally met the theme and there were others that hit the theme dead on.  

I'm sure you're familiar with Chris's fantastic photographs, which he often shares with us.  Wouldn't be a disappointment to have one of his fantastic images lose to a generic "steam in the snow" shot?

 

I do not conclude that a person voting for the party subverts the process.  The process only asks for a person to vote.  It says nothing about a requirement for proper reasoning to back up the vote choice.  The whole purpose of voting is to account for everyone's opinion, and then decide by the majority opinion.  If you second guess the outcome, it just your individual opinion again. 

If Chris truely had the best shot, I doubt that he would lose to a generic shot that was not as good as Chris's shot. 

  

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Posted by Euclid on Monday, September 5, 2016 7:58 PM

zugmann
 
Euclid
It is the contest that defines the winner. Isn't that what a contest is for?

 

I think most photo contests are stupid.

 

Not as stupid as a hotdog eating contest.

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Posted by zugmann on Monday, September 5, 2016 8:04 PM

Euclid
Not as stupid as a hotdog eating contest.

Agreed.

  

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Posted by zugmann on Monday, September 5, 2016 8:07 PM

Euclid
If Chris truely had the best shot, I doubt that he would lose to a generic shot that was not as good as Chris's shot.

Hard to tell.  There's a lot of people (and photographers) that are into the front lit, 3/4, unobstructed wedgie roster shot.  Not saying there's anything wrong with that, but it shows you why voting for the "best shot" is silly.  We all have our ideas for a best shot.   How counting those votes makes one shot supposedlybetter than another is beyond me.  Why can't people just enjoy the photos?

  

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Posted by Murphy Siding on Monday, September 5, 2016 8:30 PM

zugmann

 

 
Euclid
Not as stupid as a hotdog eating contest.

 

Agreed.

 

I dunno.  It might depend on how well it's photographed.

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Posted by Murphy Siding on Monday, September 5, 2016 8:33 PM

zugmann

 

 
Euclid
If Chris truely had the best shot, I doubt that he would lose to a generic shot that was not as good as Chris's shot.

 

Hard to tell.  There's a lot of people (and photographers) that are into the front lit, 3/4, unobstructed wedgie roster shot.  Not saying there's anything wrong with that, but it shows you why voting for the "best shot" is silly.  We all have our ideas for a best shot.   How counting those votes makes one shot supposedlybetter than another is beyond me.  Why can't people just enjoy the photos?

 

Consider that when we see the entries, the folks at the magazine have already chosed their top 6 or 8 from those submitted.  If the top 6 or 8 were all 3/4 wedge roster shotes, I'm sure that isn't what got picked to show up in the photo contest.  I'd be confident in saying they mix it up a little to get some differing shots.

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Posted by Murphy Siding on Monday, September 5, 2016 8:37 PM

     Now, if we really wanted to spice things up, we'd figure out how to add brackets of some sorts.   Something along the lines of 8 photos in 8 categories to start with.  Top 2 advance.... etc. until you get the final 2 in the championship round.  By that time, you would probably have shots from different categories competing.  If the top 2 (or 4, whatever) come down to 3/4 wedge shots.....well....then go with the bikini theme the following week.

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Posted by Murphy Siding on Monday, September 5, 2016 8:42 PM

zardoz

 

 
zugmann

I would ditch the whole voting thing, period. Doesn't really serve any purpose than to inflate some egos, maybe?

 

 

 And what is so bad about having one's ego stroked?

 

 
zugmann

And even just picking a random theme and having people find a photo in their archives that somewhat matches seems pretty anticlimatic.   I'd like to see the site do what other photog sites do and have photo assignments - where it makes people go out to shoot new photos that deal with a theme.  That's if anyone would bother.  Maybe they wouldn't.  I don't know.

 

 

However, some of us are no longer mobile enough to go clamoring through the brush or climbing hills or trekking thru the woods, and thus are mostly restricted to using archived photos

 

I guess I'm fine with a photo coming out of someone's archives.  I would really like to see some more print about the photo and what the photographer likes about it, etc..

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Posted by Euclid on Monday, September 5, 2016 8:58 PM

Murphy Siding

Consider that when we see the entries, the folks at the magazine have already chosed their top 6 or 8 from those submitted.  If the top 6 or 8 were all 3/4 wedge roster shotes, I'm sure that isn't what got picked to show up in the photo contest.  I'd be confident in saying they mix it up a little to get some differing shots. 

 

Is that a fact?  Are the contest entries selected from a much larger group of submissions?  If so, who makes that pre-contest selection?  I actually have not paid all that much attention to this photo contest.  Are all the rules and fine points laid out in detail somewhere as a reference?

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Posted by tree68 on Monday, September 5, 2016 9:16 PM

Per staff during earlier discussions, if there are more than the usual amount of entries that go on the contest each time (methinks that's 6-8), they pick that number to appear.  Oftimes they don't even get that number, as evidenced by the contests that only have four or five images.

As I recall, it's more of a random selection - it's not a "juried" contest - they aren't picking out the best so we can pick the best of the best.  I'm sure any real "losers" get cast aside, but that's a guess on my part.

What has been emphasized by Trains staff is that the contest isn't a major part of their day. More likely it's simply a way to let some folks show off their work and perhaps generate more interest in the forums (and the Trains brand).  The possibility of having your image published in Trains is certainly a bonus.

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Posted by Murphy Siding on Monday, September 5, 2016 9:17 PM

Euclid

 

 
Murphy Siding

Consider that when we see the entries, the folks at the magazine have already chosed their top 6 or 8 from those submitted.  If the top 6 or 8 were all 3/4 wedge roster shotes, I'm sure that isn't what got picked to show up in the photo contest.  I'd be confident in saying they mix it up a little to get some differing shots. 

 

 

 

Is that a fact?  Are the contest entries selected from a much larger group of submissions?  If so, who makes that pre-contest selection?  I actually have not paid all that much attention to this photo contest.  Are all the rules and fine points laid out in detail somewhere as a reference?

 

As far as you know it's a fact, as you can't prove otherwise.  What are the odds that only 8 photos are submitted to a contest between 8 submitted photos?  Stop and listen to yourself. 

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Posted by Euclid on Monday, September 5, 2016 9:37 PM

Murphy Siding
 
Euclid

 

 
Murphy Siding

Consider that when we see the entries, the folks at the magazine have already chosed their top 6 or 8 from those submitted.  If the top 6 or 8 were all 3/4 wedge roster shotes, I'm sure that isn't what got picked to show up in the photo contest.  I'd be confident in saying they mix it up a little to get some differing shots. 

 

 

 

Is that a fact?  Are the contest entries selected from a much larger group of submissions?  If so, who makes that pre-contest selection?  I actually have not paid all that much attention to this photo contest.  Are all the rules and fine points laid out in detail somewhere as a reference?

 

 

 

As far as you know it's a fact, as you can't prove otherwise.  What are the odds that only 8 photos are submitted to a contest between 8 submitted photos?  Stop and listen to yourself. 

 

 

I had no intention of trying to prove anything.  I was just asking for clarification because somebody else implied the same thing.  Since you seemed to be stating it as fact, I figured you could confirm it. 

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Posted by tree68 on Monday, September 5, 2016 10:14 PM

Euclid
I had no intention of trying to prove anything.  I was just asking for clarification because somebody else implied the same thing.  Since you seemed to be stating it as fact, I figured you could confirm it. 

I don't feel like searching for the thread.  Maybe Brian will chime in.

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Posted by zugmann on Monday, September 5, 2016 10:20 PM

tree68
I don't feel like searching for the thread. Maybe Brian will chime in.

Brian (most likely tomorrow) =

  

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Posted by Murphy Siding on Monday, September 5, 2016 10:41 PM

Euclid

 

 
Murphy Siding
 
Euclid

 

 
Murphy Siding

Consider that when we see the entries, the folks at the magazine have already chosed their top 6 or 8 from those submitted.  If the top 6 or 8 were all 3/4 wedge roster shotes, I'm sure that isn't what got picked to show up in the photo contest.  I'd be confident in saying they mix it up a little to get some differing shots. 

 

 

 

Is that a fact?  Are the contest entries selected from a much larger group of submissions?  If so, who makes that pre-contest selection?  I actually have not paid all that much attention to this photo contest.  Are all the rules and fine points laid out in detail somewhere as a reference?

 

 

 

As far as you know it's a fact, as you can't prove otherwise.  What are the odds that only 8 photos are submitted to a contest between 8 submitted photos?  Stop and listen to yourself. 

 

 

 

 

I had no intention of trying to prove anything.  I was just asking for clarification because somebody else implied the same thing.  Since you seemed to be stating it as fact, I figured you could confirm it. 

 

Well it worked.  You didn't. Use your common sense and think it through.

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Posted by Euclid on Tuesday, September 6, 2016 9:20 AM

 

So I guess that proves that a theme acts as a firewall to prevent a flood of ¾ wedge shots from throwing the contest. 

 

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