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Rainford Station

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I thought as I'd been a member for a few months now I should add some images to my portfolio. I chose this one simply because it was one of the most recent I had taken - intending to add some better quality ones as well... But oops, silly me, I didn't realise the 16 picture upload allowance only ran for a couple of weeks... So I guess I'll add them more slowly. Tongue
This is a shot of the footbridge and signal box of our local station. The old semaphore signals might give the impression of a railway restoration site, but it is in fact a working station that didn't take it Beeching Powders back in the 60's - our house actually stands where the old line was. It has also avoided the modernisation that every other station on the line has had (they only replaced the gas lamps a week ago). It is named Rainford Junction, but the Ormskirk to St Helens line disappeared in 1959, and it now remains as a sleepy last stop before Kirby.
The signal man does not have the most onerous job in the world. He only has two signals on each line for the two trains an hour that pass (the same one going, like Bilbo Baggins, there and back again), and the trains stop at 7pm.

Brand:Canon
Camera:Canon EOS 5D
Lens:EF28-105mm f/3.5-4.5 USM
Recording media:JPEG (digital)
Focal Length:83mm
Lens Max Aperture:f/4.2
Aperture:f/6.3
Shutter Speed:1/160sec
Exposure Comp:0.0
ISO:200
Exposure Mode:Aperture-priority AE
Metering Mode:Partial
Flash:Off, Did not fire
Title:Rainford Station
Username:Grimbandanjo Grimbandanjo
Uploaded:27 Apr 2011 - 12:40 PM
Tags:Landscape / travel, Merseyside, Railway, Railway lines, Railway station
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This photo is here for critique. Please only comment constructively and with suggestions on how to improve it.
Canonshots
27 Apr 2011 - 2:26 PMConstructive Critique!This comment was flagged as constructive critique! 

My local station used to look like this, until they took the footbridge away. I like your composition, using the tracks as lead-in lines and using the bridge to cut them off sharp before they fracture the picture plane. The colour rendering is lovely - you have picked the right moment from the point of view of lighting.

The main visual interest lies in the shape of the bridge. Since you were a bit unlucky with the sky it might be a good idea to crop about 15-20% of the image at the top, which gets rid of most of the uninteresting sky and gives the bridge more prominence. Another problem is the red notice and the "no pedestrians" signs. Red is a very eye-catching colour and little bits of it in the wrong places can be disproportionately distracting. One answer would be to clone out those features, but if, like me, you dislike that sort of falsification then a more radical solution would be to convert the image to monochrome. With care, you could conserve the nice lighting effect and there would be no distracting details. Of course, you would lose that lovely colour rendering but you might still like the result better. Try it and see.

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pamelajean
pamelajean Critique Team 8769 forum postspamelajean vcard United Kingdom1596 Constructive Critique Points
27 Apr 2011 - 5:20 PMConstructive Critique!This comment was flagged as constructive critique! 

Hello, Jeff, and welcome to EPZ. I like your "sleepy last stop" description. I hope we get to see some pictures of the station itself some time later. You have good light here, and some strong shadows, giving the impression of a bright sunny day, but the image looks a bit dark, so I have brightened it in my modification. I also straightened the bridge, it was only 35degrees out, but I noticed it straight away. Your sky has some detail in it, so I tried to bring that out by selecting it and adding some contrast. I personally like the little bits of red, especially on the steps' handrails, which echo the reds in the signs and the signal above the bridge. I wasn't keen on the leaning sign in the bottom left corner, though, so I cropped that side and quite liked the composition resulting from the crop. Each side needed a very slight crop after the straightening of the bridge. I also added some slight sharpening. I like the image as it is, and am wondering where you stood to take the picture, perhaps on another bridge? I ask this because I wondered if you could have taken this from a lower pov so that the rest of the line was visible, with the bridge higher. Also, the bridge obscures the signal box, which I think could be made more of a feature within the image. As it stands, your main element is the bridge, which was probably your intention.
Pamela.

Last Modified By pamelajean at 27 Apr 2011 - 5:23 PM

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Grimbandanjo
27 Apr 2011 - 6:37 PM

Thank you Canonshots and Pamela for the comments and remarks. Much appreciated, especially as this was more a passing snap than an image I took any time to compose; so the mostly positive remarks are very encouraging. As I said, I put this one on thinking I had a larger allowance, but that was my mistake. I will add better ones as I go.
I agree with what you say about the red signs, Canon, and I did think about removing them, but a lot of an image is down to personal taste, and I decided I liked them, as I did with the slanting sign. Again, I did actually remove that during some crop trials, but found I preferred it in. I think it adds to the dilapidated, almost forgotten feel of the location... Again though, that's personal taste. The one thing I think I should have removed is that god-awful, blue bin by the signal box... and maybe the car.
Pamela, I really appreciate you mentioning that the image appeared 'dark' on your monitor. I have noticed that my prints have been appearing darker than the monitor image, and I was going to investigate if it was the printer or the monitor that needed adjustment. I suspected the monitor, as the printer is of very high quality, so I'll get right on that.
You mentioned the POV Pamela, and that's one of the reasons why I don't rate this as one of my best - I was just keen to get something in my portfolio. The reason for the POV is that I was walking across the road bridge above the station, and I kinda took the picture in passing, if you follow. I was actually out and about looking for some good spring images. I do have some nice shots of the station and the area which I took last summer, and I'll be sure to post them at a later date.
Pamela, the station itself basically consists of two tatty old platforms with an incongruous yellow bus stop type shelter on each, but the old bridge and the station box are very picturesque. You might want to Google Rainford Junction Station and see some pictures of what it was like in its heyday. It's hard to believe it's the same station.
Thank you both again.

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pamelajean
pamelajean Critique Team 8769 forum postspamelajean vcard United Kingdom1596 Constructive Critique Points
27 Apr 2011 - 10:06 PM

I'll do that, Jeff. Thanks for the feedback. I look forward to seeing the station.
I primarily came back to apologise for getting the "tilt" amount wrong....it was 0.35 degrees!!!
Pamela.

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Jestertheclown
27 Apr 2011 - 10:24 PMConstructive Critique!This comment was flagged as constructive critique! 

Hi Jeff and welcome from me too.
As Pamela has said the shot's a bit dark, possibly even marginally underexposed but more importantly it's very green. I've uploaded a mod. in which I've desaturated the green slightly in curves.
I've increased the exposure slightly and added a little contrast too.
I also cropped the LHS slightly and the top moreso and cloned the car. I looked at the blue bin and decided that whilst you could probably remove it fairly easily using the original, I wasn't going to get much of a result with this. So I left it. To be honest, it doesn't bother me anyway. Likewise I think that the red bits that you mention give the shot a more balanced feel. Finally I sharpened it. That's not to say your shot needs more sharpening but uploaded mods. always seem to suffer a loss of quality i the upload.
Oh! I untilted it as well.
Hope this helps.
I'll look forward ti seeing more of your work.

Bren.

Last Modified By Jestertheclown at 27 Apr 2011 - 10:27 PM

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Grimbandanjo
28 Apr 2011 - 11:57 AM

Thanks Bren, much appreciated. It's looking more and more like I might have to invest in some kind of monitor calibration... My little Pantone thingy doesn't seem to be cutting it anymore. Any recommendations?

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Jestertheclown
28 Apr 2011 - 3:48 PM


Quote: Any recommendations?

I don't I'm afraid.
In fact my cheap old monitor's not calibrated yet I sem to be seeing the same as everyone else!
Could be that yours might benefit from being adjusted simply using whatever adjustments it has to offer by default.
There's often a lot said on here re. the benefit (or absolute need according to some people) for monitor calibration. I just haven't found it to be the case.
Images look OK to me on my screen and they still look OK if I print them (on my cheap old Epson with the compatible inks and the Pound shop paper!) so I don't concern myself.

Last Modified By Jestertheclown at 28 Apr 2011 - 3:49 PM

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