Anyone seen the Pic on P43 of the May Model Railroader?

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Brunton

Wyoming native
Joe,

I certainly agree that there are many artistic elements in model railroading. As to it being an art form... we'll just have to continue to think along different lines in that regard.

As far as the illegitimacy of a digitally manipulated photo - I think my second paragraph in my 7:31 am post explains how I see the issue, so I won't bore you with that again.

Grande man is absolutely right - "... it was a cool pic that included great digital enhancement AND super modeling." And I completely agree. The composite product is stunning. My issue isn't with the image - it's with where it was presented.

If anyone somehow got the idea that I don't think convincing image manipulation takes skill, that idea is absolutely incorrect. Nowhere did I intentionally give that impression. Although the software does the drudge work, the process of composing the image and creating a photo-realistic product takes a great deal of skill.

As far as it being a legitimate form of modeling simulation - of course it is. My whole point is that that's exactly what it is - a simulation and not actual modeling, so I think it should not be in a magazine about modeling. If model railroading is a fake, then digitally manipulated photos are fakes of a fake, or fakes squared (kind of like infinity squared, maybe. Does that really mean anything?).

Bottom line - I want to see what the modeler's skills have wrought, not the skill of the computer operator. Somehow, a manipulated photo, no matter how inventive or stunning, leaves me feeling that I still haven't seen what the modelers skills have honestly produced. Still, your point about the modeling skill being evident in the seamlessness of the composite image is a good one.

Grande man,

Perhaps this thread reads as something of a controversy, but to me it's just a very enjoyable discussion from disparate viewpoints. Certainly no rancor here from my end.
 
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grande man

Bonafied Grande Nut
Brunton said:
Grande man,

Perhaps this thread reads as something of a controversy, but to me it's just a very enjoyable discussion from disparate viewpoints. Certainly no rancor here from my end.

Mark, that's one of the absolute best things about being a member here. Folks can present their views without the typical flamefest seen on other forums.

BTW, how does a guy from Wyoming end up in New Jersey? That's a long way from home. :D I spent a few years in Rawlins as a kid and remember it well.
 

Brunton

Wyoming native
grande man said:
BTW, how does a guy from Wyoming end up in New Jersey? That's a long way from home. :D I spent a few years in Rawlins as a kid and remember it well.

Rawlins? You lucky dog!!! Back in the early 70s when I was in high school Rawlins was the town of babes! Once I was in a Wyoming Wing conference for Civil Air Patrol when the Rawlins squadron showed up. In walked a bunch of really beautiful girls! Completely derailed the conference for a good ten minutes!:D

As far as going from Wyoming to New Jersey - I guess I just went stupid. I went to college in Montana and then New York City (talk about culture shock!!), then moved around the country working in aviation and the space program. I'm still amazed that I wound up in NJ - when I think about it too much it makes my head hurt. But my wife's from NYC and her family is mostly in the NJ/NY/PA area, so here we'll stay, probably.

Pray for me!!;)
 

grande man

Bonafied Grande Nut
Brunton said:
Rawlins? You lucky dog!!! Back in the early 70s when I was in high school Rawlins was the town of babes! Once I was in a Wyoming Wing conference for Civil Air Patrol when the Rawlins squadron showed up. In walked a bunch of really beautiful girls! Completely derailed the conference for a good ten minutes!:D

As far as going from Wyoming to New Jersey - I guess I just went stupid. I went to college in Montana and then New York City (talk about culture shock!!), then moved around the country working in aviation and the space program. I'm still amazed that I wound up in NJ - when I think about it too much it makes my head hurt. But my wife's from NYC and her family is mostly in the NJ/NY/PA area, so here we'll stay, probably.

Pray for me!!;)

Wow, that's neat. We actually lived in Rawlins in the early 70's.

What part of aviation are you in? I've been doing aircraft maintenance for 20 years.
 

Brunton

Wyoming native
grande man said:
Wow, that's neat. We actually lived in Rawlins in the early 70's.

What part of aviation are you in? I've been doing aircraft maintenance for 20 years.
I worked on the Boeing 777 design in the late 80s/early 90s. I've been at Boeing Helicopter in PA for about eleven years, working first on leading edges for the 767, then on the V-22 Osprey Tiltrotor. The last several years I've been doing factory support for structures (like when parts don't fit I tell the shop guys what to do to fix the problem).

What sort of A/C maintenance? Commercial, general, military or something else?
 

grande man

Bonafied Grande Nut
Brunton said:
I worked on the Boeing 777 design in the late 80s/early 90s. I've been at Boeing Helicopter in PA for about eleven years, working first on leading edges for the 767, then on the V-22 Osprey Tiltrotor. The last several years I've been doing factory support for structures (like when parts don't fit I tell the shop guys what to do to fix the problem).

What sort of A/C maintenance? Commercial, general, military or something else?

That sounds like some cool work. :cool:

As for me, corporate flight dept, overseeing the maintenance on a turboprop and a midsize jet. Prior to that, almost 12 years as a outstation line rep working DC9's. I wish you worked for Raytheon. Someone needs to tell me how to fix their problems. :D
 

HaggisKennedy

Coal Shoveler
Brunton said:
Once I was in a Wyoming Wing conference for Civil Air Patrol when the Rawlins squadron showed up. In walked a bunch of really beautiful girls! Completely derailed the conference for a good ten minutes!:D

Did it still stay a "Civil" AP meeting?

:D

Kennedy
 

jfugate

Modeling SP in the 1980s
grande man said:
Mark, that's one of the absolute best things about being a member here. Folks can present their views without the typical flamefest seen on other forums.

Agreed. A very invigorating discussion. I've been enjoying it imensely, and I appreciate the contrary views presented. Good grist for the old thought mill. :D
 

atsfmodeler

Russell
That is a really nice picture, and to the best of my knowlege, I think that's the first time a picture like that was made. I remember when the locomotive cameras were the "new cool thing" letting the modeler see his layout as the train went through scenes. The images were B/W and the pictures were not of the best quality, but it added a sense of realism of a trainman's eyeview of the railroad. Much like the A&O picture.

Russell
 

Brakie

Member
Guys,Shots from the cab isn't anything new..I recall seeing the first one back in the 70s..I seen trolley "motorman"views as well-all shot in black and white..:D So,its not a rip off but,a new method of doing old camera tricks.:D
 

Brakie

Member
Railphotog said:
It appears that MR is aiming for perfection in all of their photos these days. Is there anyone here who remembers the old black and white Trackside Photos of 20-25 years ago? They would often show photos of models under construction, layouts with wood showing, etc. Everything wasn't absolutely perfect as it is today.

Recent Trackside Photos, including those in the current MR, are most often by the photographers they assign to shoot layouts - Paul Dolkos and Lou Sassi. In other words, "readers don't bother to send in your own photos, we'll use work from photographers whom we pay to do the shooting". Doesn't leave much for aspiring model photographers.

Kalmbach's Fine Scale Miniatures devotes 4-6 pages to readers' photos. It's too bad MR cannot (or will not) use more submitted photos. My first published photo was a Trackside Photo too many years ago, but I doubt if any newcomers will have such good fortune.


Bob,I seen better pictures on forums in the weekly photo topics then in MR..What I like about these weekly photo topics anybody can post a picture regardless of modeling level or modeling style.:D
 

CBCNSfan

Registered Member
Staff member
I agree with Brakie, I guess what we see on the net we can connect with. Also look at some of the weekend photos this past weekend if you want to see highly detailed features in photos. I don't know about everyone else but I enjoy seeing the posted photos more.

13.gif
Willis
 

jacon12

Member
CBCNSfan said:
I agree with Brakie, I guess what we see on the net we can connect with. Also look at some of the weekend photos this past weekend if you want to see highly detailed features in photos. I don't know about everyone else but I enjoy seeing the posted photos more.

13.gif
Willis

Yep! What's that old adage.. a picture is worth a thousand words. Being a new modeler I like to see the photos of really nice layouts and I always say, Dang! How'd he do that! :D
Jarrell
 
Well, personally, I think that it shows mostly model, and it's acknowledged as a digitally enhanced picture, so I see absolutely no problem. Sure, it could be a slippery slope, but on the other hand, if it stays at the current level of modification, it's still mostly model, and the rest is just putting another talent to good use.
I really liked the picture. :D
 
Brunton said:
As far as I'm concerned, digital enhancement isn't modeling any more than playing RR Tycoon or watching a train movie is modeling.

Just my opinion.

Maybe this isn't modeling, but these are some of the things I do in addition to building models and running trains. :)

It's all part of the fun.

I do have to agree to a point about the digital manipulation of photos, though. When this is done, it takes away some of the elements that make models what they are. If you were to airbrush, cover or remove all of the little things that identify what we are looking at as models, then you may as well just photograph the prototype and forget about the models altogether. On the other hand, I like the idea that the photographer/editor used in placing the reflection in the window to add some realism. The problem with doing this is that this adds elements to the model that aren't there, so it isn't really authentic.
 

ncmrdispatcher

A&O Historical Society
How P43 was done

I've enjoyed reading the discussions in this thread, both pro and con, concerning edited digital photos. I do respect and appreciate the viewpoints of all who posted.

Except for P43, photos in the article only received adjustments for sharpness, color balance and brightness. Nothing was added or removed.

If anyone is curious about how P43 was made in Adobe Photoshop CS2, here is a short animated GIF that shows some of the intermediate steps.

66399903-M.gif


We originally submitted two stories to Model Railroad Planning. After Kalmbach's January 2005 planning meeting we were told that the layout would instead appear in MR.

Several posters expressed frustration about the difficulty of getting photos published in magazines such as MR. That frustration appears to be fairly widespread. In this case I believe it was really the strength of David's modeling that caught the eye of the editor. Maybe it helped a bit that magazines typically receive fewer submissions in O-scale than in HO or N. We included 8x10 inkjet prints of all photos, and a few very fake MRP and MR magazine covers, hoping to show the layout in the best possible light (these were not returned.)

We used no fancy light setups -- just existing layout track light cans, and at times a 50 watt MR16 halogen flood ("the sun") on a loose 4 foot piece of track light rail (don't try this without covering the slot with tape; people and electricity do not gracefully mix.) And I'm just a friend with a digital SLR, not a hired professional photographer.

More unpublished pix can be seen by clicking on the photo below, and others appear on David's web site: http://www.aorailroad.com.

64501891-M.jpg

Exposure by locomotive headlight, 37 seconds, f/18, ISO 400, Canon 10D.

"f/8 and be there!"
 

grande man

Bonafied Grande Nut
Hi Bob. I must say, what an impressive RR and pictures! Thanks so much for taking the time to post here. Your photography work and David's modeling are both absolutely top notch. Welcome to the forum. :cool:
 

jbaakko

Diesel Detail Freak
Welcome Bob, love that you took the time to post and discuss this picture! I don't know why eveyone made such a mid deal of it, I think it was one fo the better pictures I've seen in MR for a while. It's only worthy of a complaint when MR publishes a whole article with digitaly edited shots (Minus the obvious, extending of backdrops). Hope you can stick around, we'd love to see more from the A&O in out Weekend Photo Fun threads!!!
 

rhoward

S.L.O.&W. Trainman
Bob, thanks for sharing exactly how P43 was set up and done. I think both the layout and the composite photo are awesome. I too don't know why there has been such a fuss about the work (both here and across the street). Composite photos are nothing new and were done long before the digital age. They can just be done quicker and more realistically today. Wonderful work! Thanks again for sharing. And... Come back and share often.

BTW, I also use Photoshop CS2 and haven't even begun to explore all the possibilities available.
 

NZRMac

In Training Down Under.
Thanks Bob for the 'how to' pictures amazing!! Really like you web site too, the construction of the new A&O looks interesting.

Ken.
 




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